Second season of IndyCar iRacing Challenge starting March 18 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve

IndyCar iRacing Challenge Montreal
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IndyCar will hold its second season of the iRacing Challenge starting March 18 at the virtual Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal.

The simulation racing series, which started last year during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic break, will be a three-race lead-in to the NTT IndyCar Series “real-life” season opener April 18 at Barber Motorsports Park on NBC.

The races will be streamed on IndyCar.com, the IndyCar and iRacing YouTube channels and the IndyCar Facebook page. Drivers likely will be streaming on their own Twitch channels as well in a feature that proved extraordinarily popular last year. Live streaming for each event will begin at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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“The first season of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge definitely filled a competitive void that our drivers were missing last spring,” IndyCar vice president of marketing SJ Luedtke said in a release. “It captured many entertaining moments and helped set the stage for the return to competition on the track in real life. Season 2 will undoubtedly double down on those fun, colorful moments highlighting the personalities of our athletes and get our fans ready for the green flag on our 2021 season in Birmingham, Alabama.”

After the opener, the IndyCar iRacing Challenge will race March 25 on the Homestead-Miami Speedway oval and April 1 on a track chosen by fan voting March 12-15 via IndyCar social channels.

Conor Daly, who was a breakout star in iRacing last season, is among the IndyCar drivers slated to compete, along with two-time series champion Josef Newgarden, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Will Power, Takuma Sato, Felix Rosenqvist, Graham Rahal, Ed Carpenter, Pato O’Ward and Alex Palou.

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IndyCar rookies Scott McLaughlin, who won twice in the iRacing Challenge last year, and Romain Grosjean also will be competing in the iRacing Challenge. , both racing this season in INDYCAR.

Each race also will feature one entry from the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper tires ladder system. The Montreal entry list will be announced next week.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.