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iRacing Buyers Guide

Discussion in 'iRacing' started by James Yates, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Reposting this seen as its now buried in a 59 page thread.

    The iRacing Buyers Guide



    This guide is intended to help people when they come to buying some more content and to hopefully get them best value for money.

    Basic Rules When Buying Content:

    • Always buy in groups of 3 or 6, this gives you the discounts of 10% and 20% respectively. If you are going to buy something make sure you don't buy just 2 items or 4 or 5 as you won't get the best discounts. Buying 5 items almost seems to be a waste of money as if you bought something else every item would have 20% knocked off its price. If you buy 4 or 5 items you still get a 10% discount and any number above 6 you'll always get the 20% discount. That is unless you go 100% in which case all your items will have a 25% discount applied.
    • Check the schedules before purchasing anything. The best way to buy tracks is to choose the ones that are used on the most series therefore you'll get the best value for money. Jamie has made a spreadsheet showing which tracks are used the most this season and I'll add a link to it later. Obviously you'll want to have the tracks for the series you'll be competing in the most but it does pay in the long run to choose the most commonly used tracks to start with.
    • Choose a series you know you are likely to enjoy. Obviously you won't know 100% how much you'll like a track or a car but going for the most sensible option will again save you money. If you like touring cars in Race On it would be a good decision to pick the Jetta and some of the tracks off its schedule. If you like open wheelers you could buy the Skippy and the Mazda and a few tracks used on both schedules. However what you don't want to do is pick cars just because you like them in another game and vice versa - some of the cars in iRacing you'll like even though you wouldn't have ever considered it.

    Hopefully below I can give some examples of what to buy depending on what stage you are at.

    Road Series

    Only own the basic content and want to move on or moving up to Class D?

    You've got a decision between the Skip Barber or the Jetta and the best way to pick is to choose car are you most likely to enjoy. If you have always liked FWD touring cars you are best off picking the Jetta. If you have always liked open wheelers you are best off picking the Skip Barber.

    You'll also want some tracks to go with your new car and following the advice I gave earlier try to pick the most used tracks - but also consider what type of track you enjoy and base your decision on this.

    Here's a few examples of what you could buy:

    3 Items:

    Skip Barber
    Road Atlanta
    Infineon

    or

    Jetta
    Virginia International Raceway
    Road Atlanta

    6 Items:

    Skip Barber
    Road Atlanta
    Infineon
    Virginia International Raceway
    New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    Sebring

    or

    Jetta
    Road Atlanta
    Watkins Glen
    Silverstone
    Virginia International Raceway
    New Hampshire Motor Speedway

    Moving onto Class C?

    You've got the choice of the Radical or the Star Mazda. The Radical was dropped down to Class C this season as it has had a lot of problems getting official races - participation is much lower than with the Star Mazda. The Radical also isn't true to real life as iRacing weren't given enough data so certain things aren't quite right meaning it understeers a lot of the time and can be very unpredictable. Based on that you are best off with the Mazda as more people race it and the car is more realistic. You'll obviously want to do official races and the Mazda series is most likely to offer these.

    As I said above you'll also want some tracks to go with your new car and following the advice I gave earlier try to pick the most used tracks - but also consider what type of track you enjoy and base your decision on this. At this point you will probably own a few of the tracks used in each series and from here you need to fill the gaps with the next most commonly used tracks that are in the series you are competing in. I wont put any recommendations here are everyone will probably have something different.

    Moving up to Class B?

    You can choose between the Corvette C6R and the Lotus 79. This is where personal preference comes into play. The Lotus needs to be driven right to the limit to be anywhere near fast and if you are comfortable driving like that this car is for you. If you prefer GT cars you should pick the Corvette. If you've driven it in Evo imagine it with a bit less mechanical grip and a bit more oversteer and that's around how it feels in iRacing. Both seem to get official races with the Corvette being popular as its a new car.

    You'll also want some tracks to go with your new car and following the advice I gave earlier try to pick the most used tracks - but also consider what type of track you enjoy and base your decision on this. At this point you will probably own many of the tracks used in each series and from here you need to fill the gaps with the next most commonly used tracks that are in the series you are competing in. I wont put any recommendations here are everyone will probably have something different.

    Moving up to Class A?

    You can choose between the IndyCar and the Riley. Again there is an element of personal preference in here. The IndyCar is great on road and oval courses and the season will consist of both. If you don't own any oval content it may be worth going for the IndyCar and then just missing those weeks out. The Riley feels similar in some ways to the Corvette but its more prone to snap oversteer as its mid engined. Quite a tricky car to drive, especially compared to the IndyCar.

