Racing driver and INDYCAR champion Tony Kanaan has opened a private sim racing centre in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The venue officially opened on September 30th and will feature sim racing events and memorials to extend the city’s racing reputation to the esports realm.
The sim racing centre aims to leverage and expand Indianapolis’ racing history by promoting the world of simulator racing. Moreover, Karaan hopes to increase awareness and accessibility for esports among the city’s youth.
Equipped with four racing simulator bays, the location will host endurance iRacing events and private sim parties. The centre also exhibits the latest sim racing equipment, Kanaan’s racing memorabilia, and a McLaren 520s.
Tony Kanaan is a Brazilian racing driver known for his participation in American open-wheel car racing (Indy car racing). Throughout his over 20-year career, Kanaan won 17 races, including the 2013 Indianapolis 500 and the 2004 INDYCAR Series – the two largest competitions of the Indy car racing genre.
The driver also co-founded esports team ‘Texaco Racing by Tony Kanaan’ with retired martial arts fighter Carlos Barreto. The iRacing roster was established in collaboration with American oil brand Texaco and competes in the scene’s main national and international championships. Kanaan plans to host some of the team’s races in his racing centre.
Indianapolis has been the site of several esports events in 2023. Butler University hosted the NACE Starleague Spring Finales as well as the Big East Esports Championship at its newly built esports facility. Furthermore, the city was host to the NACE National Convention, a collegiate esports education and networking conference.
Kanaan’s new sim racing centre was not the only significant development in the sim racing world this year. In January, ESL FACEIT Group launched a €500,000 (~£434,000) sim racing series in collaboration with sim racing platform RENNSPORT. Most recently, UK-based esports organisation Guild Esports raised £622,200 to support its sim racing expansion.