iRacing has oval and road racing 24/7, with 19 different cars and 38 track configurations to keep your interest. Trust me, you'll love it.
Most people who ask me about iRacing wonder if;
1. iRacing will offer league racing 2. If the cost is worth it.
The answer to both is YES.
iRacing allows members to create private (or public) racing events via it's "Hosted racing" sessions. Each session costs the host $3 dollars and gives them four hours access to an iRacing server. Hosts can create races with various car/track combinations, restrict access with passwords, and can admin the race by controlling certain aspects of the event (practice length, qual parameters, race distance, use of cautions, etc).
Because I live in the State of Georgia, iRacing automatically assigned me to be part of it's Team Georgia. That said, I am free to join any league/group within iRacing's Hosted events, and my online racing is not dictated by Team Georgia drivers.
As you can see, my career stats are not that impressive, but I take a lot of pride in my ability to complete races without incidents, and without causing trouble for other drivers, while still making it into the top-5 in about half my events.
My approach to driving is reflected in The "Average Incident Per Race" stats.
Category Starts Wins Top 5 Poles Avg Start Avg Finish Total Laps Laps Led Avg Inc Per Race Avg Pts Per Race Win % Top 5 % Laps Led % Road 110 9 49 5 7 7 2109 146 1.5818 55 8.18% 44.55% 6.92% Oval 102 4 50 2 7 6 4931 195 1.2843 55 3.92% 49.02% 3.95% iRacing has a series of videos which highlight the action here: http://www.youtube.com/user/iRacingTV
There are a LOT of very talented people racing at iRacing who have created fantastic videos on YouTube & Vimeo which give viewers a good idea of how much fun online racing can be. Here are a few of my favorite video makers:
Here is some basic information to know if you are thinking about joining the online racing at iRacing.com
1. Your computer must be connected to the internet to access the software & race (even in practice mode)
2. "Incidents" (contact with other cars, going off-track, hitting stationary objects) count heavily against your ability to progress up the license ladder, but incidents incurred in practice do NOT count against you. Use the online practice sessions to learn the cars/tracks.
3. iRacing uses several different methods to rate drivers;
a. Drivers License
Everyone begins with a "Rookie" license. Rookies drive cars with "fixed" setups... which means they cannot alter anything about the car's setup. As drivers complete a specific number of events, they earn the right to advance to another license level. Class D, Class C, Class B, Class A, then Pro. Rookies are allowed to "race up" to Class D events... which use cars which have setups you can adjust. Likewise, Class D drivers can race up to Class C; Class C drivers can race up to Class B, etc. License holders can always race down in class, meaning you might see Class A license holders in your rookie events.
This number is based on race results. Everyone starts at about 1500. If you win against people with higher iRatings, your iRating goes up. If you lose to people with lower iRatings, your rating goes down. iRating does NOT impact your ability to advance to the next license level. c. Safety Rating (SR) - This one is critical to license advancement!
This number is calculated by the number of "incidents" you incur per corner driven. Incidents are things like; hitting the walls, hitting other cars, going off track, spinning out, etc. This number will max out at 4.99, but actually keeps increasing behind the scenes if you drive cleanly. Keeping the SR above 3.0 will usually allow you to advance to the next license level if you've completed the requirements for that level. The system automatically deducts a full point (estimate) when you are promoted to the next license level, so if your SR is 3.99 as a Rookie, it'll appear as a 2.99 when you are promoted to Class D.
You must enter official Races, Qualification, or Time Trial sessions to earn (or lose) SR points.
d. Time Trial Rating (TT) I think you need to be a rocket-scientist to figure this one out, but it has NO BEARING on your ability to advance and/or drive events.... so don't get too bogged down with trying to figure out what the rating means! Basically, Time Trials are sessions where it is just you on the track. You don't have to do TT events, but if you do join them, the object is to complete a minimum number of laps (incident free) as quickly as you can. By doing that, you are setting a bar by which your skills at that track are compared to anyone else who has done a TT at that track (with the car you used). Once you've completed 4 TT sessions at a particular track, your TT rating begins to be calculated against the rest of the users. I still haven't figured out the math!
License Advancement: Each series has it's own requirements.
You can have a different level driver's license for each series (Oval v. Road Courses)
You are required to enter & complete at least 4 official events during a 12-week schedule in order to advance to the next license level. You do NOT have to enter races to advance. Qualification & Time Trial events will get you qualified for the next level as long as your SR is high enough.
FORUMS & ON TRACK BEHAVIOR - iRacing has a strict policy against wreckless driving, verbal abuse of other drivers, etc. There is a system in place to file protests against other drivers, so make sure to use it if you have a complaint. Do not post complaints about other drivers on the forum, and do not "call them out" by posting forum comments about their behavior. Let the protest system handle your complaints.
If you use a headset which has a microphone, you will be able to talk with other drivers during events. You can turn that feature off if you don't want to hear the chatter (it can be annoying at times). Most people don't talk too much during races, but there are some who think the rest of the field wants to hear their play-by-plays.