Racing fans should buckle up, because Round 4 of the IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational will see the worlds of IMSA, NASCAR and IndyCar collide next Thursday in the WeatherTech Presents IMSA iRacing at Road America.
Fifty cars will have a little more room to virtually play on the four-mile Wisconsin circuit, which is nearly double the length of Round 3’s Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course – or Round 2 at the virtual WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.
The Torque Show will stream a pre-race showing at 5 p.m. on its Facebook page and IMSA Radio’s John Hindhaugh will lead the race commentary once again.
NASCAR Cup Series Champion Keselowski Tries Virtual Hand at Sports Cars
Brad Keselowski, the 2012 NASCAR Cup Series champion, will be looking to stir up the virtual pot at Road America.
The Team Penske driver does have a little experience at the track in real life, although this will be his first go-around with IMSA. He finished fourth in his lone NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Road America 10 years ago – finishing behind IMSA legend Ron Fellows in second place – and tested an IndyCar there in 2016.
"I’m excited about competing in the IMSA iRacing Pro Series at Road America," said Keselowski. "I made one start there in the NASCAR Xfinity Series back in 2010 and really enjoyed competing at that racetrack. This is my first time in an IMSA race and I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of fun."
Keselowski will be in the No. 2 Ford GT. Should he find his way to a victory, it would be the fourth in a row of sorts at Road America for Ford. The manufacturer won in the real-life IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM class the last three years.
Wickens Pairs Up with Pfaff
With the IndyCar iRacing Challenge now complete, Robert Wickens isn’t ready to turn off his simulator just yet. The popular Canadian driver will be behind the wheel of the No. 9 Porsche 911 RSR, in conjunction with Canadian IMSA team Pfaff Motorsports.
Many racing fans continue to follow Wickens and his journey to recovery following his incident at Pocono Raceway in August 2018. While he has attended several races since, the IMSA and IndyCar iRacing series have allowed him to virtually return to competition. He’s hoping to compete in multiple IMSA iRacing Pro Series rounds.
"I am really excited to join Pfaff Motorsports for the upcoming IMSA eSports events," said Wickens. "Pfaff was a major part of my karting career with their involvement with the Sunoco Ron Fellows Karting Championship. It is really exciting to join forces almost 20 years later! Sim racing is going to be a big part of my return to racing in reality. I am really looking forward to see what new challenges come from racing in a different series in the Pfaff-Motul Porsche RSR."
Wickens does have a WeatherTech Championship start, finishing fifth in the Prototype Challenge class at the 2017 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Other Notable Newcomers
- Longtime IMSA driver Joel Miller will be making his first virtual IMSA start, with his last real-life WeatherTech Championship start coming at Watkins Glen International in 2018. While Miller has long been associated with the Mazda Motorsports program, he also ran as an endurance driver with Performance Tech Motorsports.
- Ben Keating has run in both the WeatherTech Championship GTD and LMP2 classes this year at Daytona, and now he’ll try out Road America in a GTLM class car. Additionally, Keating earned his first career IMSA pole at Road America last year in a Riley Motorsports Mercedes-AMG GT3.
- Will Hardeman returns to IMSA after withdrawing from the 2019 WeatherTech Championship season following an incident at Watkins Glen. Hardeman’s IMSA success previously came in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama series, recording his first win at Sebring International Raceway in 2018.
- Four-time Argentinian touring car champion, Agustin Canapino, is also entered. Canapino finished in the top 10 in both of his WeatherTech Championship starts, most recently an eighth-place finish in the 2019 Rolex 24 At Daytona DPi class.
Nicky Catsburg leads the IMSA iRacing Pro Series point standings heading to the Road America event by virtue of his first victory of the season last week at Mid-Ohio in the No. 7 BMW IMSA Team Black M8 GTE and his run of three straight podium results. He is two points ahead of No. 7 BMW IMSA Team Red driver Bruno Spengler – winner of the first two rounds this season at the virtual Sebring International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – by a count of 97-95.