iRacing is NOT just another racing game. It is a serious multiplayer simulation racer that even serves as a training tool. Its value is predicated on real racing on real courses. You have to pay for a subscription to enjoy the iRacing experience on your computer, but it's worth it to find quality competition. iRacing is about as close as many of us will get to ever being any kind of professional race car drivers. Some professional race car drivers- like Dale Earnhardt Jr. even play iRacing. This blog post is a look at my thoughts regarding iRacing and what I think it means to both racing games and racing in general. I have never played iRacing as of this post, and I may never get to enjoy iRacing with my current computer and its configuration. So therefore, this blog post is NOT a review. Why review a game I've never played? This post just contains my thoughts on iRacing.
For more information on iRacing, please visit www.iracing.com. This link will appear again later in this post.
BEFORE I BEGIN...I have NEVER played iRacing, so this is NOT a review of it. It would be pointless to review a game I've never played. However, this is a digest of thoughts on iRacing. My thoughts are only on what I've taken in from reading and seeing videos on iRacing. This is mostly an impression-based look at iRacing.
This post was originally posted on "John's Blog Space" and edited heavily for this blog. Original date of first post: December 16, 2010. Updated content from that post is as accurate as of the date of this initial blog post (August 19, 2013).
LATEST UPDATE(S)/REVISION(S):AUG 20 2013 - made several edits
--- iRacing at a Glance ---iRacing is a serious sim racing title featuring real cars and real racing. It is not some casual racing game where you can enjoy crashing cars and driving like an idiot. This is a game where you can enjoy realistic racing and realistic driving in an intense multiplayer setting. The cars are real. The tracks are real. The racing is definitely real. Get ready for a racing experience that is second to none when you play iRacing.
The attention to detail and realism in handling and in racing is incredible. Its value is predicated on taking on other human racers. Therefore, you won't have to worry about bogus AI or anything. If you are thinking that this is another game where you can just drive like an idiot and race super-fast with unrealistic handling, think again. If you are thinking that you will be racing on fantasy courses on completely unrealistic tracks, think again. This is NO racing game for the casual gamer. So those of you into games like the Gran Turismo series or Need for Speed series will probably want to forego trying this deal out. This is a racing game for the sim racing fan who wants to be challenged in every possible way. That's not to say this experience lacks fun, however. The game is just tailored for real racing.
To progress through the game, you will need to earn various licenses in the game. Earning licenses through good driving and (more importantly) safe driving lets you go further up the ladder and go against more intense competition. Start small-time and work your way up to the bigger and better cars and races.
iRacing as a Training Tool.I mentioned earlier that this game also serves as a training tool. I have heard or seen stories of racing teams and racing series using iRacing as a way to screen drivers on their racing skills. Those who obviously do well in the iRacing tests will be impressed with the screening test. So anyone looking to become their own quality racing driver can look to iRacing to better your skills in this age of simulations.
If iRacing weren't around, actual track time would be the barometer of your racing talent. Not many people are physically fit and able to take on the challenges of real racing and driving in real racing machines. So be thankful something like iRacing is around.
My Basic Thoughts Concerning iRacing.For someone who has never played iRacing, I think this game is a greatly formidable challenge. I'm actually even scared to play this game for two reasons- (1) though I consider myself a sim racer, this is WAY out of my league, and (2) it seems too intense for me to try to race this title. I'd probably stick to rFactor, and even sometimes, I'm not really a pro with rFactor. The fun factor is certainly there. Various leagues are set up to feature various styles of racing. And if you think you can go around wrecking other cars and not get away with it- two things. First off, the game DOES have realistic damage, so your car will suffer from any damage taken. iRacing is a fully-sanctioned deal as well. Since it's fully-sanctioned, you may likely face some penalties for rough driving and avoidable contact. This is NOT the game to go wreck cars. Save that for the Burnout and Forza Motorsport games.
Want in on iRacing? Then here is what you should do: visit www.iracing.com, pay for a subscription, set up an account, install the software, and and go racing in iRacing! Just make sure you have a decent Windows PC, a racing wheel assembly, and a broadband assembly before trying this deal out.
