This post may or may not be of interest to anyone thinking of trying IRacing and will offer a realistic account of what you get for your money. Apologies if its long winded. I did a minimal amount of research beforehand which mostly resulted in “Its better than RFactor” or “Its not as good as RFactor” so I took the plunge and spent $12 for a 3 month subscription. IRacing is basically split into Road and Oval and so far I have only concentrated on Road. What you get is 2 Mazda MX5’s – a Cup and a Roadster. You can practise these on any of the free tracks or you can race online on the track that has been chosen for that week. Tracks change on a Tuesday so for the first week you can race on the Okayama short circuit, on the hour every hour. The following week switches to Lime rock Park, then back to Okayama and so on and so forth. You start with a Rookie License. To progress to the next license you need to improve your safety rating (SR). You can do this by racing without any incidents. If you race and go off track, you lose some rating. If you crash you lose some rating. It’s a good system to improve people’s driving standards but getting rammed by someone who forgot to brake means you also lose some of your safety rating and at times the Mazda races were reminiscent of RFactor public servers. You can of course lodge a complaint against another driver. This involves saving a recording f the incident, editing it, listing date time etc etc and at the end of the day who can be arsed with all that? So, you run a few races and get your D License which allows you to race in the Skip Barber single seater – after you’ve bought it of course for just $11.95. You can test it and race at this week’s circuit – Laguna Seca, which you got free when you signed up. If you want to race next week, you will need to buy Zandvoort – only $14.95. In between times I looked at the other free of charge cars, the Solstice – piece of junk – and the Ford Spec racer which looked interesting. This was the next step for me – unfortunately the race that week was at Silverstone – which I didn’t own – so after a quick visit to the IR store- and $14.95 later, I could now race this beast on Britain’s favourite circuit. I did a couple of Time Trials – Time Trial is an event you compete in on your own and you need to do a specified number of laps without crashing or leaving the track – so for example the requirement may be 6 laps. If you put a wheel off on the 5th lap you have to start again so you drive pretty slowly and don’t find the cars limit as you don’t want the tedium of doing it all again. Next step, enter a race. Races start at 30 minutes past every even hour. I entered and turned up on time to find I was the only entrant. If there is less than a specified number of entrants, the race is automatically declared unofficial and you can’t score any SR or IRating points. So back to the Skippy then but not being a big fan of a car that handles like a bag of spanners, I took the plunge and invested $26.90 in the Star Mazda single seater and this week’s track – Brands Hatch. Put in a bit of practise and found a reasonable setup .Entered my first race. Got hit from behind going into Druids which pushed me across the track and straight into a guy the other side of the hairpin knocking him off and inspiring him to call me an ass. Car damaged race over at the second bend and a swift reduction in my Safety Rating thanks to Car Collision, Off Track, and Car Collision, none of which were my fault, but at least I got called an ass which sort of made up for it. During this period I had competed in enough MX5 events very carefully and increased my SR to over 4.0 which you can view in two different ways. Either 1)Great now you can race other vehicles or 2) Great, now you spend more money in the IRacing store So as an IRacing veteran of about 3 weeks, and an investment of about $80 I needed to decide what to concentrate on next. Jumped into a couple of MX5 races on Sunday in a bid to increase my SR. Got an incident free finish then a wipe out at the first turn so back to square one with that then thought a bit of practise for the Rfactor F1 1992 might be good for the soul so spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening in the Rd server, just like old times. So what to do this week. The MX5’s series returns to Okayama short circuit, or I could concentrate on the Skip Barber single seater at Zandvoort – after I’ve bought it, or possibly get right into the Star Mazda which is running this week at the Richmond International Raceway which sounds good – oh hang on, I don’t have that circuit yet but a trip to the store and a £14.95 investment should put that right. Alternatively I could just practise with the F1 92 guys ready for Canada on Sunday. Whens RFactor 2 coming out?