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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, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs

    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 Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing 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.
  • 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.

New year – New Series – Fresh new car smell

by Ryan Terpstra on January 28th, 2011

The new VW Jetta TDI and Mazda MX-5 mixed class series (officially known as the iRacing Grand Touring Cup) really does have that new car smell right now.  The response has been overwhelmingly positive to the announcement that the MX-5 will be paired with the VW Jetta TDI in a mixed class series starting with Season One of 2011.  The release of the MX-5 may have been slightly overshadowed by the release of the Williams-Toyota FW31, but the participation numbers in the rookie series clearly showed the MX-5 was popular amongst drivers and it left many wanting a full series with open setups.

In typical iRacing fashion Steve Myers and the iRacing administration did something not enough companies do in today’s economy: they listened to the feedback from the community.  A discussion on the mixed class forum resulted in nearly 90% of the people who voted supporting the idea of a mixed class event featuring this combination of cars.  Now that the iRacing Grand Touring Cup has been announced, this article will try to answer a few of your questions and, I hope, get you pumped up for the current season.  The MX-5 gets a much more diverse series and the VW Jetta TDI will benefit from the boost in participation.

It's Mazda MX-5 v Volkswagen Jetta TDI in the Grand Touring Cup.

The most pressing question seems to be regarding the setups for the MX-5.  The MX-5 Cup and Roadster will both be open setups.  Drivers will be able to fine tune and tweak their virtual MX-5s to their likings and take full advantage of one of iRacing’s most popular new cars.  Your next question may have just been answered.  Yes the series will feature both the Cup car and the Roadster.  The two MX-5s will run in a single class just like the rookie series and the Jetta will be in a class by itself.

Races will run every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday on the even Quarter hour.  That means the first race of the week will be at 00:15 GMT and 7:15 EST.  All of the races will run based on a length of time rather than the number of laps.  Since the Jetta community decided that 30 minutes every week became a bit boring some flavor was added to the schedule and some of the shorter tracks feature shorter races, but the championship may well be decided in a special event at Spa.  The final week of the season will feature 45 minute races at the famous Circuit de Spa Francorchamps.  The schedule features some of the most popular tracks on the iRacing service there is certain to be a little bit of something for everyone.

All official races will feature a minimum of 10 drivers and all fields will split at 30, unless of course there aren’t enough pit stalls for 30 drivers, where the field will be split based on the number of available pit stalls.  Summit Point and Mid Ohio will definitely be affected by the number of pit stalls.  There are no specific class requirements for a class to have an official race only the 10 driver minimum.  All races will attempt to split up the field evenly by class, but will further sort the field by iRating.

Like the original VW Jetta TDI series and the current rookie series the new mixed class series will feature standing starts.  If you’re new to the Jetta or MX-5 you may be interested in some helpful hints on how to get off the line.  In the Jetta you’ll only make this mistake once, but there is no operable clutch.  If you try to rev the engine and put it in gear you will start moving.  If you put it in first gear and floor it when the lights go green you will do the closest thing to stalling an engine in iRacing and become a stationary chicane.  In order to properly launch the VW Jetta TDI rev the engine to approximately 3,500 RPMs in neutral and shift to first gear as the lights go green.  The MX-5 features an operable clutch and it is best to use it at the start even if it is a button on your wheel.  Once the lights come up use the clutch and shift into first gear.  Rev the engine to approximately 6,000 rpms and dump the clutch when the lights go green.

For Jetta drivers it is highly recommended you make sure you choose 1st gear instead of reverse gear so you don’t end up looking like this:

If you’re curious which car is faster, it figures to be a close race for almost all of the competitors involved.  The fastest Jetta drivers will be slightly faster than the fastest MX-5 drivers on most tracks, but any mid-pack Jetta driver will be pounding away door-to-door with the MX-5.  The Jetta is faster in a straight line, but the MX-5 is faster in the corners.  On a very technical track like Laguna Seca, the MX-5 holds a faster world record time than the Jetta.  In various hosted sessions the Jetta has proven on tracks with any decent straight that the fastest Jetta drivers will be faster than any MX-5 driver can hope to run.  However, the tires on the Jetta fall off very quickly and will bring even the fastest Jetta drivers back towards the pack for some exciting racing.

9 Comments or Trackbacks

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  1. Mike Nachtigal
    January 28th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Awesome News!!

    Next question i must ask myself is Jetta or MX5…. since they run at the same time but different class.

  2. Ryan Terpstra
    January 28th, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    Both! Jetta at 7:15 and MX5 at 9:15 :)

  3. Mike Nachtigal
    January 28th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Hah true

  4. Bart Monnin
    January 29th, 2011 at 2:40 am

    Great article Ryan. Can tell you did your homework.

  5. John Bodin
    January 29th, 2011 at 4:31 am

    Or . . . if you’re in the U.S. or the Americas time zones and you want to maximize your racing, Jetta with the Knights of the First Night on Monday nights @ 7:15 EST and 9:15 EST, and the MX-5 on Wednesday nights @ 7:15 EST and 9:15 EST. ;)

  6. Jukka Mäkitalo
    January 29th, 2011 at 2:24 pm


    Someone has posted my video in this article. Nice :D It was a nice way to end the season. Let’s hope Jetta/MX-5 series get’s a lot of participation right at the beginning of S1/2011 :)

  7. John Bodin
    January 29th, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Something to keep in mind:

    If you’re interested in running in this series, remember it runs three days per week (Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday). The start time for the first race of the week is 0:15 GMT on Tuesday (fifteen minutes past midnight on Tuesday morning, right after the clock struck midnight on Monday night and the calendar rolled-over to Tuesday). For those of you in the Americas time zones, it can get a little tricky. For example if you live in the eastern U.S. and you’re on Eastern time (EST), the first race of the week is actually 7:15 PM EST on MONDAY evening.

    So, even though the Grand Touring Cup Series races on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, if you live in the Americas time zones, you’ll be able to find races on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights, but NOT on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday nights.

    January 30th, 2011 at 12:57 am


  9. Jordie
    January 31st, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    So 12 races with 4 drops right? But can you drop Spa or since it’s the end of the season finale is a mandatory race? IM(not so)HO it should be required.

    So it’s where you sit in the standings when the time runs out? So I need F2 and F3 to keep an eye on things?

    This is gonna be FUN FUN FUN!!!