If you do not follow the different racing leagues, then you might find it surprising to know that the COVID-19 has not slowed the drivers down. Racing is still happening. But it is happening virtually. Tonight there will be another race, but this one will not be to hone driver skills as much as it will be for utter ridiculous fun, and fans are going to love it.
Competition is still happening?
IRacing, an outfit providing one of the most realistic racing simulators, has been coordinating races with the drivers of the different leagues during the Coronavirus lockdowns. In some cases, those races are even broadcasted on television. The racing leagues that had their races canceled have, for the most part, moved their races to the IRacing platform, lined up sponsors, and remarketed on the fly. So, races have been happening virtually.
How realistic is it?
The question of realism is brought up pretty regularly. After all, isn’t it just a game? Yes, and no. The simulator is ultra-realistic, not just with graphics, but with physics engines that pull or push on the cars, calculate tire wear, figure into the car response after a wreck, and even allows for spotters to chime in. When drivers are questioned about the experience of driving in the simulator versus the actual cars, they often say, it’s the closest thing they have ever come across to mimic real life. In fact, prior to the Coronavirus concerns, many drivers had already previously used the IRacing simulator to get acquainted with tracks ahead of a race weekend. The simulator is realistic enough that the experience with the virtual tracks ahead of time, helped prepare drivers for braking and shifting points along the track. However, drivers do prefer the fact that no actual cars are harmed during the competition. That part is pretty gamey, as is the part of being able to step away to the restroom as needed.
What’s going on tonight?
Tonight at 7:30 PM EST, an event being billed as Talladega Unrestricted and #thusdaynightblunder, racers from several leagues will be on the virtual Talladega Super Speedway. The crazy part is that they will be on the track racing at the same time. That’s right, fans will be able to stream the race and see IndyCars, NASCAR without restrictor plates, LMP1 cars, and Legends all on the track for the same race at the same time. The event, hosted by the Dinner With Racers organization, will even feature reporting from Justin Allgaier, Stefan Wilson, Kelly Crandall, and guest co-host Kenny Wallace. The promotional video below seems pretty wild.
Since these types of vehicles competing against each other at the same would be too dangerous, this type of race will probably never happen in real life. There is just too much disparity between the classes of cars to make it safe on the race track. However, a race like this is something racers have always wondered, even out loud, what it would be like. Now, between the IRacing platform and Dinner With Racers, fans will see it happen. Yes, racing is still happening tonight!