Testing of NASCAR’s LA Coliseum track began on iRacing roughly two weeks ago, Blake Reynolds, a driver in the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and one of the roughly 20 drivers who took part explained to RACER. NASCAR has used iRacing to test out potential track changes, and video of the track within the simulator was shown on Fox Sports’ NASCAR Race Hub.
Reynolds said that he and other members of the Coca-Cola iRacing Series, the premier level of NASCAR sim racing, were invited into a private testing server. The track was simply labeled “test track” and had no set dressings. There were no grandstands, no infield, simply a piece of tarmac floating in a virtual sky. Drivers quickly pieced together the rumors of a potential LA Coliseum with the hollow track they were tasked with driving on.
“Initially, they didn’t tell us at,” Reynolds said. “We just got invited to a testing environment and we kind of said, ‘hey, that sounds fun.’ The rumors were going around at the time. We loaded up, it was called “test track”, it wasn’t named anything. You don’t know what it’s going to be. I load in and sure enough its this really tiny, Bowman Gray-looking track.
“It didn’t have any grandstands in it or anything. It was just a floating piece of pavement in the sky with walls.”
Reynolds estimated that the top speed on the track was roughly 75mph and down to 40mph in the corners. Testing began with 15 cars on the track and reached as many as 24 cars.
“We got up to 24 [cars] I think at one point, and it is kind of chaotic. I don’t think it can hold more than that and if anything, 24 cars was a lot,” Reynolds said.
Two different versions of the track were tested, one with 2.5 degrees of banking and another with five degrees of banking. The track the Coca-Cola iRacing Series drivers used did not include a curb on the bottom of the track, which has since been added based on the feedback from the Coca-Cola Series drivers. A final decision on banking has not yet been made.
Reynolds described the curbs as similar to the ones at Martinsville, meaning they will likely not provide an opportunity for cars to ride on them.
The test races were broadcasted directly to NASCAR executives to watch and to see what changes might need to be made in the future. iRacing plans on finalizing the artwork and design elements of the track before releasing it to the public sometime before the real-world event on February 6.