IndyCar and iRacing.com announce Premier Virtual Racing Series IZOD IndyCar Series fans and driving game enthusiasts will now be able to take their passion for the sport to a new level by getting behind the wheel in the iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Premier Series.
The 18-race, 36-week series begins February 19 and will utilize iRacing.com's virtual version of the Dallara IC 09 IndyCar. Races will be hosted on many of the same tracks as the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Our current fans are passionate about the sport and looking for ways to get closer to it," INDYCAR CEO Randy Bernard said. "The iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Premier Series is an opportunity for our dedicated fans to have an extremely active and relevant involvement with the sport, as well as a unique way to appreciate the skills of our athletes."
Bernard also noted that the new racing series will contribute to the growth of INDYCAR's international fan base by recruiting young driving game enthusiasts and fans of other types of motorsport.
"This series will be very popular with our existing members and we expect it will bring new members to iRacing," said Tony Gardner, iRacing.com's president. "About 40 percent of our current members are from outside North America. And the Dallara IndyCar and our current series have proven to be very popular in the U.S. and overseas. We've designed the schedule to make it easy for IndyCar fans here and everywhere on the planet to participate in this series."
iRacing.com currently organizes more than 1,500 Internet-based races weekly and supports nearly 30 different series. Like its real-world counterpart, the iRacing.com IZOD IndyCar Premier Series will crown oval and road titlists as well as an overall series champion. The oval and road champions will win cash awards. The overall series champion will also win a trip (with a guest) to the IZOD IndyCar season finale, where he or she will receive the season trophy and be recognized during driver introductions.
"No other racing series in the world has the combination of heritage and future growth potential of the IZOD IndyCar Series, and we're very excited about being able to be part of it," Gardner said. "This is a great opportunity for our members who love open-wheel racing and it's a chance for fans of other forms of motorsport to broaden their interests."