The fastest races on earth are making the leap onto videogame consoles now that Codemasters has won the rights to the Indy Racing League (IRL) in a deal with Indianapolis Motor Speedway Properties, Inc. Known as the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing," the IRL, which culminates in the world-famous Indianapolis 500, features cars that travel from 0-100 mph in less than three seconds.

Codemasters has commissioned Brain in a Jar, the UK games developer known for its previous work on the Ferrari 360 Challenge project, to produce the official IRL game, which will debut in 2003.

"Codemasters has published some of the most respected and successful console racing games ever," said Nick Wheelwright, managing director at Codemasters. "Together with Brain in a Jar we are going to deliver a game based on the exciting IRL series that strives to capture the phenomenal speed and excitement that sets IRL at the top of the racing world."

The worldwide exclusive four-year deal provides Codemasters with rights to utilize all current, future and historical images of the Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indy Racing League that are owned by Brickyard Trademarks, Inc. This includes the rights to use the real IRL teams and drivers from the 2002 Season onwards.

"We are delighted to be working with Codemasters on this project," said Matthew Gabriel, Managing Director at Brain in a Jar. "As fans of all types of motorsport we are looking forward to the challenge of working on such a high profile license. Brain in a Jar will develop a game worthy of this great racing series."

The Indy Racing League is a 15 race Single Seat Championship that competes on Speedways throughout the USA, including California and Texas with the historic and world famous Indy 500, at Indianapolis, the highlight of its racing calendar.

The cars are similar to F1, with General Motors and Nissan manufacturing 3.5 liter V8 engines used by all teams. Fast and furious, the 650 bhp cars reach 0-100 mph in less than three seconds and can race at speeds over 225 mph on the larger oval circuits.

The Indy 500 offers the world's largest racing purse, with more than $9 million in prizes, and is a global spectacle, televised in 66 countries, with a reach of more than 313 million homes.

"The Indy Racing League and its jewel, the Indy 500, is a hugely prestigious win for Codemasters and one that sits perfectly with our portfolio of motorsport licenses for video games," said Anthony Price, group commercial director at Codemasters. "The demographic fit between the IRL's international audience and the profile of gamer we target is spot on and we're confident of successful incorporation of the IRL into future products."