A New Era of iRacing?

iracing-dirt-track-racing-game-update-january-2017Though the inexcusable server outages have caused long-time iRacing members to question what their subscription and content costs are going towards given what has recently transpired during the this year’s virtual 24 Hours of Daytona, there’s a new wave of optimism that can be found within the iRacing service. After nearly a decade of botched tire models drastically changing how cars would drive from one build to the next, goofy exploits which saw massive performance advantages given to those who managed to load the session with a different skybox, and unparalleled elitism that has turned diehard supporters into an online cult of sorts, there are two very specific signs that point to a new era of iRacing taking the sim racing community by storm.

It’s pretty ridiculous that it’s taken iRacing almost ten years to get to this point – especially given entire series of simulators have come and gone during the time iRacing has existed – but those who have stuck around through thick and thin might actually see their investment pay off. To their credit, the team at iRacing are now busting their asses for the better of the simulator.

iracing-dirt-late-model-incarIt certainly won’t appeal to the European residents among us, but iRacing’s biggest project has done more than you’d think to rejuvenate the service as a whole. With the majority of iRacing’s userbase located in North America, dirt oval racing is something that many subscribers can go out and spectate on a Saturday evening themselves – without spending more than an hour on the highway – meaning that of the entire active iRacing audience, the majority of them really want to drive these unique cars in a simulator.

Because of how strange these cars behave compared to any traditional circuit car that competes primarily on tarmac surfaces, iRacing have basically been forced to re-build the game from scratch just to accommodate this abstract discipline of racing. While amateur modders have tried to fudge numbers within the isiMotor engine to properly replicate Sprint Cars or Dirt Late Models within the original rFactor, absurd numbers are simply no substitute for tearing apart the physics engine at its very core, and allowing it to natively support loose surface racing from the start. During this process, the team in Bedford would have obviously learned a thing or two about how tires behave under duress – something they’ve desperately needed in their arsenal for quite some time.

And according to their most recent press release, the development has paid off in a big way. iRacing’s own Tyler Hudson writes:

“iRacing’s version of a dirt late model took me by a huge surprise. From the start I had the sensation I was back in my race car; not from the adrenaline rush as much as the fact that the driving sensation and feedback were like no other car I’ve ever driven in the sim. it took some messing around in the garage, but it does. I haven’t found a way to make the car as far up on the bars as I’d like, but maybe that’s another item in development — or for a crew chief way better than me! I was able to twist the rear end and float the left front – everything you see in pictures of real race cars. I’m telling you guys, I am amazed at what iRacing has done. 

The track changes…. A LOT, visually and grip wise. That is a huge part of what makes dirt racing what it is, so you’ll be happy to hear that. You legitimately have to search for moisture in the track for grip. After 10 laps around the bottom at Eldora, the grip had fallen off by half a second and – visually – you could SEE the track change color from wet to dry dirt. I followed the moisture every lap until I was up by the wall. Then I went back to the bottom and was 3 tenths slower than up top where it was still a little damp. Eventually, I had gotten all the initial moisture out of the track from the bottom to the top, and virtually from the inside wall to the outside wall ran almost identical lap times.”

While Tyler is listed as an official employee of iRacing.com, and there’s a chance he’s contractually obligated to publish only positive feedback of the service, Hudson is someone I’ve had the pleasure of battling during my own time spent on the iRacing service – so I can vouch for the fact that he does know what he’s talking about at the end of the day. And our internal informants whom prefer to remain nameless are giving us roughly the same feedback on dirt oval racing as well; for as many cars that iRacing have monumentally screwed up to the point where the userbase has abandoned them, supposedly dirt oval racing is the magic jump in quality many iRacers have been waiting for. It’s allegedly the first car on the iRacing service that one hundred percent nails what the simulator was intended to be about since day one. Critics like myself will obviously ask what the fuck they’ve been doing for eight years, but the hardcore fans looking past the inherent flaws will obviously be very happy to hear they’re on the right track.

And traditional European circuit racers can see the results of iRacing’s dirt adventure for themselves, right this minute.

