What is iRacing?
iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations is a subscription based PC racing simulation game. One of the OGs in racing simulators, iRacing offers simulated racing across multiple facets of motorsports, including racing series such as Formula 1, NASCAR, World of Outlaws, Australian Supercars and more.
WHO MAKES iRACING?
The iRacing simulation is made in-house by iRacing, who develops and publishes their own content. Before they were iRacing, many of the iRacing executives came from what used to be the Papyrus Racing Design group, which developed titles such as Grand Prix Legends and NASCAR Racing 2003 Season.
WHEN DID iRACING RELEASE?
While iRacing began to develop in 2004, it wasn’t until 28th August 2008 that iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations became available to the public.
WHAT PLATFORMS CAN YOU PLAY iRACING ON?
iRacing is only available for PC gamers. You don’t need Steam to access iRacing, but you can link your iRacing account to your Steam account if you’d like to.
iRACING IS A SIMULATION
While all racing games can be classified as a video game, iRacing is one of the few that can be considered a simulation.
As opposed to other games that may have official content but not the full simulation aspect – a sim-cade, if you will – iRacing goes beyond titles like F1 22 and World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing (a game that iRacing produces) and brings that full simulation aspect.
HOW MUCH DOES iRACING COST?
iRacing is a subscription-based service with added paid content in the form of additional tracks and cars.
Subscriptions come included with base content, and they can be purchased for one month, three months, a full year or two years at a time, and when purchased, subscriptions will add time on to existing subscriptions if you choose to re-up during sales like the iRacing Black Friday sale.
|1 Month||3 Months||1 Year||2 Years||Cars||Tracks|
|$13.00||$33.00||$110.00||$199.00||usually $11.95 per car||usually $11.95 or $14.95 per track|
WHAT KINDS OF CARS CAN YOU RACE ON iRACING?
iRacing offers multiple different racing vehicles over multiple different variations of motorsports.
Oval racers can look forward to taking on NASCAR Cup, Xfinity, Truck and historical 1987 racing, as well as things like Super Late Models, ARCA Racing and Street Stocks.
Road racers are able to drive the latest machinery from the Mercedes-AMG Formula 1 Team, the W13 E Performance, as well as 2021’s W12 model. Endurance racing and other road type racing includes Prototypes and GT machinery, and other open wheel racecars exist in the form of Skip Barbers, Formula Vees and also Dallara chassis such as the the IR-01, IR-18 and IR-05.
Dirt oval has a ton of Sprint Cars and Late Models, many of which you may find on the World of Outlaws tour. DIRTcar machines include Modifieds, Street Stocks and lesser-powered Sprint Cars and Late Models. The Midget, which is often found at the Chili Bowl, is also available to race.
Off-road racing comes in two main forms – Rallycross and Pro Trucks – offering up cars like the Volkswagen Beetle, Subaru WRX and Ford Fiesta RS on the Rallycross side and Pro 2, Pro 4 and Pro 2 Lite trucks on the short course racing side.
WHAT KIND OF TRACKS CAN YOU RACE ON WITH iRACING?
Like the cars, there are four main types of race tracks that iRacers can compete on that fall under those categories… except one, which is the point-to-point hillclimb at Mt. Washington.
Most oval tracks are the ones from NASCAR’s past, tracks like Daytona, Darlington, Indianapolis or anything that’s on the current day schedule, but you might find the rare oddity like Twin Ring Motegi or the fantasy venue that’s known as iRacing Superspeedway.
Many road racing tracks from all across the world exist on the iRacing platform, from the famed venues at Daytona, Spa-Francorchamps, Interlagos, Sebring, and Circuit de la Sarthe all the way down to lesser known tracks like Knockhill, Mid-Ohio or Winton, with many great venues in between.
There are a limited number of dirt racing venues as compared to the asphalt tracks out there. Many ovals are those that the World of Outlaws visit, places like Knoxville and Eldora. The Chili Bowl venue is also scanned into the system, as is NASCAR’s Bristol Dirt track.
On the dirt road side, many rallycross tracks exist in already existing content, places like Daytona, Phoenix and Charlotte, but Lankebanen (Hell RX) is it’s own fun course to take part in. Short Courses like Wild West and Crandon are there for the off-road faithful.
WHAT COMES INCLUDED IN THE BASE CONTENT WITH SUBSCRIPTION?
