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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and SPEEDtv.com, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for inRacingNews.com.
  • David Judson
    Contributor

    29 years old, Dave Judson lives in Mentor, Ohio. Dave has grown up with racing, watching his father win races and championships at the local go-kart track as a youngster and continuing his love of racing while watching NASCAR, Indycar, Formula 1 and sports cars.
    Judson has enjoyed a successful sim-racing career of his own in the IZOD Indycar iRacing Open and Fixed Setup Series. He has race wins to his credits as well as the Division 1 Championship of the Open Series in Season 1 of 2013 and the Overall Championship of the Fixed Series in Season 3 of 2013.
    Dave has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University and is looking to expand his horizons by writing for inRacingNews.

  • Matt A Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Kingsbury lives in Fairfield, Connecticut where he currently attends Sacred Heart University. He is a fan of any form of racing, from NASCAR to IndyCar, Formula 1, and especially endurance racing. The summer of 2013 saw Kingsbury attend IndyCar's return to Pocono Raceway as well as the ARCA race at Pocono which Corey Lajoie won and got some pictures (including the accompanying mug shot) in Victory Lane thanks to his aunt!

  • Raymond Kingsbury
    Contributor

    Ray Kingsbury is a motorsport enthusiast and full-time university student, born and raised in Connecticut. He started his own racing career in BMX, riding bicycles competitively on the state level. In eight years he claimed the state championship and was ranked nationally before moving away from the sport. This void of activities led him to rediscover sim-racing in the form of NASCAR Heat. After a championship in the game's most competitive league Kingsbury started focusing full-time on his involvement in Live for Speed. There he founded Last Lap Motorsports which today has more than 20 members worldwide.

    When a few Last Lap Motorsports members decided to give iRacing.com a chance to feed their desire for more oval racing, Ray teamed with his brother Matt, Nathan Lamothe and newcomer Jimmie Jones to enter the ETV! Live Team Series and claimed the title after a dominating performance at Watkins Glen. To this day the team continues in both Live for Speed and iRacing.com and Ray still takes much delight in his own sim-racing career. A reporter for his high school newspaper before moving to university, Kingsbury keeps-up his writing activities by contributing to iRacing News.

  • Jeff Jacobs
    Contributor

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the iRacing.com Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Jordan Hightower
    Contributor

    Jordan began sim-racing in 2005 with the NASCAR Racing 2003 Season sim and then joined the iRacing community in June of 2008. He hails from Fort Smith, Arkansas where he is currently enrolled at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith, after which he plans to attend the University of Arkansas to earn his MBA. Although he enjoys watching and playing basketball, most of Jordan's focus is on motorsports, particularly NASCAR: "Anything that burns gas and goes fast, I like."

  • Scott Kelly
    Contributor

    Born and raised in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area, Scott Kelly has had a love for motorsports ever since his father did the right thing by introducing auto racing into his life. No longer able to quench his need for speed by spectating NASCAR races on TV and watching dirt track stars slide around local tracks, Kelly eventually picked-up sim racing in his teens, wheeling cars found in Ratbag Games' "Dirt Track Racing" and "World of Outlaws: Sprint Cars" while also becoming introduced into multiple Papyrus sim-racing series. Joining the iRacing ranks in late 2011, Kelly set his sights on the short track racing he was familiar with, focusing on the sprint car, while also driving the Legends and street stock in multiple iRacing.com leagues.

    Kelly brings not just his enthusiasm for racing to the highest-rated motorsports simulation, but also his B.A. degree in English; he covers the action seen in the iRacing.com Sprint Car Series, while also placing the spotlight on various leagues within the service. Enjoying his start to a career in motorsports journalism, Kelly also doesn't mind visiting victory lane from time-to-time.