    As I said above you'll also want some tracks to go with your new car and following the advice I gave earlier try to pick the most used tracks - but also consider what type of track you enjoy and base your decision on this. At this point you will probably own nearly of the tracks used in each series. At this point you'll probably only need a few more tracks and its your choice whether you want them or not. Most of the tracks you'll need will be ovals with road courses or just plain ovals for the IndyCar. This can tie in well if you are planning to do some of the oval series as you'll need the same tracks for both oval and road. In this situation its best to buy the tracks used in the different series you are competing in. For instance if you buy Homestead you can use the road course for the Riley and use the oval for the IndyCar, Impala SS, Impala B, Silver Crown and the Silverado. This should be the main factor in deciding what track to buy at this level.

    Looking to improve your driving skills?

    Buy the Skip Barber as this is a school/training car in real life and will teach you how to drive a race car properly but at a lower speed so you have somewhat of a safety margin. Skills learnt in the Skip Barber can be applied to most of the other road cars in one form or another. Make sure you run some practices before racing, the last thing you want to do is join a race and lose control a lot of times as this will make you take a big hit on your SR.

    Oval Series

    Only own the basic content and want to move on or moving up to Class D?

    You've got a decision between the Late Model or the SK Modified and the best way to pick is to choose car are you most likely to enjoy. The Late Model is much like a stock car that you'll have probably driven before. It has a lot less power and the best way to describe how it feels is like a V8 Supercar but with less power. The SK is a pure oval racer and feels very direct and responsive. Its also catchable if you get sideways and there is usually some close racing here. The SK has less participants though and the Late Model is very popular. You are much more likely to get an official race in the Late Model rather than the SK so factor that in when buying one of the cars.

    You'll also want some tracks to go with your new car and following the advice I gave earlier try to pick the most used tracks - but also consider what type of track you enjoy and base your decision on this.

    Here's a few examples of what you could buy:

    3 Items:

    Late Model
    New Hampshire
    Irwindale

    or

    SK
    New Hampshire
    Irwindale

    6 Items:

    Late Model
    New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    Toyota Speedway at Irwindale
    Pheonix International Raceway
    Stafford Motor Speedway
    Richmond International Raceway

    or

    SK
    New Hampshire Motor Speedway
    Toyota Speedway at Irwindale
    Pheonix International Raceway
    Stafford Motor Speedway
    USA International Speedway

    Moving onto Class C?

    No choice here I'm afraid, its the Silverado only so its best to pick some tracks you really enjoy and just get some SR to move up if you don't like the car. If you do like the car then read below.

    As I said above you'll also want some tracks to go with your new car and following the advice I gave earlier try to pick the most used tracks - but also consider what type of track you enjoy and base your decision on this. At this point you will probably own only few of the tracks used in the series and from here you need to fill the gaps with the next most commonly used tracks that are in the truck series.

    Here's a few tracks I'd recommend getting to use with the truck:

    Daytona International Speedway
    Las Vegas Motor Speedway
    Homestead Motor Speedway
    Talladega Superspeedway
    Texas Motor Speedway


    Moving up to Class B?

    You can choose between the Impala Class B and the Silver Crown. This is where personal preference comes into play. The Silver Crown is very easy to drive on the 1.5+ mile ovals but on the shorter ones it is a real handful. 820hp and only a 2 speed gearbox makes things quite tricky. That said with a good setup you can get very comfortable lapping it and have some good races. Unfortunately though not many people race it and getting an official race can be tricky. The Impala on the other hand isn't too easy to drive but is much more popular and getting an official race is easier. The Impala is tricky on the 1.5 mile ovals and the shorter ones but on superspeedways its fine. Bear that in mind when choosing your tracks to go with the car.

    You'll also want some tracks to go with your new car and following the advice I gave earlier try to pick the most used tracks - but also consider what type of track the car will be best around and base your decision on this. I wont put any recommendations here other than if you haven't got the list I gave for the truck get those first. Make sure you pick the tracks knowing how the car will behave on them. Superspeedways are easy to drive around in the Class B but the races can end with a huge crash at times, but the same can be said for the other ovals.

    Moving up to Class A?

    If you want to do just ovals then you have to go with the Impala SS and its a case of just getting the tracks for that series then. If you want to do a few oval races with road races inbetween pick the IndyCar and you'll get to race on a few ovals in the season. Again like the Impala you'll want to just get the tracks for the season.

    Looking to improve your driving skills?

    Buy the Late Model and get used to running close to other cars. Once you've mastered that move up to the truck and again get used to running in packs. Its best to join a populated practice rather than a race to learn how to run with other cars. Once you've got the hang of that you should be ok to do some oval racing.

    All the above is excluding 24 Heures du Fun, Week 13 and hosted racing.

    The other alternative is to go 100% straight away and this will be the cheapest option if you know you'll continue with iRacing and use everything. If you plan on just doing oval or just road then perhaps going 100% isn't the best decision. Don't rule out oval if you've only done road racing in the past as a few things will surprise you with how good they are. Same goes if you've always been an oval racer and you aren't sure about trying some road racing. With the base content you get oval and road racing so try things out there first if you aren't sure. The Legends races are similar to the SK/Late Model as they race on short tracks. Road wise nothing is that similar but racing the Spec Racer can set you up well for the Mazda or the Skip Barber.

