By Jeff Williams, Rocky Mountain Region PCA
PCA Sim Racing Entry Class Manager

Don’t want to practice by yourself or do you want to practice with others at a time better suited to your time zone? Set up a “Hosted Race” for you and anyone you want to give permission to join. The Create A Race interface is pretty intuitive but there are some things to know and avoid.

1. Before you start

  • Make sure you have some funds loaded into your iRacing account to pay for the session. Otherwise, the system takes you for a little detour at the end of creating the race and it takes time to recognize funds added to your account.

2. Hard-learned lesson

  • Do not click on the “Back” button showing at the bottom left corner of the page next to the Check Out button anytime you are in the process of creating a race. If you do it exits you from creating your race and you have to re-start the process. If you want to go back to a previous page in the session, click on the appropriate icon at the top of the Create A Race page.

3. Click on “Go Racing”

  • In iRacing click on “Go Racing” in the UI sidebar, and then the “Create a Race” option.

4. Select “New Race”

  • Select “New Race” from the Create A Race pop-up box. Note that if you have previously created a race you can choose “Last Settings” and the succeeding screens will be pre-populated with your last settings.

5. The Race Information Page

  • Do not “Enable League Racing” even if you plan to restrict invitees to a certain league(s). iRacing seems to do weird things if you check this here.
  • Enter a name for the session. This will be what you tell others to look for on the Hosted Races page.
  • Enter a password if you do not plan to restrict access to league members. You can post this password on the “Hosting a Session” channel in Discord or in DM’s you send to your driver pals. It is case-sensitive. If you do not restrict access to league members or password protect the session then anyone in the world can join your session.
  • Entering a description is optional. Nothing is lost by leaving this blank.

6. The Server Details Page

  • Pick a server located near you (it is your session after all) to give you optimal ping.
  • Unless you want to start the session immediately, de-select the “Start Now” button. Click on the date/time that fills the Launch Race box and adjust to suit. Note that the time is your time zone. So if you are on Mountain time and set 8:00 PM, your friend on Pacific time will see 7:00 PM.

7. Set Admins Page

  • This will default to you. Add any other drivers if you want. Admins have rights within the session to clear black flags, mute drivers, etc.
  • These options show in session when you right-click in the Driver Names box.

8. Time Limit Page

  • Select Event Type. iRacing has a number of pre-established event types to select from. Pick one that suits you.
  • Event duration: This defaults to 1 hour. Drag the button to the left for a longer session. In the window below with the colored bars, drag the buttons to set durations for the subsections of the event. If the event type you have selected includes “Lone Qualifier” adjust this first to the number of laps, then adjust the practice and race durations to the limit of the overall event duration you set. Note that you can have the race be based on time duration or number of laps by selecting the “Laps” button.
  • Enable Heat Racing: Selecting this adds a number of pre-established event types to the list. You can also create a custom heat racing format which is what we do on the Tuesday night Entry League session. There are a lot of details to set up a custom heat race format to get the desired results. We’ll address how to do this in a later edition of STARTER.

9. The Race Options Page

  • You can leave most of the pre-filled defaults alone except the “Only allow drivers from selected leagues” option. Select this to restrict access to all drivers from the Entry League (or any other leagues you choose to identify). This is an easy way to avoid creating a password but keep the world out of your session.
  • Set a car incident limit if you want. “No limit” is usually fine for friendly practice sessions.
  • Set incident warnings if you want. Choose the desired option from the drop-down menu. Best to choose the Warning at (x) incidents, then every (y) incidents option to throw black flags at the thresholds you set with the sliders.
  • Disable car damage if you want to allow cars to self-repair without towing/pitting. This is a great option for practices (especially on the Nordschleife).

10. The Set Weather Page

  • The options are pretty self-explanatory. If you know the race conditions that you are practicing for, use that information to create the same conditions here.

11. The Set Cars Page

  • Use the default “All Cars in Single Class” unless you want to set up a multi-class session, which we usually do not do.
  • Add the car(s) you want to be allowed in the session. Up to eight are allowed.
  • Select “Enable Fixed Setups” if you want to apply fixed setups. When you do this you will see “Race Setup” and “Qualify Setup” appear to the right of “Car Name”. Choose the desired setup from the drop-down menus. What you will see are the iRacing setups available.  It is also possible to select a setup you have created after uploading it to iRacing.
  • Click the gear icon if you want to restrict fuel capacity, add a weight penalty, or restrict engine power for a given car. (Yes, you can adjust things so a GT4 is faster than a RSR.)

12. The Set Track Page

  • Self-explanatory. Select the track and the track layout you want. Some tracks have several layout variations.

13. The Track Options Page

  • You can leave most of the pre-filled defaults alone.
  • You can change Start Type to Standing Starts.
  • You can change Pace Car from Default Pace Car to Porsche (a must!).
  • Change Fast Repairs from “No Limit” if you want.
  • Select “Short Parade Lap” if you do not want a full parade lap. Note some tracks do not give this option and others only allow a short parade lap.

14. The AI Opponents Page

  • Usually, we pass by this page so that only real drivers are on track.
  • If you want to have AI cars on the track with you, create/select a roster from the drop-down list. This is another topic with a lot of variables that we will address in a future issue of STARTER.

15. The Track Conditions Page

  • Adjust these to match the settings for the race you are practicing for.

16. The Time of Day Page

  • This page sets the “race time” for the session, not the day/time that the hosted session you are creating takes place. (That was done on the Servers Details Page).
  • Select a time of day from the drop-down list.
  • Select “Specific Time” if you want to match to a race you are practicing for or, say, the same date/time as the real-life Sebring 12 Hour.
  • If the specific date you want shows greyed out/unavailable there is a workaround. Go back to the Set Track page, choose a track you know is operating on the day you want, return to this Time of Day page, and set the day/time. Then go back to the Set Track page and change the track back to the one you want. It’s a quirk of iRacing that allows this.

17. Click on “Check Out”

  • This will take you to a confirmation page where you can review all your settings. Click on the “Edit” button next to the “Buy Now” button to go back to the Create A Race pages if you need to make any changes. DO NOT click on the “Back” button to navigate through the pages to make any edits. Select the page from the icons along the top.

18. When all looks good click on “Check Out”, then “Buy Now”

  • At the time you have set for the session it will become visible to others on the “Hosted Races” page. (Actually a few minutes after; the iRacing servers take time to spin up.) You will be able to see it at any time up to that set time. Just put your name in the “Hosted Races” search bar. It will be greyed out, but you can select it to make further edits, or cancel the session. You do not get charged until the session starts.