If you’re a fan of racing video games, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of iracing.com. iracing is the most realistic and technically advanced racing simulator globally, and it’s used by professional drivers and race teams all over the globe. But what many people don’t know is that iracing is also a great place to start a career in racing.
Thousands of people worldwide have started their careers in motorsports by competing on racing’s online servers. And because the competition is so intense, it’s a great way to prove your skills as a driver and move up through the ranks. Many professional drivers started racing, including NASCAR driver Joey Logano and Formula One driver Sergio Perez.
Although iracing is a technically advanced simulator, it’s still accessible to anyone with a computer and an internet connection. And if you do happen to have driving experience, there’s even more of an advantage. This article will show you the basic steps you’ll need to take to start a career in racing experience, whether you have previous racing or not.
1. What is an Iracing?
An Iracing is a simulated racing game that can be played online with other people worldwide. It’s considered one of the most realistic racing games available, as it simulates real-world physics and driving conditions as closely as possible. It’s a lot more involved than most other games and has a steep learning curve.
The Iracing scene is increasing, with new leagues forming all of the time. There are even championships which you can compete in from your home! Some drivers use their Iracing as a way to stay sharp while they’re away from the track. Others, like myself, treat it as a fun, competitive way to spend time with friends.
2. What do You Get for Your Money?
For the price of around $15/month (at the time of writing), you get access to everything that Iracing has to offer: all cars and tracks, replays and telemetry software, and support for running your league. The Iracing store also features drivers’ suits, helmets, steering wheels, and pedals to complete the experience.
Once you start an Iracing career, you join one of two racing teams: Audi or BMW. The experience is very competitive and does require a certain level of commitment from all drivers. While new members are constantly coming in every day, only the most dedicated will become pro-drivers.
3. What do You Need to Play?
To run an Iracing at 100% realism (known as ‘hardcore mode’), most people use a triple monitor setup which allows for much more expansive views of the track. It is also recommended to use a steering wheel and pedals for a competitive setup to get the most authentic feel possible.
Most Iraqis are run with three screens (BeamNG only needs 1, I believe). Still, triple monitors allow for more realistic HUD items like timing & driving data, which eliminates distractions/glancing away from the center. It also allows for better cockpit views in the game, naturally.
Tracings are run on either a PC or XBOX One system. BeamNG is currently only available on PC, but it is possible to play it on an XBOX with some reasonably small sacrifices (unable to have telemetry overlay, no triple monitor, etc.).
Tracings can be played competitively online in leagues, and this requires the player to do a little bit of setup/configuration before they get started. Tracings are also becoming popular for casual use by many different people, thanks to the recent partnerships with racing teams who have begun to use them as training tools.
4. What Type of Mods Would I Expect to See in an Iracing?
Most people run car-specific liveries (paint schemes), like the vehicle equivalent of a uniform that you wear into the competition. These tend to be more fun than anything else, so many different drivers will usually create unique designs. Since Iracing doesn’t feature built-in decals like most graphics mods, most designs are created manually (painting by hand).
Tracings also have a lot of modifications that allow drivers to adjust the characteristics/behavior of their cars. Things like individual tire pressure, brake bias, and downforce can all be adjusted to suit drivers’ preferences. This makes Iracing much more competitive, as these changes can significantly impact your lap times and race results.
Tracings also feature real-world tracks licensed by their respective owners (i.e., Circuit de Spa in BeamNG is the same layout as in real life). In most cases, you’re not going to want to run a race in a specific car on a given track, so it’s common to see different cars competing in the same event.
5. Is there a Career in Iracing?
There are a few different ways to make a career out of iRacing. One is to be the best driver and eventually compete in one of the many races online or at accurate life tracks. The other option is to start your league, where you set up all the rules and race formats for people who want to join in on the fun! It’s surprisingly easy, too – register an account with Iracing, then click ‘create league’! You’ll need a minimum of three drivers before your league goes live, but after that, there’s no limit as long as it remains active. As soon as someone joins your new League, they have full access to everything from buying their car and livery (if you allow it) to setting the race times and inviting other racers.
If you don’t feel like starting a league, there are plenty of others to join! Just hop onto the iRacing forums and make a post in their Newcomers Corner to let people know that you’re interested in joining up.
6. Is it Free to Play Online? Is there a Subscription Fee?
Tracings have become incredibly popular recently, to the point where some of their cars are more valuable than many of the games that they’re based on. As a result, most leagues tend to charge an entry fee (usually around $10-$20 per race), with the winner taking home the lion’s share of prize money at the end of each season.
7. How Many People can Join a League?
There’s no limit on how many players you can have in your League, as long as the required number of drivers is met for each race. Traditionally most Leagues will have at least five drivers participating per event, but having your League race with just two drivers is perfectly reasonable. Iracing doesn’t restrict the number of races either – you’re allowed to have as many races per season as you want within the minimum and maximum duration requirements.
8. Can You Lose a License in Iracing?
In iracing, you can lose your license in several ways. The most common way is to accumulate too many penalty points for bad driving behavior. These points are accrued for things like causing avoidable contact with other vehicles, spinning out on track, or going off the racing surface. If you reach a certain threshold (usually around 10-15 points), your license will be automatically revoked, and you’ll be unable to compete in any official races until it’s reinstated.
9. Is it Safe to Join?
Tracings are usually pretty safe, though there’s always a risk involved when entering an online competition. There’s even the potential for serious problems – most notably DDoS attacks through malware and viruses on your computer (though this is extremely rare). The best practice is to join Leagues with healthy League Ratings and use your common sense when making transactions through their forums or websites. Don’t give out your details, send money directly to strangers, and take proper precautions when downloading software off the internet.
10. How do I Promote My License in Iracing?
You can promote your license in iracing by going to “My Account” and clicking on the “Promote License” tab. You’ll be able to upload an image of your Drivers License or Passport, then link that document with a password you set up when you created your account. That way, it’s much easier for other people to verify that they’re racing against someone who has registered their real identity!
11. Do I Need a Particular Controller to Play Online?
You’ll need an Xbox One or PS4 controller to race in iracing, though you can use just about anything with analog sticks and trigger buttons. There are even racing wheels that provide the best level of realism – but they’re not required, especially if you’re not interested in simulating driving in a full racing car.
12. How do I Learn the Rules of Iracing?
iRacing.com has several guides to help you understand their game mechanics, including things like how racing lines work and what flags mean on track. If you’re new to online Leagues, it’s worth checking out their Tips & Tricks section – it can help you avoid making bad decisions that waste time or don’t contribute to competitive results.
While there are many different ways to live in a world of sim racing, the most common and successful path is to become a professional race driver. This involves dedicating yourself to your craft, making connections within the industry, and putting in the hard work needed to succeed. If you’re serious about becoming a pro racer, start by studying the sport inside and out, networking with other drivers and teams, and perfecting your skills behind the wheel. With enough dedication and determination, you can reach your goals and make a career out of iracing.