McLaren has joined NASCAR’s top esports series, which means it will battle against Formula 1 rivals Williams in the championship in 2021.
The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series has announced its team entrants for 2021, with McLaren – which makes the spec ECU for NASCAR’s real-world top-tier series – joining the virtual championship that boasts a $330,000 prize pot including $100,000 to the winner.
Williams’ top driver Ryan Luza won three races in the championship last year and made the playoffs, but missed out in the finale where Nick Ottinger grabbed the honours in a dramatic Homestead Miami Speedway finale.
The championship works as a shortened version of the real NASCAR calendar, following similar tracks and mimicking its playoff format, which results in four drivers being eligible to fight for the title in the season finale.
Now that the teams have been announced, a five-day period of free agency begins where drivers and teams will discuss deals to work out who races where in 2021.
Top NASCAR squads Joe Gibbs, JR Motorsports, Roush Fenway and Stewart-Haas all field teams, while reputable drivers like Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Elliott Sadler and Parker Kligerman all have their own teams.
William Byron, driver of the #24 Hendrick Motorsports car in the Cup Series, fielded Ottinger last year and won the title.
The drivers for each team will be announced after free agency has ended.