Ok, so I might be using this as an excuse to talk about that bombshell NASCAR news story that dropped earlier today. That news is that NASCAR, Hendrick Motorsports, IMSA and Goodyear have announced a joint effort to bring a modified NASCAR NEXT Gen Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2023.
The entry would run as a “Garage 56” entry, a showcase slot of sorts, and of course the NASCAR NEXT Gen stock car would need to be modified to handle everything needed in a 24-hour endurance race overseas at the gruelling Circuit de la Sarthe venue.
Anyway, as it turns out, iRacing jumped on the opportunity almost immediately, tweeting 90 minutes after the announcement that a new Time Attack competition was live on their platform which will run through the 6th of June. They’d be about the only ones who could do something like that, so good on them for doing so.
With having a scanned, current version of Circuit de la Sarthe, as well as an up-to-date Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 NEXT Gen stock car, the new Time Attack takes both of those unlikely entities (before today, that is) and combines them together.
Do note, if you don’t have the Camaro ZL1, you can also use the Ford Mustang or Toyota Camry NASCAR NEXT Gen vehicles in the competition. Of course, you won’t see a NASCAR Mustang or a NASCAR Camry on the 24 Hours of Le Mans grid in 2023, this is strictly a Hendrick Motorsports venture, and they run Chevrolets in the NASCAR Cup Series.
This is a great opportunity to explain what the heck the Time Attacks on iRacing are. If you’ve never run a Time Attack competition before, in the iRacing UI, click on Go Racing. The fourth option under Hosted is the Time Attack competitions, and you’ll see quite a number of them.
iRacing does rank these competitions with a Time Attack ranking level from ‘World Champion’ to ‘Novice’, these ranks not affecting, but complementary to the usual iRating system. Your license level doesn’t matter either – Rookies to Pro/WC license levels can all compete the same.
Simply put, they are hot lap leaderboard competitions, most of which are for nothing more than bragging rights, but some competitions, like the eNASCAR iRacing College Series, utilizes Time Attack to set the field for their esports events. This is similar to many other leaderboard systems out there in other sims like rFactor 2 and RaceRoom Racing Experience.
You’ll find all sorts of different hot lap activities in there, mostly correlating to what the current season is all about. However, you’ll get the odd ones like this in there.
So… if you’ve ever had the itch to see what a heavy NASCAR stock car does on one of the largest, most challenging venues in the world at Circuit de la Sarthe, not only is that going to be a reality in 2023 at the real race, but you can give it a go and see what challenges the NASCAR entry might face a year from now on iRacing.