Team Penske’s Simon Pagenaud feels iRacing IndyCar Challenge is helping in driver/engineer communications, while Will Power adds that sponsors remain happy too.
While car setup and driver pace are often considered the leading factors when it comes to an IndyCar team’s pace in any given weekend, there are also other variables with major influence over performance, one being the drivers’ communication with race engineers.
Not only does this also impact other, aforementioned elements such as setup, but it also is vital to race strategy, and other similar things. Its this all-important engineer-to-driver communication with the race engineer that Pagenaud feels is benefiting from the iRacing IndyCar Challenge.
Pagenaud feels it is mostly due to the fact that the team are able to practice virtually before the real racing starts at a later point, be it this year or the next. The Frenchman also noted that iRacing is helpful for sponsors, which teammate Power agreed.
“I’m working with Ben my racing engineer on the strategy,” said Pagenaud to media including FormulaRapida.net. “We get to talk on the radio like we would on a race weekend. I think it’s just keeping the communication alive.
“It feels like we’ve raced a few times this year already. I think when racing gets going, we’re not going to be rusty. That’s important. iRacing has been a great support for us. Its been important for everybody at Team Penske, as well. We represent our sponsors.
“They need some love right now. DXC Technology, Chevy, Menards,” noted Pagenaud. Meanwhile, Power added: “I mean, you kind of get up on Saturday morning with a little bit of race nerves because you got to get up and be ready to make sure your sim is all good, do practice, then qualifying and race.
“The iRacing IndyCar Challenge gives you kind of something to aim for each week. Definitely enjoying the racing. Had great battles last week with Sage, Graham, this week with Scott, obviously Simon at the end, then McLaughlin.
“It’s something for us to do in this time where we really have nothing to do. It’s actually pretty close to what we do for real. Yeah, we’re kind of lucky in that respect. Plus television gets similar numbers to what we do with a real race, so it’s great for our sponsors.”
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