iRacing 2013 Season 3 Update Offers Exciting New Features and Content

Posted on July 24, 2013 by Ian Alexander No Comments

Lotus 49 race car taking a corner

Lotus 49 at the Long Beach Tech Track – Click image to expand

iRacing, the Boston based software company and current leader in online racing simulation has been hard at work. The latest build, the 2013 Season 3 Update, adds a few very important components to the service. In this post we highlight our favorite new features and content. VGT owners and drivers looking to make the transition to iRacing have a constantly evolving service to get to know. We’ll try to give you the highlights.

Variable Weather
This is big. There is also a realistic weather option that creates random conditions based on historical weather data for that area. Also, weather options can be disabled to the default sunny day settings. Still no word as to when rain will be available but it’s on the list. I asked Sean Siff, Marketing Manager at iRacing to elaborate and here’s what he said…

“Our current weather includes temperature changes, cloud cover changes, fog, humidity, and wind. The air temperature selected will also influence the track temperature. Our tire model will interact with changes in track temp, so iRacers will notice slight changes in grip and vehicle performance. For example, if you dial up the wind, it will affect a racecar’s top speed.”

iRacing Weather Control Panel

iRacing Weather Control Panel – Click image to expand

Drive Against Your Ghost
A popular request for iRacing has been the ability to drive against your own fastest lap in the form of a ghost car. This feature allows a driver to visually see the result of their driving style and give them a consistent benchmark to copy and try to improve upon. Plus it’s more fun than the lap analyzer bar. Sure, who doesn’t want to see their mistakes highlighted in real time and bright colors.

New League Controls
iRacing has a large number of leagues and championships going at all times. Of course users can also do hosted events as well. The new administrative tools will make it easier for a league creator to host their events and have more control over the experience. It also lets iRacing members find leagues and friends easier when searching. For those interested in more information about online competition, take a look at the video Plan Your iRacing Career.

New Crew Chief Feature
There are new controls for automating parts of the pit stop process and for allowing a remote user to become your crew chief. With this feature and the already existing feature of spotters, iRacing members and drivers working with existing teams can utilize the service as way to perform virtual practices and tests. Completing the picture of who’s on the radio and in the pits for a driver adds an entire new level to the software. Features like this could attract more real life race car drivers, engineers and coaches to the service. All of these additional ways to involve more people into the race experience strengthens iRacing as a legitimate practice and training tool for a new team, developing driver or engineer.

New Car – Lotus 49
The Lotus 49 is an icon of vintage racing and was a competitive F1 car in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The car also has an extensive sim racing history and was featured in the grandfather of all sim racing titles, Grand Prix Legends. The car has history and style and now it’s available to the rest of us.

Alexander Rossi, Caterham F1 Test Driver and big fan of the VGT, had the chance to drive the Lotus 49 at CoTA recently. The following videos should give you a sense of how excited people are about this specific car. It’s a piece of history, much different than modern cars and quite a challenge. No aero, archaic tire technology and a 410 bhp V8 that the suspension is bolted to. It weighs under 1200 lbs.

This car has the potential to attract more of the vintage racing crowd to iRacing and even sim racing in general. We’re excited to show it to existing VGT owners that enjoy classic cars and get their reactions. Here’s iRacing’s Dave Kraemer’s Lotus 49 blog post.

Here’s a video of Rossi’s thoughts after driving the vintage Formula 1 car in Austin at the US Grand Prix.

Onboard Footage of Rossi driving the 49

Long Beach Tech Track
Tech Tracks are a new offering from the development team at iRacing. The goal is to allow members the opportunity to drive tracks before they’re full ready. If it’s a track that has the surface done but won’t be fully completed for some time, we may see it as a Tech Track in the mean time. We’re excited at VirtualGT because this is our home track, just minutes from where our simulators are built and from our partner GMG Racing who won the World Challenge race at Long Beach this year in the Audi R8 LMS. We finally have our home track that you can only practice for less than a week per year in real life.

“We hope to release tech tracks as often as our art and dev teams can complete them. Our first priority is to build each track to completion. In the case of Long Beach, the art on the side of the track is a big project so it was relatively easy to provide the spline of the track for members to enjoy and for real pro drivers to test on.” – Sean Siff

New Track – Montreal / Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
Montreal’s pride and joy racetrack and home of the Canadian Grand Prix is now available on iRacing. A popular stop for sports car racing in the US, this adds another hugely sought after track for professional drivers looking to brush up before a coming race or learn the track for the first time. Here’s a video of an iRacing event that shows a couple laps of the track including onboard footage of the Radical SR8.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPW1YrYQESc

Figure 8 Racing at Irwindale
This is different. This is the first of figure 8 tracks to be released and could be sign of other additions in the future. The consequences can be big as the track crosses itself and side impact collisions are common. Looking forward to trying this out, without the medical bills that would surely accompany trying it in real life. Looking forward to other “fun tracks” that get included in the service over time.

Night Races at South Boston
This one is personal for the iRacing team. Their local track and it’s night events are now available on their service. Here’s what Sean had to say about the Boston update, “Our latest build is full of great new features. One of my favorites is the night race option at South Boston Speedway. I actually got to watch a Late Model race at South Boston back in 2009 when I was touring the country with our iRacing trailer. It was really exciting so it’s great to see that small oval get a face lift, so to speak.”

Summary
This update adds some huge new content and features that have been requested by iRacing fans for months and even years. Keep checking our blog for more updates on simulation software and hardware upgrades. If you have any further questions about the service or the new update, please post a comment and we’ll reply. VGT customers can of course email info@virtual-gt.com for further support.

Visit www.iracing.com for more information about the service or to join up. There is currently a 2 years for the price of 1 special until 7/31/13.

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