  • George Wood
    Contributing Writer
    After beginning his racing career with go-karts at age seven, George then turned wrenches on street stocks until he could finally turn the wheel. Following the successes of his friends and family, George has since retired from real-world racing, where he is now a science and mathematics faculty member for several local community colleges. When George isn't grading laboratory reports or iRacing, he is performing at bluegrass festivals in the Northeast, making fishing lures, playing golf, and rooting for his beloved Baltimore Orioles.
  • Chris Hall
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Chris Hall has been writing since the nineties and moved into motorsports reporting in 2005, covering series such as ALMS, British GT, FIA GT, Le Mans and 2CV racing for Full Throttle magazine, Motorsport.com, The-Paddock.net, GTGateway.com, L' Endurance and, of course, inRacingNews. During 2008 and 2009, he worked with the RSS Performance Porsche Carrera Cup Team (and former British GT(C) champions) as a data engineer for a variety of drivers and models of 997s.
  • Jason Lofing
    iRacing.com Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Dylan Sharman
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in Adelaide and we moved-out for Angle Vale for a few years until I was about 7 years old, when we moved to the Barossa Valley where I live now. I'm 19 years old and currently traveling back and forth weekly as I'm studying for a Diploma of Furniture Design and Technology.

    I've always had a love for racing as my close family did some racing and we were always out at the local dirt track. I joined iRacing back in 2010 and slowly but surely got the hang of it as this is my first experience with sim racing and am loving it each time I race. I've won two SK Modified titles (almost had three in a row but finished P2 in 2011 S4), an iRacingNews Challenge championship (2012 S1 Mazda) and was also an AustralAsian Intel GT Series Finalist.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

License Levels and Promotions

by John C. Bodin on July 17th, 2012

Many people who join iRacing seem to treat license progression as a “gaming” aspect, with the primary objective of the “game” being to increase your license level and move up the license ladder to race in another series in order to get promoted to the next level so you can increase your license and move up the license ladder to race in another series in order to get promoted to the next level . . . and so on.

The problem with this approach is that soon you’re in way over your head because you’re suddenly racing in cars and series that exceed your true skill level, and you’re not able to be competitive because you’ve been too focused on license progression and not focused enough on racing and mastering any given car.

It’s a vicious circle, and I think it contributes to lower driver retention — or at least to lower driver satisfaction, and decreased race participation in general.

Coming into iRacing as a new member, most folks don’t seem to realize that getting “promoted” doesn’t mean you HAVE to move to a different license level. I have a B-Class license and I still race the SpecRacer Ford at the Advanced Rookie level (this is the only series I’ve participated in over the course of the past two seasons).

How many people move up to the D-, C-, or B-Class license level (or beyond!) without having first participated in a real 12-week season in any series? Lots, I suspect, which means they have little or no idea about the importance of qualifying, earning championship points, divisional championships, participating in the series community when you’re off-track, etc. Jumping straight into the D-Class level and beyond before you have a chance to learn the ropes is like jumping in a shark tank before you know how to swim (which probably wouldn’t end well).

“Moving up too fast is a great way to start feeling very beat-down very fast . . .”

Moving up too fast is a great way to start feeling very beat-down very fast — and that can suck all the fun out of your iRacing experience. The faster cars at the higher license levels are only going to be harder to come to grips with, and the level of competition at the higher license levels can be pretty fierce. Treating iRacing like a game by trying to move up as quickly as possible is a good way to get in way over your head, which can suck all the fun out of the overall experience.

In my opinion, it’s far better to spend your time honing your skills and taking the time to enjoy all the levels of racing that are available to you, rather than letting yourself burn-out quickly and decide that iRacing really isn’t for you.

"It's far better to spend your time honing your skills and taking the time to enjoy all the levels of racing that are available . . ."

Finding a car and series — and an iRacing community — that fits your style, personality, and skill level is far more important in the long run than rising to the “right” license level so you can race in your ultimate “dream car.” Often, though, the “dream car” that you really want to race may require skills that are WAY beyond your capabilities . . . but as racers, we’re seldom ever able to admit that to ourselves, so we keep pushing the rock uphill, trying to do what we’re really not good at until we get burned-out, fed-up . . . or both.  When you hit that point, I think most people would rather just walk away than take a step back — or a step “down” the license ladder — to try to find the car and series that DOES work well for them, one that is truly fun AND satisfying.

