How do sim racers and competitors from the real world compare? Generally efforts like the GT Academy or the iRacing Mazda MX-5 Cup competitions attempt to transfer gaming skills to actual motorsport. But what happens when you put professional race car drivers into iRacing?
One answer is the iRacing 2016 Pro Race of Champions. This year was the sixth running of the race, which saw the pros compete in the Dallara DW12 IndyCars at Phoenix International Raceway. So if you enjoyed watching the best iRacing drivers in the world compete in the 2016 All Stars Race, then not only will you enjoy this, but you may spot a couple of regular sim racing competitors.
The entry list included:
- Kyle Larson (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)
- Denny Hamlin (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series)
- Michael lewsis (IMSA)
- Alex Gurney (GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series)
- Chase Briscoe (ARCA Racing Series)
- Josh Berry (NASCAR Xfinity Series)
- Will Tregurtha (Ginetta Cup)
- Mitchel Dejong (X-Game Rallycross)
- Stefan Wilson (IndyCar)
- William Power (IndyCar)
- Christopher Bell (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series)
- Daniel Clarke (IndyCar)
- Timmy Hill (NASCAR Xfinity Series)
- Oriol Servia (IndyCar)
- Julien Rambeaud (Rally)
- Tommy Kendall (SCCA Trans-Am Series)
- Matthew Halliday (V8 Supercars)
- Ron Capps (NHRA)
- Dominic Cicero (IMSA)
- Ben Waddell (Skip Barber Formula Series)
- Townsend Bell (IndyCar)
- Dion Von Moltke (IMSA)
- Ty Majeski (ARCA Midwest Tour)
- Sam Schmidt (IndyCar)
- Patrick Long (Porsche Factory Driver)
- Gary Gipson
It’s an impressive field, and much of the pre-race focus was on the entry of Sam Schmidt. Now an IndyCar team owner following a racing accident which left him paralyzed in 2000, Schmidt was able to use semi-autonomous technology by Arrow Electronics, which is being developed to enable disabled drivers. For example, he blows into a tube to work the throttle, which certainly didn’t slow him down during the event. He was one of a number of drivers competing on full motion simulators at CXC Simulations. Combined with iRacing.com, a total of $4,000 will be donated to the Justin Wilson Children’s Fund in the name of the winner.
Unsurprisingly if you’ve ever spent time with a racer at any level, everyone in the field was going for the win. And previous winners include Brandon Davis (IMSA), Shane von Gisbergen (V8 Supercars) Phillip Eng (Porsche Carrera Cup (Timmy Hill (NASCAR Sprint Cup) and Richie Stanaway (World Endurance Championship).