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IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Drivers Embrace Opportunity to Face Off with Top-Tier Competitors on iRacing through IMSA Sebring “SuperSaturday”


What do you get when IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge and a few IndyCar drivers compete on track at the same time? The IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday on iRacing.

The 90-minute race starts at 2:30 p.m. ET later today, as part of an afternoon and evening of activities on a variety of platforms. The race will be streamed live on the iRacing eSports Network on YouTube and iRacing’s Twitch channel, with pre- and post-race activities from The Torque Show on Facebook Live.

And if there are any drivers particularly up for the task today’s 90-minute virtual race, it’s those who regularly compete in Pilot Challenge. Nearly one-fourth of the iRacing grid consists of drivers entered in the ladder series this year that races GT4 and TCR machinery. However, today, they’ll leap into one of four race cars that has recently competed in the top GT category in IMSA racing, the WeatherTech Championship GT Le Mans (GTLM) class.

"It’s great that IMSA is finding ways to keep some normalcy and finding a way for us drivers to race while keeping everyone safe during this time," said James Pesek, who drives the No. 40 Ford Mustang GT4 in real life. "On the plus side, I am happy to be driving the Ford GT, it’s a first for me! Also, we will be rocking the 2019 PF Racing pink, which has always been a fan favorite."

The three additional GTLM race cars available to race are the BMW M8 GTE, Ferrari 488 GTE and Porsche 911 RSR, the latter of which Michael Johnson will be piloting. Johnson typically races the No. 54 JDC-Miller Motorsports Audi RS3 LMS in the TCR class. A paraplegic since age 12, the Michigander made national headlines when he scored his first professional IMSA win at Lime Rock in 2018.

"This will be an interesting trial for me," said Johnson. "I’ve been using iRacing for a while, mostly to keep my senses sharp, and to reorient myself to tracks I may not have been to in months. I find, in general, I’m about two seconds faster per lap in real life, largely due to the amazing skill of my team. I hope my competitors this weekend are equally slowed in the virtual world. That way I’ll have a chance against some of the amazing drivers we’ll have at this virtual Sebring race."

The most recent GTLM-winning machine at January’s Rolex 24 At Daytona, the BMW M8 GTE, is the most popular choice in the 50-car field. Three Bryan Herta Autosport drivers can be found behind the wheel of that race car on Saturday.

"I am excited to enter into the Sebring SuperSaturday!" said Mason Filippi. "It is a great way to bridge the gap between races in these crazy times. iRacing is great platform and we are ready to race. I am looking forward to battling against everyone again, even virtually. The competition will be stiff and my teammate Michael Lewis and I have been planning a strategy for the past few days. It will be a great race!"

IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday Schedule/Platform (All Times ET)

1:30-2:30 p.m. – The Torque Show iRacing Pre-Race Show – Facebook Live

2:30-4 p.m. – IMSA Sebring SuperSaturday on iRacing – iRacing eSports Network on YouTube, Twitch

4 p.m. – The Torque Show – iRacing Post-Race Show – Facebook Live

7:30 p.m. – The Torque Show – NBCSN Preview

8 p.m. – 2019 Twelve Hours of Sebring Highlight Show – NBCSN

Join the conversation before, during and after the event through the hashtag #IMSASuperSaturday.