iRacing has provided a look at the new features coming next month, and things are looking good. From a new car to two new circuits and a look ahead to future features, here’s a recap of everything coming in the Season 1 2024 update in iRacing.
The December S1 2024 update sees one new car enter the world of iRacing. As part of iRacing’s initiative to keep the GT3 fleet of cars modern, the Audi R8 LMS Evo II GT3 will be making its debut.
The Audi R8 LMS Evo II GT3 is the first of many new cars coming to iRacing to replace or add to the existing GT3 offerings. For players who already own the Audi R8 LMS GT3, credits will be issued according to when the R8 LMS GT3 was purchased.
Those who bought the R8 LMS GT3 within the last 30 days will be issued credits equal to 100% of the value of the car. This will allow them to purchase the R8 LMS Evo II GT3, upgrading their racing experience.
Players who bought the R8 LMS GT3 longer than 30 days ago but within the last 180 days will be credited 50% of the purchase price. This still goes some way towards being able to upgrade the R8 GT3 without needing to break the bank.
The new car offerings in December S1 2024 may seem a little lacking, but there are also new tracks coming in the update.
Two new tracks will be making their iRacing debuts in Season 1 2024. Slinger Speedway is dubbed the “World’s fastest quarter-mile oval” featuring an asphalt outer oval with an inner figure-of-eight circuit to add even more chaos to the racing.
Both configurations will be added as part of December S1 2024, creating the first step to the overall improvement of oval racing in iRacing.
As a more conventional race track, Mugello also makes its iRacing bow. Located in the heart of Tuscany, Mugello is a track that’s been on the iRacing wishlist for some time now. Owned by Ferrari and hosting regular MotoGP races as well as the one-off Tuscany Grand Prix in Formula 1, Mugello is a great track to blast around in any class of vehicle.
It’s not just new tracks coming in the December S1 2024 update. Okayama Circuit is also getting a rerelease with modern artwork to upgrade the quality. This update comes free of charge, meaning players can enjoy the new improvements without needing to buy the new artwork.
Outside of new content, iRacing is also seeing improvements to the protest system. December S1 2024 will see the protest department of iRacing equipped with a new toolset in order to make the racing fairer.
Once the update rolls out, players can be disqualified from a session after the results have been published if they are found to have breached any rules. This will reset their championship points for that race back to zero and could lead to more sanctions being placed upon them.
These sanctions range from being excluded from specific iRacing series to being banned from any and all online sessions. Of course, these sanctions are seen as a last-resort option, with coaching also now being provided to players to lessen the risk of being disqualified or banned.
With the racing in iRacing getting more and more competitive, it’s great to see the protest system updated to match. The hope is no one will ever need to see the severity of punishments mentioned here, but the fact the system is already in place will make post-race results fairer if an incident does occur during a race.
With the next big feature teased in this month’s development update, the chance of collisions will increase in the future.
Racing up a storm
Although not coming in the December S1 2024 update, November’s Development Update did provide new information on the upcoming weather feature for iRacing.
Dubbed Tempest by the development team, this new advanced weather system simulates the physical components that make up various types of weather. The update mainly focuses on rain, but this could also span to fog and other weather phenomena that affect both visibility and track grip.
Tempest’s standout feature is how water on the track is simulated. Puddling will sometimes occur on the racing line, with players able to feel the resistance on the wheel as the car splashes through the water. If the puddle is deep enough, aquaplaning may even occur, so you’ll have to be quick to avoid splashing out of the race.
The more aerodynamic-heavy cars will dry out the racing line when conditions get wet, throwing water up into the air for the cars behind to cope with. This will also redistribute water across the track surface.
If dark clouds are spotted on the horizon, players can ask their teammate to check the weather radar or ask their Crew Chief if there’s a chance of rain.
Tempest has been in the works for the last three years, with the first rollout expected early in 2024. To begin with, only a small handful of cars will receive rain support, with the rest coming at a later date. It’s expected that the Formula 1600, Toyota GR86, and Ferrari 296 GT3 will be the first batch, but this is yet to be confirmed.
The December S1 2024 update also sees a wide range of improvements and fixes come to iRacing. We’ll provide the full list of these with the patch notes upon release. Outside of the S1 2024 update, however, November’s development update also gave us a preview of what to expect in 2024.
The scanning department has now delivered the data from both Portimao and Navarra, with both circuits expected to be added to the game sometime in 2024. On top of this, a Micro Sprint format is being developed for oval racing, leading towards the introduction of Millbridge Speedway to iRacing.
A Career Mode is also in the works, with the design team creating the backend systems needed to support such a mode in the sim. This opens the door to a more accessible iRacing experience, moving away from the current model-based system.
2024 looks incredibly promising for iRacing, with new tracks and game modes adding to an already incredible racing experience. No cars beyond the Micro Sprint have yet been revealed for 2024, but we’re sure more are on the way to race around the new circuits in the rain.
What we do know is that 2024 is a strong year for iRacing, with even more tracks in the pipeline along with the arrival of the Tempest weather system.
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