Get Hyped For The 2021 IndyCar Season With A VR Lap Of Sebring

Illustration for article titled Get Hyped For The 2021 IndyCar Season With A VR Lap Of Sebring

Photo: Chris Owens / IndyCar

I have maintained for several years now that IndyCar is some of the best open-wheel racing you can watch, and if you haven’t believed me yet, then I’m going to let this virtual reality lap of Sebring do the talking for me.


(That’s a lie. I’m going to continue to wax poetic about IndyCar until the day I die.)

RACER Magazine set up this VR lap by slapping a 360-degree camera on the No. 18 Dale Coyne Racing with Vasser Sullivan Honda of Ed Jones (say that five times fast) while the teams were testing at Sebring International Raceway earlier this year. And folks—it is really cool. The camera is offset in the cockpit, which means you can move the view around and watch everything from Jones’ hand movements to the way his head follows the racing line as he maneuvers turns. It also gives you a sense of how claustrophobic the damn cockpits are.

The IndyCar season is a bit of a strange one this year. COVID-19 saw the first races of the season rescheduled, so the initial event is going to take place next Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park. And instead of the Month of May, where teams camp out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for several weeks ahead of the Indianapolis 500, the series is starting off May with a doubleheader at Texas Motor Speedway and trimming down practice time, which means the series had to undertake some testing this last week to make sure the cars are ready to roll and the rookies are prepared to run at high speeds.

After two days of testing, the top 10 looked like this:

  1. Josef Newgarden (Team Penske, Chevrolet) – 39.6792 seconds
  2. Takuma Sato (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda) – 39.7534 seconds
  3. Juan Pablo Montoya (Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet) – 39.8013 seconds
  4. Scott Dixon (Chip Ganassi Racing, Honda) – 39.8395 seconds
  5. Graham Rahal (Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, Honda) – 39.8859 seconds
  6. Conor Daly (Ed Carpenter Racing, Chevrolet) – 39.8868 seconds
  7. Will Power (Team Penske, Chevrolet) – 39.9112 seconds
  8. Jack Harvey (Meyer Shank Racing, Honda) – 39.9527 seconds
  9. Pato O’Ward (Arrow McLaren SP, Chevrolet) – 39.9790 seconds
  10. Helio Castroneves (Meyer Shank Racing, Honda) – 39.9868 seconds

And the 2021 schedule looks like this, with all races on NBC, NBCSN, or Peacock:

  • April 18: Barber Motorsports Park
  • April 25: Streets of St. Petersburg
  • May 1 and 2: Texas Motor Speedway
  • May 15: Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
  • May 30: Indianapolis 500
  • June 12-13: Belle Isle Street Circuit
  • June 20: Road America
  • July 4: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • July 11: Toronto street circuit
  • August 8: Nashville street circuit
  • August 14: Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
  • August 21: World Wide Technology Raceway (Gateway)
  • September 12: Portland International Raceway
  • September 19: WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
  • September 26: Streets of Long Beach
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