iRacing.com

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
iRacing.com
iRacing.com logo
Developer(s) iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations
Initial release August 26, 2008
Stable release 2.12.1.13 / August 11, 2014 (2014-08-11)
Type Racing simulation

iRacing.com is an online, subscription-based racing simulation service for Microsoft Windows, Linux and OS X created by iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations. In addition to accurately modeled vehicles and tracks, iRacing provides servers on which to race and practice and a sanctioning body to organize and oversee competition within the service.

From the start, iRacing has been marketed as both an entertainment service and a training tool for real life racers.[1] They have established numerous partnerships with real-world racing organizations and series, including NASCAR, IndyCar, V8 Supercars, the SCCA, the Skip Barber Racing School, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup, the Star Mazda Championship and Williams F1 among others.[2][3]

The service was launched to the public on August 26, 2008. There are over 50,000 active members as of December 2013.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

A screenshot of a Star Mazda race at Laguna Seca

The iRacing company aims to cater both to real-world racers and racing simulation enthusiasts[5] by offering a realistic simulation of motorsport with accurate track, vehicle and physics modeling,[6][7] and with all of the cars and tracks officially licensed.[8] iRacing can only be driven online on servers run by iRacing.com, and participation requires a subscription to the service. The subscription package includes a basic set of 10 tracks and seven cars with which to practice and race.[9] Additional cars and tracks are subject to additional one-time charges. Vehicles in iRacing are divided into classes[10] which correspond to the identically named driver license classes, except for the two different Rookie car classes which can both be driven with the same Rookie driver license.

The simulator is launched through a member website, and there is no standalone offline client. In addition to choosing the series and session to run, the member site interface can be used to browse series and driver statistics, acquire information about the cars and tracks, launch the online forums and chat, open the replay viewer, customize the virtual vehicles and helmets, purchase new content, and review and update personal account data.

Third Party sites also provide additional features, for example Trading Paints, which hosts custom paint schemes much more detailed and advanced than the customisations available on the website. LiveRaceStats is another, where users have the opportunity to have a signature bar displayed with their game statistics. Rather than objecting to these external sites, iRacing actively supports their use by the community. An API is provided for third party extensions (Such as fuel managers, shift lights, and live timing), however direct modification of core game files is forbidden

iRacing Gen-6 cars @ Bristol Motor Speedway

iRacing manages several different official series, but members are also free to organize their own online sessions that are hosted on servers run by iRacing. In 2012, iRacing increased the ability for users to run their own seasons through the introduction of the "Leagues" feature, where, for a fee of $10 a year, users could manage their own league, recruit/accept drivers, and have automated scoring. Individual sessions cost between 75c. and $2.25 to host, depending on the duration (Up to 6 hours). Any member-organized sessions are free from the license level restrictions. In addition to taking part in the different public sessions, a member can use a test mode to drive alone on any track with any car, assuming he has purchased the license to use the content.[11]

For the standard official series managed by iRacing, each calendar year is divided into four 12-week seasons, and all driving sessions in a series take place only on one track each week.[12] On a given track, the drivers can participate in practice, qualifying, time trial and race sessions.[13] There are also non-standard series, examples of which are the four-week Rookie series, IndyCar, Skip Barber and Grand-Am Premier series, and Pro series.[14] Races that are organized by members do not have to follow any official schedule. The series are divided into two main categories, oval and road, which are further divided into several license levels from Rookie to Pro, and a driver must earn each license to be eligible to participate in official race week sessions on that level.[15] Earning a higher license involves both participation in competitions on a driver's current highest license level and achievement of a minimum safety record. The requirements for advancing and the licenses themselves are category-specific — in other words, a driver has a separate license for road and oval categories.[16]

FW31 @ Limerock

At the core of iRacing is the driving simulation. iRacing began with a new, proprietary tire model that was partly based on the company's own research in a tire testing facility. On June 22, 2011 iRacing began a limited release of a new theoretical tire model in development for 3 years. This new model uses the construction and physical properties of the tire to simulate the tire's response, rather than matching to empirical data.[17] iRacing receive full "shop access" to every vehicle modeled in the service to calculate physical and inertia parameters of individual parts. Vehicles are either laser scanned, or design CAD data is used to recreate the visual and physical properties of each car. For aerodynamics data, they have had to rely on data collected from manufacturers and teams,[18] though more recent additions have used computational fluid dynamics to calculate the aerodynamic properties of the cars more accurately. The simulation is criticized for missing some features often found on comparable products. For example, environment conditions such as temperature are static.[19] Racing within the service is managed by a sanctioning body called FIRST. The detailed rules for official competition are published in a document titled the FIRST Sporting Code, which registered members of the service are expected to read.[20]

