Starting this week, IMSA fans will be treated to a double dose of iRacing with the introduction of the new IMSA iRacing Challenge Series.
Prior to the bi-weekly IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series event held every other Thursday at 6 p.m. ET, there now will now be an additional, same-day event held at 3 p.m. beginning on Thursday, May 14.
The IMSA iRacing Challenge Series will feature 60-minute races with all drivers using Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport race cars like those used in the real-life IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class. All IMSA iRacing Challenge Series races will be streamed on the Global SimRacing YouTube Channel.
Like the IMSA iRacing Pro Series, the IMSA iRacing Challenge Series will feature single drivers in each race car.
A range of drivers from all IMSA series, including a handful of newcomers, are entered for the inaugural IMSA iRacing Challenge Series event also being run at Road America. Here’s a closer look:
- Several IMSA champions have entered. Two-time IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship titleholder Joao Barbosa will be competing, in addition to two-time IMSA GTC champion and longtime Porsche driver Jeroen Bleekemolen. Additionally, the two most recent co-champions in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Grand Sport (GS) class, Tyler McQuarrie (2019) and Owen Trinkler (2018) are on the entry list.
- Up and coming drivers from other IMSA-sanctioned series will have the chance to mix it up with the heavyweights. From IMSA Prototype Challenge, Dakota Dickerson is entered with MLT Motorsports and Benjamin Waddell, who competed in the series for two years before making the jump to Pilot Challenge in 2020, will run with Forty7 Motorsports.
- Drivers from Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama should find the chosen Cayman GT4 Clubsport appealing. GT3 Cup Challenge USA race-winner Max Root – who finished fifth at this year’s Rolex 24 At Daytona in the GTD class with Black Swan Racing – will run under the Wright Motorsports banner. Up-and-coming Canadian driver Ethan Simioni is competing with JDX Racing. Simioni completed his rookie season in the 2019 GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series, and shifts to GT3 Cup Challenge USA for 2020.
- Among drivers making their return to IMSA, prototype driver and WeatherTech Championship race-winner James French is running with Algarve Pro Racing and former Pilot Challenge driver Tyler Cooke – whose most recent win in the series came at the 2018 season finale at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta – is back on the entry list as well with MDM Motorsports.