The ultimate spherical of the INDYCAR iRacing Problem takes the inexperienced flag at digital Sebring Worldwide Raceway at 6:30 p.m. (ET) Thursday, April 1 after NTT INDYCAR SERIES followers voted to see the historic Florida racetrack as the placement for the third occasion of Season 2.
Listed below are 5 issues to observe for in Thursday night time’s occasion:
Simon Is aware of Sebring
2016 NTT INDYCAR SERIES champion Simon Pagenaud is lower than two weeks faraway from a real-life run at Sebring within the type of the Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring IMSA sports activities automotive race on the Sebring, Florida, course. Pagenaud raced alongside 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie and seven-time NASCAR Cup Sequence champion Jimmie Johnson within the No. 48 Ally Cadillac.
Whereas NTT INDYCAR SERIES athletes know Sebring properly, they solely know the brief, 1.7-mile course used usually for testing. Pagenaud, the 2019 Indianapolis 500 offered by Gainbridge winner, has turned ample laps across the difficult 17-turn, 3.74-mile worldwide circuit that will probably be utilized in Thursday night time’s digital occasion.
Pagenaud’s sports activities automotive profession at Sebring has included 4 poles (three in American Le Mans Sequence, one in IMSA) and a finest end of second within the 2020 version of the 12 Hours of Sebring. He’s led 172 laps of IMSA competitors there, too, making him an odds-on favourite to compete for the win Thursday night time.
Younger Man’s Sport
Every race of Season 2 of the INDYCAR iRacing Problem contains a driver from the Street to Indy Introduced by Cooper Tires INDYCAR ladder system, and the younger, rising stars have fared properly.
Within the season-opener at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Braden Eves got here dwelling second behind winner Alex Palou. Final week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he backed up his run with a fifth-place end on the 1.5-mile oval.
The sturdy run in opposition to NTT INDYCAR SERIES veterans comes because the 2019 Cooper Tires USF2000 champion rebounds from a severe crash. Whereas competing in an Indy Professional 2000 Championship Introduced by Cooper Tires race in September 2020, Eves was concerned in an accident that left him with fractures above his proper eye and in his neck.
After Eves’ spectacular runs, he’ll get one other shot this week, this time driving a digital No. 60 Meyer Shank Racing entry. Benjamin Pedersen will take over the No. 17 RTI entry. Pedersen will get digital seat time earlier than he makes his Indy Lights debut with International Racing Group with HMD Motorsports.
After competing in 4 races in Season 1 of the INDYCAR iRacing Problem, which noticed him rating one pole and a finest end of fifth at digital Twin Ring Motegi, NTT INDYCAR SERIES veteran Robert Wickens is again for Season 2 of the INDYCAR iRacing Problem.
Wickens, who was concerned in a severe accident at Pocono Raceway in 2018 that left him with spinal wire accidents however is working to return to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES, makes use of a simulator with hand controls – dual-axis analog paddles and a hydraulic handbrake – to compete within the digital competitors.
The Canadian will drive the No. 6 Chevrolet for Arrow McLaren SP.
Will Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, Fittipaldis Proceed Sturdy Run?
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR, a brand new collaboration that sees Rick Ware Racing enter the NTT INDYCAR SERIES full time in 2021, is off to a robust begin, be it digital or not.
Dale Coyne Racing with RWR will subject the No. 51 automotive full time within the NTT INDYCAR SERIES this season. It will likely be break up between Components One veteran Romain Grosjean on street and avenue programs and Pietro Fittipaldi on the ovals.
Grosjean completed 13th at digital Montreal within the No. 51, whereas Fittipaldi, the grandson of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, completed sixth within the No. 52 entry. Final week at Miami, Fittipaldi, 24, handed the keys of the No. 52 to his youthful brother, Enzo.
The 19-year-old one-upped is older brother’s run with a third-place end in Miami, and he’ll hit the observe in Sebring Thursday night time to attempt to transfer additional up the ending order within the season finale alongside teammates Grosjean and James Davison.
Can Palou or Karam go 2-for-3?
Season 1 of the INDYCAR iRacing Problem featured two multi-time winners: Simon Pagenaud scored back-to-back wins at digital Michigan Worldwide Speedway and Twin Ring Motegi, and Scott McLaughlin gained at digital Barber Motorsports Park and Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Will the shorter Season 2 additionally characteristic multi-time winners? Given the stellar efficiency of the season’s first two winners, likelihood is excessive one among them will repeat.
Alex Palou gained Race 1 in Montreal in dominant vogue, main 29 of 32 laps within the digital No. 10 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda. Every week later, he grabbed a tenth place end in Miami. Race 2 winner Karam pre-dated his gas technique win, during which he led 12 laps in Miami, with a fifth-place end within the digital No. 98 Andretti Autosport entry in Montreal.
When you’re not in search of a repeat winner, 4 drivers with top-10 finishes in each iRacing occasions ought to lead your record of who to observe:
Takuma Sato completed eighth and fourth, respectively within the No. 30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Honda; Marcus Ericsson completed ninth and seventh, respectively in his No. 8 Chip Ganassi Racing Honda; RC Enerson completed seventh and ninth, respectively within the No. 75 Prime Gun Racing entry; and Braden Eves completed second and fifth, respectively within the No. 17 Street to Indy entry.