September 11th, 2009 by TimW
iRacing.com has announced plans to increase the size of the race fields across the breadth of its online race simulation service. The revisions within the service are part of a long-term plan to make race registration and scheduling simpler and more convenient for members which will increase the size of race fields and the service overall.
First, a revised minimum official race field requirement will take effect at the start of the next race week on Tuesday, September 15. There is no change in the minimum requirements for Rookie or Pro licenses. A minimum of six drivers must register for rookie events in order for those races to be considered “official,” while twelve drivers will still be required to register for professional level iRacing events. All races at license class levels D, C, B, and A now require only eight registered drivers in order to be deemed official. The maximum number of competitors per race remains the same at all levels except D which is now a maximum field of sixteen.
“The new minimum race field requirements are designed to help foster more official races to take place on schedule,” said Tony Gardner, President of iRacing.com. “In the past, there’s been a tendency for members to put-off registering for a given race until that race has attracted the minimum number of registrants. This ‘which comes first the chicken or the egg’ situation sometimes resulted in an unacceptable delays to get the required number of drivers registered. The new minimums being put in place at the start of the next race week are designed to reduce that issue.”
The iRacing.com competition committee developed the simplified system in response to concerns raised by the iRacing.com members.
“In most cases people join a race once they see it will be official,” said competition committee member Dale Earnhardt, Jr. “In the past when a B class event was trying to fill, it would sometimes take forever to get the required amount of drivers. But once people saw the race would be official, the amount of registered drivers would jump by 4 to 8 people per race.
“The competition committee is aiming to create more official races which will draw the same field size, if not larger, in many cases. Once people see these races going off with more ease, they will join earlier and more often and also be more alert to the sometimes complicated timing of the schedule.”
Gardner went on to say that additional functionality which is under construction in the service will make scheduling races much easier for members. “The design phase has been completed and construction has begun on functionality that will allow members to view an extended race schedule and indicate to other members through a reservation system that they plan to participate in an upcoming event. Members will know days in advance that other drivers plan to participate in an event and can plan accordingly” he said. “The combination of changing the minimums, adding race reservation functionality, and giving members the ability to view race participation schedules days in advance should help immensely in creating larger fields for races.”