With regular racing suspended, iRacing has offered an escape from the harsh realities of the motorsports world which is on lockdown by providing a viable alternative in simulated online races.
IndyCar iRacing: Michigan Speedway Overview
The IndyCar iRacing Challenge is the next big thing to look forward to on the esports/motorsports calendar and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has decided to fully embrace the video game race. The Michigan Speedway will host the next iRacing Event on schedule at 2:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, April 11.
The event stretches 85 laps on the virtual MIS platform by iRacing Esports, which has gained prominence over the past few weeks.
All drivers participating will use a setup provided by iRacing with the events taking place every Saturday through May 2. The event is an important addition to the racing schedule at a time when all motorsports have been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.
IndyCar iRacing Challenge – Date, Time and How to Watch
You can tune in and watch the event live on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11.
- Date: Saturday, April 11
- Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
- Watch: NBCSN
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Steps into the Electronic Motorsports
One of the biggest highlights for the upcoming race is the decision of Dale Earnhardt Jr. to debut in the virtual competition. He was succinct about his reasons: “I’d love to do it,” further adding he would be happy to meet the rest of the competitors.
Earnhardt is also a nominee for the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame, which makes him quite the community figure, and not least he has been providing insightful analyses for NBCSN. Meanwhile, 31 competitors will participate in the upcoming IndyCar race, with quite the diverse setup of over 15 different teams.
You can have a quick look-through the schedule and see who is on the list with Josef Newgarden, Scott McLaughlin and Sebastien Bourdais all taking to the esports series.
IndyCar Keeps Decent Viewership Even as Esports
As one of the few esports on television, IndyCar averages a decent overall TV ratings. The Barber Motorsports Park event managed to draw some 165,000 people, still short of eNASCAR’s whopping 1.3 million viewers.
Yet, IndyCar has been doing quite well all things considering. For example, comparing IndyCar’s actual viewership of 296,000 people tuning in on OBCSN to watch back in 2019 the real-life Barber event, that’s a 55% of all fans still following up a year later, even though the race was hosted as part of a simulation.
There are three more races on schedule after iRacing Michigan, on April 18, April 25 and finally May 2 when the series will reassess if they can continue in the real-world or embrace their alter ego in full.