1Released earlier this week, the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup marks the first vehicle from the iconic German brand to appear in the iRacing simulator, replacing the aftermarket RUF cup car that basically every developer aside from Turn 10 and Electronic Arts have been using as a stand-in for several years. The 911 GT3 cup is the first car iRacing have built after their time spent ripping apart their simulator in a quest to accurately reproduce dirt oval racing, and it certainly shows. The reception to this car, unlike many cars on the iRacing service, has been unanimously positive. Several of iRacing’s biggest critics have showered this vehicle with praise, claiming that the tires finally exhibit realistic heating & cooling patterns, slides are extremely manageable, getting up on the edge of the tire on corner exit is now beneficial within the simulator like it should be, and the car in general feels very connected to the track compared to the vague and confusing driving experience in the current flock of GT3 cars.

It’s a drastic change of pace to the mixed reception iRacing road cars have received over the past three years.


And iRacing have even managed to woo individuals they’ve once snubbed, as Elliott Skeeran American road racer infamously left out of iRacing’s beta program – can be seen losing his mind on the official forums at how accurate the car is. Late last year, we penned an article that focused around Skeer’s disdain with iRacing refusing to consult real drivers (such as himself) for feedback during the creation process of upcoming cars, and it appears something has certainly changed behind the scenes.

“I’ve done a couple laps at each track I’ve raced them at, with the setup directly off the real race car. And my answer to that is…. Holy Fucking Shit! Oh My God! YES! Every tendency that I’ve picked up to drive this car properly works exactly as is on here. Little quirks that happen at Watkins or Sebring happen the exact same way. I’m in absolute love with this car. Top job iRacing, this is next level!”

Though the honesty of individuals contributing to iRacing’s testimonial’s page is still up for discussion, this kind of feedback is certainly a far cry from what real drivers used to say about iRacing on public forums.

glass-tiresHowever, this wave of optimism isn’t without a catch.

Currently, there’s just one car on the iRacing service that is being praised as some sort of divine entity. The other 40+ cars available for a price of $15 per vehicle, plus VAT tax where applicable, are still powered by a largely incomplete tire model that very rarely handles like a real race car on the limit of adhesion. Even though the new Porsche 911 GT3 cup supposedly drives like a dream and is indicative of what the future holds for iRacing, the same can’t be said about the pair of historic Lotus Grand Prix entries, nor the now-outdated Corvette Daytona Prototype or Mercedes AMG GT3 currently competing on the service right now. iRacing have currently gotten one car within the simulator to a point where it drives in a predictable manner, when other games on the market – such as Automobilista or rFactor 2 – feature entire rosters of cars that generally perform as they should.

And given how updating each vehicle within the simulator is a lengthy process for the iRacing staff, we’re looking at a situation where iRacing is finally on-par with other simulators in terms of the raw driving experience by the summer of 2018, a whopping fifteen months from now. Most people don’t want to wait that long, especially since some have been waiting since 2009.

1485579605803Is it too little, too late? Or is this the start of a new era in iRacing? That’s for you to decide, but given simulators such as DiRT 4 and Project CARS 2 are on the horizon, there is indeed a time limit for iRacing to kick it into high gear and provide an experience that lives up to the marketing babble. As more and more people are beginning to jump ship due to inexcusable server outages, the sudden introduction of VAT taxes to online content sales, and no tangible increase in online racing cleanliness, now certainly isn’t the time for iRacing to remain an eternal science project and introduce these improvements in a very gradual fashion.


34 thoughts on “A New Era of iRacing?

    1. Exactly. I’m not falling for this bullshit yet again. How coincidental is it that they hire Hudson and suddenly embrace a Porsche guy who they ignored before? Then both come out with “I’m being paid” praise of iRacing. When you really think about it, it looks like iRacing is getting desperate in the marketing department. My sub is set to expire soon and I’m not changing that. I’ll check back in the fall.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Come the fuck on, you know better than to start salivating over stealth press releases. The entirety of PRC is predicated on breaking that sycophantic mold. Even if Hudson is 100% truthful here, and I have no reason to believe he isn’t, there’s a clear conflict of interest because he’s A PAID EMPLOYEE.


    1. Skeer is generally a good guy who tells it like it is, and Tyler’s a wheelman in the simulator – not so much real life though. Even if it’s stealth PR, they’re at least getting the correct people to praise the physics instead of some no name 2k IR who hasn’t raced in six months.


