iRacing.com, the world’s leading online motorsports simulation service, announced today it is partnering with McLaren Electronic Systems to incorporate the ATLAS Express data analysis software into its system.  As a result, iRacing’s more than 25,000 members will now have access to similar data acquisition and telemetry software used on every car competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship since 2008 and on NASCAR’s standard ECU (engine control unit) in 2012.

In addition to affording its members unprecedented opportunities to increase their understanding of their virtual race cars’ performance with ATLAS Express, iRacing is also releasing an upgraded application program interface (API) that will dramatically enhance the service’s compatibility with an array of external features including motion platforms and external displays.

“With the new iRacing telemetry capability, our members will be able to log detailed telemetry from their virtual race car to disk,” says Dave Kaemmer, iRacing’s chief executive and chief technical officer.  “Using McLaren Electronics’ Atlas Express data analysis application, members who wish to delve into the engineering details in order to improve their cars’ handling will be able to do so, using very similar tools as F1 and NASCAR teams.  In addition, with iRacing’s new real-time telemetry interface, multiple applications will be able to access telemetry simultaneously, allowing easier support for motion platforms, external gauges, and other add-ons from the sim-racing community.”

“Members who wish to delve into the engineering details in order to improve their cars’ handling will be able to do so, using very similar tools as F1 and NASCAR teams.” — Dave Kaemmer

ATLAS Express is derived from the ATLAS suite of software developed in the 1990s to support McLaren’s own Formula 1 team.  Continued growth and development of the system saw it introduced into a variety of motorsports environments including Le Mans and ALMS sports cars, the FIA World Rally Championship, the FIA Formula One World Championship, NASCAR and IndyCar.  The FIA awarded McLaren Electronics the contract to supply the powertrain control system to every team competing in the Formula 1 from the beginning of the 2008 race season and, in February this year, NASCAR named McLaren as the Official Engine Control Unit of NASCAR for the 2012 Sprint Cup series in support of its impending switch to fuel injected engines.

“Up to now, you had to be a race engineer in a top level race team to access these tools” says Mike Phillips, President of McLaren Electronic Systems’ US division, “and access to reliable real-time data has been a game-changer for car development and race strategy in recent times.  Our link with iRacing will now make this experience easily accessible to the current user community and hopefully new players intrigued by the possibilities this gives them.”

In its iRacing application, ATLAS Express will be primarily available as a tool for analyzing and developing the handling of the members’ virtual race cars.  Where iRacers have previously been able to monitor tire wear and temperature in the pits after completing a lap or laps, ATLAS Express will make available substantially more detailed information regarding performance such as the real time tire surface temperatures, along with critical data such as lateral acceleration, steering wheel angle and damper/spring deflection.

“Up until now, our members have only been able to work on their setups by ‘feel,’ tire wear and temperatures, and by gauging their performance on the stop watch,” says Kaemmer. “ATLAS Express will now allow iRacers to view driver and car performance in a given session to help them tune the car with actual data.”

Beyond powering the ATLAS Express software, the feature-rich API will dramatically increase the functionality of the iRacing service.  For example, broadcasts of online races will now be able to utilize screen overlays of real time on-board telemetry from individual cars, while members will be able enjoy the full benefits of plug-ins for a variety of external custom hardware including vibrating pedals, base shakers and motion platforms.

“The addition of ATLAS Express to the service figures to make everyone a little – or a lot — faster.” — Dave Kaemmer

iRacing is working with McLaren Electronic Systems to develop workbooks and documents specifically designed to help iRacing members take full advantage of the ATLAS Express applications to the iRacing service.  Together with the  ATLAS Express software, the documentation and workbooks are expected to be released before the end of May, 2011.

However, Kaemmer stressed the service will remain user-friendly for members who would rather race than crunch numbers.

“Although engineering a race car is an interesting challenge, iRacing will continue to provide ‘Arrive and Drive’ racing series with fixed car setups for those who prefer turning a steering wheel to turning a wrench.  As has always been the case, members will be free to share their set-ups with other iRacers, so the addition of ATLAS Express to the service figures to make everyone a little – or a lot — faster.”

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end of may, i can’t believe! 🙂

Alexandre
May 5th, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Great news iracing needed that. The absence of telemetry is not good for its sim reputation.

Mertol
May 5th, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I racing is moving so quickly in such positive directions I am honoured to be a part of it all. This sounds very exciting!

Michael kenny
May 5th, 2011 at 3:06 pm

I could not agree more

timaepi
May 5th, 2011 at 3:37 pm

thats because you are paying otherwise you wouldn’t be part!

me
May 5th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

what’s the problem in paying for a top quality sim instead of crappy free tracks and cars?

Alexandre
May 5th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

This will be absolutely phenomenal! Now all we need is a guide which shows us how to read and use telemetry data properly!

Good job, iRacing

elkdanger
May 5th, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Expectantly awaiting this.

Emmanuel Baako
May 5th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I can’t believe it!

Evgeny Garanin
May 5th, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I LOVE you guys.

Thanks iRacing.

This is even better than my wish for Motec or Pi Research.

McLaren! Thank you!

Brilliant….

Ben Styles
May 5th, 2011 at 10:10 pm

So awesome… this is historic !

Julien Apruzzese
May 5th, 2011 at 11:17 pm

End of may were only the documentation and workbooks afaiu.

“, the documentation and workbooks are expected to be released before the end of May, 2011”

There were no data on the relese of the update and the tools. But a carefull guess would be with 2.0 in august 2011…

Anonymous
May 6th, 2011 at 12:09 am

Bugger forgot to add my name in the previous post.

Martin Vinther2
May 6th, 2011 at 12:09 am

Amazing! This one and the soon expected tyre physics improvements model is iRacing need to be … the best of the best!

Anonymous
May 6th, 2011 at 5:04 am

Great news! Thank you iRacing team a lot!!! Still waiting for pilot’s animations while replay =)

Igor K
May 6th, 2011 at 5:21 am

This is really good news!
I have been hoping, and requesting this for a long time that we would get this. In my gut I knew it was coming – no high quality race SIM, such as iRacing, can be without a data feed for individual vehicles.

This will be of great help to those prepared to learn how to use the tools. But it will also help budding engineers to get a taste for the skills required to join RL race teams.

Well done everyone at iRacing.

JD d’Asques
May 8th, 2011 at 1:39 am

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