In recent seasons, iRacing has introduced new top class sportscars to its service and more are coming as the team announces the full IMSA GTP field. Will WEC Hypercars like Ferrari and Peugeot follow?
In 2023, Sportscar and endurance racing is hitting a new level of popularity. The introduction of the LMDh and LMH categories of prototypes to form the IMSA GTP and WEC Hypercar classes is certainly a success. In fact, every race this year sees top quality racing for wins.
The sudden boom in popularity is transferring to sim racing with fans crying out to drive these amazing weapons. Developers are listening too. Reiza – the team behind Automobilista 2 – are looking into introducing Le Mans content. Motorsport Games recently announced a title focusing on this year’s WEC season and iRacing already features two of the four current IMSA GTP racers.
Well, it’s good news for those that follow the series. The online racing service has announced that it will complete this year’s top class field with the remaining two cars. In a post on the platform formerly known as Twitter, a picture showing the Cadillac V-Series.R and BMW M Hybrid V8 also features a pair of models under cloth. With the caption, “the GTP class on iRacing is growing,” it’s clear what this means.
Indeed, the Porsche 963 and Acura ARX-06 are incoming to the game. With the Season 4 update of 2023 arriving in the next month, at least one model must be in the line. Whether or not both cars arrive at the same time will surely be a decision for the marketing department. In fact, the cynic may speculate at the Porsche’s release coming later. This being the most popular car, it would make sense to force players to wait before purchasing it.
Is Hypercar Coming to iRacing?
Whilst GTP is a bustling class Stateside, it’s equivalent in Europe and on the global stage is Hypercar. It too composes the LMDh and LMH models. However, more manufacturers are present in the World Championship.
LMH cars like the Ferrari 499P, Toyota GR010 and Peugeot 9X8 all run alongside LMDh machinery. So what are the chances of iRacing bringing these models onboard? Well, it would certainly be a brilliant feature for sportscar fans to race their favourite top class prototype in-game. However, given the current licensing agreements, it does appear unlikely.
Motorsport Games maintains a firm grasp on the FIA WEC license. Furthermore, iRacing does not have the best relationship with the ACO, organisers of the Le Mans 24 hours. In fact, recent years have shown the iRacing is no longer allowed to even host a virtual edition of the 24-hour race. With that in mind, a circumvention of the MSG license in the Reiza style may not be possible.
The one saving grace for racers looking to drive Hypercars like the Ferrari or Peugeot in iRacing would be an IMSA entry. It seems the sim has a great relationship with the American sportscar series. This means that any model that runs in the championship has a good chance of appearing in the game.
Risi Competizione has already shown interest in running a 499P in the series. There are talks of Dodge, a Stellantis brand, running a re-homologated Peugeot. With Toyota’s sub brand, Lexus, being popular stateside, it too could find its way into the champions in rebranded form. So the dream is far from over. But for the meantime, a full LMDh grid will certainly provide plenty of fun in iRacing.
As the class grows, more cars may well join iRacing‘s roster. The Lamborghini SC63 will race in 2024, so will it too pad out the game’s top class? Only time will tell.
Which GTP car are you most excited to drive in iRacing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!