iRacing.com Offers Online Racing Instruction for Racing Game Enthusiasts
There are books on how to drive a racing car and schools in the physical world where aspiring drivers can get hands-on instruction. Now drivers who race in the virtual world have the iRacing.com Driving School, a modular 16-unit online race-driving instructional package. Nearly two years in the making, the school is available free to all members of the iRacing.com racing simulation service. The school is now live on the iRacing.com member Web site. The first module of the iRacing.com Driving School is currently available to non-members on www.iRacing.com.
“For the past 50 years novice racing drivers have learned basic race-driving skills in both informal and organized driving schools,” said Dave Kaemmer, iRacing.com’s CEO and a veteran real-world racer. “But in the virtual world for the most part beginners have just had to find their way by themselves. Many do develop the skills they need, though perhaps not too quickly. And many others, who have the native ability, have failed to learn the necessary skills, gotten discouraged and dropped out of the sport. With appropriate interactive instruction available, drivers will master racing skills much more quickly and have more fun racing.”
According to Kevin Bobbitt, iRacing.com’s director of marketing, “iRacing’s aim has always been to duplicate in the virtual world all the significant aspects of racing in the real one.
Developing a useful online driving school was always a part of our plan. A lot of resources – time and money – went into this project, and it’s great to see it now become available to all of our members, rookies and veterans alike.”
The syllabus for the iRacing.com Driving School was developed by veteran driving instructors who are also successful real-world championship-winning racers, including Adam Burrows, Rob Slonaker and Barry Waddell, and others, in collaboration with the Skip Barber Racing School. (Dale Earnhardt, Jr. makes a guest appearance in the first video.)
The interactive didactic format, in which a prescribed skill is demonstrated, followed directly by an opportunity for the student to practice for him- or herself, is widely recognized as highly effective for the distance-learning model. “Because our tracks are such exact duplicates of their real-world counterparts and our cars are essentially digital duplicates of the real-world versions, our school is able to use the same techniques that are taught to many of the most successful professional drivers in the world,” Bobbitt said.
Bobbitt noted that topics covered in the iRacing.com Driving School include:
• Vehicle Dynamics – what makes the race car “handle” and how the car can be adjusted to maximize performance.
• Fundamentals of the Racing Line – learn the fastest way around the track and how to effectively negotiate corners.
• Visual factors – use your eyes properly to “stay ahead” of the car and in control of your situation.
• Braking – how to go faster by using the brakes effectively.
• Downshifting – how to operate the transmission smoothly while braking.
• Pre-Race – Getting the most out of practice sessions and setting your best qualifying time.
• Race Starts – How to get the best possible start, and avoid losing the race at the first corner.
• Race-Craft, Racing Techniques and Rules of the Road – how to race safely and effectively.
• Time Trials – how to maximize performance in single-car, multi-lap competition.
The 16 self-paced modules are brief – three to six minutes in length – and provide exercises that the student can then duplicate behind the wheel in the simulation. Taken together they provide the basic skill-building blocks that a novice driver requires to become a successful online racer. At the end of the course each student receives a certificate of completion.