In a shock announcement on a day of shock announcements, iRacing revealed on the iRacing forums that the Dallara IR-18 would be available for purchase on Week 13 which is a little under two weeks time. This also comes into effect with the introduction of LMP1, the re-scan of Pocono Raceway, a Sonoma GRC Rallycross track as well as two dirt tracks at Limaland and Charlotte.
An action packed build to end all action packed builds, iRacing are jumping on with three new cars, two new tracks and one new configuration for their first 2018 release. iRacing have strengthened in almost every area possible short of brand new cup cars for NASCAR which is the only thing missing from the build. But the announcement of a new INDYCAR which has been long overdue is massive at this juncture, especially considering the iRacing Indy 500 that takes place in May.
Teams already like Team Redline over the past couple of weeks had been showing off their INDYCAR designs and this sudden look at how important this year’s Indy 500 could be, I think you will see the strongest field in iRacing history for that event. Part of that may be contributed to a boost in appeal thanks to Fernando Alonso’s exploits in 2017 however in terms of iRacing’s marketing strategy which has been control america then look everywhere else, this has been timed to perfection.
Granted, 16th Street doesn’t exist anymore and was actually one of the more revolutionary ideas in simracing at the time, I think that INDYCAR could now very feasibly make the jump into esports permanently with iRacing and gain a massive amount of success off of it if marketed correctly. I think a series like INDYCAR could be a credible and legitimate challenger to the Formula One iceberg which is moving closer to the Titanic that is simracing.
The change will also look to shake up an Indy 500 landscape that has never seen a two time champion with Christopher DeMeritt picking up the latest crown over former champion and iRacing INDYCAR legend, Tim Holgate. I think that the move will bring more legitimacy to iRacing, especially with the fact that INDYCAR has taken a major back seat in terms of iRacing’s plans so it is very nice to see INDYCAR back in the forefront of people’s minds.
The move also means that anybody who has purchased the Dallara DW-12 in the last six months would receive full credit back of $11.95 and will offer the DW-12 free to all members on the service. Its a move that has come out of nowhere but the majority of the community have been very excited with the announcement.
iRacing’s 2018 has now moved more stable and exciting, it now depends on where they go from here, and if the servers can hold up.