My iRacing Journey - Part Two: D-Class License

My iRacing Journey - Part Two D-Class License.png
iRacing is regarded as the gold standard for competitive sim racing. No other simulation features a comparable, dedicated multiplayer system that treats the races like real events. RaceDepartment writer Yannik Haustein is taking his first, long-overdue steps in the sim now and takes you along with him – this time, focus is on the D-class license.

It took not even a week in rookies my first promotion in iRacing happened: The safety rating was high enough to earn my way into the D license class, which opened up new opportunities – quicker Formula cars like the USF2000, for example. As an IndyCar fan, this car was especially intriguing to me as it marks the entry point of the “Road to Indy” ladder, which made me pull the trigger and buy the car plus the Hickory Motor Speedway where the next race was to take place, rather quickly.

However, I did not have much company when I ran there: The few competitors that found their way onto the grid of the mini oval had already disconnected a short time after the race had started. Even following this, finding a good grid for the USF2000 was almost impossible on both ovals and road courses. This experience made me look for an alternative, which I found in the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo. The idea: GT3 races are as popular as ever, and the car should be usable for later series, too.

This was no wrong assumption: In the Ferrari exclusive series, grids were always well filled no matter the time of day. Most of the time, these races were free from the chaos that multiple Reddit threads had warned about – moments of catastrophic mistakes were not completely off the table, of course.

Those moments are the reason my C license most likely will have to wait until the new season begins: I did reach the necessary safety rating of 3.00 to earn a promotion for the upcoming season, but to make the jump immediately, a rating of 4.00 would be required – and I am stuck at 3.70 since something out of my control seems to happen every other race. A perfect example: I got taken out by someone that went too far to the outside of a left turn at Tsukuba in lap one in the USF2000. While trying to get back in position for the following right, he completely missed that I was there and drove right into me. Wheel damage, three minutes of repairs – the race was over before it had started. He did apologize, which I appreciated, but a certain amount of awareness should be expected, you would think.

Hopefully, this is a problem that will mostly take care of itself when moving up to a higher license due to the higher safety rating that is necessary. Which car I am going to drive then is still up in the air – I will definitely look at the season schedule this time, however, to have a good overview about what is set to happen in iRacing. Plus, it will help spending less, as iRacing offers discounts when buying content in bulk.

What I learned
  • Similarly to Assetto Corsa Competizione, it is advisable to choose one car and learn the ins and outs of it to become consistent and fast instead of switching it up too often
  • Setups are barely of any importance in the D license class as most series use a fixed setup
  • iRacing performs great. During my journey through the D license, I made the switch from 16:9 HD TV to a 4k ultrawide monitor and was not sure if my GPU would handle this step up in resolution all that well – which turned out not to be a problem at all. The only bottleneck was the Hungaroring, as FPS dropped to about 30 after turn three. Luckily, this was easily fixed by switching on low-quality trees.
  • Practice makes perfect – or at least faster: Even on tracks I already knew, practice sessions had a noticeable effect, despite sometimes being as short as 30 minutes.
  • Planning ahead will save you cash: Look at what you want to drive in an upcoming season and buy the necessary content in bulk to take advantage of iRacing’s discounts, starting at 10 percent for three to five pieces of content already. Should you get 40 pieces of content at once, you will get a 20 percent discount on that and all future orders.
  • Trading Paints makes your iRacing life more colorful. Even if you do not intend to race a custom livery, the ones of your competitors that do will show up in game after you install the program. Finding a cool paint scheme for you to use is very simple, too.
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

Comments

Staff
Premium
Thank you Yannik, interesting reading, how about AI, any comments?
Thanks, glad you like it :)
To be honest, I have not tried the AI yet, but after reading @Kurupt CDN 's comment, I feel like I definitely should. Sometimes a nice AI race is just what you need, though I've been using AMS2 for that recently due to becoming hooked on the CART cars :D
 
Source?

