On Tuesday (8th March 2022), 2022 iRacing Season 2 launched and a bunch of new content was released alongside. Two of the newest additions to the lineup of racecars on the iRacing service are the Brazilian Stock Car Pro Series cars by Chevrolet and Toyota.
The current generation of cars in the series, the Toyota Corolla and Chevrolet Cruze offer a 450bhp, six-speed sequential RWD with V8 engine power. It’s the most popular racing series in Brazil, and one of the key features of the car includes a push-to-pass button which raises the horsepower above 500 when utilizing it.
We know that iRacing’s been this big phenomenon the last few years in part to its successes during the pandemic. The platform has seen a huge growth over the last couple of years and with that, they’ve been able to keep growing and growing.
Real drivers have seen the uptick and they’ve joined in on the fun. Some drivers keep it casual, but others like Tony Kanaan, an IndyCar and Indianapolis 500 champion, have made it a full-time occupation. TK streams on Twitch on his custom sim racing rig and has become a big ambassador for the iRacing service recently.
With the release of the 2022 iRacing Season 2 build, Kanaan hosted a stream on Tuesday (8th March 2022) with iRacing Associate Producer Greg West. They showed off a ton of the new content, but the headline was the addition of the Stock Car Brasil machines, a series in which he’s participated in for many years, including full-time in the real world in 2021.
Both of the current cars in the Brazilian Stock Car Pro Series, the Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Cruze are now available for the sim racing platform.
Kanaan, driver of a Corolla for the Full Time Bassani team, displayed the virtual Corolla as he ran some laps around Interlagos with West, who drove the Cruze.
The addition is an important move by iRacing to expand to the Brazilian racing market. iRacers have had Interlagos, also known as the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, since 2013, but nothing else since then. For the most part, this area of the world was grossly unrepresented on one of the world’s largest simulation platforms.
The country of Brazil has such a rich racing history, and motorsports is one of the biggest forms of entertainment. I’m, of course, writing this as some random dude in New York, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the country for what it provides to the overall racing product around the globe.
I mean, just think of some of the biggest names to compete in Formula 1 – Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi, Rubens Barrichello, Nelson Piquet, and Felipe Massa all come to mind, all huge stars from the Brazilian racing scene.
The latter two took part in the 2021 Stock Car Pro Series no less.
Here in the United States, two of our biggest stars in IndyCar are both Kanaan and the four-time Indianapolis 500 champion Hélio Castroneves.
On top of that, the Brazilian Grand Prix, now known as the São Paulo Grand Prix, has been a fixture on the Formula 1 calendar since the 1970’s, only missing in action in 2020 due to the pandemic. The race has been at both Interlagos and Jacarepaguá, but regardless it’s still a must-visit location on the schedule.
ON THE SIM SIDE
Brazil is big on racing, and to bring one of the leading forms of simulated auto racing into that world could lead to another expanded market. Looking at all of the Brazilian content that Reiza Studios has packed into Automobilista 2, it kind of makes iRacing, and maybe sim racing in general look like they’ve ignored the area.
While it’s important to state that most of AMS2’s platform is based around the Brazilian racing scene, not many other racing games have a big Brazilian index of content.
With iRacing releasing these cars, it could lead to more venues, such as some of my favorites from AMS2 like Curitiba, Jacarepaguá, Velopark, and Goiânia.
Sure, iRacing’s had and promoted plenty of racing on the Interlagos circuit since adding it in 2013, but maybe these additions could lead to an updated version of that track as well. It could also lead to more cars that compete in Brazil, like the Volkswagen TSI Cup by Acelerados, like the Volkswagen Polo and Volkswagen Virtus.
In general, we should all care that iRacing went to Brazil and brought back these two stunning Stock Cars. They’ll be fun to drive, I can’t wait to hop in them and see what they’ve got. I hope that it leads to an increase in content from the Brazilian racing scenes as well.