The IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series will be held virtually at the historic Watkins Glen International (WGI) circuit this week for the final Round 6 on Thursday, June 11, for the Konica Minolta Presents IMSA iRacing at Watkins Glen International esports race.
This will be the Risi Competizione’s fourth IMSA iRacing event in the six-event series and the second with three virtual Ferrari 488s. Once again, the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari is entered with AF Corse Ferrari GT Irish driver Matt Griffin. Additionally, 2020 actual Le Mans Risi driver, Frenchman Jules Gounon, returns for his second entry in the No. 89 Risi Competizione/Michelin-liveried Ferrari. Joining the Risi team in the No. 82 Risi/Michelin Ferrari is Michelin tire engineer and test driver, Andrew Simrell, of Greenville, S.C. In addition to trackside services for Michelin, Simrell also handles a number of sim-related duties for the popular tire manufacturer.
"This has been an interesting experience to work with IMSA and Michelin on the past few IMSA iRacing virtual racing events," said team owner Giuseppe Risi. "Although we would all like to be at the actual race track competing, this has given us an alternative to work with our partners like Michelin in a novel and different way while on pause from real racing. It has also allowed our many race fans to see some form of racing during this down time."
"This IMSA iRacing platform has been a good opportunity to reconnect with my friends at Risi Competizione and at least drive a Ferrari in some capacity," said Griffin. "There are so many Ferrari fans hungry for racing, and although this isn’t exactly the same, it does give them the opportunity to fly their Ferrari Tifosi flags for American racing, albeit virtual."
"I’m glad to be back driving the Michelin Ferrari virtually for Risi again this week," said Gounon, from Lyon, France. "I had a lot of fun with the VIR race last time and got up to speed pretty quickly. Now I am excited to be racing Watkins Glen virtually this week. It’s a famous American circuit with a lot of Formula One history so it will be a great challenge."
"I am honored to race the Michelin-liveried Risi No. 82 after many years of helping Risi optimize their Michelin race tires," said Simrell. "I’ve supported Risi as their Michelin Motorsport Tire Specialist, including at Le Mans and Petit Le Mans in 2019. I have been with Michelin for 14 years, and my current role is as a Senior Subjective Test Driver at Michelin’s Laurens Proving Grounds, where we use iRacing as a training tool for track testing. I really appreciate the opportunity to race the virtual Risi Ferrari."
The virtual Konica Minolta Presents IMSA iRacing at Watkins Glen International race will take place with 50 drivers this Thursday, June 11 at 6:00 p.m. ET and will be streamed live for 90 minutes on the iRacing YouTube, and Facebook channels. The voice of John Hindhaugh will once again lead the commentary team. The Torque Show with Tommy Kendall and Justin Bell will stream a pre-race show at 5 p.m. ET on its Facebook page. All times are Eastern.