So You Want To Start iRacing? Here Are The BEST & WORST Things About The Platform

So you want to start iRacing?

You just got your PC together, downloaded the software, hooked up your G920, put on the headset, and logged. We’ve all been there, you’re feeling pretty good about yourself. After all, you did win 27 of 36 races in your NASCAR Heat 5 season.

Here are the 7 best things about the iRacing platform. Written as if it came from the Chamber of Commerce for the city of iRacing trying to convince you this is where you should sink hundreds if not thousands of your dollars.

7 Best Things About iRacing

1) WINNING

Winning fixes everything. You could have 5 bad races in a row and then win the 6th and it fixes everything. Wins are hard to come by the higher you move up in class. Enjoy the races you do win. If you don’t fist pump coming to the line for your first win you’re doing it wrong.

2) Putting together a complete race

Even if you don’t win, putting together a complete race feels like a huge accomplishment. You run 88 laps at Bristol with zero incident points and a 5th place finish you’re happy as hell, trust me.

iRacing is more than a console video game. It takes practice, the cars are hard to drive, and when you finally put a full race together you will be legit happy about it.

3) The Community

90% of the iRacing community are willing to help out with settings, give tips, feedback, and just talk racing. You’re going to meet some solid people on the platform. One night you might race against a guy in Australia and Japan, the next you’re with a guy from the UAE and Scotland.

4) License Promotions

Humans inherently want a task to work towards and a reward for completing that task. License promotions are just that. Above a 3.0 SR gets you promoted after the season, above a 4.0 SR gets you promoted immediately. Don’t get wrapped up so much in promotions that you stress out and have bad races, there’s no point in that.

5) Chance to race against real life professionals

Whether it’s AJ Allmendinger, Tony Kanaan, Dale Jr., Max Verstappen, or William Byron, racing against a professional driver is definitely something everyone in the lobby will geek out on. Just don’t fanboy and don’t race them any different than anyone else.

6) Amount of content

Essentially every car from every major series is on the platform. Nearly every track you could want is on the platform. Hell, they even resurrect tracks that are in disrepair. You want to race IndyCars at Talladega or Five Flags? Fine. You want to race NASCAR at Monza, no problem. Want to run sprint cars at Suzuka, not sure why you’d want that but you can. You absolutely will not get bored with iRacing, frustrated maybe but never bored.

7) It’s really fucking fun

Yeah, the subheading says it all. iRacing is really fucking fun if you make it fun. Don’t be a dick, remember it is essentially a video game, a really hard one, but a game nonetheless.

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Alright, this is the opposite of a Chamber of Commerce approach. Here are the 8 worst things about the iRacing platform. 7 things that you will now definitely notice and will more than likely drive you insane.

8 Worst Things About iRacing

1) People revving the piss out of their engine on the grid

Seriously what the hell is this about? It usually happens in Rookie or D License races but you’ll see it in A races too. When the field grids up there are always guy just redlining their cars in neutral. It makes absolutely zero sense, yep motor works dude, still going? Alright, keep making sure it’s running.

These are also the over aggressive tire warming guys, I have a venn-diagram that proves it.

2) Over aggressive drivers/Mirror drivers/Blocking/Corner Entry Kamikazes

iRacing is full of Helio Castroneves’. Just guys running you down on corner entry for no reason, squeezing you on the straights when you get a run, mirror driving like a mother fucker. Then you have the guys who will just send it in to the turn presumably while yelling “SLIDE JOB” even though there’s no way it’s going to stick. After they do all this they’ll then key up the mic to tell you how stupid you are. Those guys only make up 10% of the platform and you’ll want to send them any chance you get. But don’t because SR.

3) The guy who has to talk the entire race

In every race, there is a guy who will talk the entire race. Non-stop and about nothing. Usually, it’s an older southern guy, but sometimes it’s a lonely 25-year old. Nevertheless, someone will be talking the entire time. He’ll want to know where the leaders are, what lap we’re on and he’s constantly checking other cars for damage.

Honorable mention: the guy who clears anyone that passes him.

4) Setup Guys

For most of us with full-time jobs and lives outside of the internet, Fixed Series races are what we enter. Meaning everyone runs the same setup. But the minute you hop into an “open” race everyone in that race is an engineer and they all have the best setup. Their setup is so good it could be raced on Sunday according to them. Listen, you can find free setups online. If you want to do an open race and don’t have hours to work on the setup just do that.

5) How iRacing Hands Out Incident Points

This is by far the thing that will drive you insane. iRacing tracks Safety Rating (SR) by how many incidents you have on track. Here’s the thing, if someone rear-ends you, guess who gets incident points? That’s right, you do. It’s absolutely infuriating when you run a clean race and that happens. Oh if someone hits you after the race is over, incident points. If someone dumps you for the lead or any position, yep incident points. If you get caught in someone else’s crash, that’s on you too now. Nothing will drive you crazier than losing SR because of someone else’s actions. Be prepared for this.

6) HOLD THE BRAKE

This especially applies to the lower series. I was dominating an ARCA race at Texas in D class, talking a straightaway lead. There are no cautions in this race and as I’m passing a car stopped on track he rolls down the banking right into me taking me out. Now I have incident points and my race is over. If you crash or stop on track hold the FUCKING BRAKE. Hold the brake and reset from there. Don’t roll down the track while you try to figure things out.

7) Officiating Glitches

iRacing certainly has a number of glitches. If a caution comes out too early in a race like right after the green flag the entire running order is fucked. Chances are the race will restart with 2 to go before the green in like turn 3. A major glitch that desperately needs to be fixed.

Or at Daytona, you avoid a wreck in the tri-oval and end up on pit road. Congrats you sped onto pit road and entered it improperly. That’s going to be end of the longest line and a black flag when the race restarts. So your chance of a good finish is basically over. Luckily the glitches are few and far between but they can absolutely decimate a race.

8) It’s really fucking maddening

Just like how I said it’s really fucking fun. iRacing can absolutely drive you mad if you let it. Took me a month to figure that out, just have fun with it. Race clean, have good chats, enjoy it. And spend the time practicing so you’re not one of these idiots who hops in and disrupts the entire race.

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