After a two-year hiatus, iRacing will reintroduce the digital edition of the Indianapolis 500. The Chelmsford, MA-based sim racing platform iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations signed a multi-year licensing agreement with IndyCar to reunite the two motorsport brands. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
The centerpiece of this renewed partnership is the much-anticipated return of the iRacing Indianapolis 500. Known as the virtual counterpart of the legendary 200-lap race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, it has historically attracted thousands of participants globally. Additionally, this reunion ensures a broader inclusion of IndyCar series elements in iRacing’s offerings and comes with the license extension of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which is also owned by IndyCar parent Penske Corporation.
With the return of IndyCar to iRacing – which is backed by the principal owner of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. John W. Henry – the sim racing platform now boasts licensing agreements with the three major North American racing series: IMSA, NASCAR, and IndyCar.
IndyCar and iRacing created some of the most viewed sim racing events during the previous term of their partnership as a few hundred thousand watched the NTT IndyCar iRacing Challenge on – only topped by the eNASCAR Invitational-Series broadcasted on FOX Sports during the Covid lockdown in Spring 2020, both featuring their series’ respective real-world drivers but also guest drivers such as Formula One driver Lando Norris.
iRacing’s previous licensing agreement with IndyCar concluded at the end of 2022 as the owner of the motorsport brand signed an exclusivity licensing agreement with Motorsport Games in July 2021. The partnership was supposed to produce an NTT IndyCar Series-centric racing game by 2023, however, amidst Motorsport Games’ financial and organizational struggles the game was never completed. Consequently, IndyCar terminated the agreement with Motorsport Games in November 2023.
Also as a result of Motorsport Games’ issues, iRacing recently acquired NASCAR Team Properties to develop a simulation-style NASCAR console game, which is expected in 2025. iRacing has been working with NASCAR since 2010 and runs the official eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series. Unlike IndyCar, NASCAR didn’t sign an exclusivity deal with Motorsport Games when it obtained the NASCAR simulation-style console gaming license in 2018 through the acquisition of NASCAR Heat 5 and NASCAR Rivals developer 704Games.