Article 2: iRating (IR)
I hope Article 1 gave an idea how the Safety Rating works in practical terms. The second essential feature to understand iRacing... is the iRating or IR as its often referred.
Where SR dictates what you can race by how safe you have been, IR decides how fast your competition is on average. Every time a driver enters a race, the iRacing server will assign them to a grid, known as a “split” based on their iRating, moving other drivers up or down accordingly until race start time.
This way 5000+ drivers from all over the world can sign up for a 12PM GMT race start and yet all the splits have comparable driver standards based on performance (their IR). Still with me…. Ok lets look at how we work with it in real terms…
What IR does:
Let us imagine 100 drivers sign up for a race at 7pm on a track that holds 25 cars.
The iRacing server will place the 25 highest iRated drivers that signed in to “Split 1”, the second highest to “Split 2” and so on.
Everyone races at the same time, same track etc but the splits are formed entirely around each drivers IR.
The result is you race people of comparable pace, but not attitude or experience which takes us back to why SR is so important in the early license levels.
How does IR work:
In essence you have a score, the iRating. Every time you enter a race and reach the qualifying start time you will either win or lose IR taking or giving a percentage of IR directly from the competitors in your race. This is calculated around an algorithm that iRacing employs and it seems to work well.
Naturally the higher up you finish a race, the higher your IR reward and visa versa. If you do not finish a race at all for any reason, your IR will take what can only be described as a kicking!
In my experience if you finish inside the top 10 on a full grid you will typically gain IR. Gaining IR outside the top 10 is less consistent because it is affected by many factors, after all there must be a point where sizeable percentage of the split starts to lose their IR or it would not account for performance!
How much you win or lose depends entirely on numbers… the number of competitors entered, finishing position of you and the people around you and their IR.
It follows therefore that the higher the IR each driver has, the more competitive they must be.
After each race you will see your new IR and SR score in your Profile. If you look at the race results you will see who won or lost what for both.
Now with these I welcome your input but for me I believe there is a pattern that I think is useful to reference when judging our own expectations in iRacing.