James Calado and Austin Cindric are among the numerous additions to the grid for next week’s third round of the IMSA iRacing Pro Invitational Series season at the virtual Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Released on Thursday, the 50-driver entry list again features a diverse mix of talent from the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and other IMSA-sanctioned series.
Calado will be at the wheel of the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari 488 GTE, marking the Ferrari factory driver’s first start in IMSA iRacing competition as well as the debut for the Houston-based team, which took part in January’s real life season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
“It will be a bit of a different experience than real life but looking forward to getting involved and racing with a few guys I race in reality,” said Calado.
“I have my own simulator and have been taking part in some other esports championships like Formula E and The Race. These are really good fun but obviously very difficult because you’ve got some professional sim drivers who are phenomenally quick.
“It takes practicing and I think it’s just a fine art of getting everything right like set ups.”
NASCAR rising star Cindric, a race winner in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge competition, meanwhile, will pilot the No. 22 Team Penske Ford GT in the 90-minute race.
Defending Pilot Challenge GS class champion Tyler McQuarrie is also entered for the first time, in one of 22 BMW M8 GTEs on the provisional entry list.
The German manufacturer has so far swept the podiums in the opening two rounds at Sebring International Raceway and WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, with Bruno Spengler heading into halfway point of the season with the provisional points lead as a result of the two race wins.
Spengler will again be joined by fellow BMW factory drivers Nicky Catsburg, Connor De Phillippi, John Edwards, Jesse Krohn and Phillip Eng.
IMSA locked in the top 25 finishing drivers from last week’s round to continue in the invitational series, while adding several newcomers.
It’s included Bryan Herta Autosport’s Michael Lewis and Mason Filippi (Ferraris), as well as GS class competitor Dylan Murry (Porsche) and reigning IMSA Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA and Canada double champion Roman De Angelis (Porsche).