    Hopefully this can help you out a bit when deciding what to buy. Any additions, mistakes or anything of that nature send me a PM and I shall add/correct it.
     
  2. Great article. Thanks ;)
     
  3. Great article; it helped me make my first purchase. Can I suggest that you update the track lists for season 2 since it is starting next week? If you had time to update your suggested track lists every 13 weeks then this could be stickied and be a valuable resource to people who are new to iRacing.
     
  4. I'll update once its the new season :)
     
  5. Well done James. Thanks! :)
     
  6. Great article James! Another thing to mention. You can move up all the way to A class without buying all the tracks for a lower class. Example. If you really wanted to race the Vette in B class you could just purchase the Skippy for example and race your 4 required races or time trials on a basic track you already own. If you get your Safety Rating to 4.00 or higher you get instantly promoted to C class.

    In this way the only purchase needed to jump to C class was the Skippy for $11.95. You can then do the same for B class. Example. Buy the Mazda and then you're only 4 races or time trials away from B class and the Vette.

    I've raced about 200 Skippy races and love it, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend skipping that series, but if you're goal was to get to the Vette quickly without buying a bunch of tracks you didn't want, that's one way to do it. Hard to resist racing the Skippy series at least once.... I did that and I'm now in my 7th season! LOL!
     
  7. Abdul Al-Amry

    Abdul Al-Amry
    2011 RD Indy 500 Winner

    Got back to iRacing yesterday for 3 months at half price. Still at Rookie lol. Getting the Pontiac some miles at Limerock before moving on. Mighty impressed with the quality of iRacing. This guide will really help me once I am ready to jump the hurdle to another class. Thanks
     
  8. Just a warning, the guide is slightly out of date as season 3 has had a large change in schedules from previous seasons. Plus a couple of new series to consider.
     
  9. Abdul Al-Amry

    Abdul Al-Amry
    2011 RD Indy 500 Winner

    Guys, ready to buy three items today. Skip barber is in the list. What are the tracks you recommend to purchase to go with it. I am nearing my rank to 4 soon maybe tonight.
     
  10. If you're going to buy the Skip Barber car you may want to check out the Season 3 schedule to pick up some blank spots...
    http://members.iracing.com/iforum/thread.jspa?threadID=92140&tstart=0
    A couple of my favorites are Watkins Glen and Zandvoort. There are going to be 2 races at each circuit using different configurations. That way you could get 4 races with 2 tracks.
     
  11. Abdul Al-Amry

    Abdul Al-Amry
    2011 RD Indy 500 Winner

    Fantastic Steve. Thanks alot. I shall treat myself to those tracks plus the barber for the 10% discount. I am getting addicted to iRacing.
     
  12. Glenn Petersen

    Glenn Petersen
    Premium Member

    I with you on that! I just bought 5 tracks and a car this weekend. I couldn't help myself. I need counciling. :)
     
  13. Abdul Al-Amry

    Abdul Al-Amry
    2011 RD Indy 500 Winner

    We need more iRacing Glenn. Counselling wont work m8.
     
  14. @Glenn & Abdul - They put me in rehab, but it didn't take...:tongue:

    BTW, VIR is a really nice track too.
     
  15. Kevin Ascher

    Kevin Ascher
    #47 Roaring Pipes Maniacs

    You talk about being iRacing addicted?
    I am iRacing's Pete Doherty!! :D
     
  16. I just bought Skip Barber's 'Going Faster - Mastering the Art of Race Driving'. I think that might be a sign that I am taking iRacing a little too seriously (if there is such a thing) :D.
     
  17. Kevin Ascher

    Kevin Ascher
    #47 Roaring Pipes Maniacs

    I have Ross Bentley's 'Speed Secrets' always lying next to my Playseat ;)
    No need to feel lost, Mark :p
     
  18. When I finish this, I might buy that... Along with most of the other titles in the bibliography of Going Faster :D. I just figured it was time I went back to basics (school) and put some effort into being better, rather than just wishing, hoping and praying.
     
  19. Dietmar

    Dietmar
    Premium Member

    But it's cool reading it... (did I out myself now?).... but the driving school gives actually a brief overview of the content, though I am not yet through (with both, the book and the videos).

    I indeed pay a lot more attention to my driving since I am reading it; did it make me faster? No idea, but I understand now why I ran into the gravel.
     
  20. I have already had 'oh' moments: you know the ones, where you always instinctively did something, or always kind of understood the concept of what you were doing, but now 'know' you were right to do it. All of a sudden I trail braking better and using throttle trailing better :D.