The GTP class in iRacing is now full with four options available to purchase, but which is best for you? Here is our guide to help you succeed in the class.
Last week, iRacing released its latest major content drop. Featuring two top flight prototypes, it padded out the title’s GTP class. Indeed, players can now drive the BMW, Cadillac, Acura and Porsche that make up the North American top endurance category.
With official racing kicking off today, iRacers will be anxious to take part in what is sure to be an exciting first few weeks of IMSA series races. But to be competitive, driving the right car will be crucial. With four choices, each costing $12, purchasing every model may not be an option. If that is your case, do not fear, we have the perfect guide for you. Here is our buyer’s guide to the best the iRacing GTP cars.
One of the most recent GTP cars to join iRacing, the Acura ARX-06 sets itself apart from the other cars in the class. Indeed, Acura is not intending on taking its racer to the World Endurance Championship, instead focusing on smaller American circuits. As a result, it follows a different philosophy.
With its aggressive styling, it is objectively a looker and whilst its base engine note does appear flat, the turbo flutter on lift-off is thrilling. This aggressive demeanour translates to its handling with a far more reactive front end. Indeed, it requires far less steering angle to rotate than other GTP cars.
As for its straight line speed, it’s clear to tell this car isn’t made for the long straights of Le Mans. Indeed, testing at low downforce specification shows it has the least top-end potential. However, when racing in higher downforce trim, it seems to edge away from the competition by a few kph.
BMW M Hybrid V8
The BMW M Hybrid V8 is the oldest LMDh for iRacing, having released during Season 1 of 2023. It was the first car from the class to release and caused a certain buzz. However, as further models have joined the sim, it has become clear why the car does not perform quite as well in the real world.
At high speed, the BMW is certainly very stable – perhaps too stable. However, its handling is so neutral that one must be near-perfect to extract good times. Trail braking into corners is vital whilst getting on the power smoothly is necessary to keep it on the island. Furthermore, something in the suspension setup makes the car very tight on the brakes meaning lock-ups feel easier aboard this model than any other.
Whilst the overall balance of the car may require more setup adjustment track-to-track, the M Hybrid V8 is one of the easier GTP cars to understand. In fact, this racer does not feature the complicated Brake Migration settings of the Cadillac and Porsche. As a result, the Acura and BMW require less fiddly setting changes throughout a lap. Furthermore, the brake bias does not change from corner-to-corner allowing drivers to be more consistent, faster.
The BMW is certainly just as fast as the other cars in the class. However, as it needs a lot more setup work than others, it is definitely not the best GTP car for beginners.
The Cadillac V-Series.R uses the same Dallara underpinnings as the BMW and that is clear in its handling. It is a very neutral car that requires attention both on corner entry and exit. However, it appears to feature more compliant suspension elements meaning grip is more manageable.
In fact, the Caddy accepts more of a beating than the Bavarian LMDh. One can get away with greater kerb usage and the car will fair better in tricky braking zones. Additionally, getting on the power does generate just as much slip as the BMW. But oversteer is far easier to catch making for fewer spins on corner-exit.
Obviously, the main positive of driving the Cadillac is its soundtrack. It is the only naturally aspirated car in the class and that provides a brilliant burbling growl to your late-night stints.
Of the four cars, the Porsche 963 is surely the safest to drive. In fact, its overall model seems to point towards understeer meaning it’s harder to spin the car on traction and getting on the brakes is less likely to kick the rear end out. However, this does mean patience is a virtue when racing.
Barrelling into turns as one can do in the Acura and Cadillac will not serve you well here. Unlike the BMW, this will not kick the rear end out. But it will force the car to plough wide. Scrubbing the tyres, this will soon cause an even greater loss of front grip and a torrid lap.
On the power, this car does a great job of helping out those with a heavy right foot. In fact, jumping on the power early in this car will result in less wheel spin than any of the others. Not only will this help keep your stints tidy, it also helps in battle when trying to nail a corner exit. What also helps its race craft is the Porsche’s slightly higher top speed in Le Mans specification. In fact, the Porsche reaches the highest top speed based on testing which is sure to help at tracks like La Sarthe and Monza.
The Best GTP Car To Buy In iRacing
Overall, this quartet of cars is very similar in performance. Indeed, the iRacing team has clearly worked hard to balance the GTP class. However, they do have their own quirks that will or will not merge with your own driving style.
If you are a sim racer that likes to drive a car that rotates easily, the Acura ARX-06 will be the best GTP for you. This car resembles more of a single-seater in its driving style than a sports car. However, one must be careful when trail braking as it will cause excessive oversteer.
For those that look for a more stable racer, especially in longer races, the Cadillac and BMW will suit you most. Using the Dallara LMP2 base, they feature very neutral handling meaning rotation comes with trail braking and minimal patience. But the rear end will rarely come round on corner entry unless you’re driving overly aggressively. One must consider the on-power loss of traction these cars offer, but as long as you are careful on the throttle, it shouldn’t be of concern.
Finally, the Porsche presents a tighter handling experience with the front end pushing more than the other cars. This does make for a stable and safe dynamic, perfect for longer races. But if you jump from the Acura to the 963 for example, it will require a major shift in approach. This is all about getting the car slowed down in a straight line and trail braking in. Thankfully, traction is abundant in the Porsche meaning it’s great for those with a heavy right foot.
Which GTP cars do you own in iRacing? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!