Since my car is kind of down for the rest of the season, what is left of it, I needed to find another way to get a racing fix. I decided to try iRacing online racing. My very first race online (after a ton of practice offline) I was so hyped up on adreniline it took me it took me 5 laps to get myself calmed down and start putting some decent laps together. Right now I am racing in the TDI Jetta cup, an SCCA sponsered racing class in iRacing as well as the real world. Below is a video of the first couple of laps I did at Mosport this week.
Now a little information about iRacing. When you join the service you get five cars (soon to be more I believe, they are suppose to offer two versions of the Mazda MX-5 in the future as free cars) and seven tracks, four ovals and three road courses. All the cars are modeled pretty accurately, although I have found they need to work on the Spec Ford Racer, (way to throttle off loose, the real car is not throttle off loose) and the suspension is completely modeled. As for the tracks they are all laser scanned and about as accurate as you can get to the real thing. Of course the service is not free, there are monthly fees associated with it. I pay every three months and pay $10 per month. Also if you want another car or track you have to pay for them also, $11.95 per car and $14.95 per track but this is a one time fee. All you need is a decent computer and a wheel / pedal set to get started. One other thing that iRacing does that nobody else does is they have a licensing system based on how safe you race. Every time you go off track, loose control, or especially hit another car it adversely affect your safety rating and you can loose your license level for driving unsafe. Also they have stewards that have the authority to kick someone completely out of the service if they are consistantly unsafe, you can even protest a driver you think is blatently unsafe.
Driving a car online is a little different then real life. You have limited vision, can't see everything around you like in a real car. Also you don't have the seat of the pants feel, unless you can afford a super expensive racing rig with motion, so you have to depend on your eyes, your ears, and the little feedback you get back from a force feedback wheel. It takes a lot of practice to get use to it but once you get use to it you can make these online cars do pretty much the same thing as a real car.
I think it would be neat to get a few of us registered on the service and this winter through the offseason host a few Fort Wayne Region SCCA only races. Let me know if any of you like the idea. Check out the service and if you like it and want to sign up please use my name / email as the name of the person that referred you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.