--- iRacing: Cars and Tracks ---The people at iRacing continually try to provide as many varieties of car and track. The one thing about iRacing is that it is not exclusively about road racing. For example, you can race machines like sprint cars and stock cars. The tracks are very meticulous in their detail. Many kinds of courses are offered to iRacing players ranging from ovals to road courses. Let's take a look at cars and tracks. All of the cars and tracks are items featured as of the date and time of this blog post.
I believe you can actually tune your car settings in iRacing. Just don't expect things like purchasing upgrades or dropping in a Stage 2 Turbo or Weight Reduction 3, though. I also believe you can change the paintscheme of your cars in iRacing. So you don't have to go with the iRacing red/white/blue liveries.
Cars.Every car you can choose from is real. The various cars all help to expose players to multiple styles of cars and racing featured in iRacing. All cars have been meticulously-detailed based on actual specifications and features of cars featured in the game. Here is a look at some of the cars featured in iRacing (the introductions to each car type are my own):
--- NASCAR ---
The best in frenzied, hard-fought racing.
• Ford Fusion Gen6 Sprint Cup Car
• Chevrolet SS Gen6 Sprint Cup Car
• Chevrolet Impala SS Nationwide Car
• Chevrolet Silverado
• Chevrolet National Impala
• Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS Late Model
• Tour Modified
• SK Modified
• JR Motorsports Street Stock
• Ford '34 Coupe
• Chevrolet Impala SS COT Sprint Cup Car
--- Open-Wheel ---
"Real race cars don't have fenders." Meet these unforgiving race cars.
• Williams-Toyota FW31
• Dallara Indycar
• Lotus 49
• Lotus 79
• Star Mazda
• C and R Silver Crown Car
• Sprint Car
• Skip Barber Formula 2000
--- Prototypes ---
These are fast and exotic racing machines delivering high speeds and great downforce.
• HPD ARX 01c
• Riley MKXX Daytona Prototype
• Radical SR8 V8
• SCCA Spec Racer
--- Sports Cars ---
These are various GT and touring car racing machines ready for you to push to their limits. Some are street cars tuned for racing, and some others are proper racing cars.
• Chevrolet Corvette C6.R
• Ford V8 Supercar
• Ford GT
• McLaren MP4-12C GTC
• RUF RT 12 R (coming soon...)
• Cadillac CTS-V
• Kia Optima
• Mazda MX-5 Cup
• Mazda MX-5 Roadster
• Ford Mustang FR500S
• Volkswagen Jetta TDI
• Pontiac Solstice Club Sport
Learn more about each car by clicking here: iRacing - Cars
As of this updated post (August 19, 2013), the RUF RT 12 R is coming soon.
Tracks.Upon my visit to iracing.com in preparing this blog post, iRacing has over 44 tracks with various configurations. These include both oval courses and road courses. There are many tracks from around the world featured in this game. Each track has been faithfully re-created using laser cutting technology. So if a track is very bumpy at certain parts of the track, you will feel all those bumps as you race around the track. The majority of the courses (since iRacing is American) are either American or Canadian. There are no fictional tracks, no tracks with fictional names to avoid copyright issues- just real-world licensed tracks for you to race. Most of these are tracks that I have blogged about in my "Race Tracks" series of blog posts on "John's Blog Space." Here are all the available tracks for iRacing users as of this blog post:
• Daytona International Speedway
• Indianapolis Motor Speedway
• Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
• Phillip Island Circuit
• Bristol Motor Speedway
• Watkins Glen International
• Charlotte Motor Speedway
• Road America
• Michigan International Speedway
• Brands Hatch
• Pocono Raceway
• Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve
• Kansas Speedway
• Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
• Suzuka Circuit
• Circuit Park Zandvoort
• Thompson International Speedway
• Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (formerly Mosport)
• Dover International Speedway
• Sebring International Raceway
• Twin Ring Motegi
• Darlington Raceway
• Iowa Speedway
• Kentucky Speedway
• Oran Park
• New Smyrna Speedway
• Talladega Superspeedway
• Texas Motor Speedway
• Oulton Park
• Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
• Rockingham Speedway
• Okayama International Circuit
• Atlanta Motor Speedway
• Phoenix International Raceway
• Milwaukee Mile
• Richmond International Raceway
• Las Vegas Motor Speedway
• Martinsville Speedway
• New Hampshire Motor Speedway
• Concord Motorsport Park
• Chicagoland Speedway
• Stafford Motor Speedway
• Homestead Miami Speedway
• Oxford Plains Speedway
• Lanier National Speedway
• USA International Speedway
• Irwindale Speedway
• Sonoma Raceway
• Road Atlanta
• Lime Rock Park
• Virginia International Raceway
• Summit Point Motorsports Park
• Barber Motorsports Park
• Centripetal Circuit
• Langley Speedway
• Circuit Park Zolder
• South Boston
• Auto Club Speedway (coming soon...)