Laser scanning[edit]

iRacing creates each track using proprietary Exactrac laser mapping technology to replicate the tracks with millimeter precision.[6] This technology has made iRacing famous for its realism. As well as it becoming a training tool for professional drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jordan Taylor, and Travis Pastrana. The actual "scan" creates a mathematical physical map of the track. This results in "bumps" on the track which are the same bumps on the actual track in real life. This scan also promotes sim drivers to use the same "racing lines" as real world drivers use to increase speed and get faster lap times.

Competition, events and championships[edit]

Competition is divided into two different categories, oval and road, which are further divided into many different series. All standard series follow a calendar of four 12-week seasons while rookie series have their own 4-week seasons. At the end of each season eligible drivers are promoted (or, in rare cases, demoted) to the next license level. At the end of each standard 12-week season FIRST crowns racing and time trial overall champions and divisional champions.[20] In addition to individual championships FIRST sanctions club championships, which are decided between geographically-based clubs.

Starting in 2009, The World Cup of iRacing became a year-long tournament with (in its first year) 35 clubs divided into 7 regions battling for the club championship.[21] The World Cup concept was dropped by iRacing at the conclusion of the 2011 season, before being reborn by a committee of members shortly afterwards, taking a different approach. Under the original system, club DE-AT-CH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) were undefeated, winning the title three years in a row.

Other series are officially sponsored by the real-world sanctioning body of the race series being simulated, including NASCAR which sanctions the NASCAR iRacing.com Series. In 2012, the iRacing IndyCar Premier Series failed to return, however, the Skip Barber Racing School Premier Series was added, where the winner was awarded a three-day racing school experience.

On March 3, 2009, iRacing announced its premier series, the iRacing Pro Series and iRacing Drivers World Championships to start in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Both top series have separate contests for oval and road course racing, and the world champion wins prize money of at least $10,000. The two Pro Series are open to the top 61 drivers in the A-level series for each category and serve as feeder series to the Drivers World Championships, which will be limited to the top 50 drivers. Unlike the standard individual championships, which have four 12-week seasons per year, the Pro Series (NASCAR iRacing Pro Series for ovals and iRacing Pro Series - Road for road) and iDWC (NASCAR iRacing.com World Championship Series for ovals and iRacing.com Drivers World Championship Road Racing for road) will follow an 18-race schedule run fortnightly.[22] The inaugural Pro season was an exception with a 25-week schedule.[23]

Other series include the iRacing World Tour, which consists of a number of special events that mimic real life races like the Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500. The virtual counterparts are usually held the day before the actual race. Members can organize their own online sessions that are free from the official series schedules and license level restrictions. These sessions are hosted by iRacing and they are subject to a nominal fee paid only by the member organizing the session. Other unofficial events include the so-called "24 Heures du Fun" races that feature different tracks and vehicles every Saturday 00:00-24:00 UTC as well as week-long unofficial series during the one-week breaks between 12-week standard seasons.

Development[edit]

The company behind iRacing.com was established in Bedford, Massachusetts in September 2004 by David Kaemmer and John W. Henry after the demise of Papyrus Design Group, which Kaemmer had also co-founded.[24] The iRacing service has been in development since then, using code from Papyrus' NASCAR Racing 2003 Season as a starting point. According to Kaemmer, iRacing retains the multi-body physics system of NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, as well as some of the track presentation and multi-user packet code, but everything else has been changed, or is completely new like the tire model and graphics engine.[18] The service receives regular updates between 12-week competition seasons.[8]

In May 2009 NASCAR and iRacing.com announced a five-year deal of an online NASCAR-sanctioned racing series. iRacing.com also provides the software used in the NASCAR Hall of Fame simulators.[25]

Content[edit]

Every iRacing subscription comes standard with the:

Additional cars which can be purchased for a one-time fee include a:

[26] Announced upcoming vehicles include the Dallara chassis raced in the Firestone Indy Lights series,[27] the Honda HSV-010 GT,[28] NGTC Honda Civic raced in the British Touring Car Championship.[29]

The following track venues are available in the service or have been officially announced as a future venue.[30][31][Note 1]

