iRacing Progression

I’m going to share a short post about my thoughts when it comes to tracking your performance on iRacing. I see and hear a lot of people focusing so much on their iRating, that they are not having fun. But iRating is just one side of a more complicated value.

Should you be confusing on your iRating, Safety license or something entirely different? We’ll dive into what you can keep an eye on, to see how you’re doing on iRacing

iRating and SR are just indicators.


This is a number calculated based on how you perform, against others in your races. This means that you “kind of” take points off other drivers when you win against them, and “give them” points when you lose to them. If the ones you win against are much better than you, you get more points than if they were more equal to you, or maybe even worse than you.

iRacing uses this iRating to place you in a split (group) of cars that are more or less at the same skill level as you. iRating isn’t an exact indicator though. Unless you stick to one or very few cars, and only a couple of series, your iRating will fluctuate a lot! You can me a 3000ir driver on GT3 series, but if you want to try out a new car on a new series, you will be placed in a split of drivers that are much faster, and more experienced than you, in that car. This will cause your iRating to drop at least until you get better at driving that car.

This means that if you stick to one series, and one car, your irating will be better than if you just race whatever you feel like. But does that really indicate if you’re getting better or worse at driving?

Safety Rating

Safety rating is calculated by how many incidents you have, divided by how many corners you have gone through. This is a cold calculator, that does not consider who’s fault the incident was or how it happened. Having a good safety rating (SR) is a sign that you have a good sense of what is happening around you, you don’t put yourself in dangerous situations and that you can drive strategically.

It doesn’t show if you’re a better or faster driver though. It can also be a counterweight to high SR as you sometimes need to sacrifice SR to gain iR and some times visa versus.

Actual race results are realtive

Lap times

You could argue that you can compare your pace through time. If you compare lap times. Hopefully you will have gotten better and faster around tracks that you race often. This can be a good tool to track progression, but with the amount of updates coming to iRacing, you can’t make an objective comparison. There are too many factors that change through time, such us new tires, track scans, track conditions, environmental rendering etc. When the new tyre model was released, half a year ago, my average lap times dropped with a couple of seconds!

Division results

This has been an eye opener for me. Divisions are pretty elemental classes. At the start of each season, all active subscriptions are sorted by iRating, and divided into 10 divisions. Division 1 has the highest iRating, and division 10 has the lowest. You are stuck in this division for the whole season, across all series of each type of racing (road, ovals, dirt etc.). This is a pretty good indicator, but your performance will vary depending on what division you are, and how many active memberships iRacing has. During this Corona Pandemic, a lot of new users joined in on iRacing, which caused many existing users to have a massive division raise.

In division championships, you compete against other drivers from your division. This means that you may race with drivers from any division, but the race results will be accumulated in an individual championship against drivers from your own division.

You can check your division championship standing if you head to Results & Stats > Series Stats.

Here you can select what series you want to check, the season, week, class and division. Press GO, and you’ll get a list of drivers, sorted by how many points they have in that championship.

You never really know where you are placed though, until the end of the season, because you are allowed X number of dropped weeks, and it will ignore your worst point results for each week.

Each week, the best 25% of the races joined in a particular series (rounded up to a whole number) will calculate an average point result and we awarded to that week. So if you do 11 races, 25% of 11 = 2,75. This means that the best 3 point results of that week will be used to calculate your average of that week. Further more, through out the whole season, only the 8 best weeks will be used to add up for your total point standings.

Time Trials

Time Trials is an other really interesting way of registering your progress and how much faster you are than the average drivers. Hot-lapping is a competition with a single car on track attempting to achieve the fastest possible lap time. In Time trials, you try to set the fastest lap times. All racers participating in the Time Trials, receive the same conditions, and some elements of iRacing are disabled, to maintain the same objective conditions

  • All participants receive identical weather conditions for all sessions run, and it does not change during the session.
  • The Dynamic Track system is disabled; the track does not heat-up, collect rubber, marbles, or dirt, and every session will begin with identical track state parameters.
  • Tire wear is disabled.
  • Fuel is not consumed.
  • Tire temperature is NOT disabled during Time Attack sessions. Tires DO build up heat during Time Attack sessions

You must complete this process for an entire series of tracks which typically match the official series that the Time Trials belong to (same cars and track combination). Once complete, the system takes your fastest single lap time as your submitted score for each track in the Time Attack Series and totals them as your final Time Attack Score

You can drive as many laps as you want on any or all the tracks in the Time Attack Series to try and continually improve your submitted lap time..

There are 10 tiers of skill on the Time Attack Leader Board to help racers identify their personal performance compared to all other racers. This way you can track your performance gain against other racers.

Safety Rating and iRating are both completely disabled during Time Attack sessions, and they have no effect on a racer’s Time Attack Score. This means that it is a really great way to learn and practice a track, while still getting some form of acknowledgement for the time spent.

Your gut feeling

Finally, it all boils down to your own feeling. Do you feel you’re getting faster, better, safer, wiser or maybe even more strategic? If you really look for it, you already more or less know. The problem with calculating a single value is, that there are many ways you can be a good driver. Results are eventually the final measurement, but lap times, series, incidents are also a huge part of your progress, even though they don’t always reflect in race wins or results.

As long as you’re having fun, you’re doing well!

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