Reader Submission #10 – Paying to be on an iRacing Team?

Today’s Reader Submission comes from Randy M., who describes to us the wild world of iRacing monetization. Not only are iRacing kiddies paying for a subscription, paying to host sessions, paying to have pro versions of livery sharing software, paying for cars, paying for other people to paint them custom liveries, and paying for tracks, but they’re also paying for setups.

Yep. Welcome to iRacing.


Have you noticed the concerning trend of iRacing members/teams charging for setups, team liveries and “one on one” setup advice?

Here’s an example from ApexRacingUK:

paid team
Of course, I am sure these are all proper businesses and have their tax
returns from the income they are making fully declared. Basically, its a “pay money to join team” approach. Why do people insist on trying to make a profit from a hobby? Next we’ll be seeing a Patreon to grant someone a new gaming PC each year. The above team are not the only team doing this, but perhaps doing it the most blatantly.


Why are so many third party elements monetized in iRacing? The answer is simple: Mommy’s Mastercard Motorsports. You’d be surprised at how many underage kids are on iRacing with their parents credit cards, and those kids need a way to sustain their subscription and the costs of buying new content. A lot of these kids either take to developing setups, or getting damn good at photoshop. Regardless of which path they take, there will always be an equally large flock of inept baby boomers with more money than brains, who can’t paint a car or develop a setup to save their lives. That whole crowd is their market. I’ve personally ran across guys where iRacing is the only video game period that they’ve invested any time into.

I myself stuck to fixed setup racing, and when it came to painting cars, would just palette swap the default liveries the templates came with. Again, some guys can’t even do this:

JBGFinalWhy in God’s name are people paying for setups? This one’s a simple answer too: Because it’s iRacing. I’m sure the fanboys will rip on me for this one, but as I’ve said time and time again on here, iRacing’s physics aren’t very good, and making a car setup for a game that is inherently broken takes years of understanding exactly what about the game is broken so you know where to begin.

For example, a few years ago, the driveshaft in the Sprint Cup cars spun the wrong way. This fundamentally changed how the cars behaved under power. In another build, iRacing forgot to enable the draft model on the Mustang. In one questionable build, before the Dallara DW12, IndyCars were overheating in the draft at a faster rate than two Sprint Cup cars tandem drafting at Daytona. Coil binding, a technique used in real stock car racing to pin the car to the ground using a combination of wacky spring settings and downforce, didn’t work in iRacing. The K&N Series Impala a few years ago was found to have a hidden traction control setting. In a build before the car was placed on the New Tire Model, telemetry showed the left rear tire wasn’t physically touching the ground.

Recently, one of the builds caused the DW12’s brakes to transfer the insane amount of heat to the tires after only a few corners, and this caused problems. Then you have some pretty crazy shit, like how the lowest spring rates available for the McLaren MP4-12C GT3 are 300lbs stiffer than the average size used in all iterations of the car available in other sims. Another crazy aspect was how astronomically low some tire pressures were – while 27 – 28 PSI is a good default setting virtually anywhere, iRacing let you get away with crazy values like 21.5 PSI that actually benefit your car’s performance – values Michelin suggests you shouldn’t use in GT3 cars.

So anyone with prior setup knowledge, whether it be in other racing sims, or in real life, is totally shit out of luck when it comes to developing a competitive setup for iRacing. Nothing logical works. The guys who have been around the game for ages are the ones who have an advantage and can charge for setups that take advantage of the shortcomings in the physics engine. They know how the game’s broken, as they’ve been combing through build notes for years and conversing with the staff members to get tidbits of info about the physics engine, so they can find ways to work around it. It’s actually smarter to pay for one of these wizards to make you a setup, because everything you’ve learned in other racing sims, or from what you’ve read online about how real race car setups work, don’t apply.

If you try to make your own setup, you won’t get anywhere.

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6 thoughts on “Reader Submission #10 – Paying to be on an iRacing Team?

  1. I also stick to fixed racing. iRacing definitely has it’s flaws, I never really played SimRacing and just jumped into iRacing with a 360 controller and enjoyed it. (Don’t worry I have a wheel now) But I’m a pretty casual iRacing player, only buy a track or two every few months unlike some who dump their entire wallet into the game. (Oh shit did I just call iRacing a game) I hope they keep improving on the physics. Shame there are no other alternatives for oval racing, something that I oddly enough, enjoy to some extent. Paying for setups is pretty retarded to say the least, so fixed setup all the way.

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    1. “Shame there are no other alternatives for oval racing”

      ASRX (reviewed by pretendracecars.net) is a good free alternative to iRacing for oval stock car racing.

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    2. The setups are a big reason why I let my IRacing subscription expire, I got to the point where I needed an exceptional setup to be competitive in my IRating but I just didn’t have the time or motivation to learn all the non-intuitive (broken) quirks behind it all. I mean sure you can still do well with a base setup and a few adjustments but you still feel discouraged by it, especially for putting in the time to finish a lengthy race. This would be non-issue for me if IRacing fees were a flat $50-$60 like everything else but when you are spending hundreds . . .

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  2. I’ve never played Iracing or have any intention to, but to keep this short(ish), it seems like the majority of iracing players are faggots, i watched a few minutes of a video the other day, i was admiring this guys setup and everything until then another camera view suddenly appeared, the guy was wearing fucking racing shoes, and not discount ones either, fucking alpinestars, they probably cost more than mine did that i use for, y’know “real racing” i looked past the whole ‘wearing gloves’ thing that alot seem to be doing, whatever their excuses are, it’s bullshit, they’re just taking it all abit too far into fantasy land.

    i nearly lost my shit with that jb gallery livery, fucking genius

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  3. Only one problem, a lot of people who claim they can’t build a setup can’t fall out of their own way. They look for a great setup because they are incapable of running the car at 100% and need to make up for it.

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