The iRacing Daytona 24 is coming up fast and with major changes recently made to GT3, the order has been turned on its head. Which is the best GT3 car to race at Daytona in iRacing?
Image Credit: iRacing.com
Alongside the real-world events, iRacing traditionally holds virtual endurance races for its customers. Opening the iRacing special events calendar is the Daytona 24 Hours, featuring the new GTP class as well as LMP2 and GT3 cars.
This year will be the first time the BMW LMDh car features in an iRacing enduro, though it’s not the only change new for the Rolex 24. The GT3 class recently got a major update in Season 1 of 2023 totally overhauling the Balance of Performance. Cars that were fast last year may not fair so well in 2023. So it’s time we went over the advantages and draw backs of each.
Lamborghini Huracán EVO – Ultimate GT3 in 2023
Last season, the Lamborghini was nowhere. Understeer on entry and a lack of stability in the high speed corners plagued this Italian Bull. Being my favourite model in the GT3 class, that certainly upset me. But I’m happy to say that the Huracán GT3 is now among the strongest in class.
Expect to see many drivers in this GT3 car during the iRacing Daytona 24, not only thanks to its speed but also its driveability. Gone is the weight and lack of rotation, it now complies brilliantly with every input.
BMW M4 GT3 – Safe option for Daytona 24
Aside from the refreshed Mercedes, the BMW M4 is the newest GT3 car to join iRacing. Since its introduction, it has been the favoured car for many. In previous seasons, its straight line speed has been unrivalled, and it seems that in Season 1 of 2023, it is once again a pleasure to race.
Although it seems it has lost some speed on the straights, it is reportedly one of the easiest cars to drive in-class. Some understeer avoids the car spinning, but not enough to cause drivers to go wide on entry. The balance is excellent for the average driver making it a perfect endurance racer. Use this car if you’re main goal is to get to the end without issue. Push this car and you’ll be in contention for the win.
Audi R8 LMS GT3 – “I enjoy pain”
Under the shell, the Audi R8 LMS GT3 is the same car as the Lambo. As such, it should perform well over a single lap during the Daytona 24 Hours in iRacing. Though many on the iRacing forums are complaining about the edginess of this V10 racer. Unlike the more stable Huracán, the Audi has a tendency to over-rotate and snap in faster corners and on the brakes.
This won’t help during the 24-hour race given that many corners on the Daytona Road Course involve high speed entries; Turn 1, the Turn 4 Dogleg and the Le Mans chicane to name a few. Although in the right hands the Audi will perform well, less-experienced racers may find themselves afraid to push in fear of flying sideways into a wall.
Ferrari’s 488 Evo – Good Compromise
On paper, the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo is seemingly up there with the best. Many people online are saying it is fast enough to rival the Lamborghini and Audi while others claim it to have good tyre life over a long stint. Furthermore, its straight line speed places it second in-class behind only the Audi. In heavy battle, that’s something that could come in handy on the high banks of Daytona.
However, there is always a twist in iRacing‘s GT3 class and with the Ferrari, this theoretical performance comes with very real understeer. If you’re able to work that out of the car in the setup, or can drive around the issue, the Fezza could be a great option.
Porsche 911 GT3 R – Not the go-to
Last season, the rear engine Porsche was one of the go-to cars across all tracks. But it seems that fact has flipped. Many on the iRacing forums are complaining at how slow this German car is all of a sudden.
Apparently, the car is down on straight line speed, which certainly won’t help your case at Daytona. The balance appears to be very driveable and it may feel comfortable on-track but the 911 loses time everywhere. That being said, it is said to have the best tyre wear of any car in-class. That can’t hurt in a long enduro such as the Rolex 24.
Mercedes-AMG GT3 – Terrible Tank
One car that certainly doesn’t comply with almost any input is the Mercedes-AMG GT3. This front engine monster with its gaping front grille is seemingly so slow that it should be in the iRacing Roar race featuring GT4, TCR and the new Toyota GR86.
According to many, this car is both slow in a straight line and has the handling of an oil tanker. The heavy front-mounted engine causes handfuls of understeer. Not only is this slow, but it also cooks the front tyres. Those in this car will have to manage their tyre wear even more than their competitors. If this is still true come the big event, this is the only car I would advise not driving in the race.
Ultimately though, any car will serve the majority of drivers well. Us common mortals will never truly reach the limit of a car’s potential. As such, teams must decide what car they feel confident in. If you’re used to the murderous tendencies of the Audi, give it a whirl. If you’re a fan of the Prancing Horse, jump in the Ferrari 488 GT3. Regardless of what car you’re driving, good luck for the iRacing Daytona 24.
Which GT3 car will you drive in this year’s iRacing Daytona 24 Hours? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!