It's not like there aren't still massive issues. Either slipcurves or heat sensitivity remains very off even in that very F1 car and it's a bit puzzling how they're not fixed yet.

Although I suppose if they don't ever correlate cars and just look at theoretical test data, it's very well possible the outputs they have right now are considered realistic and they're scratching their heads. I kinda don't believe the model is so limited that they can't adjust those things enough.
If you go check out the Iracing developers blog there is a very informative post there from Dave Kaemer about the development of Iracings current tire model.

I especially like the part where he describes the jig they made at some university (in Kentucky maybe?) to test race tires to destruction. How after completing the first run he realized he was going to have to go hat in hand to the higher ups to request 6 figures worth of additional budget to buy race tires he would turn around and destroy.

Basically Iracing has spent more money and effort studying how a racing tire interacts with the racing surface than anyone other than an F1 team. Haas excluded.
 
I have tried iRacing a couple of times from 2012 to today. Last time in the beginning of 2021, when I actually liked it but decided not to go through with it.

Now, not even a whole year later, I am kind of... unsatisfied with almost everything on the sim market. With the release of the new content I resubbed to iRacing yesterday and planning for the first time to actually buy content - to race TCR in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge series (I am C-class in road racing). I kind of like the FFB a lot with my T300.

Let's talk graphics. Not the best, I really don't like the clouds to be honest. But, as the geometries are simpler than say ACC, there is no shimmering, there is no TAA blur. Like ACC looks great, but the image clarity... And I am trying to increase resolution scaling, using FSR sharpening which also helps, etc. So I really like the clarity, the art style in iRacing. In AC let's say, even on well regarded mod tracks like Road America, Watkins Glen, in the lighting engine you see how 2D the trees are, sometimes they are just rotated that way. In iRacing, the same method of placing trees just isn't that obvious.

Another reason I decided to go iRacing, again, is that I miss racing. All sims on the market have pretty dumb AI and pretty empty lobbies. rF2 with its great endurance content has AI that can only be considered good in single class, AMS2 AI is lively but still does that strange pack racing, R3E is just... no, it used to be much better, and the new FFB (and very old graphics) make it a no go, AC AI sucks, ACC is consistent-ish with AI but got boring for me.

I was like, let's play ACC online... since when are the servers so empty? I saw maybe 5 populated ones (racing of course so I cannot join), while others being like 5/10 players.

Not sure why I am writing this, I still think iRacing is very expensive and I haven't bought the content for the series I want to race. Maybe trying to find some acknowledgement that I am not doing anything stupid spending so much money.
AC with simracing.gp or simracingsystem.com the answer to the question you didn't ask but should have.

Unless it turns out that you're happy with iRacing.
 
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If you go check out the Iracing developers blog there is a very informative post there from Dave Kaemer about the development of Iracings current tire model.

I especially like the part where he describes the jig they made at some university (in Kentucky maybe?) to test race tires to destruction. How after completing the first run he realized he was going to have to go hat in hand to the higher ups to request 6 figures worth of additional budget to buy race tires he would turn around and destroy.

Basically Iracing has spent more money and effort studying how a racing tire interacts with the racing surface than anyone other than an F1 team. Haas excluded.
Cool. If it's a sandpaper testrig then it's kind of useless sadly, but I hope they're doing something worthwhile. It seems like iR of any dev should have the data. Results are what they are though.
 
Thanks, glad you like it :)
To be honest, I have not tried the AI yet, but after reading @Kurupt CDN 's comment, I feel like I definitely should. Sometimes a nice AI race is just what you need, though I've been using AMS2 for that recently due to becoming hooked on the CART cars :D
The easiest way to setup a ai field is to go trading paints and select one of the many available ai collections. They will have paints for the vehicle field and created ai which you can still adjust driver characteristics if needed.

 
Staff
Premium
Wow, I did know that they had stuff like that, too - that's amazing! Definitely gonna try this out sometime soon, thanks for letting me know :thumbsup:
 

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