Porsche’s Nick Tandy wins to end BMW’s run in IMSA iRacing series

Ker Robertson/Getty Images

Nick Tandy snapped BMW’s three-race winning streak in the IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series, capturing Round 4 at virtual Road America.

The Porsche factory driver won by 2.845 seconds in his No. 911 Porsche 911 RSR over Bruno Spengler, whose BMW M8 GTE had won the first two races in the series.

“It was just one of those races where everything fell our way,” Tandy said in an IMSA release. “We managed to bag a really good (qualifying) lap, which kept us out of trouble at the start, which was my main issue at Laguna and Ohio was just having a clean run without getting in other people’s incidents.”

‘IT FELT LIKE REAL LIFE’: IMSA drivers on their iRacing series

NEW SIM SERIES: IMSA adds iRacing Challenge

“The concentration level needed for me to drive on the sim, it’s so much greater than when I’m driving in reality. I think it’s because the driving in reality, it’s kind of in your subconscious. You can think about what goes on with stuff while it’s happening, whereas with sim racing, it’s still kind of a bit fraught. I definitely felt my wrists after the race from just grabbing and holding the steering wheel so tight trying to not make a mistake. It’s pretty painful.”

Spengler, who won at Sebring and Laguna Seca, scored his third top-two finish and reclaimed the points lead in the series after a sixth two weeks ago at virtual Mid-Ohio.

“It was a great race,” Spengler said in an IMSA release. “It started a bit more difficult than the other races. I’d say our opponents had more pace, for example the Porsche was very, very strong here, Ford as well. But we had a good setup and a good car.”

Spengler is ahead of teammate Nicky Catsburg by eight points through four of six races. Catsburg finished ninth Thursday after winning at virtual Mid-Ohio.

Philipp Eng finished third at Road America in the No. 26 Team Austria BMW, his first podium of the season.

Click here for the results at Road America in Round 4 of the IMSA Pro Invitational.

iRACING CHALLENGE: In the inaugural event at virtual Road America, of the new IMSA simulation series, Michael Cooper won in the No. 10 Flying Lizard Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, emerging from a battle for the lead with 10 laps to go over Jeff Andrews (who spun into the wall). Ben Waddell finished second with Forty7 Motorsports, and Max Root was third with Wright Motorsports.

Click her for the results in the IMSA iRacing Challenge at Road America.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”