Sam Schmidt to race in iRacing Pro Race of Champions
This Wednesday, many professional racing drivers from across the world will have an opportunity to race together in the virtual world during the annual iRacing Pro Race of Champions.
One of the drivers competing will be former IndyCar Series racer Sam Schmidt, who has been paralyzed from the neck down since a near-fatal crash at Walt Disney World Speedway on Jan. 6, 2000.
Schmidt has not let his disability keep him away from racing, however, as he is currently an owner of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team in the Verizon IndyCar Series. Additionally, Schmidt took to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a semi-autonomous Corvette in 2014, and to the streets of Long Beach back in April. Schmidt was able to control the cars using head movements to turn and bite sensors to accelerate and brake.
Though Schmidt has been able to get back onto the racetrack, he has yet to compete in a motor race since his incident, but now, according to CXC Simulations, that looks set to change.
Using a modified Motion Pro II simulator designed by CXC Simulations, Schmidt will be able to compete in a virtual race held among professional drivers only, which will be broadcast Wednesday on iRacing LIVE at 9 p.m. ET.
Infrared motion-sensing cameras will read the movements of Schmidt’s "hat" to steer, while this time it will be a breath-sensing "mouthpiece" that Schmidt will use to control his acceleration and braking.
A $2,500 charity donation to the Justin Wilson Children’s Charity foundation will be made in the winner’s name. A full entry list has yet to be officially announced, but among the drivers expected to compete are Timmy Hill, Alex Gurney, Spencer Pumpelly, Tommy Kendall, Nick Tandy, Ron Capps, Justin Bell and Ryan Eversley.