So more often than not, once frustration sets in, disinterest comes next, and then folks either walk away or just drift away from iRacing.

But is that really what you signed-up for when you joined? Is that really why you pay your iRacing membership fees, or why you purchase new content?

Sometimes it helps to analyze our own skills and abilities, and it also helps to set goals along the way. License level progress certainly can be a goal, but I’d say that it shouldn’t be the main goal because that’s a path that doesn’t lead to much in the way of truly satisfying rewards. I mean, really — is getting a green B-Class license banner on your car and helmet REALLY all that rewarding at the end of the day? It took me a while to realize that while license level can be a source of personal pride, it’s not really all that satisfying in and of itself after the small moment of initial achievement has passed.

If we’re honest with ourselves as racers, what’s REALLY satisfying is good racing, and that happens most often when you find a car and a series that are both fun and challenging, and when you become part of the racing community and begin to race with people you know and — more importantly — people you can trust on-track.

For some people, this comes in the form of league racing; for others, getting involved in the various official series and becoming active in the forum area for your series of choice can bring that same level of satisfaction.

When it comes to goals and objectives, the official series have a lot to offer.  There is, of course, the overall Series Championship and the individual Divisional championships; there’s also the overall Time Trial championship, along with the individual Time Trial championships, for each division. All of these aspects of the official series offer ways for people at all skill levels to compete against others, and also a way to measure you skills and your progression against your peers.  What’s more, this helps remove the “impersonal” aspect of online competition by giving you a way to become more familiar with your actual competitors.

In the long run, good racing in a car and series that are challenging and fun can be more satisfying than going for ever more advanced licenses.

Along those lines, it also helps to visit the series forums and at least read through the various posts.  Many series feature weekly pre-race “briefing” posts with track details, pointers on how to approach the track, predicted lap times, and even setups and replays.  Visiting the forums can also help you to begin to “know” the people you might eventually find yourself racing alongside on-track, and getting involved in the forum discussions can help you to get to know these people even better.

Community forums are a key aspect of online league racing, giving participants a way to interact and share and get to know each other; the community forums for the various official series serve a similar purpose – provided you actually take the time to get involved, which is something that too few people do, I fear.  So take some time to visit the forums, and you might be surprised at the amount of useful resources and helpful people you will encounter.

Community forums are a key aspect of online league racing . . . and official iRacing series.

Opportunities like these allow you to immerse yourself even further here at iRacing, but in focusing on license level progression and making a mere “game” of it in that manner, you may well miss out on most of this stuff, at least initially.  It often takes people quite some time to realize what they’re missing — assuming they stick around long enough in the first place, that is — which is unfortunate, IMO.

“Be honest about your skill levels and look for things that you actually enjoy, rather than getting hyper-focused on what you think you want to enjoy.”

So take your time, look around, be honest about your skill levels and look for things that you actually enjoy, rather than getting hyper focused on what you think you want to enjoy.  I think you’ll find that iRacing has a lot more to offer than you realize.

By the way, if you started reading this article hoping to learn how to get promoted and how to progress through the license levels, you might want to check out this item in the iRacing.com FAQ and Knowledgebase:

http://www.answers-script.com/iracing/article/minimum-participation-requirements-mpr-113.html

Once you know what you need to know about license levels and promotions, though, then take some time to look around to see what’s really available; figure out what you’d like to get involved with, and what you’re actually capable of doing.  Before long you’ll likely discover that you’re having a lot more fun than you were when you were just focusing on licenses, promotions, and specific “dream cars” that you desperately wanted to be able to drive.

8 Comments or Trackbacks

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  1. Nikita Gorlov
    July 17th, 2012 at 3:28 am

    I think the main problem – too easy to move to a higher level.

