Recent news that iRacing is taking on the NASCAR games licence got us thinking. What other championships could the studio make titles for? Here are our top picks
Earlier this week, we pointed out that iRacing is most definitely the perfect developer to put together NASCAR’s next console game. In fact, the studio best known for its online racing title announced its takeover of the NASCAR licence previously owned by Motorsport Games.
But if iRacing is so perfect for the NASCAR game project, there is surely nothing to say it would not make brilliant single-series games for other championships. In fact, there is certainly reason to believe that the team has all the requirements to put together some excellent titles, even down to the licences it currently holds.
With that in mind, here are four real world motorsport championships iRacing could easily create standalone games for, and we would like to see.
Lucas Oil Off-Road Series
As mentioned in our previous article, the next NASCAR game emerging from the iRacing licence will be put together by the company’s Monster Games studio. This is the team that has already developed a number of standalone games under the iRacing banner and could certainly do more.
The most recent games to emerge from this team are SRX: The Game and World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing. Whilst both official championship games, they represent series that very few people outside of the United States will have ever heard of. But clearly that is no reason to avoid providing them with their own games.
If one is to follow that logic, one series iRacing has close ties with is the Lucas Oil Off-Road Series. This championship takes powerful Trophy Trucks and places them on outdoor off-road circuits. Sliding through mud, gliding over jumps and all whilst featuring the suspension travel of a modified Jeep, this is a thoroughly exciting championship.
Unfortunately, the series does not garner much interest in the online iRacing title. But maybe a standalone game with an extensive career mode would attract the more sim racers.
With the World of Outlaws dirt oval racing game, fans have seen what an off-road racing game looks like under the iRacing name. And with a more traditional circuit style, one can imagine that European fans would take a peek at the title. Certain to not hit bestseller status, the opportunity to test the formula is certainly there for iRacing in the future. Furthermore, having folded in 2020, the release of an official title would be a perfect tribute to the thrilling series – but might also complicate licencing.
Official Super Formula Game
Just a few weeks ago, iRacing received the addition of the Super Formula Dallara chassis. Available with either the Honda or Toyota engine, it is a very detailed representation of the car and features the DRS and Push-to-Pass mechanics that make the real world series so entertaining.
Polyphony through the Gran Turismo series obviously has very close ties with the Japanese single seater championship. However, with the inclusion of both engine types in the online racing service, it does look like iRacing is moving in on GT’s territory.
If the partnership begins to involve circuits missing in the title such as Autopolis and Sportsland SUGO, one could certainly predict a partnership forming. In fact, Fuji Speedway joined the game just a few updates ago whilst Suzuka and Motegi are mainstays of iRacing.
Should this partnership get any closer, there is a large Japanese market that would surely enjoy an official Super Formula game. Furthermore, the series is growing in popularity around the world with Red Bull in particular recruiting drivers from the series and using it to form their juniors.
Unlike the Lucas Oil title, a Super Formula game would certainly sell to the masses, worldwide. As a result, iRacing has a large incentive to push Japan Race Promotion into agreeing to a full-on official game. Will it happen? Probably not. Would we like it to happen? Most definitely!
iRacing Australian Supercars Game
Another national series that features worldwide popularity is the Australian Supercars Championship. Racing around the Aussie territory to some unique circuits aboard some of the most raw race cars in the world, it is a recipe for fun. But foregoing the ToCa games and its cars’ presence in iRacing, it has never featured prominently in racing games.
Perhaps the series’ organisers would like to change that. Certainly the best opportunity for an official Australian Supercars game is with iRacing. In fact, whilst the new Gen3 cars do not feature in the simulator, the previous Ford Mustang and Holden Commodore are present. Furthermore, iRacing hosts an annual Bathurst 1000 Special Event and features a number of circuits from the series.
Clearly then, the relationship between Australian Supercars and iRacing is close. In fact, the development team was asked to immortalise the closing Pukekohe circuit last year. Work is still ongoing and no release date is set. However, one can remain confident that the now derelict circuit will once again become available to racers soon.
This vote of confidence surely means that any talks concerning an official Supercars game will involve the iRacing team.
iRacing IMSA Game
By far and away the greatest potential iRacing has for a standalone single-series racing game is with IMSA. The game studio and American sportscar series have had a close tie for many years. That only grew exponentially through Covid with the IMSA eSports Series. Since then, the two organisations share a bond almost akin to that between NASCAR and the online racing service.
In fact, the bond is so tight that fans of endurance racing have welcomed each of the four current LMDh prototypes forming the new GTP class. Getting its hands on these halo models is certainly an accomplishment for the title. But iRacing went one step further by also introducing the Ligier JSP320 earlier this year. This gave fans each of the five classes in the IMSA Sportscar Championship.
Elsewhere, iRacing also hosts a biweekly series dubbed the IMSA Michelin Pilot Cup. A representation of the real-world GT4/TCR series, it too features both classes and almost every racing car present.
Real world IMSA weekends also feature the VP Sportscar Series mixing GT4 and LMP3. Often times, this sportscar ladder is joined by the Mazda MX-5 racers and the Porsche Carrera Cup America. The keen observer will notice that each of the cars needed for these championships also already exist in iRacing.
With that in mind, the official IMSA game by iRacing would not just feature the main series. One could include the entire weekend’s worth of cars providing the perfect single player career mode.
That along with the many excellent features iRacing‘s console games include make for exquisite potential. In fact, iRacing could even make a Le Mans Ultimate rivalling racing game.
What real world championship would you like to see partner with iRacing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!