Having trouble getting promoted on iRacing? You’re not alone! Many new drivers, especially those coming from more traditional racing games, find the class and promotion system in iRacing difficult and confusing.
I created this guide to explain a tried and true strategy to get out of rookie class quickly. It’s not a trick to skirt the rules or anything like that. All I will teach you in this guide is how to practice situational awareness, so that you can make smarter decisions out on the track.
Once you understand what it takes to get promoted and how best to achieve those steps, you’ll be on your way to D class in no time. And not only will you advance, the things you learn in this article will help you get promoted all the way up to class A.
Table of Contents
What is required to get promoted to D class?
Getting promoted from Rookie to class D on iRacing is pretty simple: Meet the MPR (minimum participation requirement) and you will be promoted to D class.
To meet the MPR as a Rookie, you must:
- Participate in at least 2 official races or 4 time trails
- Maintain at least a 3.0 SR (safety rating) at the end of the season
Fast track promotion
Rookie drivers are automatically fast tracked, unlike class D, C, and B drivers. Once a Rookie completes the two requirements above, they are instantly promoted. They don’t have to wait until the end of the season.
Once you get to D class, the MPR changes. If you maintain a 3.0 SR at the end of the season, you’ll get promoted to C class. Drivers not wanting to wait can be fast tracked by meeting the MPR and achieving a 4.0 SR. If the MPR and a 4.0 SR are achieved, the driver will be promoted within the season.
Best strategy to get out of Rookie class
Now that you understand how the promotion process works, I will explain the best strategy for actually achieving the MPR and SR that is required to get promoted out of rookie class.
Essentially, the strategy is being a safe, conservative driver in the Rookie series. You won’t be going for wins, and you won’t be concerned about getting a top 5 or top 10. Worry about all that when you’re settled in to class D. For now, the strategy will be to learn how to race clean.
Here are the main tips that will help you execute this strategy:
Incident points are the priority
As you can see from the minimum promotion criteria above, it’s all about safety rating, or SR. Safety rating is iRacing’s measure of how clean of a driver you are. iRacing uses a no-fault incident point system. That means if you accidentally make contact with another car, both of you share the same incident points. If someone rams you and causes a 4X incident, both of you are assigned 4 incident points.
Since license class is strictly about clean racing and not skill, to get promoted, your priority is clean racing and not podium finishes. Winning a race doesn’t get you promoted. Going an entire race with no incident points does get you promoted. It’s important to keep in mind, throughout this entire guide, that SR and clean, contact-free driving is the focus of the strategy to get promoted out of Rookie class.
Luck isn’t always on your side
It would be nice if racing incidents and bad luck never happened. Inevitably, you’ll be on the receiving end of a bad driver or an unlucky situation. You’ll rack up incident points through no fault of your own sometimes. It happens to everyone on iRacing.
The key is to think big picture. One bad race doesn’t really matter. If you make a mistake and cause a crash, hurting your SR, you just have to move on. If someone divebombs you on corner entry and takes you out, you just have to move on. These minor setbacks don’t change your long term growth as a driver.
Embrace solo practice
Before you hit the track and start racing in official series, it’s important to be comfortable going at race pace. Since clean racing is our priority, you can’t expect to just hop into a race at a new track and be incident free. I recommend spending an entire session just running laps in Test Drive. You can also practice in an AI session if available.
Practicing before racing for the week does a few important things. First, it improves your speed and pace which is important for long term driver development. Second, it helps you learn the limits of the car and of yourself as a driver. When you know where the limit is, you can learn to get close, but not exceed it. That leads to more consistent and safer racing. Finally, practicing at a track allows you to learn the trouble areas. If you know turn one is tough on cold tires, for example, you will exercise more caution and give more space to drivers in the actual race.
This is one of the more controversial recommendations for new drivers. In my opinion, trying to qualify up front puts too much pressure on new drivers. Running hot laps is much different than racing around other drivers. Too many times, a driver will qualify up in the top three, only to make a big mistake into turn one.
Skip qualifying and start near the back. Remember, getting out of Rookie class is about increasing your safety rating. Your start and finish position are irrelevant. Only your incident points matter. You are at less risk in the back of the field being cautious and conservative, compared to trying to race in the top five.
Let aggressive drivers wreck themselves
One of the main reasons to skip qualifying is to avoid the more aggressive drivers in the field. Many people simply won’t follow the advice in this guide. They will give it their all in qualifying, and make aggressive moves in the race to try to get every spot they can. For Rookie drivers, this usually ends badly. Either the other drivers around you will make a mistake, or you will make a mistake. Any contact, regardless of fault, hurts your SR, and therefore hurts your promotion efforts.
So your strategy should be to allow faster drivers to pass easily. Let the aggressive drivers do what they want to do, because all you are worried about is finishing the race cleanly. Chances are, you’ll actually beat many of these aggressive drivers because they will wreck out before finishing the race!
Have patience, pick your battles
Being conservative and cautious doesn’t mean you can’t race! In fact, you shouldn’t take this strategy to the extreme to where you go really slow in last place and avoid other drivers at all cost. That’s not what we are advocating with this guide.
What you should be doing is looking for good opportunities. For example, diving to the inside of the first turn of a race when everyone is stacked on top of each other is not a good opportunity for a position in a Rookie race. The risk is simply too high for incident points. Instead, settle into the race for a few laps, and look to pick the slower drivers off one by one as the field spreads out. It’s a lot less risky to pass 1v1, compared to trying to fight for a position with 4 other cars.
For the purposes of trying to get out of Rookie class, pick your battles wisely. You don’t need to be aggressive to get promoted, you only need to race clean!
Getting out of Rookie class in iRacing is about picking your battles, racing cleanly, and focusing on safety over finishing position. The goal of the Rookie level of racing is to learn how to navigate a race without wrecking, and without being wrecked. iRacing uses a no-fault incident point system. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who caused the incident. The bottom line is that any incidents you are involved in hinder your promotion progress. With that in mind, the best strategy to get out of Rookie class is to follow the tips above, and prioritize clean, safe racing over all else.