In just two years the iRacing Pro Race of Champions (iPROC) has become a fixture on the calendars of racing pros and fans around the world. Wednesday night's iPROC attracted a Who's Who of professional drivers from North and South America, Europe and Asia including NASCAR's Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards, NHRA Funny Car star Ron Capps, Formula 3000 champion/Indy 500 pole winner Bruno Junqueira, Porsche Carrera Cup GB competitor Chris Dymond and V8 Supercar star Shane Van Gisbergen.
With a lineup like that, no wonder 10,000+ fans logged into iRacing.com's live broadcast of the online sim races at Iowa Speedway and Watkins Glen International. The competition so close that iRacing officials had to resort to a third tie-breaker before declaring New Zealand's Van Gisbergen the iPROC champion over NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' Chad McCumbee.
“Doing races like this with all the real drivers is certainly fun but everyone wants to win it!” said Van Gisbergen. “Can't wait for the next one.”
“I really appreciate iRacing for putting on this event, said McCumbee. “It was awesome.”
Tony Gardner, president of iRacing.com, said that the event demonstrated the genuine enthusiasm "real" racers have for iRacing's ultra-realistic simulations.
“The iRacing Pro Race of Champions is a real hit with the pro drivers and the racing public,” said Gardner . “Not only is that reflected by our viewers, but in the fact that we had to turn down the requests of some pro drivers to participate. The fact is there's only room for 36 competitors. We may have to expand the field next year . . . or run heat races!”
No matter how they fared, competitors echoed Gardner's enthusiasm about the iPROC.
“Had fun with Keselowski and all the rest in the iRacing Pro race,” Grand-Am's Alex Gurney posted on Twitter. “Heavy contact/barrel rolls for me in both races. Nice!”
“Gotta say thanks to iRacing and all the fans that tuned in,” tweeted ARCA champion Frank Kimmel II. “Honored to be asked to race in an event like that. Hope to do it again!”
The nice thing is that you don't have to be a professional racer to join in the fun. Anyone can join Van Gisbergen, McCumbee, Keselowski, Capps, Edwards and the other 40,000 iRacers competing in two dozen car models on more than 50 world-class racetracks on the service. Learn more and take advantage of a half-off holiday promotion at iRacing.com.