iRacing Official vs Unofficial Races: What does it mean?

iRacing Official vs Unofficial Races
Author Alessio Lorandi
Alessio Lorandi
March 11, 2022

Are you just getting started with iRacing and wondered what the difference between official and unofficial races was? Should I join an official race or an unofficial one?

There can be some confusion around what the difference is and what it means for your racing.

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Here’s a quick guide to help you make the right decision for you.

iRacing Official Races

In order for a race to be considered “official” in iRacing, a minimum of six drivers have to register for rookie events in order for those races to be considered, again, “official,” while twelve drivers will be required to register for professional level iRacing events.

So that’s essentially the main difference. If the race has six or more drivers, then it is an official race.

iRacing Official Races

What you need to know regarding official races is that there are four online racing seasons each year, offering iRacers the opportunity to participate in thousands of weekly races, featuring full-event fields, attracting worldwide sim drivers.

That’s awesome, right? You get to race against drivers from all over the globe in official events officially organized by iRacing.

iRacing Unofficial Races

The unofficial races are mainly all those races that fail to meet the six-driver requirement for an official race. This can be either due to a lack of drivers or because some drivers have left the race before it has begun.

iRacing Unofficial Races

An unofficial race is not an iRacing sanctioned event. This means that any points or prizes that may have been up for grabs are not awarded. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re not worth racing in – unofficial races can still be a lot of fun and competitive too.

3 types of iRacing unofficial races

There are three types on unofficial races.

  1. Races in official series that don’t meet the minimum drivers participation number to be considered official;
  2. Races in unofficial series (carb cup, dallara dash, pickup cup). These are just fun iRacing series that don’t really count;
  3. User Hosted races. Anyone can host their own race with their own settings are considered unofficial.

types of iRacing unofficial races

Are unofficial races less competitive?

Actually, despite not being official there can still be just as much competition in unofficial races as there can be in official ones.

The main difference is that unofficial races are not run by iRacing and they don’t count towards your standings or give you any points.

Should I join an official race or an unofficial race?

The choice is up to you though we would recommend that if you’re just starting out, it might be a good idea to join some unofficial races first to get a feel for the competition and then move onto official races.

Do unofficial races count towards safety rating?

No, only official races will have an influence on your safety iRating.

Do hosted races affect iRating?

No, they don’t. Only Official Races organized by iRacing can affect your iRating.

Also remember that your iRating is category-specific. Only Official Race sessions in a specific racing category affect your iRating for that category.

How many cars do you need for official race iRacing?

6 cars are needed for an official race to be indeed considered “official”.

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About the autor

Alessio Lorandi

Alessio has been involved at the highest levels in racing since the age of 5 (2003). He won a CIK-FIA World Championship in 2013 and then raced in F3, F2, and finally GT3s before now dedicating himself to SOLOX. He’s now on a mission to help thousands of sim racers around the world achieve their fullest potential through his ACC setups.






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