Racers using iRacing simulator to fill motorsports void

Cole Sorenson /April 08, 2020

The virtual field gets the green flag during a test race for the Western Speedway iRacing Series

(Cole Sorenson / iRacing)

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, auto racing is finding a way to maintain its relevance through something called iRacing.

iRacing offers realistic simulations of 80 race tracks and over 40 different cars from around the world.

In B.C., one track is set to join the ranks of NASCAR, IndyCar, and IMSA with it’s own iRacing series.

Western Speedway was supposed to kick off its 2020 season on April 11th, but due to COVID-19, racing could be suspended well into June.

That’s why a group of drivers have come together to form the Western Speedway Late Model Challenge Series.

The group of local racers will compete at different iRacing tracks that resemble Western Speedway, and will race for cash prizes.

Jason Day in full race gear practicing for the Western Speedway iRacing Series.

(Courtesy / Jason Day)

Local racer Jason Day, who is a multi time iRacing winner, is one of the drivers competing in the series, and is excited to show his online skills.

I’m super excited to compete against some guys from other classes that I haven’t had the chance to race against. I think some of them don’t realize how tough it is to actually do well on here.” Jason Day

Day will be joined by several other former track champions and race winners at the track.

One of those veteran drivers is former track champion Jason Frost.

Frost, who is used to driving real life Late Models, is still a novice to iRacing. When the virtual green flag drops, Frost hopes to stay out of the way.

I’m very much a rookie at iRacing! At least my old ride will be familiar to me! I’m looking forward to racing while we all wait to strap in for real.” Jason Frost

While Frost agrees that the simulation is incredibly accurate, there are aspects of it that are different from driving a regular race car.

Drivers do not get the true seat of the pants feel the actual driving provides, so they must adjust their style to visual cues on the monitor.

Jason Frost’s paint scheme for the Western Speedway iRacing series. It’s a replica of his championship winning car from 1996.

(Jason Frost / iRacing)

Drivers competing in the series are encouraged to paint their online cars similar to the ones they compete with at the speedway.

The iRacing series will provide some much needed entertainment for sports and race fans who have been deprived of events for the last month.

Organizers are currently working on a plan to broadcast the races live on the internet.

The Western Speedway iRacing Late Model Series begins Sunday April 12th at the virtual USA Speedway.