Conquer the Green Hell: iRacing's Ring Meister Series

iRacing Nürburgring Nordschleife.jpg
Image credit: iRacing

iRacing's Season 3 2023 is underway, and with it, a brand-new competition that highlights the popularity of arguably the most challenging race track in the world: The Ring Meister series exclusively races on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife - but it is not an NLS-like competition, instead opting for a rather unique approach.

The concept of a classic series calendar is turned on its head in the Ring Meister series: Instead of using a set grid of vehicles at a variety of circuits, the venue does not change - but rather the car that is raced. Season 3's twelve weeks see a dozen different single-car races at the Nordschleife - the Touristenfahrten version, that is, meaning no part of the Grand Prix course is used.

This is the same configuration that was in use when Stefan Bellof set his 6:11.13-minute Nordschleife record in 1983, as the old start/finish loop had been torn down to make way for the construction of the Grand Prix course. Set in a Porsche 956 Group C car, the lap is iconic, and this record was only broken 35 years later when Porsche took out all restrictions from its 919 Hybrid to make an Evo version of it, ignoring any series' rulebook just to push the boundaries.

iRacers should not be able to challenge Bellof's lap, as outrageous combinations are not on the menu for the Ring Meister series, with a selection of four GT3 cars being the fastest to be used in the competition. The Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020 was the first vehicle to hit the track, the following weeks see an interesting variety of cars in the competition.

iRacing Season 3 2023 - Ring Meister Cars​

1 (June 13th - 19th)Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020
2 (June 20th - 26th)Porsche 718 Cayman GT4
3 (June 27th - July 3rd)Hyundai Elantra N TC
4 (July 4th - 10th)Toyota GR86
5 (July 11th - 17th)Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo
6 (July 18th - 24th)BMW M4 GT4
7 (July 25th - 31st)Honda Civic Type R
8 (August 1st - 7th)Ray FF1600
9 (August 8th - 14th)Porsche 911 GT3 R
10 (August 15th - 21st)Aston Martin Vantage GT4
11 (August 22nd - 28th)Renault Clio R.S. V
12 (August 29th - September 4th)BMW M4 GT3

Two cars are part of iRacing's base content, meaning every member of the service can participate in the Toyota GR86 and the Ray FF1600, better known as Formula Ford, as long as they own the Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Anyone looking to participate in the full series needs to buy ten cars at most, which would net anyone buying them all at once a discount of 15% on the total price as part of iRacing's volume discounts. The 15% discount is granted for six pieces of content bought at once, and there is a 10% reduction in price for anyone buying three or more pieces of content. Tracks and cars that are listed at over 5$ are eligible for the discounts.

All races are scheduled for four laps. A detached qualifying session determines grid positions, and drivers have only one lap to set a time - a highly-challenging affair, as a single off track warning can result in drivers heading to the race session without having recorded a quali time.

The Safety Rating Series?​

The Ring Meister series may be one to look at for those who want to improve their safety rating quickly, too. As iRacing calculates SR by corners per incident, the Nordschleife's length and twisty nature lends itself perfectly to increasing the number - very handy to obtain a higher road racing license.

Corner numbers differ from source to source, but iRacing puts it at 70+ - which is in line with what the official Nürburgring website states. Any way you look at it, this is a lot of turns for just one lap, and focusing on running your laps cleanly in the series will quickly increase your SR. Be aware of incidents, however - it is easy to get caught up in them due to the many blind crests and general lack of run-off in many places of the circuit.

Your Thoughts​

What do you think about the concept of the Ring Meister series? Are you going to take part in it? Which car are you looking forward to driving the most? Let us know in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D


This is a great concept which has been discussed for a couple of seasons if the grapevine was right. Besides the two base content cars, I own another two, so I might run those weeks - as Yannik suggested - for SR alone and simply because I love doing laps at Nordschleife even though I am beyond slow. It's the rhythm that gets you, even as a slow guy. One might push the concept further and do the same series at Bathurst or Spa, Sebring or Paul Ricard (oops, not included) or any other track that runs an iconic long distance race. Maybe also Indy, using only oval cars?
"the following weeks see an interesting variety of cars in the competition."

So 4 GT3, 3 GT4, 3 TCR and 2 base cars is considered a variety on Iracing ? Or did I missed the joke ?
Too bad for the studio's bank account,

I'm keeping my honour intact, I won't be taking part knowing that I'm going to win :p
rumors have it that iRacing is so realistic that you'll have to pay real money to fix your crashed car in game, don't know how that turns out on the Ring
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"the following weeks see an interesting variety of cars in the competition."

So 4 GT3, 3 GT4, 3 TCR and 2 base cars is considered a variety on Iracing ? Or did I missed the joke ?
It would have been nice to see a bit more variety in the cars, maybe they are playing it safe for the first season. If you do want to run some others at the ring then cars like the skip, radical, lmp3 and no doubt more all have the ring in their schedule.
It appears that the race series is specifically created to encourage users to purchase additional content.

One way for Iracing to increase their sales could be by reducing their prices, as seen in the case of Assetto Corsa in 2014.
I conquered the real Nordschleife last week. Did 7 laps and it was awesome.

For training purposes i bought one month Iracing and drove quite a few laps learning the exact real life driving lines from a track guide video.

Even though the real life thing is so much different, it's amazing how much knowledge you can have from simracing when you drive a track like the Nordschleife for the very first time for real.
Also to fix damaged guard rails.
That's something new, the first racing game where you can damage guard rails.
Actually, there's a massive protest going-on in War Thunder (shooter game) because the price (connected to real money) to fix your damaged tanks has been increased, and reward for destroying opponents vehicles has been reduced by developers
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