iRacing’s Safety Rating and iRating explained

Written by teams at
iRacing’s Safety Rating and iRating explained
Written by the teams at & Driver61

Part of iRacing’s success is its Safety Rating (SR) and iRating (iR) systems, where drivers are ranked and organised based on how well they conduct themselves in races.

Below, we explain more about these systems and give you tips on how to improve your respective SR and iR numbers, helping you race against like-minded opponents with similar ability levels.

To aid your SR, iR and general driving consistency, why not try Driver61’s innovative It implements AI to analyse your sim driving in both iRacing and Assetto Corsa Competizione, advising how you can become a faster and more rounded driver,

What is Safety Rating (SR) in iRacing?

Safety Rating (SR) judges how safely a driver conducts themselves on track. SR is based on a corners per incident (CPI) calculation; so longer races with faster cars will give you a greater chance of increasing your SR over shorter races with slower cars (if you can keep it clean, that is).

CPI is balanced against the number of incident points accrued during a race, with a final figure produced based on these opposing criteria.

One of the main drawbacks of SR calculations is that being punted off-track by another driver will still mean the innocent party gains incident points. However, it’s hoped with safe conduct over time a driver’s average SR value will make up for these rare occurrences.
SR can affect your licence level in iRacing too, with a minimum SR of 3.00 required at the end of every season to progress up a licence grade, which is part of the minimum participation requirements (MPR). You can check the MPR of the next licence grade by clicking on your licence on iRacing’s dashboard section.

You can even earn an instant promotion part-way through a season if your SR goes above 4.00, but bear in mind this will drop by 1.00 once your new licence takes effect, forcing you to earn your next promotion by way of more clean racing.

As well as promotion, you can be demoted at the end of a season if your SR drops below a full point threshold (below 2.00, for example). 

How to Increase SR in iRacing

The best way to accrue SR in iRacing is simply to avoid receiving incident points. To do this, you should stay within track limits - even a single wheel off-track in certain corners will result in a 1x (one incident point). 

It seems obvious, but staying out of trouble is a key part of building SR, so if you see an emerging three-into-one-style situation, back off and avoid getting yourself into trouble.

The good thing about iRacing is that incidents are suitably punished by a large SR hit, although this still applies even if it wasn’t your fault. That’s why it’s always best to err on the side of caution in races, fostering a more patient attitude between opponents (well, that’s the theory at least).

Overall, if you race cleanly and consistently you will organically gain SR. Avoiding incident points is key, however, especially as you will lose an extra 0.40 SR by dropping from 3.01 to 2.99 after a race, for example (on a more positive note, this works in reverse too). 

It’s thought the best way to increase SR is to race the fastest cars available in the longest races. This will increase the number of corners you complete, which bumps up the CPI calculation and increases the SR gained - depending on how cleanly you drive, of course.

Another key factor to SR is which type of session you participate in. So, races are where you stand to gain or lose the most SR, while time trials, qualifying and warmup sessions offer less potential. Practice sessions do not contribute to your SR rating.

What is iRating in iRacing?

At its core, iRating (iR) is a measure of an iRacer's ability and is used to help grid similarly skilled drivers together. If there are hundreds of drivers scheduled to run the same race, they will be placed in separate ‘splits’ alongside drivers of similar iR (or as close as possible). 

This system determines the difficulty level of a race, or the strength of field (SOF) number, which has a knock-on effect on the championship points awarded for each finishing position. The higher the average iR of the drivers in a race, the higher the SOF number.

Drivers with a relatively high iR compared to their opponents may find it difficult to gain iR since they are contributing heavily to the SOF number. Likewise, a driver with low iR in the same race stands to significantly increase their iR if they place well. A higher SOF figure will also result in more championship points being awarded.

How to Increase iRating in iRacing

Quite simply, the best way to gain iR in iRacing is to practice as much as possible, perhaps using Driver 61’s coaching tool to ensure you’ve prepared accordingly for all upcoming races.

Doing well in races where the SOF rating is much larger than your iR is also a surefire way to gain chunks of iR, while repeatedly racing with familiar car and track combinations will guarantee competitiveness and hopefully a successful iR bump

Last Updated
April 29, 2024
Sim Racing

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