• Mount Panorama Circuit (coming soon...)
Learn more about each track here: iRacing - Tracks
Think that's a great assortment of tracks for iRacing? It is! Two tracks are coming soon to iRacing as of this post- Auto Club Speedway and Australia's Mount Panorama Circuit (popularly known as Bathurst).
--- iRacing: Final Thoughts ---iRacing has become one of the most important games as far as the evolution of racing games are concerned. It has become a top-flight game for bringing professional-style racing to those who otherwise may not ever take a single lap around any course professionally. Maybe a game like iRacing doesn't have casual appeal or a Gran Turismo-style path to greatness. What it does provide is a completely engaging and challenging real racing experience actually sanctioned and governed like most real racing series. In other words, it is like its own FIA... only you don't have any bogus behavior or silliness from the likes of Bernie Ecclestone.
The amount of detail, attention, and passion to make iRacing both a competitive racing game and a training tool is all worth it for making iRacing truly wonderful. This game is its own unique racing title. It doesn't need to be like any console racing game to be popular. Also, it doesn't need the theatrics and insanity of arcade racing titles. If you care anything about racing games, at least consider what all iRacing has to offer for gamers and serious sim racers alike. It's okay to be drawn in to an amazing title like this one- and for good reason.
Race 'em hard if you do iRacing!
--- iRacing: Videos ---Prepare to see iRacing in action. I have found videos on YouTube to help you to see what iRacing has to offer. I want to thank the various YouTube channels that allowed for their videos to be embedded. You can view the videos on YouTube by clicking on the links below the videos (if you are unable to view embedded videos). Take a look:
iRacing Explained by Leigh Diffey.Leigh Diffey is one of my personal favorite motorsports announcers. Allow the Australian to tell you all about iRacing in this video:
^ "iRacing Explained By Leigh Diffey"
Getting Started With Your iRacing Career.If you were intrigued by iRacing but don't know where to start, maybe this video can help you:
^ How To: Plan Your iRacing Career
Dale Earnhardt Jr talks about iRacing.
^ "Dale Earnhardt Jr talks about iRacing"
Wow. Imagine being able to go against actual pro drivers in a gaming environment. Let me give you an analogy- that would be like saying you slam dunked a basketball over LeBron James or Shaq.
Full iRacing Preview.Have a lot of time on your hands (like almost 17 minutes)? If so, here is a video from Shaun Cole of the critically-acclaimed "Inside Sim Racing" giving you a full preview of iRacing:
^ "iRacing Full Preview by SRT's Shaun Cole"
iRacing Radical highlights from Road Atlanta.Now for some ACTION. Check this one out:
^ "iRacing Radical Highlights from Road Atlanta"
iRacing Highlights Video.Finally, let me share with you a sample of a highlights package from the actual material iRacing streams online. Check this out:
^ "2010 NASCAR iRacing.com World Championship - Round 11 - Daytona "
There's your video insight on iRacing!
--- Want to Try iRacing? ---My blog post of thoughts on iRacing is basically over. Do you want to learn more about iRacing or show your love for iRacing? Click on any of the following links to learn more about iRacing:
• iRacing Official
• iRacing World (official community of iRacing)
• iRacing Facebook Fan Page
• Follow iRacing on Twitter!
• iRacing TV
• iRacing on YouTube
• VirtualR News on iRacing
More relevant links may be added in the future.
Do you share the same sort of ideas of mine regarding in iRacing? Be sure to visit www.iracing.com for more information on iRacing. Thank you for reading!
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