Rain in iRacing Will be a Game Changer for Sim Racing

iRacing 2024 Season 2 Will Bring Rain, New Cars, New Circuits and More

iRacing 2024 Season 2 Will Bring Rain, New Cars, New Circuits and More

One of the most requested features by the community, rain is finally forecasted to hit iRacing next month in the upcoming 2024 Season 2 update. With wet weather affecting how the cars react to the track, iRacing's realistic rain simulation could be a game-changer for sim racing.

With new cars, new tracks, and UI improvements as well as rain, the seminal 2024 Season 2 update is set to be a “landmark build” for iRacing.

Racing in the rain

According to a new development blog previewing the upcoming 2024 Season 2 update, iRacing’s highly anticipated Tempest weather system is “ready for release” following a delay. Players will be racing in the rain in March once the update is available. A “groundbreaking new addition,” iRacing’s Tempest system will set new standards for rain effects in sim racing.

“The Tempest system delivers an experience unlike anything else in simulation racing, and it may take some time for iRacers to properly acclimate to the feature,” the developer blog explains.

iRacing 2024 Season 2 rain screenshot
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“Rain in iRacing does not operate like what sim racers and racing gamers have experienced in racing video games and simcade racing titles.”

Rain will not only affect visibility, but iRacing will simulate how water interacts with the environment and tyres. Water will affect polished and unpolished areas of the track, causing you to alter your racing line accordingly.

You won’t be driving through canned puddles in iRacing. Everything is physically driven, from the wetness of the track and puddles, to water being sucked up off the track and sent through the air as you drive on the track surface.

iRacing 2024 Season 2 rain screenshot
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“As rain begins to cover a surface, the areas of the track that still have rough asperities are able to better accommodate the water because it will first settle in those low valleys before it fills in and becomes a slippery film.”

“That slippery film on the surface is what can cause the tyre to lose purchase and hydroplane. However, the worn down high-traffic racing line will have had its asperities worn down, and there is less room for water to hide from the surface of the tyre."

"The end result is the typical racing line becomes slicker sooner than the rest of the track, and racers need to seek areas off-line to find grip for their tyres.”

iRacing 2024 Season 2 rain screenshot
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Using Tempest, weather can be configured to be dynamic based on real-world forecasts, or static, or you can create custom weather intervals by adding keyframes on a timeline. Tempest will eventually be deployed to all racing series but will be limited to select series initially. Rain will only be enabled in select weeks to help familiarise players with the challenges of wet weather driving.

Not every car will be driveable in the rain initially. Supported cars on day one will include the 11-car field of endurance cars (GT3, GTP, LMP2), plus the Ray FF1600, Toyota GR86, and the FIA F4, with more cars to be added over the coming months.

An iRacing spotter and crew chief will keep you updated on upcoming weather changes. Alternatively, a friend or teammate can join as a spotter to monitor the weather radar.

iRacing 2024 Season 2 Tempest
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New cars and tracks

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While Tempest is the headline feature, the 2024 Season 2 update has plenty more to offer. three new tracks will be added in the next update: Italy’s Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, Portugal’s Algarve International Circuit, and Millbridge Speedway in the US.

Located in Misano Adriatico, the 2.6-mile Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli is home to the San Marino MotoGP.

iRacing 2024 Season 2 Algarve
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Home of the Portuguese Grand Prix, Algarve’s frequent elevation changes and mix of slow and fast turns make it one of the most enjoyable tracks to drive in F1.

Also known as Portimao, this is the first time iRacing has featured a Portuguese circuit. Le Mans Ultimate players will also get to race at Portimao when the game enters Early Access next month. Located in Salisbury, North Carolina, Millbridge Speedway is a 0.25-mile dirt oval with plenty of drifting opportunities – the first circuit of its kind in iRacing.

As well as new tracks, the 2024 Season 2 update will add several new racecars to drive. Following the Super Formula SF23, the March update will add its Dallara 324 sibling. In addition, the update will bring a new dirt racer in the form of the Micro Sprint as well as physics changes for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series cars and updates for the Dallara IR18.

iRacing 2024 Season 2 Dallara 324
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Season 2 will also split the Road licence into Open Wheel and Sports Car disciplines and overhaul the user interface to make it more intuitive for new players. Beyond Season 2, iRacing’s Career Mode is still on track for 2025 according to the development blog.

iRacing 2024 Season 2 release date

There’s no release date yet, but iRacing 2024 Season 2 is set to arrive sometime in March so we don’t have long to wait for iRacing’s arguably most important update yet.

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