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Getting dirty with iRacing

by: Dave -
More On: iRacing

For those that aren't paying attention, pay-to-play iRacing is seemingly starting to feel the competitive heat from the ever-improving "buy once, play forever" racing sims like Project Cars 2.

While the AI in PC2 still has a bit of maturation to go before it can truly replace iRacing's model wherein you race against actual humans, it can probably be safely said that PC2's online multiplayer is getting pretty close to being just as good as iRacing too. PC2 needs tighter racing rules to keep the wreckers at bay, but there will come a time when people feel that PC2 is close enough when one factors in the subscription cost for iRacing. Now it's possible that I am simply projecting because this is the year that I will let my iRacing lapse - all it took was the change to 25% off on Black Friday from the 50% discount I (and my wife, who keeps control of the finances) was used to.

So, what is iRacing doing to try to keep pace with the competition? Most recently, it was the addition of dirt tracks. That may sound like a simple thing, but given that one of iRacing's biggest selling points is the high fidelity tire/track physics model they have spent years perfecting, and the huge difference in the way tires perform on dirt versus pavement, it is probably safe to say that they made the investment in a new type of racing out if necessity.

Having upgraded the physics modelling and and released a few dirt tracks, they are now turning towards creating a larger stable of dirt cars to use on the new tracks. The latest entry is a midget car. And not just any midget car; they are modelling Christopher Bell's midget car. Chris won the biggest midget race of the season when he beat the field in the Chili Bowl this year. Located in Tulsa Oklahoma, the Chili Bowl is pretty much the ultimate race of the season. You could probably call it the Super Bowl of Midget Car racing, if you weren't worried about lawsuits from the NFL.

Note: I am in no way worried about that.

What I would be worried about (if I wasn't lapsing) is trying to keep a 900 lb. car with a 400 hp engine on a tiny, cramped track with nothing more than dirt for the tires to grab onto. That sounds pretty tough to a guy that thinks iRacing tracks are too slippery already!

There's no word on when it will be ready, but if my experience with iRacing is any guide, it's typically a six month wait from the time they start openly talking about it until you can drive it. Maybe if they wise up on their Black Friday sale next year, I'll get a chance to try it out. And hey, I could be wrong - it happened once before.

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