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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
  • David Judson

    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

    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

    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 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 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

    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.

  • Jordan Hightower

    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

    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 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 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 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,,,, 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 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.

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!!!