American motorsport great Mario Andretti said he “had a blast” in his sim racing debut in The Race Legends Trophy’s Indianapolis Motor Speedway round, and hinted at further virtual outings.
The 80-year-old, who won the real-world Indy 500 in 1969, got his sim rig shortly before the event and set it up with help from neighbour and current IndyCar racer Sage Karam.
Andretti’s best Legends Trophy finish was 19th in the second race as he was involved in incidents in both races.
“You have to understand just what the rig wants, what the sim likes, how aggressive you can get and all of that” :: Mario Andretti
But in the opener he ran right behind victory combatants Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button for much of the distance having lost a lap early on.
“I had a blast!” said Andretti.
“Obviously it seemed like I was part of every situation that was happening out there, but other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Asked whether he might make further appearances in the series, Andretti replied “never say never”.
He said he felt he had a lot to learn to adjust to the nuances of driving on the sim rig, and the variations in feel compared to real-world racing.
“We have the rig here, I just have to get a lot more familiar,” Andretti explained.
“It was not natural, it was so different.
“What I have going against me is that you drive it differently. The line is a little different, so you have to understand just what the rig wants, what the sim likes, how aggressive you can get and all of that.
“There’s a definite learning curve, no question about it.”