Every week, NESN Fuel partner iRacing, the world’s premier online racing simulation service, highlights one of its top series or new content it’s added to the platform. This week, iRacing discusses its new partnership with Red Bull Global Rallycross. Read more about iRacing here.
iRacing and Red Bull Global Rallycross on Monday announced a partnership that will bring official Red Bull GRC racing to the premier online esport racing game. Rallycross’s unique style of combined dirt and asphalt racing and tight, fender-to-fender racing will complement iRacing’s vast offering of motorsport formats including NASCAR, IndyCar, sports cars, dirt oval and more.
Expected to be available later this year, iRacing’s Red Bull GRC will debut with multiple cars and tracks as well as an exciting new race format — heat racing. Just as in the real world series, the heat format combines multiple short races where competitors battle to qualify for the final.
iRacing previously announced that the Volkswagen Beetle GRC car will be available in iRacing — free to all members. In addition to the VW, iRacing has also licensed and built the Ford Fiesta RS WRC race car which will be available for purchase when rallycross becomes available in the online racing service.
Initially there will be four GRC tracks with five separate configurations available to iRacing members: Daytona International Raceway (two configurations), Iowa Speedway, Gateway Motorsports Park and Lucas Oil Raceway. These purpose-built tracks replicate the challenges Red Bull Global Rallycross drivers face: multiple track surfaces, jumps, hairpin turns and more. iRacing’s dynamic tracks surfaces change lap after lap, just like in the real world and the dirt surface model replicates the ever changing conditions of a rallycross track.
“This is a really exciting announcement for iRacing fans all around the world,” iRacing executive producer and executive vice president Steve Myers said. “Being able to combine dirt and asphalt racing, plus the changing tracks conditions is something we have been working on for quite a while now and to see it come alive with Red Bull Global Rallycross is amazing.”
“We have been working with iRacing for some time now, collaborating to develop the tracks and working with drivers to ensure the cars perform just as they do in the real world,” Red Bull GRC founder and COO Chip Pankow said. “iRacing will be a great way for our fans to experience Red Bull Global Rallycross in way they have never before: getting on track and racing. I know our fans will love it!”
A number of top Red Bull Global Rallycross drivers already are iRacing members and have collaborated to help develop the project. Three-time Supercar champion Scott Speed was an integral part of the development process, offering feedback to developers to help refine the simulation. Red Bull GRC drivers have competed in numerous top-tier iRacing events, including the iRacing.com World Championship Grand Prix Series and the iRacing Pro Race of Champions.
iRacing and Red Bull Global Rallycross also plan to make full use of the partnership and development tools iRacing has available. Designing, setting up and testing course configurations in iRacing will be a useful tool that will save both time and money for the series in the coming years.
All photos via iRacing