Accuse me of jumping the gun but the way that iRacing has just implemented the Red Bull GRC Rallycross series, there are few words that can describe the uplifting of the iRacing community. With panics of Assetto Corsa gaining more concurrent during the day and fears iRacing may have to concede to rFactor2 in road racing, the bar has been well and truly raised in a move that has panic rushed Dirt 4 to bring out clubs and that has almost killed any small momentum Project Cars 2 ever had. While iRacing has a stunning product, there is one tactical move they absolutely must do to use Rallycross as much as possible. They need the Red Bull GRC World Championship Series.
In just the first day of release, everybody jumped on the December 5th build of iRacing Rallycross which saw circuits at Daytona, Phoenix, Lucas Oil and Iowa come into effect with speculations about implementing Brands Hatch as a Rallycross track too. With the VW Beetle and the Ford Fiesta, iRacing have made massive strides in a system that needed adding and one that already has changed the numbers overall. On release day, iRacers more than doubled to 7000 concurrent from the average 2900 that is seen, with 800+ people needing races at Daytona in the first hour of release, showing the amount of work done on servers in the last year since the Daytona issues. Put into perspective the brand new licences that have been brought into place and within a day, people are already rushing to a D licence and hoping to get everything tiered as soon as possible.
It was impossible to look through Twitch and not see a Rallycross stream and who can blame them when drivers wanted everything they could ever ask for. In my testing out, I saw top guy after top guy come into sessions with the likes of Alex Arana, Rens Broekmann, Fabrice Cornelis, Adria Perez, Adam Maguire, Mitchell DeJong, (GRC Driver,) Shane Van Gisbergen, Scott Speed and a whole host of others. It is safe to say Rallycross is going to be a cash cow for iRacing and here is what should happen as a suggestion to make the most out of this ability to make a beautifully handling car on circuits that are fun and challenging. A WCS series MUST be implemented.
When you look at a series in the real world that has 11 full time Supercar drivers and 15 full time Lites drivers, a World Championship I think wouldn’t be a stretch. Be it 20 drivers or 40, four heats of ten where the top four go through, followed by consolation for four drivers could be added on top of the current system which sees at this stage, two heats, a consolation and a final. Proceedings for the racing could take no longer than an hour and a half to get sorted and in an age of millennials where to engage you need fast paced action in a short format, Rallycross provides the perfect solution to that problem.
I think it could be easy enough to implement a world championship even by March or if you really wanted to, you could delay it as late as May and have a twelve race series rushing to October. I could easily see how qualifying could be added with an entire season to fix a few hitches and bugs. And I would be pretty confident in the knowledge that everyone would want to get involved and mince it with the best.
If iRacing were clever enough, you could make a very clever progression if say you add in the Renault Clio for example and have both a Clio Cup and a Rallycross version as a training vehicle, on top of that moving maybe to the GRC Lites that could be implemented and used. I have no worries on the FIA RX machines not being used as it would make sense for an American based company to go after an American based series.
I could also see Rallycross being a new meta easily when it comes to establishing good drivers and this could be a platform to let other drivers shine, with my eyes on those like Emily Jones and Alex Everitt to take to the racing acumen. What I can say with full authority is that the game has officially changed and any fears of nothing coming to light now have to be changed, with LMP1 on the way, Day/Night in close proximity, a new damage model and rain having been confirmed. iRacing has every sim in panic mode.