Track name Nation Location Configuration(s)
Atlanta Motor Speedway United States USA Hampton, Georgia Oval, Roval
Auto Club Speedway[32] United States USA Fontana, California Oval, 2 Rovals, Infield Road course
Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Italy ITA Imola, Emilia-Romagna, Italy Road course
Autódromo José Carlos Pace Brazil BRA Interlagos, São Paulo, Brazil 2 Road courses
Autodromo Nazionale di Monza Italy ITA Monza, Lombardy, Italy 3 Road courses
Barber Motorsports Park United States USA Birmingham, Alabama 3 Road courses
Brands Hatch United Kingdom GBR West Kingsdown, Kent 2 Road courses
Bristol Motor Speedway United States USA Bristol, Tennessee Oval [Note 2]
Centripetal Circuit Fictional Skid pad
Charlotte Motor Speedway United States USA Charlotte, North Carolina 2 Ovals, Roval, Infield Road course [Note 2]
Chicagoland Speedway United States USA Joliet, Illinois Oval
Circuit of the Americas United States USA Austin, Texas 3 Road courses
Concord Motorsport Park United States USA Concord, North Carolina Oval
Croft Circuit United Kingdom GBR Dalton-on-Tees, England Road course
Darlington Raceway United States USA Darlington, South Carolina Oval
Daytona International Speedway United States USA Daytona Beach, Florida Oval, 2 Rovals, Infield Road course [Note 2][Note 3]
Donington Park[33] United Kingdom GBR North West Leicestershire, England Road course
Dover International Speedway United States USA Dover, Delaware Oval
Gilles VilleneuveCircuit Gilles Villeneuve[34] Canada CAN Montreal, Quebec, Canada Road course
Gateway Motorsports Park United States USA Madison, Illinois Oval, Roval
Homestead-Miami Speedway United States USA Homestead, Florida Oval, 2 Rovals
Indianapolis Motor Speedway United States USA Speedway, Indiana Oval, 2 Rovals
Iowa Speedway United States USA Newton, Iowa 3 Ovals, Roval, Infield Road course
Kansas Speedway[32] United States USA Kansas City, Kansas Oval
Kentucky Speedway United States USA Sparta, Kentucky Oval
Langley Speedway United States USA Hampton, Virginia Oval [Note 2]
Lanier National Speedway United States USA Braselton, Georgia Oval
Las Vegas Motor Speedway United States USA Las Vegas, Nevada Oval, 2 Infield Road courses
Lime Rock Park United States USA Lime Rock, Connecticut Road course
Long Beach[35] United States USA Long Beach, California Road course - available as the 1st "tech track"
Lucas Oil Raceway[36] United States USA Pike Township, Marion County, Indiana Oval
Mallory Park United Kingdom GBR Kirkby Mallory, England Road course
Martinsville Speedway United States USA Martinsville, Virginia Oval
Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca United States USA Monterey, California Road course
Michigan International Speedway United States USA Brooklyn, Michigan Oval
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course United States USA Troy Township, Ohio 3 Road courses, 2 Ovals
Miller Motorsports Park[37] United States USA Tooele, Utah Road course
Milwaukee Mile United States USA West Allis, Wisconsin Oval
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park Canada CAN Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada Road course
Mount Panorama Circuit Australia AUS Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia Road course
New Hampshire Motor Speedway United States USA Loudon, New Hampshire Oval, 3 Rovals
New Jersey Motorsports Park[30][38] United States USA Millville, New Jersey 4 Road courses - available as the 2nd "tech track"
New Smyrna Speedway United States USA New Smyrna Beach, Florida Oval [Note 2]
Okayama International Circuit[39] Japan JPN Mimasaka, Okayama, Japan 2 Road courses
Oran Park Raceway Australia AUS Narellan, New South Wales, Australia 6 Road courses
Oulton Park United Kingdom GBR Little Budworth, Cheshire 8 Road courses
Oxford Plains Speedway United States USA Oxford, Maine Oval
Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit Australia AUS Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia Road course
Phoenix International Raceway United States USA Phoenix, Arizona Oval, Roval
Pocono Raceway United States USA Long Pond, Pennsylvania Oval, 4 Rovals
Richmond International Raceway United States USA Richmond, Virginia Oval [Note 2]
Road America United States USA Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin 2 Road courses
Road Atlanta United States USA Braselton, Georgia 3 Road courses
Rockingham Speedway United States USA Rockingham, North Carolina Oval, Roval, 2 Infield Road courses
Sebring International Raceway United States USA Sebring, Florida 3 Road courses [Note 2]
Silverstone Circuit United Kingdom GBR Silverstone, Northamptonshire 5 Road courses
Sonoma Raceway United States USA Sonoma, California 4 Road courses
South Boston Speedway United States USA South Boston, Virginia Oval
Spa-FrancorchampsCircuit de Spa-Francorchamps[40] Belgium BEL Francorchamps, Liège, Belgium Road course
Snetterton Circuit United Kingdom GBR Snetterton, England Road course
Stafford Motor Speedway United States USA Stafford Springs, Connecticut Oval
Summit Point Motorsports Park United States USA Summit Point, West Virginia 3 Road courses
Suzuka Circuit[41] Japan JPN Suzuka, Mie, Japan 5 Road courses
Texas Motor Speedway United States USA Fort Worth, Texas Oval, Infield Road course
Talladega Superspeedway United States USA Talladega County, Alabama Oval
Thompson International Speedway United States USA Thompson, Connecticut Oval
Thruxton Circuit United Kingdom GBR Thruxton, England Road course
Toyota Speedway at Irwindale United States USA Irwindale, California 3 Ovals
Tsukuba Circuit[41] Japan JPN Shimotsuma, Ibaraki, Japan Road course
Twin Ring Motegi[41] Japan JPN Motegi, Tochigi, Japan Oval, 3 Road courses [Note 2]
USA International Speedway United States USA Lakeland, Florida Oval
Virginia International Raceway United States USA Alton, Virginia 6 Road courses
Watkins Glen International United States USA Watkins Glen, New York 4 Road courses
Willow Springs International Motorsports Park[42] United States USA Rosamond, California Road course
ZandvoortCircuit Park Zandvoort Netherlands NDL Zandvoort, North Holland, Netherlands 4 Road courses
ZolderCircuit Zolder[31] Belgium BEL Heusden-Zolder, Limburg, Belgium 2 Road courses

