iRacing Season 3 begins!

I am super excited for @iRacing Season 3. If you haven’t read my articles about iRacing, you need to check them out.

Part 1
Part 2

Season 3 brings iRacing 2.0, which features the new Car of Tomorrow (COT) from the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as a new tire model on all cars to help contribute to the real feeling of racing. There are a lot of other cool features, but nothing I will get into now.

I was supposed to have a Class A license, but I didn’t quite fulfill the minimum participation requirements in Season 2 to be promoted due to having a long break in June where I didn’t get to race. However, I sit at a 3.76 safety rating (SR) in Class B, which is how you are measured when promoted. The max is 4.99, and if you reach 4.0 at any point in the season in Class R – Class B, you get automatically promoted. So I’m basically sitting .24 behind the promotion level, which can be attained within a week or 2.

To give you a feel of how it works, it is very much like Starcraft’s ladder rankings:

Rookie = Bronze
Class D = Silver
Class C = Gold/Platinum
Class B = Diamond
Class A = Masters
Pro = Grand Masters

I put Gold/Platinum together because the largest majority of Class racers that play the game fall into Class C. Rookie is where everyone starts out, just like Bronze. You can have a terrible rating, and finish last every race, and you will just stay rookie. In order to be promoted, you must finish well in your races, and more importantly – race safe to show you are a good driver. Wrecks happen all the time, so you have to prove you can race without playing dirty, or else you will be penalized.

You can also look at it from a GSL perspective when it comes to the serious competition and not just fun play:

Pro = Code S
Class A = Code A

There are many different types of racing in iRacing, but at the Pro and Class A level, there are sponsored leagues by NASCAR and Formula 1 (Oval and Road racing, respectively). Class A is open to anyone who has a Class A license. The top 40-50 drivers at the end of each season can earn their pro license and compete in the World Championship series for each type of race. These racers are the best of the best. Class A drivers can try to qualify for spots that aren’t taken by Pro drivers if they fail to register or must miss a race for whatever reason. From there – it works just like real NASCAR or Formula 1, outside of teams.

Below these divisions, there are different race series you can compete in. The IZOD Indy Car series has a season that is for Class B drivers (which I have raced some in), as well as a Nationwide Series for Class B. I will most likely run the Nationwide Series this season full time. Racers usually have to pick and choose one or two leagues to focus their attention on because it gets to be really time consuming. There are 12 races each season, and you get to claim your top 8. Therefore, in my case, I skipped week 1 of the Nationwide Series due to it being at Watkins Glen, which is a road course. This will not penalize me, as there are still 11 weeks in the season, and I can only claim points for 8 races. This allows for people who don’t want to spend money on all the tracks for a season, or who have scheduling conflicts with the race times.

Like I mentioned in my articles, iRacing would be a great addition to any league that wanted to work with it. iRacing promotes creating your own leagues on top of their own, and I have thought about doing just that, and running it like GSL. Obviously with a field of 40 drivers all at once, instead of group/bracket play, it would be a little different but I have some good ideas. They even provide you with website templates and such to get started. @zsta2k7 and I have talked about doing a league for a while now, and it may just have to become a reality soon.

I’m really looking forward to racing this season. I think it will be a good one, especially in a new car now, and most likely moving up to Class A. I am not a “sponsored” gamer by vVv, but since I work for them now, I have changed my car design for this season. Instead of racing for Blaster Racing (our family’s real life racing sponsor), I decided to just create a vVv/Steelseries car to race in this season instead. 30-40 racers, plus that many more spectators each race will be able to see the car, and just like in real racing, the racer will become known by his sponsor. It’s a cool way to actually have in game advertising for your sponsor which is something no other game provides.

If anyone wants to get in to it, just let me know! You will need a wheel/pedals, and a good set will run you about $300, but you can probably get one for around $100 if you look hard enough. I use a Logitech G27 wheel, and it is awesome, I recommend it.

Week 2 is at Iowa Speedway, which is a new track to me. Should be interesting. I’ll see you there!

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Jon Lunceford is a sports media broadcaster and digital professional. Jon is a graduate of the University of Alabama school of journalism, and played football at Birmingham-Southern College. He has also won two AHSAA Football State Championships while at Homewood High School and was a two-time World Cyber Games Team USA representative. He currently hosts Primetime on WJOX 94.5 and runs the high school athletics site JoxPreps.