iRacing for beginners

May 24, 2024 | 0 comments

Discover the thrill of iRacing with Renvale and Ascher Racing.

Diving into racing simulators can be intimidating. Many beginners find themselves overwhelmed, experiencing a few frustrating races before giving up. But don’t worry, we’re here to make your journey into iRacing smooth and enjoyable with the right information, advice, and support to kickstart your racing career.

Before You Begin

This isn’t just another racing game—it’s a full-fledged racing simulator service. This means you’ll pay a monthly subscription to access the platform and purchase additional content like cars and tracks.

Subscription Details:

Cost: $13 per month or $110 annually (with frequent discounts).
Access: Practice sessions, official races, and iRacing forums.
Your subscription includes a selection of cars and tracks to get you started, such as the DW12 Indycar, Mazda MX-5 Cup cars, Laguna Seca, and Oulton Park.
Additional Costs: Cars: $11.95 each, Tracks: $14.94 each, Discounts: 10% off for buying 3-5 items and 20% off if you own 40 pieces of content.

Getting Started:

Sign Up: Visit and subscribe. Download and Install: Follow the prompts to download and install the software. This will place an iRacing icon on your desktop. Configure Settings: Launch iRacing, let it auto-configure your graphics settings, and you’re ready to go.

First Steps:

Join the Mazda MX-5 series and enter a practice session. Configure your steering wheel, pedals, and essential buttons like the Pitlane Speed Limit and Black Box.

Car Setups

iRacing provides excellent baseline setups for all cars and tracks, perfect for beginners. These setups are stable and forgiving, though not the fastest. As you gain experience, you may want to explore custom setups to stay competitive.

Understanding Licenses and Safety Rating (SR)

You’ll start as a Rookie, driving the Mazda MX-5 in fixed-setup races. To advance to a D license, you need a Safety Rating (SR) of 3.0 by the end of the 12-week race season. An SR of 4.0 promotes you immediately.

Tips for Increasing SR:

Focus on clean laps and races, Avoid off-track incidents and collisions, Higher licenses unlock advanced cars and races, so consistency and clean driving are crucial.

Mastering Your iRating

Your iRating measures your skill as a driver. It increases when you outperform higher-rated opponents and decreases with poor race results. A higher iRating ensures you race against drivers of similar skill levels, making for safer and more enjoyable races.

On-Track Etiquette

Remember, iRacing drivers are real people, not AI. Respectful driving is essential. Misconduct can lead to penalties, including temporary or permanent bans. Make sure you have good racing etiquette.

Understanding Racing Flags

iRacing uses real-world racing flags to communicate with drivers. Here are some common flags and their meanings:

  • Black Flag: Serve a penalty by returning to the pits
  • Blue Flag: (Yellow Stripe) You’re about to be lapped by leaders
  • Checkered Flag: The race is over
  • Disqualification Flag: Your race is over
  • Green Flag: The race has started
  • Meatball Flag: Your car is damaged, return to pits
  • White Flag: Final lap of the race
  • Yellow Flag: Slow car/s ahead

Engaging with the Community

This community is a fantastic resource. The official iRacing forums are great for asking questions and getting information from other drivers and racing staff. Additionally, the thriving iRacing community on Reddit can provide helpful insights and support.

By following this guide and engaging with the iRacing community, you’ll be well on your way to mastering iRacing. Happy racing!

large crash during an iracing simulation game, cars crashing and flying all over the track
iracing game showing a man waving a chequered flag as a red car crosses the finish line. The man waving the flag has an iracing logo on the back of his outfit

Setting Up Your Ascher Racing Wheel and Pedals for iRacing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before even launching iRacing, start by downloading the calibration software for your pedal brand—whether it’sLogitech, Thrustmaster, Fanatec, Acetec, or Heusinkveld. Calibration is essential for ensuring accuracy and responsiveness.

  • Open the Calibration Software: Locate the calibration section.
  • Calibrate the Pedals: Follow the software prompts to calibrate each pedal.
  • Set Dead Zones: Adjust a small dead zone at the top and bottom of both the throttle & brake to ensure good pedal travel and prevent accidental inputs. This helps in situations where the throttle might not be fully depressed or if your foot rests lightly on the brake.

Configure Your Ascher Racing Steering Wheel

Next, download the software for your Ascher Racing steering sim wheel and follow the calibration and configuration steps. Set Steering Rotation: Configure the steering wheel’s rotation in the software. For example, a common setting is 900 degrees, which is the full lock-to-lock rotation. Check for Accuracy: Rotate your wheel fully left and right to ensure the software recognises the full range.

Launch iRacing and Fine-Tune Settings

  • After configuring your hardware, open iRacing to continue setup.
  • Configure Pedals and Steering in iRacing: Go to the options menu.
  • Steering: Follow prompts to set the wheel rotation accurately.
  • Pedals: Calibrate each pedal by following on-screen instructions. If you couldn’t set dead zones in your pedal software, do it here by adjusting pedal travel during calibration.

Adjusting Brake Force and Feedback

  • Brake Force Factor: Adjust this based on your pedals. Load cell pedals (like Heusinkveld) should have this set to the left for linear braking.
  • Force Feedback: Set the maximum torque value based on your wheelbase’s specs to avoid clipping, which can result in a lack of detailed feedback.

Graphics and Sound Settings

  • Virtual Mirror Field of View: Set this to 60 degrees for a realistic representation of distances in your rearview mirror.
  • Sound Configuration: Enable voice chat and configure sound levels to your preference, such as reducing tyre sounds for a more realistic experience.

Important In-Sim Controls

  • Map Buttons: Ensure you map buttons for the pit speed limiter and black box controls (to cycle through various in-race data screens).
  • Black Boxes: Familiarise yourself with the black boxes (e.g., lap timing, standings, relative positions) and how to navigate them during a race.

Additional Tips and Best Practices

  • Fast Repair: Use your single fast repair wisely during races to minimize downtime after a crash.
  • Tyres and Fuel: Untick tyre changes and refuelling before races to avoid unnecessary pit stops.
  • Session Navigation: Withdraw from practice sessions before joining race sessions to avoid conflicts.

Final Notes

Setting up your equipment properly and understanding these fundamental steps will ensure a smoother and more enjoyable iRacing experience. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Happy racing!

Front view of an Ascher Racing McLaren Artura Ultimate sim wheel. The wheel is black with rubber grips and it shows the brightly coloured buttons. Photographed on a stainless steel background
Close up photo of red and blue dials on an ascher racing steering wheel. It is black with a white mclaren logo and it has shallow focus