Here’s a short overview of the major changes that season 3 2021 brought to iRacing:
- The Formula Vee is added as freely available formula car, along with a rookie series. Formula Vee cars are based upon VW Beetle technology and used to be the entry-level formula series in many countries. This car and its series now adds a logical starting point for those who want to race formula cars, instead of having to go through the Mazda Cup. The next step would be the Skippy in D class.
- After years of complaints that there was no Porsche 911 GT3 R (contrary to Porsche’s naming, the GT3 Cup is NOT a GT3 car), our prayers have finally been answered. You can now drive a Porsche GT4, GT3, GTE, LMP1, and the Cup car. Expect to see this car in the super popular VRS GT Sprint, Fanatec GT3 Challenge, and IMSA series.
- A completely new Spec Racer Ford, updated to Gen 3 spec. I haven’t driven the SRF much since my early days on iRacing. It’s a bit peculiar due to its pronounced lift-off oversteer, but it is a true race car that feels a bit like a bigger Skippy.
- After last season’s Hockenheimring, we get another European Formula 1 track: the Red Bull Ring in Austria. I was considering buying Suzuka this season, but this seems like it is even more interesting. Most series didn’t expect a new track to be released, so we will have to see how much use it gets in season 3.
- The Chicago Street Circuit was released a bit ahead of the season 3 release.
- The MX-5 has been given the sequential gearbox that the real car has had for some time now. It now also has a pit limiter.
- A new off-track system that uses all four tires instead of the car centerline has been implemented, starting at Spa and the Red Bull Ring.
- I don’t recall whether this has been added earlier, but there can now be 8 different cars in one race.
- Many changes to Balance of Performance, tires, and other stuff.
The Formula Vee is a true momentum car. It has very little power, so carrying speed through turns is more important than ever. Most of your driving will be in 3rd and 4th gear. Be careful when downshifting to 2nd – even with auto-blip enabled, the car will easily spin if not entirely straight.
The MX-5 now has a true race gearbox. There is much complaining by the lovers of H shifters. The ratios are different from the previous version, which will take a little getting used to, but up- and downshifts are much quicker now. I like this change.
I’ve done only a short stint in the new SRF. The lift-off oversteer is less pronounced than in used to be, but not totally gone – entering the corkscrew at Laguna Seca remains a challenge. I experienced a bit of understeer on corner exit with the setup that I was using. SRF lovers will probably be happy, I’ll stick to the MX-5.