Rain in iRacing: Is it a bad thing?

iRacing might be introducing rain in a few weeks as part of the 2024 Season 1 update and it should be the most realistic weather effects in the history of sim racing. It's expected to have features that have never been seen before like friction from tyres causing water to burn off the track surface thereby causing the racing line to dry out faster than areas outside the racing line.

Why is rain a bad thing?

Some drivers on iRacing have already stated that rain will just cause races to turn into wreckfests mainly due to inexperienced driving not being able to handle the change in grip levels introduced by having water on the racing surface.

This does hold true to some degree mainly because the change in grip levels between wet and dry can be quite dramatic and depending on the car you drive, there may be little warning from when you've reached the limit and when you've exceeded it. This essentially means that there may be a sudden drop off in grip when you've exceeded the limits and the car may suddenly snap into oversteer.

Crashes may occur and the potential for pileups at the start of a wet race can be high.

Should iRacing withhold this feature?

The simple answer is: No!

First and foremost, iRacing is a racing simulator. Its purpose is to simulate racing as close as possible to real-life racing. In real-life motorsport, drivers have to handle changing weather conditions that may include stopping for wet weather tyres, dealing with increasing and decreasing rainfall and the associated changes in grip levels as well as the related changes in visibility.

GT3 cars racing in the rain in iRacing

Other racing sims like Assetto Corsa Competizione have rain and races are not never-ending wreckfests. Wrecks do occur but that happens in the dry as well.

iRacing introduced dirt track racing quite a while back and the levels of grip there are similar at times to driving in the wet. Drivers experience big changes in grip levels during the course of a race but clean racing is normal.

Final thoughts

We're looking forward to rain in iRacing and the challenge it brings with it. You will always have beginner drivers and expert drivers. Everyone has to start somewhere and wrecks will always happen regardless of track conditions.

Racing in the rain won't be easy but it will take iRacing to the next level and should do the same to us drivers.

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