(This story originally appeared as exclusive content on the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app.)
SONOMA, California – Verizon IndyCar Series driver Conor Daly is a long-time part of the gaming culture. The AJ Foyt Racing driver understands video games as well as anyone in the series.
Daly participated in the Forza Motorsport 7 preview at the Microsoft store in San Francisco on Tuesday night. It was the first time the latest version of the popular racing game was used in public and Daly was thrilled to play the game and take on fans. He is also part of the Forza 7 New Era Driver Challenge this weekend at Sonoma Raceway in conjunction with the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma.
Forza Motorsport 7 is a racing video game developed by Turn 10 Studios and published by Microsoft Studies. The game is set to be launched on Windows and Xbox One on Oct. 3.
Along with drivers JR Hildebrand and James Hinchcliffe, Daly will be at the INDYCAR Fan Village at 12:30 p.m. PT today to compete against each other and fans in game demos. Graham Rahal will join the fun from 1-1:30 p.m. PT Saturday, with Ryan Hunter-Reay playing Forza 7 from 2:30-3 p.m. PT Saturday. In addition, Josef Newgarden will sign autographs in the area from 1-1:20 p.m. PT Saturday.
This is the 10th installment in the Forza series. Forza has been an official partner of INDYCAR for six years. Verizon IndyCar Series tracks and cars were first part of Forza 5 when it was released in 2013 and INDYCAR’s presence continues in Forza 7.
Forza Motorsport 7 will feature more than 700 cars and 200 different configurations to race on across 30 locations. Two new features are dynamic weather and customizable drivers.
“It’s cool that we are some of the first people to play the Forza 7 demo,” Daly told the Verizon INDYCAR Mobile app. “Forza always does a really good job. They have made some incredible stuff, some incredible games over the past that I’ve played many, many hours of. It should be a lot of fun.
“They improved the car counts, they improved the graphics and you can play in 4K on Xbox 1X when it comes out. The most exciting part for me is my Indy car is in it. I like that and I’m very excited about it. I’ve always told them I want to be in that game and now I am and I’m excited.”
Daly, 25 and driver of the No. 4 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Chevrolet, said he has owned every Forza Motorsport game back to the original version. Forza 2 was his most-played game when he was younger.
On Xbox Live, online competition is available, allowing fans to take their best shot at racing against and defeating a Verizon IndyCar Series driver.
“Everyone is out there thinking they are going to be the best,” Daly said. “There are a lot of good gamers out there. People get (college) scholarships playing video games these days.”
Gamers can have their own system in terms of seat, pedals and steering wheel, but Daly prefers using the controller.
“It’s one of the most realistic console games out there,” Daly said. “When you talk console to console, Forza has a really good idea of what is going on. They study a lot and take on a lot of data and that is really cool using the game.
“I’m going to play the game on Friday with some fans as well as a few other drivers. This is huge. Microsoft and Turn 10 Studios and everyone at Forza are awesome people. They appreciate what we are doing and I appreciate what they are doing, so it’s cool to work with them.”