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A light blue background denotes that a track is included in the basic subscription. A yellow background denotes that a track is not yet available.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h This track has a night configuration in addition to the default daytime configuration.
  3. ^ Versions of Daytona circa 2007 and 2011 are both available. Only the 2011 track layout has night lighting.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 80%[46]
Metacritic 71%[47]
Review scores
Publication Score
PC Gamer UK 80%
GameStar 68%

iRacing.com was launched to the public on August 26, 2008.[48] By July 2009 more than 16,000 individuals had subscribed to the service.[49] iRacing.com has received favorable reviews from automobile, racing and gaming magazines as well as websites dedicated to racing simulators.[50][51][52][53] The service has also been criticized for not yet including features often found on other racing simulators, such as dynamic environments and more advanced visual damage modeling.[19] As of April 2010 more than half of the current Indycar series drivers use iRacing for fun and training. Vitor Meira and Will Power have also said they used iRacing in their recovery from broken backs sustained in the 2009 season.

PC Gamer stated that the game was "not one that will be to everyone's taste", while Gamestar concluded "The graphics give the impression of an unfinished beta, but at least the atmosphere between the players is always friendly."

Many real life racers, including Justin Wilson, Alex Gurney, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex, Jr., AJ Allmendinger, Scott Speed, Shane Van Gisbergen, Divina Galica and Jacques Villeneuve have subscribed to the service and given positive comments especially about the accuracy of the track modeling which makes the simulator useful as a tool for learning tracks.[54][55]

Virtual reality[edit]

On February 6, 2013, Steve Myers of iRacing announced that the developers of iRacing had two Oculus Rift headset development kits either in hand or pre-ordered.[56]

