iRacing: iRating

With all the interest in iRacing these days, I thought I would do a couple posts about iRacing itself. I’m not going to focus on driving technique or racecraft, but rather the community and service.

SR vs. iR

iRacing ranks you by two very important numbers: Safety Rating (SR) and iRating (iR). Your SR depends on finishing races without incidents. Your iR depends on winning races.

In order to move up the license ladder from Rookie to A, you need to improve your SR.  Why do you want to improve your SR? Because with each license class you unlock new series to race in. That’s the only reason. If you’re racing in private leagues, your license generally doesn’t matter.

While SR is supposed to be an indication of your safety, iR turns out to be an even better indicator. There’s no way to get a high iRating without also being a very safe driver.

iRating starts at 1250

As a Rookie, you have a default iR of 1250. This is invisible to you while a Rookie. Depending on how well you perform in the Rookie races, your iR might be a little higher or lower when you finally get to see your rating in the D class. In the graph below, at the left end is where racers start: with an iR about 1250. Over time, here measured by how many official racers one does, iR generally increases. But it’s very driver-dependent. Some drivers go up, some down, and some stay the same. Even after 1000 races, some drivers have low iRatings. I think most drivers who aren’t good at iRacing tend to stop racing in official events or maybe they quit altogether.

Not many drivers have a high iRating

The distribution of iRatings is shown below. It’s not normally distributed, having a very long tail. Not many drivers have an iR above 2500. How does one get a high iR? By driving in a lot of races and doing better than average.

Safe but not too safe

The graph below shows that there is some correlation between incidents and iR, but it’s not that strong. It’s possible to have a very high iR and still have 5-8 incidents per race. But once you’re over 10 incidents, it becomes less likely. It’s also interesting to note that some very safe racers have really low iRatings. Driving so carefully that you’re way off pace is not the way to win.


The data here is for all racers ranked D and above in the UK. I tried to get larger slices of the data, but ended up on error pages with no data. It’s probably possible to get more data via an API, but I was lazy and went through the web interface.

5 thoughts on “iRacing: iRating

  1. Great data. Thank you for posting it, its really important to know how the people in top get there, i was worried because im getting lots of iR but cannot improve a lot on sR, with an average of 4-6-8 inc. Try to make it 0 inc, but when u are on 4th or 3rd o 2nd…. gonna fight my position.
    Thank you!


  2. People get to the top by winning and consistently staying in the top 25% of the race. You need to choose 1 or 2 series and car. Practice before the races and get good. Guys who have lose SR usually end up losing spots and damaging their cars. They dont end up getting tons of Irating althoguh they might be fast. Driving to safe is also a dumb thing because youll get stuck and what fun is that? Here is the thing thoguh. When you get past 2.3k i rating you will lose it quickly because you will start racing with seriously fast folks up above your skill level. Therefore you might end up staying around 2k. Its also very hard when idiots just ruin races and you have bad luck. When you get to the 2.5reegion its very easy to lose irating and drop quickly back down to 2k.Ive done it many times and i am descently quick and qualify in the top 5 often against 2.4k and high racers. This game is very fun, competitive and so frustrating.


  3. Love the data you pulled (even if it’s just the UK) and how you visualized it. I’m not fast myself, but have managed to make good improvements through staying out of trouble and finishing races. I’ve linked to this page from my iRating article on my website which has tips for beginners as well :) Cheers! –


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