    1. At least they have a marketing department, unlike all broke ass developers that use the ISI Motor Engine, who have no money to do any form of professional marketing, damn broke ass modders, that’s what all developers that use the ISI Motor Engine really are.


        1. Reminds me of the George Carlin skits on advertising and marketing. All they do is play to your emotions to make you spend money for garbage. Like I said above, not falling for it with these clowns anymore.



      Liked by 1 person

  2. A little optimistic with the whole new era thing. Every car ever released has always been “the best car iracing has ever released”. As soon as people start pushing the boundaries the gremlins start to show. Then iracing release the next update which in turn totally changes the feel of the car and also rendering any previous setups useless.

    Personally I think it may be too little, too late. At least for many who are tired of the super slow devolment and the failure to address the issues.

    It would be nice to see how many longtime members have actually turned their back on iracing. It’s plain to see most new members are simply getting initiated into the cult like community. Like anything new, it’s exiting for them to be a part of. It really is reminiscent of Jonestown, where you have to drink the coolade to fit in. But like any cult, it’s the old timers who finaly say, “enough is enough”.

    Maybe things are changing over at iracing. But overdue is an understatement. Only time will tell whether or not the development of dirt will spill over to the road side. I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath without being willing to die.


    1. Actually Im one of your long time members – but I had decided to let my membership run out(still ½ year) because of the lousy tire model.
      But because I still have some iRacing dollars in my “wallet” I wonder if I should use them on this new 911.
      Actually it looks like most members have abandoned their normal series and use their full online time racing this Porsche:-)


  3. So he loaded the setup from the real car, and got similar handling and laptimes. Cool!

    Now just wait until it falls in the hands of sim racers and end up going 3 seconds faster thanks to absurd levels in some random item ¬¬

    It´s always the same story. Maybe they should lock the car to values that make it behave like the real ones.


  4. The things they’re saying fall in-line with how I felt about Assetto Corsa’s rendition of the same car, back when it was newly released, however after a few weeks of inactivty due to things, going back I found it too was nothing special and that the FFB even felt vague – like the ‘rumble’ of a DS2 controller rather than properly translated ‘feedback’. Found myself more satisfied with the FFB in that “Ultimate GT3” mod from OVG once I worked-out all the usual rF1 quirks, and I’m not sure what to think of that, considering everyone else’s praise for the latest update to AC.

    tl;dr – Let’s see what happens for iR after the honeymoon-period.


  5. The saviour of iracing is one German sports car?


    Yes, the ‘tyre model’ is perhaps a little better that the rest.

    Let’s put it this way; solid shit is easier to handle than loose shit.
    However, it is still shit.

    Nice looking model.

    Problem is, the well modelled car shows you how badly the very expensive tracks are modelled…

    Please watch this video to the end…

    This video beautifully demonstrates the real issue with iracing…
    99% of the players cannot play the bloody game…

    So, 99% of players buy the wonderful German sports car, the saviour of iracing, find out they do not have a clue how to ‘drive’ it, and never bother with it again…

    The same thing has happened with the other saviour of iracing, the Nissan.
    No one bothers with it now.

    Same with the mad, bad, Audi.

    No one bothers with it.


    Because people cannot ‘drive’ them…

    So you end up with the 1% of players that can ‘drive’ the cars, sat waiting and waiting for a race that never comes.

    The 99% go back to oval racing…

    Strange thing this numbers game with iracing.

    Where are all the players?
    60,000 members, iracing’s number, yet there are empty races all-day, every day.
    The German sports car released; players online = 4,000 or so, tops…

    Empty races; is everyone just driving around on their own?
    Which begs the question, why are they paying for an on-line racing service?

    Someone, somewhere is telling fibs…

    Still, the content sale will pay the wages at iracing for a bit…

    Poor people at iracing cannot do right, for doing wrong.

    Give it two weeks, and no one will bother with it.

    And then the hype for the next wages drop will start…
    Watch that video again, and then tell me with a straight face, that the next saviour of iracing, namely ‘Dirt racing’, will be a success.

    People cannot ‘drive’ the pretend German sports car in a straight line, on a flat piece of track.