Each of the four main types of license levels that iRacing provides on the service comes with enough content to get out each of the rookie license levels. Most of the cars are considered starter cars, vehicles such as the Street Stocks, Toyota GR86, Formula Vee and the Pro 2 Lite, just to name a few.
Tracks, on the other hand, all have varying levels of difficulty based on the racing that may take place on them, but again, for the purpose of how it’s utilized mostly on iRacing, the venues are great starting points to learn proper technique and etiquette at.
Some tracks, like Charlotte Motor Speedway, come included with multiple types of tracks, as this particular on has an oval, road course and dirt road track built into it. Laguna Seca seems to be a popular starter track in many different games, iRacing included. There’s also one called Centripetal Circuit that’s included, but, well, you can’t go racing online there, it’s just for practicing.
WHAT IS THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE ON iRACING?
Racing online on iRacing comes in three variations – officially scheduled series with lobby splits, hosted sessions and leagues. The latter two are sessions that need to be purchased by a host and can be set up and customized with different rules and conditions, with hosts also able to provide some race control if desired.
As for official racing, these lobbies are not monitored live, usually, and competitors will need to follow the guidelines of the iRacing Sporting Code in those races. These races, however, if part of the ranked list of series, will help iRacers work towards advancing their iRating and license level.
HOW DO YOU ADVANCE ON iRACING?
There are four licenses – Oval, Road, Dirt Oval and Dirt Road – and each has it’s own Class level, iRating and Safety Rating. By participating in ranked races that match or meet what is needed for the Minimum Participation Requirement (MPR) and staying clean (which increases Safety Rating), drivers may advance up the ranks from Rookie to Class A.
There are also Pro Series license levels that can be obtained in Road To Pro series such as eNASCAR, PESC, World of Outlaws and Off-Road Qualifying and Contender series, if applicable. This is where iRating comes in, where those with higher iRating will be placed in more competitive splits with a higher Strength of Field (SoF) – Higher SoF races will yield more championship points in qualifying series.
Of course, all World Championship level drivers must be properly vetted by iRacing to be granted a black stripe pro license.
WHAT OFFICIAL ESPORT SERIES COMPETE ON iRACING?
Currently, there are four active official esports on the iRacing World Championship schedule. Each license level has one specific world championship at this time.
Top oval racers have the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, a NASCAR-based series which features the NASCAR NEXT Gen and many of the tracks on the NASCAR calendar.
For road experts, the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup (PESC) is the top level for the road license, a tin top, fully-fendered series which features the Porsche 911 GT3 R 992 Cup car at many historic racing venues across the globe.
Dirt oval masters technically have two series, but both are sanctioned by the World of Outlaws. They are the World of Outlaws Buttkicker Late Model Series and the World of Outlaws CARQUEST Auto Parts Sprint Car Series, which alternate seasons on opposite ends of the calendar.
Finally, dirt road specialists are currently enrolled in the iRacing Off-Road World Championship Series, utilizing the Pro 4 Trucks on the limited number of short courses available on the iRacing title. Each World Championship requires a pro-level license to compete within them.
WHAT ARE SPECIAL EVENTS?
iRacing has a Special Events calendar that coincides with the official season schedules, but it can slightly vary depending on the event at hand. Races such as the iRacing Daytona 24, the iRacing Chili Bowl, the SCCA Runoffs, and longer NASCAR races like the iRacing Coke 600.
These events may have a license requirement to partake in, but usually they are open to most drivers. They are meant to simulate some of the most legendary races in the real-world.
ARE THERE OFFLINE RACES, OR RACES AGAINST COMPUTER OPPONENTS ON iRACING?
iRacing does offer iRacing AI, which is still a work in progress, but is quickly becoming an increasingly popular way to enjoy the physics and features of iRacing, without the added pressure of racing real people.
You do, however, need to be connected to the internet and do need to have an active iRacing subscription to access iRacing AI, it’s not like many other games where the internet is not required.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO YOU NEED TO RACE ON iRACING
While it’s completely possible to race with a game pad or a controller, most iRacers will look to simulate races to the best of their ability with a steering wheel and pedal peripheral.
Many companies like Logitech, Thrustmaster and Fanatec offer competitive options for wheel bases, steering wheel rims, pedals, and other sim racing peripherals.
While racing seats and rigs are not necessary either (as many will be able to clamp a wheel to a desk or table and call it a day), companies like Next Level Racing, TrakRacer, Sim Seats and more can get sim racers closer to the real-world feeling with proper sim racing equipment.