New iRacer looking for some pointers on how it works...

I'm new to iRacing having recently joined. In fact, I am totally new to sim racing too having only played more arcadey racing games in the past. I have just invested in a Logitech G25 as my wheel of choice.

I am just curious as to how it works and how to best bump up my score etc. I ran some practice laps of the Mazda Cup around Summit Point to get a feel for it. I have then gone and done a couple of practice sessions to get used to other cars around me. I also just did a time trial where my fastest lap time was a 1:28:3.

However, I am a tad confused by how this all works. I did a time trial and the lap counter stated I did 19 laps. A couple of them were reset after a crash, but most were clean laps, which the time trial criteria stated i needed to do 7 clean laps.

However, coming out of it, my score rating has gone down and when i hover over the "MPR" it still says i need to complete 2 more races and 4 more time trials, even though i just did one.

I am confused as it has docked my score, obviously from recognising i did a time trial, but is then saying i still need to do 4 more time trials, so not recognising it on that front?!?!

I wish there was a SUPER BASIC and user friendly step-by-step 'you need to do this, this and this' type guide fore newcomers!

Thanks in advance for any help!
In time trials, you need to do a number of clean laps in a row. You probably didn't do 7 in a row without incidents, so it didn't count it.

As for ttrating, don't even think about it. I think it compares your average with old records, but old records are always faster because the physics have changed with time, so you'll always lose rating there. No point stressing over it.

Just take it easy and try to enjoy the ride.

Edit: Maybe you meand Safety Rating (SR). You need to have a lot cleaner time trials/races for it to go up. Aim to have a completely clean time trial, even if you have to slow down a bit. Specially if you are new to sim racing, trying to be fast from the get-go will do more harm than good, and it might end up frustrating you more than anything. If you take it easy, the lap times will eventually come down.
Yup, ttRating is pretty much meaningless, run by black magic in the background. I don't know of anyone that takes it all that seriously.

You lost SR because you had 22 incident points in 18 laps. Your TT didn't count as official towards your MPR because you need to run 7 laps in a row without a single incident (those 7 laps get averaged for your official TT time).

The best spot to look for help with these kinds of things is the suggested reading thread, John does a great job with this.

You're definitely doing the right thing thing by practicing and running TTs until you feel comfortable in a race. You just need to get more comfortable driving clean, and that often means driving a bit less aggressively. Your fastest lap times will be a bit slower, but your average will come up because you're spending less time pointing backwards. Most importantly, driving clean is how you progress, not being fast. You want to drive as quickly as you can without collecting many incidents. Your goal should be to collect no more than 1 incident every 15-20 corners.

Once you feel confident doing that in a TT (your SR should go up when you do) then look at joining a race. Don't drop to the back, but don't fight for position very hard. You can't trust the other drivers to be safe, so it's best to let them go and crash someone else instead of you :) If you can keep running clean laps at your own pace without getting into trouble, those laps in the 1:28s will do just fine and you'll get placed in better races against better drivers where you can start to race as your ability allows.

Feel free to ask any other questions as you have them.
also, while you are still in rookie class, your iRating is not shown, it will only become visible once you have progressed to D-licence.

other interesting bits and pieces:
in race the number on the car shows the strength of the player, guy with highest iRating gets the #1, second highest gets the #2 a.s.o.

your iRating goes up if you finish better than halfway up the grid (usually)

in a race, safety rating gets deducted after car contact even ifyou did not make the mistake but the chap behind you knocks you off or the chap in front spins and there is no room to evade. no matter who was guilty, the system is dumb and just counts the impact, heavy impact gets a 4sr, medium a 2sr, light a 1sr and sometimes you get away with a 0sr. impact is measured in a span of something like 3secs or so after the first touch, so if you just touch somebody lightly but that makes the other guy crash into the barriers real hard, you might end up with a 4sr.
all ratings in tt and quali are only counted at 1/4th value, so picking up sr or iR in race is much quicker either way.

to avoid lap1 crashes, one can start from pits, just let the 60 secs join phase slip by and join once it says "missed start". you are then placed in the pitlane in front of your garage and released a couple of secs after the field gets green. one usually comes out 6-9 secs behind the last of the other players. watch out: pit lane speed limit applies and most of the lower tier cars do not have a limiter! one can quickly catch a 17 sec penalty.

races in rookie class and d-class usually give you one quick repair per race, i.e. you collect damage, limp back to pit, on the way there turn off fuel, tear off windscreen and tire change (f4 and f5 screen) (better always do it just before start while you wait on the grid or in the pit) then carefully park in front of your lollipop and presto, the damage is gone, you can rejoin the race. this is not possible in the higher class races.

if your car is too damaged to limp back to pits, press esc and you will be towed back, i.e. your car is placed in the pits instantly but is not operative while the tow clock ticks down, between 30 secs and 3 min. depending on how far away from pits your accident happened (worst place: t1). as you wait for tow to finish, turn off fuel, windscreen change etc. (s.a.)

overall: enjoy the show, pick your buys wisely (bundkle of three gets you a discount, some tracks are used in many series etc.) in the first eighteen months and try not to be too eager the first couple of days. easy does it.