Reader Submission #67 – iRacing’s Destruction Derby of Champions

In what has become a yearly tradition over on the servers, as many real world race car drivers as possible are lumped into a private session for a charity pickup race dubbed the Pro Race of Champions. While not taking away from the fact that the event is hosted for a good cause, reader Anthony P. has written to us explaining that the actual racing portion of the program is absolutely dreadful.

DD1Hey guys, thought I’d give a coverage suggestion.

The iRacing Pro Race of Champions just concluded (if you’re not aware, it’s a charity race featuring real-world pro drivers) and like last time, it was a bit of a mess. Not only was the driving terrible (by the end of it, only 6 drivers out of 25 finished on the lead lap) but the coverage itself was horrible. Terrible video quality, terrible audio quality, terrible commentary, they even made mistakes trying to do iRacing adverts like saying that there is an Aston Martin GT3 car in the game (sorry I can’t link to a time stamp, can’t sit through that mess again). 

It also featured a not-so talked about bug with the new PopcornFX system where in replay mode all PopcornFX related sounds (tire sounds, kerbs, gravel noise, etc) play directly near you no matter how far away the camera is. This means insanely loud kerb/tire noises during the race coverage. 

Readers of your site who are also iRacing members can read up on the kerfuffle here.

Anyways, just a suggestion. iRacing has been pushing this type of coverage a lot recently with their site re-design, and more often than not it’s absolutely terrible. 

Hey Anthony, thanks for your submission.

I didn’t even know about this event until I saw a news article about it on a not-PretendRaceCars website earlier today. After watching the footage from this year, I can only say that with this kind of broadcasting iRacing will never break through and appeal to the masses. I’m sorry to say it, but the main moderator sounds very obnoxious and sometimes doesn’t seem to realize how loud he is when commentating, or rather shouting. Other than the volume of his voice, he does a pretty decent job though.

What’s bugging me the most is what you already mentioned in your submission, the constant sounds of the kerbs, off-track excursions, etc. You obviously don’t notice it when they switch to the on-board camera of a specific car, but when you have the normal TV camera position and you suddenly hear the noise of the car driving over kerbs even though you are physically a hundred meters away, it’s very confusing and for me it really destroys the immersion.

Some of the iRacing related advertisements were a little overboard. For example, during the broadcast they advertised for the recently published Nürburgring + Nordschleife track pack as “They released the Nürburgring. I mean, they released the Nürburgring, but not the GP – I mean the GP track as well – but the whooooole thing. The whole Nordschleife!!!”. He praised it as the second coming of Jesus Christ (sorry, that spot is already taken by our lord and savior Donald Trump), even though Kunos published their version of the Nordschleife (albeit a visually much less impressive one) about nine months earlier.

commentatorWatching the race was actually kind of funny, because it seems that most of these people have never driven in a sim, let alone iRacing. While watching the race, it felt like watching a race of the 4Chan GT3 league that I drive in from time to time. There was one wreck on the pace lap, a wreck in Turn One, and then many more during the race. Most of these were really quite embarrassing, like Kelvin van der Linde (a quite avid R3E sim racer, actually) spinning himself coming out of Turn 1. Some people didn’t know about iRacing’s penalty system (Nick Tandy for example), which hurt them quite hard during the race.

The thing I enjoyed most about the race was how CXR Simulations and iRacing partnered up to allow Sam Schmidt, a paraplegic IndyCar driver, to run the event by utilizing a purpose-built simulator for him. He crashed out once or twice during the race but his pace was only about 2 seconds off the lead, which is very impressive considering he was only able to use his head, eyes and mouth to control the car.

The winner of the race was Richie Stanaway, a professional racing driver and Aston Martin factory driver who at the moment drives in both the WEC and the GP2 feeder series. By winning the event, he made a $2500 donation to the Justin Wilson Children’s fund in honor of Justin Wilson, who sadly passed away this year due to a heavy accident at Pocono Raceway. His margin of victory was around 5 seconds, which considering it was a 20 lap race is a considerable margin.

Auf Wiedersehen


8 thoughts on “Reader Submission #67 – iRacing’s Destruction Derby of Champions

  1. There is something incredibly lame about presenting video game races in a pseudo-broadcast format like that. Besides my objections to their pricing, the fact that people take iRacing so deadly serious really turns me off. It’s one thing to want to have fair racing and mature competition but I swear that a large contingent of their user base (and I’m not talking about the real pros who play) actually thinks they are real racing drivers. It’s embarrassing to see grown men act that way over a bunch of pixels and a physics engine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny story bro… no one cares 🙂 Honestly, sounds like you’re a bit jealous.

      iRacing is better when it’s taken seriously, and hey, why not have fun and go all out if you choose? You think it’s embarrassing? Cool. Keep thinking that, because we enjoy it. Sim racing can be the next big thing, but you just keep doing you, trying to get people to conform to your ideals and hide the awesomeness of sim racing.

      Anyways, on to the actual quality of the broadcast… The commentators for iRacing are constantly yelling, they don’t know how to use there indoor voice. PSRtv is a joke, don’t consider them as anything but.


      1. No…actually OP is right there is taking it seriously and there is I racing where everyone thinks they are a pro who could handle a real car if seated in one.

        Its a video game and not only that its using a middleware physics engine not designed for vehicles so… Yea.


  2. PSRTV usually does the NASCAR stuff, so yeah… Just like real NASCAR broadcasts they have incredibly cringy things going on (green screen effect tho). Put these guys on a road course broadcast and things get a bit confusing 😛

    And yeah, the drivers themselves weren’t the best… Most probably never simrace, and nevermind practiced for the event. Some guys did pretty good tho, but pushed too hard and crashed out, easy to overheat the tyres on the BMW. These kind of events are never gonna be incredible showcase of driving talent unfortunately… But at least it’s for charity, and the guys involved seem to enjoy it. But for the average viewer it may seem… Disappointing ?


    1. You misunderstand. I’m not trying to slam the charity event itself, it’s a great idea for a great cause. I just think that iRacing should put a little more effort into the whole thing, as the production value of the whole event diminishes the reason why this was done in the first place this year!


    2. The drivers are suckered in under the guise of a charity event, but immediately afterwards iRacing tend to ignore that aspect completely and push the “ZOMG REAL DRIVERS PLAY OUR GAME” angle.

      There are a few genuine sim racers on the grid. Ron Capps has a degree in software engineering and worked on the ValuSoft NHRA games. Keselowski spent his teens & early 20’s as an NR2003 geek. Kelvin Van der Linde is a beta tester/consultant for Sector 3.

      But a large portion are simply there for PR and it shows. Magnifying the problem is obviously the lack of driving skill. iRacing’s main selling point is that pro drivers both endorse and train with the product. The PRoC stands as evidence to the contrary.

      Liked by 1 person

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