The iRacing Special Event year began with a ROAR, quite literally. Which got us wondering, what could make for some potential new Special Events?
Every year, iRacing host annual races called Special Events that anyone with a Class C licence or higher can compete in. Whether as an individual or a team, these events always attract immensely high participation numbers from the community.
Plenty of Special Events have been and gone from the service over the years. New additions are joining all the time, like the BRSCC Formula Ford Festival announced only three weeks prior to taking place. Plus much to everyone’s joy, the Indianapolis 500 is returning after a year away.
With the ROAR marking the start of the 2024 schedule and the 24 Hours of Daytona following just a week later, we began pondering as to which new additions could join the line-up. So here is our selection that we believe would fit the bill quite nicely on the iRacing Special Events schedule.
NOTE: The author of this article freely admits to being very uninitiated with oval racing and pretty much anything other than road course racing. The content of this article is road racing focused, but you can let us know your oval ideas in the comments below!
If you want to check out some oval racing content, head to our Twitch channel at 9pm CET on weekends to follow our resident draftmaster Elz Indriani.
Le Mans “Classics”
Cars: HPD ARX 01c, GT1 & Ford GT-R // LMP1, Dallara P217 & GTE
Track: Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans
Let us get the cat out the bag immediately, of course we would all love the 24 Hours of Le Mans back on iRacing. There is a loophole to still do a 24-hour race on Circuit de la Sarthe in the form of the Global Endurance Tour series during Season 3, but as it stands there is no chance it will return as a proper special event due to licencing restrictions.
So if you cannot have a 24 hours of Le Mans, how about some 2.4-hour races covering the various eras of this historic motorsport event in the week leading up to the real-life 24 Hours? There can be multiple sets of races with various car classes, all representing different eras.
The Road America 500 has ran using the two cars from the IMSA Vintage Series, and whilst both cars never raced Le Mans, maybe some potential new additions to iRacing could see some cars from the late 80s that did? But if not, maybe parting with some immersion just to drive that amazing Nissan GTP ZX-T would be worth it.
As for cars that are already on the service, the eras most closely represented with their cars are the late 2000s and mid 2010s. If you have an Audi R18 or an Aston Martin DBR9 that has not seen some racing in a while, a race like this would be more than a good enough reason to clean the building figurative dust!
Macau Grand Prix
Cars: Dallara F317 // FIA F4 // GT3 // Touring Car
Track: Guia Circuit
With the addition of the Formula Ford Festival, there needs to be another blue ribbon sprint event like it. But what to choose? Surely it has got to be the Macau Grand Prix, held every November with a wide array of motorsport disciplines racing.
There is the headline Formula 3 race, of course, but also a standalone GT event, the finale of the TCR World Tour and in recent years, Formula 4 raced there. Not forgetting the motorcycle race, but bikes are not represented in iRacing whereas the other aforementioned categories are.
In the month leading up to the Macau GP, would it not be amazing to have four lots of races with each respective category? Of course it will be a massive undertaking, and there is perhaps a reason why there are so few street circuits on iRacing. But it would make for quite a spectacle.
Alternatively, iRacing could host another major F3 event, the Masters of Formula 3 at Zandvoort. It would be a decent compromise, but Macau is simply like no other circuit in the whole world so hopefully, it can come to fruition.
New Year Celebration
Cars: GTP, Dallara P217 & GT3
Track: Adelaide Street Circuit – Grand Prix
Just like with Macau, this one is probably very unlikely due to being contested on a street circuit. But perhaps even more unlikely since the circuit in its modern configuration does not match the layout used in the race it would be replicating. We have previously touched upon the Race of a Thousand Years, the final round of the 2000 American Le Mans Series season.
The event was ran on New Year’s Eve and had it not been stopped early, it would have ended after midnight and been the only motor race to start in one year and end in another. The event never happened again, which is a shame but perhaps understandable. It was probably a logistical nightmare, considering it was on the Adelaide GP Circuit.
This event would truly be the best way to end the year. Yes, it would be a difficult task to scan a track that does not exist in the guise that it was raced in. But you can imagine how well it would go down.
A 6-hour race on New Year’s Eve where in some time zones, a few of the timeslots would see the race end after midnight. Some could be tempted to skip out on partying that night if it means they can race this iconic street circuit.
Base Content Mini-Enduro
Cars: Toyota GR86 & Global Mazda MX-5 Cup
Track: Charlotte Motor Speedway – Roval
When you join iRacing, a lot of content is already available to you without any further purchases. As a result, participation in the rookie level series with a lot of the base content are always very high – so much so that base content cars like the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup and the Toyota GR86 have previously appeared in Special Events.
Before the LMP3 category made its Special Event debut in 2024’s ROAR, the GT4 and Touring Car classes were joined in the previous two years by the MX-5 and GR86 respectively. In 2023, the GR86 raced in the Nürburgring 24 Hours as well as the Race for More 2.4 and in 2024, the MX-5 will have a dedicated oval Special Event in the form of a 500-mile race around Martinsville.
With how understandably popular the base content is, how about a Special Event made up of the MX-5 and GR86 on a track that is also free? On the 20-21 January weekend, the VRS GT Endurance Series race is on the Charlotte Roval and whilst it may seem an outrageous idea, the track did host an IMSA race back in 2020 with GTLM and GTD cars.
We will go with 1 hour 40 minutes to match the length of that IMSA race, it can be done solo or as a team of two. A limit of only enough fuel to make it about half way through the race, maybe even make it a fixed setup event? iRacing did run a fixed setup Indy 500 in past years and is likely to do so on the event’s return in May 2024.
As for a name? Well with it being 100 minutes and having free content, we shall dub it the Freedom 100! Oh wait, that has been taken already. Then maybe the Freeride 100 or the Open 100?
Race of Champions
Cars and Tracks: Various
Perhaps the most unique motorsport event is the Race of Champions, as it sees drivers from all disciplines of motorsport competing on a level playing field. They line up on opposing sides of a track velodrome style, with one lap driving each side of the track, and driving all kinds of cars.
There has never been any official licenced Race of Champions content in any major sim (there has been a mobile game though), and it is too great of an event to not include. It would pose a unique challenge, with having 20 drivers racing two at a time and having them all go individually.
Then there would be the question of which surface it runs on. ROC have held events on road and on dirt (or snow), some people may have the Class C licence for road but not for dirt, so maybe there could be two ROC Special Events for each licence? But maybe that would not be so necessary here.
With all the many different cars and the unique tracks, iRacing could be scoring a home run if they got the rights to the Race of Champions and made a Special Event out of it.
What other races would you like to see become an iRacing Special Event? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!