IMSA Esports championship set for November return

IMSA is partnering with iRacing and Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) for the third straight year to stage the 2024 IMSA Esports Global Championship beginning in November, but for the first time the prestigious sim racing contest will feature a public qualifying process.

Entries in the championship will be reserved for previous series champions and winners of iRacing’s VCO Grand Slam events, however every iRacing member will have the opportunity to earn their way into the four-race championship. Additionally, a limited number of wildcard entries will be featured. The 2023 wildcard entries included the Nitro Circus Sim Racing Team and Texaco Racing by TK, Tony Kanaan’s Esports team.

“It will be great to once again have the best sim racers from around the world competing under the IMSA banner in the 2024 Esports Global Championship,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “They’ve shown in the first two seasons how skilled they are. Opening the process for all iRacing members to try to qualify for the championship only makes it more exciting. We can’t wait to see how it all shakes out in what is certain to be the most competitive IMSA Esports Global Championship yet.”


The four-round schedule kicks off with Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta (Nov. 24), followed by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (Dec. 8) and Sebring International Raceway (Jan. 5, 2025) before concluding at Daytona International Speedway (Jan. 12, 2025). The competition will feature precisely digitized versions of the Acura ARX-06, BMW M Hybrid V8, Cadillac V-Series.R and Porsche 963 Grand Touring Prototypes (GTP), along with the Mercedes-AMG GT3, BMW M4 GT3, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 GT3.R, Ferrari 296 GT3, Ford Mustang GT3, Lamborghini Huracan GT3 EVO2, and Porsche 911 GT3 R (992) cars from the Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) class currently available on the iRacing platform.

“Multi-class sports car racing lies at the very core of the international sim racing community, and the IMSA Esports Global Championship is the premier series in this segment,” said Florian Haasper, CEO of VCO. “Working together with IMSA and iRacing on this project has been a blast over the past years. Together, we constantly strive to improve the competition further. Introducing an open qualifying process for the series is a very important next step. We cannot wait to get the new season going!”

To date, Formula 1 champion Max Verstappen’s Team Redline, VRS Coanda and Williams Esports have earned automatic berths in the 2024 IMSA Esports Global Championship’s GTP class, while Team Redline and Drago Racing have qualified for the GTD competition. Teams looking to participate in the public pre-qualifiers will need to register with IMSA.

Teams that qualify from the Time Attack will then participate in a “Car Shootout” with other qualifying teams to determine which car they will use during the 2024 IMSA Esports Global Championship season.

“iRacing and IMSA have enjoyed a remarkably successful partnership for more than a decade,” says Tony Gardner, iRacing president. “It’s no coincidence that both our organizations have experienced dramatic growth during that time frame. The 2024 IMSA Esports Global Championship will be yet another exciting step in this partnership, and I’m confident that opening the qualifying format to our more than 270,000 iRacers will help make this the most exciting edition of the series yet.”

In keeping with the sprint race format in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, each event in the IMSA Esports Global Championship will be 2h40m long and will stream live on the IMSA and iRacing Facebook, Twitch and YouTube channels. Additional details on public qualifying and the series can be found in the official series rulebook.

Story originally appeared on Racer