Answering the most common iRacing questions
Image credit: iRacing.com

How To iRacing: Top Questions Answered

iRacing

One of the top titles in the sim racing world, iRacing attracts many questions from newcomers and experienced racers alike. In this article, we try to answer as many queries as possible. Make sure to provide any issues and solutions you have in the comments!

With so much information to grasp, iRacing can sometimes be a challenging sim to get to grips with. In fact, often are Reddit and Discord channels alike full of questions relating to the online simulator.

Be it about running the title, finding performance or knowing how to get the most out of iRacing, we also often find ourselves stuck. But as a community, sim racing enthusiasts can help one another in finding their feet in this game. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of top iRacing questions that we will set out to answer in this article. Make sure to use this opportunity to discuss past or current gripes and solutions you have with the game.

How Does iRacing Work?

The iRacing service is, as most will know, a live online racing platform. Not only is it a game, it is also an organised simulator used by said game. This means that one can easily jump into a session with like-minded racers at a moment’s notice. Races require players to register within 30 minutes of a session opening. This also provides the perfect opportunity to practice. But there is more to iRacing than booting up and racing.

When do iRacing Seasons, Weeks and Tracks Change?

To avoid repetition, iRacing divides its official series into four annual seasons of 13 weeks each. Each week sees a new set of tracks run for the many series the game runs. As a general rule of thumb, one can expect tracks to rotate each week, with weeks starting every Tuesday.

The four yearly iRacing seasons typically change with real-world seasons, lasting three months each. Season 1 runs from December to March, Season 2 goes from March to June, Season 3 begins in June and ends in September whilst Season 4 bridges September to December. These seasons come with major content and game feature updates.

How much does iRacing cost and where to buy it?

Unlike most sim racing games, iRacing runs on a subscription pricing model. One can purchase a membership for one month, three months, one or two years. These subscriptions are available to purchase from the iRacing website when creating an account. Whilst discounts and sales often apply, the standard fee is $13 a month. Once you have an account, return to the member’s website and you can top up your subscription.

Once your membership valid, make sure to download the iRacing UI from the member’s site. From there, you can install the full game with all your content and get racing.

Can iRacing Run on my Computer or Laptop?

In comparison to other titles, iRacing is relatively light on hardware. As a result, most modern computers will run iRacing. However, in order to optimise the game’s graphics, getting a modest gaming PC will not hurt. Here are the Minimum Requirements for running iRacing.

  • Minimum Operating System: Windows 10 64-Bit
  • Minimum: 4-Core Processor
  • Minimum RAM: 16GB
  • Minimum Graphics Card: 4GB Dedicated vRAM
  • Minimum Storage: 25GB
iRacing is not be available on console, but SRX and World of Outlaws are.
iRacing is not be available on console, but SRX and World of Outlaws are. Image credit: iRacing.com

Will iRacing come to console?

We understand that not everyone can purchase a dedicated PC for sim racing. But unfortunately, iRacing itself will most probably never come to consoles. On the other hand, the iRacing development team also works on a number of console titles. SRX: The Game and World of Outlaws: Dirt Racing are popular console titles. Elsewhere, iRacing is working on an official NASCAR 2025 game coming to PC and consoles.

Make the Most of iRacing

If you have an iRacing account, you will no doubt be aware of how it runs and how racing is organised. However, even those with experience in the sim may struggle with long content lists, progression and the odd keyboard shortcut. If you struggle to make the most out of iRacing, check out the answers to some more top questions.

Which Tracks to Buy in iRacing?

One major iRacing question concerns its immense content list. In fact, knowing which tracks to buy in order to always have something to race is a challenge. One must be smart to get popular, frequently used circuits. Thanks to iRacing Reports, we know which road courses and oval tracks are the most popular. Check out the top five most-used tracks in each discipline below.

Most Used iRacing Road CircuitsMost-Used iRacing Oval Tracks
Spa-FrancorchampsDaytona
DaytonaTalladega
Road AmericaMartinsville
Watkins GlenNorth Wilkesboro
SebringNashville
Most frequently-used iRacing tracks since 2021 according to iRacing Reports

Which Cars to Buy in iRacing?

With many car classes, multiple series and balance of performance to take into consideration, knowing which cars to buy is one of the big iRacing questions. As a rule, one should only buy cars that make them happy. For instance, F1 fans may enjoy the Mercedes W13, Rally enthusiasts may prefer the Subaru Impreza.

However, the most popular car classes to choose from would be Formula 3, GT3 and LMDh. The former is a single-make series, so buying the Dallara F3 is an easy shout to wheel-banging fun. As for the latter two classes, click here for our guide on the best GT3 cars in iRacing, or here for our LMDh guide. To avoid buying everything, we would advise oval racers to buy car-types they enjoy, be it single seaters or NASCAR.

How To Get Out of iRacing Rookies?

The iRacing rookie class is where all racers start out, and the class everyone wants to escape as fast as possible. One key piece of advice for progressing the iRacing class ladder is to forget results. If you can avoid any incident points in your rookie races, you have a chance of escaping rookies within four races. For a more detailed look at the question of iRacing rookies, check out this guide.

How to Start From the Pits in iRacing?

Remaining on the topic of safety, starting from the pits is a great way of avoiding T1 collisions in iRacing. To do so, hit the green ‘Grid’ button. However, just as quickly, escape back to the pits. Once the grid countdown is up, click ‘Missed Start’ and you will spawn on pit lane. This avoids the server waiting the full countdown for your pit lane needs.

How to start from the pits in iRacing.
How to start from the pits in iRacing: Grid, escape to the pits and wait for the Missed Start button to appear. Image credit: iRacing.com

How to move the Black Box and UI in iRacing?

The black box in iRacing is the HUD element that shows most of the important information mid-race. As standard, it displays in the bottom-right of the screen. But if you want to move its position, as well as the other UI elements, simply press ALT+K. Each element on-screen will light up, allowing you to drag them where you want. The button combination CTRL+Page Up or CTRL+Page Down alters the UI elements’ size on-screen.

The black box has multiple screens. To move between them, you can either click the arrows that appear when hovering over it, or map buttons to the Next and Previous Black Box assignments.

Top iRacing Performance Questions

At the end of the day, iRacing is all about getting the best result from a race. Therefore, maximising pace, strategy and race craft are all crucial to gaining iRating.

When to shift in iRacing?

In race craft situations, straight line speed is vital to coming out on top and one input that can let you down here is gear shifts. To get the perfect shift every time, it is best to not use driving assists like auto-clutch or the automatic transmission.

However, timing the shift to perfection is even more important. In most cars on iRacing, LED shift lights indicate the optimal revs at which to shift. But in older models, this figure will be more difficult to optimise. Plenty of practice and research on the exact model will be necessary to perfecting acceleration and top speed.

When to Change Tyres in iRacing?

In several iRacing series, strategy is an important factor. Whilst fuel should no longer be a concern thanks to the Auto-Fuel feature, knowing when to change tyres is a top iRacing question. On the road course side of things, tyre changes can occur at the same time as fuel, and are fairly rapid. Therefore, for a full tank pit stop, it is worth getting fresh tyres. For shorter races – under an hour – and shorter refuelling, we suggest omitting the tyre change to save time on pit lane, depending on wear, of course.

Oval racing however requires more thought. Tyre changes are typically slower for Indycar and NASCAR series. However, opting to change tyres on just one side is an option. Knowing when to change tyres can be a very individual matter, so make sure to test before major races.

What iRacing questions do you have? Can you answer any other major queries? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!