New: IndyCar IR-18 now on rFactor 2 alongside IndyCar Esports event
rFactor 2

New: IndyCar IR-18 now on rFactor 2 alongside IndyCar Esports event

An up-to-date IndyCar model with the 2018-style aerokit and 2020 aeroscreen is now available on rFactor 2 with a bunch of IndyCar racers competing in a charity event on 9 February.

Image credit: Studio 397

rFactor 2 has added the most recent iteration of IndyCar’s current model, the IR-18. The Dallara chassis – which first raced in 2012 – will be featured in its current short oval, superspeedway and road course configurations.

The revised aerokit was introduced in 2018 and made mandatory for all teams as appose to before when they could run different versions of the existing aerokits, with the removal of wheel coverings and extraneous aerodynamic devices so the car had less aerodynamic drag. They also added the aeroscreen in the leadup to the 2020 season to help protect drivers from flying debris.

IndyCar’s Finest

To celebrate the launch of the car, IndyCar will host an event in which current drivers such as reigning champion Álex Palou, four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Hélio Castroneves and two-time series champion Josef Newgarden among many others are involved.

Reminiscent of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge which took place during the extended 2020 off-season when the pandemic began and again before the 2021 season, this one-off running will take place just over two weeks before the start of the 2022 season in St. Petersburg.

The event will consist of three races on a currently unknown circuit, with the first two races being 10-minute long heats. Heat 1 will have a completely random starting grid with Heat 2’s grid being decided by reversing the finishing order of Heat 1. Points will be awarded for the finishing order of both races and the event will end with a 20-minute race, the grid being decided in the order of points scored in the preceeding races.

The winner of the event overall will earn $10,000 for a charity of their choice. The second place finisher gets $8,000, third place gets $5,000 and then one of the other competitors will be randomly selected to take $2,500 to their designated charity.

Regarding the event, Vice President of Marketing and Publishing at Motorsport Games George Holmquist said the following:

The 2022 INDYCAR-Motorsport Games Pro Challenge is our first foray into the world of esports with our new INDYCAR partners and we couldn’t be more excited to bring this competition to the fans.

Viewers can expect the same world-class experience as our other esports events, such as the highly renowned Le Mans Virtual Series, to be carried over into this new series. We are excited to continue producing live esports events with INDYCAR in the future, all leading up to our first INDYCAR game title expected to launch in 2023.

Potential IndyCar Esports Series?

IndyCar entered into a partnership with Motorsport Games in July 2021, which resulted in a dedicated IndyCar game going into development. They also acquired Studio 397 a couple of months before so it makes sense that the official esports side of IndyCar has moved from iRacing to rFactor 2.

IS RFACTOR 2 WORTH IT IN 2022?

Motorsport Games have hosted a range of esports racing championships over the last few years including Formula E: Accelerate, GT Pro/Challenge, Formula Pro/Challenge and even the Le Mans Virtual Series (which included the 24 hours of Le Mans Virtual). Could this Pro Challenge event be the precursor to a fully fledged and officially sanctioned IndyCar Esports Series?

rFactor 2 has played host to Indy racing action through Formula SimRacing’s IndyPRO series of which the likes of Red Bull Racing Esports, Williams Esports, Burst Esports, BS+COMPETITION and NetRex GP have all competed in.

IndyCar have never held an official esports series for sim racers before and compared to their fellow headline American motor racing championship NASCAR, they are playing catchup in this regard. NASCAR has both the eNASCAR iRacing Series with sim racing teams competing and the eNASCAR Heat Pro League in which the teams from the real world of NASCAR field their own esports divisions.

New additions to rFactor 2

Alongside the IR-18 being implemented, players will also be able to compete with the car in official events through rFactor 2’s Competition System. On top of that, Daytona, the BMW M4 GT3 and the Ligier JS P320 are all also being added to the game.

If you want to watch the IndyCar Pro Challenge, go to IndyCar’s YouTube channel on the evening of 9 February and the stream should then start at 12am CET.

Will you be picking up the IR-18 on rFactor 2? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

Luca
Biggest esports racing fan in the world.