    ‘Dirt racing’, please no…

    Most people in the ‘rest of the world’ do not understand ‘Dirt racing’ USA style. ‘Cars’ with what looks like a second-hand house door attached to the roof, well, simply confuse us…

    Same thing will happen; 1% will ‘love’ it, 99% back to ovals…

    Perhaps it is all a very clever cunning plan; to remove the ‘rest of the world’ players, just so iracing can, well, just do ovals…

    Price rise, VAT issues, server issues, mad USA cult forum members, dysfunctional staff members, glitches, cartoon tracks, jumping cars, disappearing cars, flickering cars (so bad sometimes, there should be a health warning for people with epilepsy), cost, net-code issues, licensed tracks and cars that have been paid for, yet have never been made, it goes on and on…

    But, ‘Dirt racing’ is coming…


    Liked by 2 people

      1. since there are no official races for the Porsche until the start of next week, all the races you will see are unofficial fun races without ratings in effect. So all this video proves is how important the rating system is on iRacing. As soon as you have a race without it, the quality of driving drops as low as any other pub server racing.


        1. I’ve actually seen some pretty good clean racing in the fun series. But people would be getting DQ’d left and right for harmless wheel drops if they were official races.


  6. Interesting comments from an “alien” I know:

    “Today I tried it [iRacing Porsche] again but a bit longer. With a setup thats dialed in to give as much oversteer as possible, the car becomes more alive but still not as agile as ac’s version. Mastering the brakes is not hard if u have a loadcell which I have. The car is alright in med/high speed corners but the slow speed corners is where all the understeer is. Trail braking to the last bit helps but doesnt cure the issue. Its probably a iracing core problem rather than just a issue with the porsche.

    On the positive side of things, they gave the porsche a tiremodel that can handle a bit of overdiving. The sudden snap when u drive over high curbs is gone. The car is also easier to catch after a snap oversteer moment.”

    “The same elliot should answer the question about what happens if u run with the wing on 1 IRL because thats the way to go in iracing. Run it with as high as porsche suggest for a performance setup and you will just understeer. Porsche suggest p6 or p8 (not sure wich one) for the wing. Also the nice improvements made to this ntm has brought an old bug back and that is your 1st flying lap being the fastest in the porsche. After 3-4 laps u drop 0.5 and higher.

    I mean why put a wing on the back with different options if u dont need to adjust it.

    As for camber, in iracing u can use high rear camber to reduce the grip of the rear tires and give the front tires more bite. Has absolutely nothing to do with how camber works IRL for porches.

    I read comments on iracing forum about the porsche being the best simulated simracing car, really

    The car is an improvement compared to their other cars but thats it.”


    1. Right now the thinking is that everyone assumes that if the car isn’t undrivably oversteery on wing 1 they should run wing 1, and of course with an understeering baseline everyone can, but actually the wing makes fuck all difference in straight line speed. So if you have a car that is balanced in faster corners on wing 1 you will probably have understeer in slow corners for like a 2kph top speed improvement.

      It’s not a really aero heavy car so the wing is mostly there for high speed stability rather than sheer downforce generation.


    2. An alien – that was just a copy and paste from a posting on the AC forums. I’m guessing from their profile picture they are in fact human.


  7. Unless you can massage the car into slight oversteer mid corner by a lift of the throttle or a dab on the brake, I’m not really interested. Can anyone confirm this?


    1. “Unless you can massage the car into slight oversteer mid corner by a lift of the throttle or a dab on the brake, I’m not really interested. Can anyone confirm this?”

      No you can´t.
      The car is a complete understering brick with close to no parameters in the setup.
      And the uberhyped “new” TM is just some new introduced Gods Hand that take control of the car as soon as the normal iRacing “tankslapper” behaviour would otherwise have spoiled the party.
      It feels completely artificial.

      Another thing is that because of the complete missing diff params its impossible to use any dif/coast to dial away the UUUndersteer while both acceleration and deac.
      Waste of money.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. If you think L49’s participation is bad just wait for the dirt cars. Nobody is driving the current sprint car on tarmac as it is. On dirt all of these dirt hype guys will wreck 20 times and in 2 weeks from release it will be a ghost town.


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