by Doug Atkinson, Lone Star Region PCA
Now that you have decided you want to join PCA Sim Racing, and you have submitted your registration, and are waiting for your welcome message and invite to Onboarding, we thought it would be a good time to give you some background to the various leagues PCA Sim Racing uses.
PCA Sim Racing is using the iRacing leagues function. Leagues provide the most structure and organization for large groups of sim racers. There are many leagues in iRacing for every type of racing iRacing offers. If the infrastructure in iRacing is one of its biggest attributes, leagues typify it best.
There are Multiple Leagues?
You are asking, “But I thought PCA Sim Racing was one league?” Nope. PCA Sim Racing covers multiple Series and Special Events so we had to create different iRacing leagues for different intended purposes. It would be wonderful if iRacing permitted us to use one league for every use and need, but that is not feasible or even possible.
That’s what this article is all about – defining the leagues, what they are for, and how to get into them.
Just so you know, we’re primarily talking about the new user interface (UI) used in iRacing and not the older UI that is web browser-based. iRacing is transitioning from the older web browser to the new UI, and it is a work-in-progress. That means some of the functions in the new UI are still half-baked.
When you first join PCA Sim Racing, and have completed the onboarding class, you will be invited to the PCA Sim Racing – Entry Class league.
Once you’re in the Entry Class (amber group), you will join eDE instructors on Sunday evenings for some on-track time. We realize everyone arrives at different levels of experience, so no worries. The eDE instructors will get you up-to-speed (literally!).
If you’re experienced and ready to go, you can request a check ride by the eDE administrators to determine which of the four PCA Sim Racing driver classes best fit:
- Challenge Class (red group)
- Sport Class (green group)
- Club Class (orange group)
- Pro Class (blue group)
Entry Class (amber group) is designed to move forward at the individual driver’s pace and comfort. If drivers enjoy the group competition and do not have the time to devote to advancing into one of the four racing classes mentioned earlier, they’re welcome to stay in the Entry Class! A true beginner’s racing league!
One exception to staying in Entry Class. Should a driver win 3 races, they will be assigned a new class in one of the national classes.
Driver Classification Leagues
Presuming a driver is itching to get into their Zone Group and the national racing events and series, and once the driver has done a “check ride”, eDE administrators will invite you to one of the four different driver classification leagues. As explained previously, you’ll need to accept this league invite the same way you selected the invite to the PCA Sim Racing Entry Class.
So why have a League for each class? Because PCA Sim Racing runs events based on driver qualifications, experience, and driver safety. For Series, we run 4 races for each event. There is also a very important logistical reason. It keeps anxious drivers from joining the wrong league race on race nights. Those of you who have been with PCA Sim Racing for a while know that back in 2019 we had a problem with drivers joining the wrong races. The individual class leagues are also helpful when events use the iRacing “hosted” function and more than one class is to run together, but not all four classes run together.
What About Team Racing?
PCA Sim Racing has another league dedicated to Team Racing. “Team Racing” is multiple drivers running on the same racing team at an extended event length, typically 90 to 180 minutes. These events are shorter than endurance races but still carry much of the strategy and teamwork found in longer-format racing. This is another example of logistics necessitating a unique league format.
If you’re not familiar with Team Racing in iRacing, take a look at this video.
Is That It? Any More PCA Sim Racing Leagues?
Glad you asked. There is one more named the PCA Sim Racing – Main League. This League is all four classed drivers together.
It is used for the purpose of Special Events where class or team designation is not a criterion. An example would be an event where everyone is welcome to join a race and run on the track together.
Do I Need a Password for Each of These?
If it is an iRacing league event, and you’re a member of that league, you don’t need a password.
If it is an iRacing hosted event, you may or may not need a password.
The event organizer needs to include if their event is passworded or not when they list events on Discord in the #hosting-a-session channel, and when they add it to the PCA Sim Racing calendar.
Accepting League Invites
It’s no secret iRacing is having some issues with the automation of joining their racing leagues. iRacing is going through major updating moving from the browser-based to the more modern UI.
PCA Sim Racing Steering Committee member Chip Witt has produced a terrific how-to video on accepting invites that will help tremendously.
Contact the Steering Committee or post on the Discord Contact-SC channel.