thanks to ViN I finally got into iRacing and had a go. For those who've considered it but were turned away by cost, there's currently a 'buy one month get two months free' deal.http://www.iracing.com/promotions/buy-1-get-2/
I am incredibly impressed by this 'game'. Because it's a paid subscription service there's a full race every hour for just about every class/track/car in the roster.
For a $14 USD outlay you get three months of game-time. iRacing works on a license system with your standing determined by your Safety Rating (SR). That's right, progression is based entirely on your ability to not hit other drivers and to stay on the track. Collisions, coming off the track, cutting corners, all of these will net you in-race penalties as well as reductions on your SR.
The racing itself is the drawcard here. The main road track you'll recognise in the ten tracks you get to start off with is Mazda Laguna Seca. I've smashed this track on every game there is and know it like the back of my hand. In iRacing, I had to relearn the track as I tried to keep my rookie Pontiac Solstice on the racing line and turn in decent times. Braking, apex and exit speeds are crucial to performance gains and never before have I really had to consider what my turning point was. Add to that other drivers and finally, finally
you have a multiplayer racing game where you actually have to drive tactically and can't just bully your way into position (or use other cars for deceleration).
My average finish so far is 7 from 12 which I'm really stoked with. Had a wicked duel tonight with a guy who was grimly holding onto 3rd until Windows decided to force a restart and upgrade.
Visually it's pleasant with the in-car view sitting somewhere between Live for Speed and Forza 3. The tracks are modelled with laser-precision (literally) however the surrounding environs can look a bit dated.
The handling physics are incredible with part of the dev team having been entirely devoted to the physics of tyres (grip, heat, velocity, angle, so on). It really is impressive.
iRacing has a large line-up of professional drivers in its member base as well which is a testament to the accuracy of the game.
This is by far the finest racing experience I've ever had. Keep in mind, when installing (the game can only be launched by browser) it pretty much says you have to have a wheel (can use joypads) and for this kind of sim it is the purest way to enjoy it.
There is an invite a friend feature so I encourage you to PM ViN at first point to ask for a referral or myself if you found this review helpful.