Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/7/20 3:09 p.m.
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Need more professional iRacing in your life? IMSA has you covered.

Starting Thursday, April 16, IMSA will kick off its IMSA iRacing Pro Series. This follows the IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday.

The upcoming race will virtually take place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, and will follow the same 90-minute format as the Sebring event.

You'll be able to watch the race on iRacing's YouTube, Twitch and Facebook.

Read the full release below:

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Following last month’s successful IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday on iRacing event, IMSA and iRacing have taken the next step in establishing a bi-weekly series of Thursday night races to be known as the "IMSA iRacing Pro Series."

The series will follow the same format as Sebring SuperSaturday – 90-minute, single-driver races using recent IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) race cars: the BMW M8, Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488 and Ford GT. With the Sebring event serving as the first round of an anticipated six-round championship, the series will resume on Thursday, April 16 on the WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca iRacing circuit.

The full IMSA iRacing Pro Series Schedule is as follows:

March 21 – IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday

April 16 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

April 30 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

May 14 – IMSA venue to be determined

May 28 – IMSA venue to be determined

June 11 – Watkins Glen International

"Our Sebring SuperSaturday event and subsequent iRacing events held by other sanctioning bodies have proven to be popular with race fans," said IMSA President John Doonan. "We had a fantastic turnout of participating drivers and strong viewership, which ignited further discussions among our IMSA team, our partners at iRacing and many of our other partners.

"Together, we determined that a series of races that somewhat mirrors what our actual 2020 WeatherTech Championship schedule would have been prior to the COVID-19 stoppage was logical. With that, the IMSA iRacing Pro Series was born."

The invitational series will be open to IMSA drivers. As was the case for Sebring SuperSaturday, the field will be capped at a maximum of 50 entries.

IMSA will establish a points system for drivers based on their finishing position – beginning with last month’s Sebring SuperSaturday. An IMSA iRacing driver champion will be crowned at season’s end.

All races will be streamed live on iRacing’s YouTube channel, Twitch channel and Facebook page, which will include commentary from IMSA Radio announcer John Hindhaugh. Pre- and post-race programming also is planned for The Torque Show, hosted by Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall.

 

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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/13/20 5:03 p.m.

Just bumping this up since IMSA is (virtually) racing later this week. 

Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter)
Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) Reader
4/13/20 11:02 p.m.

While I truly do love NASCAR, in the iracing format I really think IMSA shines.  Great distraction!

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/14/20 7:55 a.m.

In reply to Loweguy5 (Forum Supporter) :

Yeah, the Sebring race was good fun, even without any virtual burning couches.

Here's the release for this week's race:

 

The field for Round 2 of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series is set, as 50 drivers are scheduled to take the green flag in the invitational event at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Thursday, April 16 at 6 p.m. ET.

Following a successful inaugural round three weeks ago at Sebring International Raceway, the drivers will be firing up their simulators again Thursday night for a 90-minute round presented by Motul, The race is available on the iRacing YouTube and Twitch channels, as well as the iRacing Facebook page, with IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh again anchoring the commentary team.

A special edition of The Torque Show with Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall will be streamed live starting at 5:30 p.m. ET on the Torque Show’s Facebook page.

Here’s a closer look at some of the storylines heading into the race.

IMSA-Wide Representation

Fans will find a mix of IMSA talent throughout the field this Thursday on iRacing. While the majority of drivers compete in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, there’s representation from the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, IMSA Prototype Challenge and Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama.

Names from the WeatherTech Championship include DPi class drivers Filipe Albuquerque and Harry Tincknell; LMP2 drivers Colin Braun and Cameron Cassels; GTLM class drivers Jesse Krohn and Laurens Vanthoor; and GTD class drivers Jack Hawksworth, Ryan Hardwick and Jeroen Bleekemolen, among others.

From Michelin Pilot Challenge, regulars in the field include Sebastian Priaulx, Gabby Chaves and Gavin Ernstone – who scored his first IMSA victory at WeatherTech Raceway last September.

Riley Dickinson, the 2020 recipient of the IMSA Hurley Haywood GT3 Cup Scholarship will trade his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car for a Porsche 911 RSR on Thursday. Additionally, the 2019 IMSA Prototype Challenge co-champion, Rodrigo Pflucker – who is poised to make his real-life WeatherTech Championship debut later this year – is entered, in addition to the series’ 2015 champion, Kenton Koch.

Real-Life IMSA Winners at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in the Field?

Eight WeatherTech Championship drivers with previous wins at picturesque WeatherTech Raceway are on the entry list for Thursday’s race.

 

Wt Ferrari Iracing 2
Toni Vilander’s WeatherTech Ferrari

 

John Edwards and Connor De Phillippi, winners in the GTLM class in 2017 and 2018, respectively, will look to make BMW Team RLL undefeated in IMSA iRacing after teammate Bruno Spengler won at Sebring in March. Edwards also has a WeatherTech Raceway win from 2015.

A trio of Porsche winners at WeatherTech Raceway include Bleekemolen (2010, 2012 GTC) and Nick Tandy (2013 GTC). Meanwhile, Patrick Long is tied for the second-winningest driver at the track with five wins, the most recent in 2011 in the GT class.

Additional winners include Colin Braun (2012 PC), Alessandro Balzan (2017 GTD) and three-time victor Richard Westbrook. Colton Herta, winner of the 2019 IndyCar Series race at WeatherTech Raceway, also is in the field.

Racing Around the World

There is a definite international feel to the race as the entry list features drivers from 15 different countries spanning four continents (North America, South America, Europe and Asia). That number increases to five if you include New Zealand which is part of the Oceanian sub-region that includes various island nations around Australia.

With the race being held at 6 p.m. ET, it’ll be a three-hour shift back in time for those drivers on the West Coast of the United States like NBC commentator Townsend Bell.

Those drivers based in Europe will be racing at or around midnight, with Turkish and Porsche Junior driver Ayhancan Guven taking the late shift in Istanbul at 1 a.m. local time.

Meanwhile, halfway across the world in New Zealand, Shane van Gisbergen will be kicking off his Friday morning at WeatherTech Raceway at 10 a.m. local time.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/16/20 12:17 p.m.

The 2nd round Of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series is tonight (April 16) at virtual Laguna Seca. Here's everything you need to know:

  • Live streaming starts at 5 PM on the Torque Show on Facebook Live, with the 90-minute race following after. The race can be watched on iRacing's YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitch channel.
  • 50 drivers will be running, with their choice of BMW M8, Ferrari 488, Ford GT or Porsche 911 RSR.
David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/16/20 6:32 p.m.

WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca:

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/16/20 6:47 p.m.

Also, good race in the closing moments from Laguna. Total nail-biter. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
4/16/20 9:13 p.m.

One lap and the Kiwi would have had caught the Canadian....

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