The inaugural World Cup of iRacing tournament is just around the corner, and the list of qualifying clubs – and potential qualifiers – is nothing if not intriguing.  At stake is the opportunity to represent one of seven regions in February’s World Cup of iRacing Championship.

screenhunter_28-oct-01-1432A number of iRacing’s thirty-five geographical clubs are already locked-in to the tournament, which begins with the Regional Annual Club Championship (RACC) Runoffs and Finals slated for January 26 to January 31.  New York, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, France, Mid-South and Italy guaranteed themselves a spot in the RACC by winning the first round of the Regional Season Club Championship (RSCC) back in Season One of 2009.  Other clubs, including New England, Ohio, England, West, Celtic, Carolina, South America and Plains, punched their tickets to the tournament with RSCC wins in Seasons Two or Three.

Now, as the fourth and final season of 2009 comes to a close, several additional clubs are making a last ditch bid to join the party.  DE-AT-CH (Germany/Austria and Switzerland) leads Central Europe powerhouse Club Italia to the tune of 56,759 to 49,939 points and looks virtually certain to claim its first RACC.  In the Pacific Region, Club Australia enjoys an 800 point lead over Club West in its bid to take an RACC “Down Under,” while Atlantic, Illinois and Benelux are within striking distance of the Season Four Mid-Atlantic, Central US and Central European regional titles, respectively, and berths in the RSCC.

Of the latter group, Club Illinois currently has the best shot of claiming its first RACC, as the Ilini trail Plains by 160 points in the Central U.S. region.  Club Atlantic is somewhat further adrift of Club Ohio in the race for the final Mid-Atlantic RACC – about 368 points – while the Benelux is 1965 points back of Celtic in the Western Europe region.  That’s a big, but not insurmountable, hill to climb.

What it all means is that between fifteen and twenty-one of iRacing’s thirty-five clubs will face-off in the RACC Runoffs and Finals to determine the seven regional champions competing in the World Cup of iRacing Final on February 6, 2010.

For complete details, iRacing members can check the World Cup of iRacing 2009 Official Guidelines on the members web site.  In brief, the RACC Runoffs will be followed by the RACC Finals on Sunday, January 31, 2010.  There will be five divisions for the 2009 RACC Runoffs and Finals.  All drivers from the qualifying clubs are urged to register for the RACC Finals prior to the race start time, however, only a club’s top two drivers from each division will participate in the RACC Finals race. The seven clubs scoring the most points across both categories (oval and road) in their region in the Finals will advance to the World Cup of iRacing Championship on February 6, 2010.

Sample of upcoming World Cup of iRacing wen page.

Sample of upcoming World Cup of iRacing web page.

The World Cup of iRacing Championship will consist of two races (oval and road) featuring the top five oval and road racers from each of the regional champions, based on the total points scored during the RACC Runoffs.  Each of the two final races will feature a 35 car field and Class A content, with every driver scoring points.  The World Cup of iRacing champion will be the club scoring the most race points on championship day as determined by the combined race points from both oval and road category events.

Each member of the World Cup of iRacing-winning club will automatically receive a package including a World Cup of iRacing trophy, $15 in iRacing credits and iRacing stickers or cap.

While the swag – and bragging rights – is important, the true significance of this first World Cup of iRacing will only be realized in the coming years.

We’re very excited about the inaugural World Cup of iRacing,” says John Henry, co-founder of and originator of the World Cup of iRacing.  “Everyone has been working extremely hard getting the software automation and web work in place in order to insure a successful – and enjoyable – tournament for our members.

A year-long, all-encompassing geographic tournament and playoff of this magnitude and format is a first in the history of sim racing.  Over time, we truly believe the World Cup of iRacing will become one of racing’s crown jewels.”

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