On July 23, 2013, preliminary support for the Oculus Rift VR Headset Development Kit has been added.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "iRacing.com Introduces Next-Generation Training Tool for Racers". truckseries.com. July 25, 2006. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  2. ^ "Volkswagen announces partnership with iRacing.com to aid in Jetta TDI Cup driver training and candidate identification". iRacing.com. April 25, 2009. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  3. ^ "Partners". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  4. ^ "iRacing.com adds Monza". iRacing.com. Dec. 19. Retrieved 2013-12-23. 
  5. ^ "iRacing.com FAQ". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  6. ^ a b "Track Technology". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  7. ^ "Car Technology". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  8. ^ a b Denton, Jon (February 15, 2008). "iRacing.com Announce: Revolution" (Flash). AutoSimSport 4 (1): 19–30. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  9. ^ "Membership". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  10. ^ "2.10. Vehicle Classes". FIRST Official Sporting Code. 
  11. ^ Cole, Shaun (Director) (June 5, 2008). Preview - iRacing (Flash video). SRT Media Productions. Retrieved 2009-04-09. 
  12. ^ /pdfs/FIRST_Sporting_Code_v20090807_01.pdf "4.2. Sanctioning" (PDF). FIRST Official Sporting Code. iRacing.com. August 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-14. 
  13. ^ "4.5. Sessions". FIRST Official Sporting Code. 
  14. ^ "4.2.5. Rookie Series". FIRST Official Sporting Code. 
  15. ^ "2.9. Series Eligibility". FIRST Official Sporting Code. 
  16. ^ "2.2. Earning a FIRST License". FIRST Official Sporting Code. 
  17. ^ "The Sticking Points in Modeling Tires". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  18. ^ a b Denton, Jon (August 2008). "The Masters of Mass." (PDF). AutoSimSport 4 (4): 21–34. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  19. ^ a b Vasilakos, Aristotelis (June 2008). "iRacing: The Physics" (PDF). AutoSimSport 4 (3): 33–38. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  20. ^ a b FIRST Official Sporting Code. 
  21. ^ "The World Cup of iRacing 2009 Official Guidelines" (PDF). iRacing.com. 2009-01-19. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  22. ^ "JForum - Java Discussion Board". Members.iracing.com. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  23. ^ "The iRacing Pro Series and iRacing Drivers World Championships" (PDF). iRacing.com. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  24. ^ "History". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  25. ^ Bob Pockrass (May 19, 2009). "NASCAR inks deal with iRacing.com to develop online racing series". SceneDaily.com. Retrieved 2010-04-13. 
  26. ^ "Cars". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  27. ^ "Fans Can Drive IndyCar, Firestone Indy Lights At IMS Through iRacing - Indianapolis 500". Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 2009-08-23. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  28. ^ "to Build Digital Honda for New Super GT Series | inRacingNews.com". Iracing.com. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  29. ^ "BTCC and Super GT Honda Coming to iRacing". RaceDepartment. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  30. ^ a b "Tracks". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  31. ^ a b "Oran Park Raceway and Circuit Zolder Join iRacing". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-12-01. [dead link]
  32. ^ a b "Dover is Monstrous News for iRacing.com". 8 July 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  33. ^ [1]
  34. ^ "Cat Herder 16". Iracing.com. 2012-08-13. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  35. ^ Elfalan, Jonathan (December 2008). "Racing in the Virtual World". Road & Track. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  36. ^ "iRacing.com to sponsor Josh Wise in Indy and Iowa Nationwide Series races". Retrieved 2 June 2011. 
  37. ^ "iRacing.com Announces the Addition of Ford Race Cars to its Virtual Fleet". iRacing.com. Retrieved 2009-12-17. 
  38. ^ "Online simulations put Ryan Truex, 18, on road to success". 25 May 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  39. ^ "Premier Online Racing Service iRacing.com Continues Global Expansion with New Pacific Content". 20 May 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  40. ^ "Spa coming to iRacing". 7 July 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  41. ^ a b c "iRacing Continues Japanese Growth". iRacing.com. 17 September 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  42. ^ "iRacing.com Announce: Revolution". Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  43. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/pc/959651-iracing/index.html
  44. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/iracing
  45. ^ "iRacing Launches Advanced Motorsport Simulation and Internet Racing Service: Driver Development Tool Now Available to Auto Racing Community and General Public". iRacing.com. August 26, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-09. [dead link]
  46. ^ Eric Fisher (July 27, 2009). "Taking aim online". SportsBusiness Journal. Retrieved 2009-07-28. 
  47. ^ Lerner, Preston (December 23, 2008). "Virtual Car Racing - iRacing". Automobile Magazine. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  48. ^ Lear, Scott R. (November 2008). iRacing Demo (Flash video). Grassroots Motorsports Magazine. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  49. ^ Toivonen, Ismo (February 2009). "iRacing.com: Kumartakaa uutta mestaria". Pelit (in Finnish) 2009 (2): 36–39. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
  50. ^ Lindblad, Jens (June 9, 2008). "iRacing". SimHQ.com. Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  51. ^ Kirby, Gordon (December 22, 2008). "The Way It Is/ Exploring iRacing with Gurney, Wilson and Villeneuve". Retrieved 2009-01-09. 
  52. ^ "The Fountain of Youth | inRacingNews.com". Iracing.com. 2010-12-11. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  53. ^ "Oculus Rift VR Headset Announcement". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]