IndyCar to follow NASCAR into virtual racing amid coronavirus shutdown

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IndyCar is following NASCAR’s lead by transitioning to virtual racing as the coronavirus pandemic shuts down sporting events across the nation.

IndyCar’s first iRacing event is scheduled for Saturday and will be streamed live on, according to a press release from the organization. Twenty-five cars will race on a track being decided by fans through a voting bracket, The Associated Press reported

The virtual races will occur every Saturday through May 2 at 4 p.m. Eastern, and a live interview on Instagram with the winner will follow. A virtual autograph session with participants will occur 45 minutes before the race.  

The racing body canceled all of its races through May 9, but the well-known Indianapolis 500, which gathers a crowd of about 300,000, is still scheduled for May 24.

NASCAR, IMSA and Formula One have all also moved online.

IndyCar shut down its races before its opening in St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 15. Originally, the racing body banned spectators at the instruction of the mayor before the event was canceled altogether, according to the AP.

NASCAR started its first event on Sunday, airing on Fox Sports One, with the most viewers of an esports event in U.S. history, reaching 903,000 viewers.

Tags car racing Coronavirus COVID-19 esports NASCAR

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