Even if it is virtual, Sage Karam is of the belief that all seat time – including seat time in iRacing – is vital to his real-world IndyCar programme.

For a driver like Karam, time behind the wheel is in short supply. The Dreyer and Reinbold Racing driver was initially scheduled to run a partial season of at least four races, including St. Pete, Toronto, the Indy 500, and one other event in 2020 IndyCar season.

However, with almost all races in jeopardy, his schedule could be slashed yet again. With that said, practice time of any kind is a necessity for drivers who wish to succeed and remain competitive in all races, but especially the Indy 500, which is the IndyCar championship’s most challenging race on the calendar.

And it is for this reason that the American driver feels the practice he is getting in the iRacing event is ‘essential’, even if it is on a simulated set-up, rather than in the actual car. “I think for me, my season always kind of started in May anyway,” said Karam.

“Now it’s even later. I’m kind of used to the limited schedule, starting late thing.” Karam was referring to the fact that this year’s IndyCar schedule of four races would have expanded on that of previous years, when he only ran the Indy 500.

“These guys are the ones that aren’t,” said Karam. “It’s going to be a really long off-season apparently. We’re trying our best to get through it all. I think it’s, like, a shame for guys like Daly who finally got a full season ride he’s been working for, then had his opportunity, now it’s like put on hold, kind of like that.

“I had an opportunity to go race at St. Pete. My team at Dreyer & Reinbold and WIX have been working really hard to do. We finally got it all together, just can’t really do it. Obviously seat time helps. In my situation, any time I can drive more it’s going to help me.

“Like the two days at did at Sebring was really awesome for me to just be able to do laps, not worry about a red flag ruining your tire run or whatever. We could just burn through tires, just do miles. That was good and seat time is essential.”

Here’s Will Power and Graham Rahal on realism of iRacing

Here’s the revised schedule of 2020 IndyCar season

Here’s how the second round of iRacing IndyCar Challenge went

Here’s Alexander Rossi thoughts on ESports