“As we look at future schedules, certainly have everything on the table,” said NASCAR vice president of strategic initiatives Ben Kennedy
“I think you look at 2021, we’ve talked about it a lot. It’s the most bold and dynamic schedule we’ve seen in over 50 years, and a testament to the industry for being able to pull that off and come together.
“A lot of exciting things in ’21. I think as we look toward 2022, really our goals and expectations are the same. We want to continue to innovate, we want to continue to protect those prestigious events like the Daytona 500 and the Coke 600, but also be able to go to new markets and shake things up. So I think a really unique opportunity to work with iRacing on this, to be able to test something out.”
The Chicago venture isn’t the first time iRacing has helped NASCAR form part of its schedule either. Last year, changes to Auto Club Speedway in California were first tested on the sim platform, with the 2-mile oval set to be renovated into a half-mile short track with high banked turns for the 2023 season.
Formula 1 has also been using technology in the research and development of its future concepts and circuits, with a simulator being purpose-built to test alternative race formats.
It has also developed a virtual testing environment that is iterated based on AI simulation and fan reaction. Those simulations have already led to F1 altering the layout of the Australian Grand Prix circuit in Albert Park, as well as aid the development of the new Saudi Arabia street circuit in Jeddah.