IndyCar Racing

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This article is about the video game. For the sport of IndyCar racing, see American Championship car racing.
IndyCar Racing
IndyCar Racing Coverart.png
Developer(s) Papyrus Design Group
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Designer(s) David Kaemmer
Omar Khudari
Platform(s) MS-DOS
Release date(s)
  • NA: 1993
Genre(s) Sim racing
Mode(s) Single player
Two-player (using null-modem cable)

IndyCar Racing, followed up two years later by its sequel, IndyCar Racing II, is a racing video game by Papyrus Design Group. It was released in 1993.[1] Papyrus, consisting of David Kaemmer and Omar Khudari,[2] previously developed Indianapolis 500: The Simulation, released in 1990.

The game was intended as a realistic simulation of CART IndyCar Racing, later known as the Champ Car World Series. It featured many contemporary drivers, chassis and engines, and eight circuits which could be raced individually or as part of a championship season. Subsequent expansion packs added a further seven tracks and, later, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (In contrast, its sequel did not gain the licensing rights to do so.)[3]


The simulation offers the ability to race in single events or a full Championship season (made up of all the tracks installed and available on the player's computer); to take part in associated practice, qualifying and warm-up sessions; to set up and customise the car both on-track and in a dedicated "garage" feature; and to race head-to-head against another player by connecting two computers, either via modems running at least 9600 bit/s or via a null-modem cable attached to the computers' serial ports.


There are two main types of qualifying session, and a third which is unique to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

  • Type 1: a ten-minute "open session" where the player can run as many laps as desired; the fastest lap time counts.
  • Type 2: two "flying laps" are run, with the better of the two average speeds counting.
  • Type 3: only used at Indianapolis. Four flying laps are run, and the average of the four lap speeds is used to determine grid position.

Type 1 is standard for road courses and street circuits, while Type 2 is used at ovals. Note that some circuits grade drivers by speed (in miles per hour), while others use lap time (in seconds).

In all cases, the player starts the qualifying session from the pit lane, and is automatically in last place on the grid for the race. As in the game's predecessor, Indianapolis 500: The Simulation, all of the opposition drivers' qualifying positions are pre-determined, and although some cars may be out on track during the player's qualifying attempt, they will make no further improvements to their respective lap times or speeds. Skipping the qualifying session leaves the player at the back of the grid.


With the exception of Indianapolis, all races begin with a standing start with cars two abreast on the grid. Following the tradition of the Indy 500, cars are three abreast at Indianapolis. A "pit board" is shown on screen each time the player crosses the start/finish line, showing the following information:

Championship seasons[edit]

IndyCar Racing allows the player to take part in a full series of race weekends at every track available on the computer, with results from each race counting towards the Championship standings. The game automatically creates a season schedule based on the range of tracks installed. The full 16-race schedule is shown below in the Tracks section in its correct order; those in bold are the eight available with the original release of the game (so Long Beach would be the first race of the season unless the expansion pack was purchased and installed).

If there is a tie between two or more cars for the most laps led, the car which finished the race in the highest position is awarded the point. Cars which crash or retire late in a race, and are still in the top 12 at the end, are still classified and awarded the appropriate number of points.

Instant replay function[edit]

IndyCar Racing moved on significantly from the innovative but limited instant replay feature in Indianapolis 500: The Simulation. Whereas the latter offered a re-run of only the last 20 seconds of on-track action, and only from the perspective of either the player's own car or the leader, IndyCar Racing stores around an hour of footage from several different camera angles and for each of the active cars on the track. (Retired or crashed cars can no longer be selected for viewing after they are removed from the track.) Unlimited numbers of replays could be saved as well.


Any opponent could crash at any point during the race (although subject to various constraints noted below). If the "yellow flags" option is chosen from the "OPTIONS"/"REALISM" menu selection, yellow flags will be waved immediately and a period of driving at reduced speed with no on-track overtaking will commence. Pit-stops can still be made during caution periods, and indeed if a crash occurs close to a standard pit-stop "window", the majority of cars will usually take the opportunity to pit. Likewise, cars can retire due to mechanical failure during a caution period.

Racing under green-flag conditions recommences some laps later (varying from track to track) when the leader enters the home straight. Crashed cars show "Crashed" next to their number and driver name on both the summary and the full standings charts.

Opposition drivers[edit]

Depending on the circuit, up to thirty-two opponents would be on track alongside one's own car. The majority of these were real IndyCar drivers who had competed in the 1993 CART world series; some additional names were invented based on real drivers to make up numbers at circuits which needed the full set of opponents. The data file for each track specified the number of cars on the grid for races at that track; in many cases, this was less than the maximum number of 33. However, as these files were in .TXT format, they were easy to edit to change the number. For example, every track could be edited to accommodate 33 cars; this allowed every opposition car to compete in every race in a Championship Season, for example.

Opponents could be viewed from the game's main menu by selecting "CARS" then "OTHER DRIVERS". By pressing <Enter>, the following details of each driver could be scrolled through: driver name, home city, country, car number, chassis and engine. A picture of the car would rotate at the same time.


The game originally featured eight tracks (idenitifed in bold in the table below). An expansion pack was later released containing a further seven tracks; these were all subsequently made available online by fans. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway was later released as another add-on.

Details below such as track lengths and names are those used in the game at the time of its release. The "Rain?" column indicates whether or not wet practice, qualifying or race sessions would randomly occur if the "random weather" option was selected from the OPTIONS menu. (Oval and tri-oval circuits do not hold races during wet weather; the game reflects this by never permitting rain at such circuits, even if the "random weather" variable was activated.)

Tracks shown in bold were supplied with the original version of the game. Championship seasons run on computers where the expansion packs were not installed therefore ran in this order: Long Beach, Milwaukee, Portland, Toronto, Michigan, New Hampshire, Nazareth, Laguna Seca.

Race Location Circuit Name Type Length Laps Rain? Qualifying
1 Australia Surfers Paradise Street circuit 2.795 miles 65 Yes Type 1
2 Phoenix Phoenix International Raceway Tri-oval 1 mile 200 No Type 2
3 Long Beach Long Beach Street circuit 1.59 miles 105 Yes Type 1
4 Indianapolis Indianapolis Motor Speedway Oval 2.5 miles 200 No Type 3
5 Milwaukee Wisconsin State Fair Park Oval 1 mile 200 No Type 2
6 Detroit Belle Isle Park Street circuit 2.1 miles 77 Yes Type 1
7 Portland Portland International Raceway Road course 1.95 miles 102 Yes Type 1
8 Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport Temporary circuit 2.37 miles 85 Yes Type 1
9 Toronto Exhibition Place Temporary circuit 1.78 miles 103 Yes Type 1
10 Michigan Michigan International Speedway Oval 2 miles 250 No Type 2
11 New Hampshire New Hampshire International Speedway Oval 1.058 miles 200 No Type 2
12 Elkhart Lake Road America Road course 4 miles 50 Yes Type 1
13 Vancouver Pacific Place Street circuit 1.677 miles 100 Yes Type 1
14 Mid-Ohio Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Road course 2.25 miles 89 Yes Type 1
15 Nazareth Pennsylvania International Raceway Tri-oval 1 mile 200 No Type 2
16 Laguna Seca Laguna Seca Raceway Road course 2.214 miles 84 Yes Type 1


  1. ^ "The Story Of Papyrus Racing Games". GameSpot. CNET. Retrieved 2006-10-17. 
  2. ^ "The History of Papyrus Racing - Page 2". Gamespot. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  3. ^ Gord Goble. "PC IndyCar Series Review". GameSpot. CNET. Retrieved 2006-10-17. 

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