After the license was not renewed, IndyCar was absent from iRacing in an official fashion since the start of 2023. Now, the prime open-wheel series in North America returns to the sim.
For years, IndyCar was among the most popular content in iRacing. Three Dallara open wheelers used in the series are available for the service, but after 2022, the series’ name vanished from the sim, along with the Indianapolis 500 special event. While the cars were still available, they could not be used in combination with tracks the real series runs for official events.
Motorsport Games holds a license for a standalone game of the series, in a deal between MSG and IndyCar. The agreement between them was not exclusive regarding IndyCar content in general, but despite this, iRacing‘s deal was not renewed when it ended in 2022.
Since then, the official IndyCar game has been put on hold indefinitely, and the developing studio (Motorsport Games Australia) closed. IndyCar is looking to terminate the license as a result, which has not officially happened yet.
iRacing IndyCar Return: New Multi-Year Licensing Deal
Regardless of how this saga shakes out, sim racers can look forward to IndyCar returning to iRacing. A new multi-year licensing deal is in place, meaning that not only does racing on actual IndyCar tracks return, but also the much-missed Indy 500 Special Event. With iRacing generally being regarded as the best sim available for oval racing, arguably the most iconic superspeedway race in the world returns after being absent for a year.
Of course, this also means that official series races on road and street courses are possible again. The US Open Wheel B – Dallara IR-18 Series can return to circuits like Long Beach, Road America or Mid-Ohio. Multiple leagues will do the same. IndyCar branding will also start to appear over the next few days, and the deal includes an extension to the license of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, too.
Longtime Partners Reunite
Both sides are happy about being reunited. iRacing President Tony Gardner stated that “the IndyCar series and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway are racing properties that need to be included in iRacing. Whether it’s the IndyCar Series’ Indy 500, NASCAR’s Brickyard 400, or IMSA’s Battle on the Bricks, there is nothing like racing at Indianapolis. I am so pleased to be able to bring these events back to the iRacing community.“
IndyCar’s Senior Manager, Esports & Emerging Virtual Experiences Ben Hendricks added: “We are very excited that our most avid gamers and fans will have full access to the IndyCar Series through this licensing agreement with iRacing. They are longtime partners, and we look forward to official IndyCar Series racing on iRacing for many years to come.“
IndyCar and iRacing have a long and positive history to look back on. Most notably, the service and the real series teamed up during the COVID-19 pandemic to host the IndyCar iRacing Challenge in 2020. The grid of the six-race series featured a who-is-who of IndyCar racing at the time, with Penske driver Scott McLaughlin eventually taking the title. Guest racers included Lando Norris (F1), Chaz Mostert and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (both NASCAR), among others.
Are you happy with IndyCar’s return to iRacing? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!