Ignite Game Technologies, the company creating the immersive Simraceway racing game experience, has secured $5 million in Series C funding from a combination of existing and new private investors. This brings the startup’s total raised to $17.5 million.

Investor Dave Marrs also is joining the board of the company that was founded in 2008 by Ignite CEO Jonathan Haswell.

Simraceway opened its public beta in November, the same month it released its unique $120 Simraceway S1 Steering Wheel controller, which was designed, tested and approved by a team that included four-time IndyCar Series winner Dario Franchitti, double Indy 500 Champion Dan Wheldon and others, and was developed in conjunction with game peripherals manufacturer SteelSeries. The S1 features a motion sensor for steering and a patent-pending throttle and brake paddle system for a fully simulated driving experience without the need for floor pedals.

The game is server-based, like a massively multi-player online game, so it will be continually updated with new licensed vehicles, tracks, performance statistics and other elements of realistic racing.

“We’ve always firmly believed that investors and players alike would share our vision for the online racing space,” said Haswell. “But when we set out in 2008 to chart a new course for the genre, creating an authentic experience that brought together not only the world’s best racers, tracks, and cars but also players of every ability, we couldn’t have hoped for more wholehearted belief and support from the investment community and from online racing fans.”

Related links:

VentureBeat – Ignite Game Technologies raises $5M for Simraceway online racing game

GigaOm – Ignite raises $5M to become the World of Warcraft of car racing

Vator News – Ignite Games is building the iTunes of online racing