By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
If you follow me on twitter then it’s no secret to you that I have become addicted to this thing called iracing. Several people have responded to me asking for more information about it, or questioning it’s realism. Well let me tell you right now that iracing is more than just a game, in my opinion it is the world’s finest racing simulator available hands down.
The thing that really separates iracing from any other racing “game” is that you aren’t limited to just one type of car, or racing discipline. You can run NASCAR Trucks, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series cars, Izod Indy Cars, or even legends cars just to name a few of the great racing series that are available.
Several people in the Twitter world are still using such games as EA Sports’ NASCAR 09 to get their racing fix because they don’t want to pay the fees for iracing. Well even though there is a subscription fee ($7.46 per month when you subscribe for two years), let me tell you it is well worth every penny.
Not to mention the fees aren’t really a new thing as far as racing games come.
For example at the time of it’s release NASCAR 09 cost anywhere from $60 to $70. Even though EA Sports has stopped producing NASCAR titles for now, that means that every year they were putting out new titles every year you had to spend $60 to $70… Sounds a lot like a yearly fee to me and those games don’t even hold a candle to the realism iracing brings.
Sure iracing’s fees are just a slightly more than the cost of buying a new console game per year, but it comes with the convenience of not having to go to the store every year to pick up a new version of the game, and on top of that it comes with un-matched realism. Iracing makes the other racing video games look like what they truly are… arcade games.
Not only that, but the subscription fee which has kept many away actually is a blessing in disguise. What do I mean? How can this be? Well it weeds out a lot of the “pretenders” and the ones who simply use racing games to go backwards and crash out everyone who is trying to be serious.
The way iracing is structured is that there is actually a competition committee that watches over the sport, and actually listens to racers when they report drivers who are “wreckers”. This keeps the system honest, and makes races way more fair than any other online racing game I’ve ever seen.
You start off with a rookie license on ovals and road courses which will get you access in competing in two different racing leagues. As far as ovals are concerned you will start off in the rookie Legends Series where you will learn the fundamentals of stock car racing on short tracks such as Lanier Speedway and South Boston Raceway.
As far as our aspiring Road Course Aces are concerned you will be given an opportunity to feel your way around the turns in a Pontiac Solstice at Laguna Seca.
Once you prove that you can compete without causing incidents, your safety rating begins to climb, and you will eventually be promoted to a D license. From here you can begin to climb through the ranks of iracing and who knows you may eventually get a chance to compete in the NASCAR iracing A Series (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series).
Along the way you can make friends and rivals on the racetrack, and you can add them to your friends list to keep track of their stats. Also don’t forget that for average joes like us, this is about the only place in the world that we can physically race against real race car drivers. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Will Power, Landon Cassill and several other real life race car drivers use this service, so at any time you could actually bump into them on the racetrack.
I will warn you that it will take a little bit of time to craft your technique so you may struggle a bit at first, however if you stick with it you will eventually find your groove. When you do it will make your first win really mean something.
And for those who just want to host league races with your buddies that won’t be counted towards your official iracing career don’t worry. The service also includes the ability to host races for just you and your friends. It costs three dollars per race session, but you can select any race division to compete in.
I highly suggest that if you haven’t looked into iracing yet that you do so immediately. It is seriously one of the most fun things to do in your spare time, and in this economy it is actually a decent way to work on developing a possible driving career. I myself have competed in over 60 races since May 30th!
To subscribe to the iracing service and begin your online racing career go to http://www.iracing.com. You can find me on iracing my name on there is “Ronald Christie”.