Team Penske INDYCAR iRacing Report - Barber

April 4, 2020

Team Penske eSports INDYCAR iRacing Challenge Race Report

Track:                 Virtual Barber Motorsports Park
Race:                   Grand Prix of Alabama
Date:                   April 4, 2020

No. 1 PPG Dallara/Chevrolet – Josef Newgarden

Start: 7th
Finish: 9th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 45/45

Josef Newgarden and the No. 1 PPG Chevrolet ran a hard-fought race at the Grand Prix of Alabama at the virtual Barber Motorsports Park as they finished ninth.
Newgarden, a multi-time winner at the real-life Barber began the race in the ninth position.
After five laps of competition, Newgarden was able to move up to the fifth position – the highest position he would achieve during the 45-lap race.
By lap 22, nearing the halfway point in the race, Newgarden fell back to 19th position.
As the final laps ticked by, Newgarden was able to make his way through the field ultimately settling for a ninth-place finish.
The next INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event will take place at virtual Michigan International Speedway on April 11.

“It was really cool to run Barber virtually with iRacing. We didn’t get the result we wanted but we’re still learning how iRacing works. There’s a lot of drivers out there who have been using iRacing for years and I’m still getting accustomed to it. I’m working really hard on my sim to keep learning and this new challenge has been great. INDYCAR has done such a great job along with NBC to bring INDYCAR back to fans in the virtual world. I can’t wait to race Michigan virtually next week and am really looking forward to keep learning and improving.”

No. 2 Shell V-Power Dallara/Chevrolet – Scott McLaughlin

Start: 8th
Finish: 1st
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 45/45

Scott McLaughlin won his first INDYCAR Challenge race in only his second start. This was also only his second race against the rest of the INDYCAR Series albeit in the virtual world.
After starting in the eighth position, McLaughlin was led by his real-life engineer Jonathan Diuguid for the entirety of the 45-lap race.
Diuguid directed McLaughlin to pit before the mandatory lap 15 competition caution on lap 12 taking a gamble to see if their strategy would ultimately lead to an advantage.
The winner of the Grand Prix of Alabama and reigning Australian Supercars Champion will compete in the next INDYCAR iRacing Challenge event at virtual Michigan International Speedway next Saturday, April 11.

“It was really cool. I had Jonathan Diuguid helping me who’s my real-life engineer at Team Penske and the No. 2 Shell car and it worked out great. It was better than last week than when I was doing the numbers for fuel in my head. We worked hard on what we were going to do with the fuel, and we got some really good track position. It’s going to be really different to do it in real-life, but this has been really cool for me. It’s been a great way to get involved in the series and to help let more people learn about the series. I’m really thankful to Team Penske, INDYCAR and iRacing for having the chance to run this race.”

No. 12 Verizon Dallara/Chevrolet – Will Power

Start: 2nd
Finish: 2nd
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 45/45

Will Power ran another solid INDYCAR Challenge race in the No. 12 Verizon Chevrolet finishing on the podium in second-position at the virtual Barber Motorsports Park. This performance followed up his third-place finish last week at Watkins Glen.
The final laps of the race were led by Power and his Team Penske teammate and fellow native of the continent of Australia, New Zealand native Scott McLaughlin.
Power ultimately finished in the second position. This was his second podium finish in a row in the virtual version of the INDYCAR Series.
Power, an oval racetrack aficionado heads with the rest of the INDYCAR Series to its first virtual oval of the season at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday, April 11.

“Really happy with second for the Verizon Chevy. My goal was to make no mistakes and we were able to execute and P2 feels pretty good. It feels great to do well in the race. I got really nervous before I used to think the nerves came from the danger, but now I see it really comes from the competition and I thought that was really interesting. I learned a lot about how important communication has been since I have new strategist this year. I think it’s been such a great learning experience that we can apply to real life once we go back to racing in person. Just really proud of our effort and really looking forward to the race at Michigan.”

No. 22 Menards Dallara/Chevrolet – Simon Pagenaud

Start: 5th
Finish: 5th
Status: Running
Laps Completed: 45/45

Simon Pagenaud and the No. 22 Menards Chevrolet ran a strong race at the Grand Prix of Alabama at the virtual Barber Motorsports Park starting and finishing in the fifth position.
By the lap-15 competition caution, Pagenaud’s pace slowed just slightly putting him in the sixth position.
Pagenaud finished fifth in the 45-lap race. The Frenchman and strong oval driver heads with the rest of the series to the virtual Michigan International Speedway next weekend on Saturday, April 11.

“I had a blast. We finished fifth in the Menards Chevy. Everyone is getting so good and is practicing a lot. It’s amazing to be able to compete at this time and I hope it’s keeping the fans entertained at home. I’m very happy with the strategy Ben Bretzman put together. Congratulations to Scott McLaughlin, our teammate at Team Penske on the win. I’m so happy to be able to show my Menards car on the racetrack and can’t wait to go racing at Michigan next week.”