  2. Jack Shannon
    July 17th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Agreed, way to easy to get out of the Rookie license when most aren’t really ready for a D license. As it stands now, anyone knowing they aren’t ready for a higher license (self admittance to knowing your not as good as you thought you were) needs to look at their Rookie point just before promotion, if your Safety rating is above 3.0, then join a few races, go on track, hang back, and without disturbing the rest of the race, fun full throttle into walls, tree, offtrack anything that will bring your safety rating back below 3.0 thus no promotion.
    iRacing really need to take another look at the promotion system, Rookies are promoted way to easily.
    Take care

    Regards: >>>> Jack <<<<

  3. Kelvin Schouw
    July 17th, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    I Agree here, i made my C licence just ina few days just by driving savely, and jumped from the MX5 Cup straight through the C Class Radicals..

    And i was tbh in over my head at first, while i was compettative in the Rookie class, i was utterly outclassed in the C Class..
    It took a while and alot of practice too gain compettative times as newcomer when sharing the track in a niche class with mostly A and B licence racers, fortunate the Radical community welcomes newcomers and helped me alot too gain better, and mostly reason i sticked too the series, but it was hard for me my first season just too keep up.. Now at the end of the season i reach my B licence, but i stick in the Radical series, not even thinking going higher, i reached my limit here..

    Still it was way too easy and i gained way too fast my higher licence before i was actually ready.. I stick for now a couple of seasons in the C class since i now know what i can expect, something i had no clue on when i just started in iRacing

  4. bernie
    July 18th, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Thanks for a great article John. I totally agree with what your saying.

    I have been at the class d level for the past two seasons and really only race in the rookie series for the time being.

    I’ve been practicing with the skip barber most of the time getting to know the cars and the tracks, but rarely compete as I don’t want to get in the others way. When I do I usually lurk at the back of the field to get to know competitive speed.

    I’m not in any hurry to jump anothe rlicense level at this point as there is a lot to learn at my current level.

    I might look at the radicals to run as I want to find a rookie series that is less of a smash fest that some of the rookie series races have become. (But I guess that is why there is a Rookie class)

    • Jose
      October 3rd, 2012 at 5:43 am

      I didn’t even know about this series until I oneped Hulu earlier today. At first I was going to turn it off like I do a lot of Hulu stuff that pops up, but that’s also how I got into Burn Notice, and Warehouse 13. So I decided to watch it and see what it was like, and I have to agree with the writer here. The first scene had me thinking, yea right, what a dope idiot, no way that is happening in real life. Stupid. And I was going to turn it off, but decided to give it a little more time, then the woman showed up, the other characters came into play, the lead became more likable, then the real action sequences, and I thought the same thing with hand-to-hand fighting scene, totally like the Borne series. The action sequences alone were a lot better than a lot of movies I’ve seen, and the acting top-notch. The futuristic train was a cool addition, which I liked, and of course the great action. Good sweet action, that had me cheering when the lead was running out of the tunnel with the woman next to him. Sweet show, I’ll definitely be tunning into this one.

  5. mike nachtigal
    July 19th, 2012 at 2:15 am

    I had this issue. I ran the mustang the 1st season of the Grand am Series and since i was racing with the DPs i shot up the licenes fast, not that I wanted to.

  6. Joe
    October 3rd, 2012 at 5:22 am

    The only real BMW is E34 Wagon, other and even new ones are the most Rubbish quality cars ever made on pleant earth with tons of continuous problems related with Crap electrics and electronics, very crap suspension, crap rubber and plastics used everywhere, Now BMW is only and only produces shit-quality boxes on 4 wheels

  7. Clinton
    January 12th, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    I feel that iracing needs to work on a “kick button”. Meaning that if a driver is obviously not capable of handling their car you can manually remove them from the race. I hate to mention a console game, but Gran Turismo 5 has this option. Alot of kids or even just party crashers join a room/race and decide they want to crash into anything and everything. And whoever the race/room host is has the option of removing them from that room.