iRacing
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     To say I have played a lot of racing games is an understatment.  Growing up fascinated by cars and racing,  its no wonder I grew up fond of them and even for a short while had a bit of track time.  Always looking for the next simulator that will take me closer to being in the seat of a high powered racing machine is some what of a hobby.  So when I was told about iRacing and heard about how it was not only praised by the online community but backed by not a few but many professional racing drivers, I had to give it a throw and see just how good it really was.

 

     Starting off in iRacing can be a bit scary with terms like "subscription based" and the huge list of cars and tracks pricing around $15 dollars for EACH.  But fear not, the entry level cars and tracks are more than enough to keep you racing and coming back for more.  It also lets you advance at your own pace and only in the areas you want to so you are only buying what you need.  I started out with $12 dollars for a 1 month subscription and I was hooked.  Starting up was a breeze with a 15 step quick start guide that not only walked you through the setup process but helps you understand the community and what iRacing is really about.  iRacing is based on having (aguably) the best racing simulator you can buy and a community focused on become the best drivers they can be with support from many different racing organizations including Skip Barber Racing School.

 

     iRacing is not for everyone.  If you have a strong love for racing and motorsports, as well as a drive to be the best driver you can be than iRacing will be the breath of fresh air you are looking for.  However, if you are the casual racer who just like to mess around on a track and giggles when they accidently wreck other drivers iRacing will just be a waste of time and money. If you are the racing fan, the list of goodies is massive.  

 

     When you start off in iRacing you are labled as a rookie (obviously) and as you race and prove yourself on the track you earn higher license levels permiting access to more serious events with some of the best drivers around.  The car list itself is diveres enough to have something for just about everyone but for those people who are looking to race multiple makes and models of cars you will be kinda disappointed.  Having a massive car list though was never the goal of iRacing.  They focused on how the cars handled and the connection to the driver they a lot of current racing simulators seem to be lacking.  They go through each car and painstakingly weigh, laser scan, analize and test so they can put every element of the car together so you are not just driving a box with wheels and some suspension numbers.  You are driving the car and the collection of its parts that make it whole.  And what a result that makes.  If you have a racing wheel (which is not the only way to play you can use a gamepad or joystick if you choose) than you will be in for the ride of your life.  Having spent some time racing in a real car I was surprised by the level of detail to how the car reacts.  How every input you do has an affect on the car.  Minus force of the car trying to tear you out of your seat, this simulator is going to be as close as you can get to racing in real life.  

 

     The learning curve is steep and will teach you the difference between "simcade" and simulation racers.  If you stick with it and are determined to better yourself on the track, there is no place that offers the tools and the experience that iRacing provides.  Everything from statsticts from previous races to the abilty to fine tune your racing machine to responded to your unique driving style.  Can't tune?  No problem with tons of tips and guides to help you understand how your car actually works.  Not so 'sure footed' on the track?  With Skip Barber Racing School's free training videos,  you will be pointed in the right direction and walk away with the know how and confidence to help grow yourself into a top notch driver.  If you are looking for a racing simulator that will put you closer to racing in real life than you thought possible than iRacing is the place for you.