GTP Cars in iRacing: Which is Best?

The iRacing GTP class is complete for 2023! But which car should you take to the track?

The GTP class in iRacing has been one of the fastest-growing car sets in terms of content quantity and popularity in the service across the past 12 months. No less than four of the hybrid-powered prototype monsters have arrived to attack iRacing’s virtual tarmac across this period, and when taken for a spin you can see why.

While not having as much pure downforce as their LMP1 predecessors, they still take fast corners with ease and make GT-specification vehicles look like city runabouts. Here are the best of the breed in iRacing.

The Current List of GTP Cars

All four GTP cars contained within iRacing can be raced within two different racing series, both run under the IMSA Sportscar Championship banner. There is a fixed setup series that runs over 35 minutes and features a pit stop, while there is also an open setup contest available that is fought over 45 minutes with a pit stop.

Should you want to enter either of these series in your shiny and new GTP weapon, take a look at Coach Dave Academy’s specially-built setups for each to give yourself the best chance of success from the get-go.

While all four of the vehicles are based on a LMP2 chassis rather than a bespoke one, and all feature similar mid-engine configurations, each has its own unique handling characteristics due to the variance of engines they run with.

The unique aero setup and under-the-skin layout that each manufacturer has chosen also affect the driving style of the cars. These are the current GTP cars featured within iRacing:

  • Acura ARX-06 LMDH
  • BMW M-Hybrid V8
  • Cadillac V-Series.R
  • Porsche 963 LMDH

The best car for you will predominantly come down to your driving style, as ultimately due to each car being closely matched with Balance of Performance measures, how you gel with a certain car will make all the difference.

This will show itself in particular over a race distance, where the more comfortable you are with the car the more consistent you will be. This should translate into improved tyre performance, as well as give yourself more of a cushion in terms of mental fatigue due to not having to overdrive.

If you need any help getting to grips with any of iRacing’s GTP cars, why don’t you check out one of Coach Dave Academy’s Lap Guides, such as this one at Road Atlanta in the BMW M Hybrid V8?

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Cadillac V-Series.R

The V-Series R is the only naturally-aspirated car within the GTP class, its 5.5 litre V8 engine providing not only the best sound note of the quartet but the most linear power delivery.  

Based on the Dallara LMP2 chassis, like the BMW M Hybrid V8, the V-Series.R does share some handling characteristics with the Dallara machine that makes up the LMP2 class within iRacing.

What makes the Cadillac V-Series.R the strongest car?

  • Very stable over kerbs due to its weight being biased more towards the front
  • Has a safe balance geared more towards slight understeer through high and low-speed bends
  • Smooth power delivery due to naturally aspirated V8

These characteristics make the V-Series.R the perfect car to jump in and be quickly at ease with if you are new to the GTP class, especially if you already have experience running the Dallara LMP2 car in the IMSA series.

The balance should suit the vast majority of sim racers due to its well-balanced nature, with those who like a car to have more rotation able to tune the vehicle more to their liking. The slight bias towards understeer makes the V-Series.R Coach Dave Academy’s pick as the overall best GTP car across iRacing’s spectrum of circuits.

Porsche 963 LMDH

The Porsche 963 is built on the LMP2 chassis built by Canadian constructor Multimatic, separating it from its GTP rivals, and features a twin-turbocharged 4.5 litre V8 engine.

It’s arguably the best-looking of the current GTP crop within iRacing and also features a distinct driving style that makes it approachable and very difficult to beat at certain circuits.

Why choose the Porsche 963 LMDH?

  • Very safe balance weighted towards understeer that is perfect for newcomers
  • Planted rear end that helps to navigate slower corners effectively
  • Smooth power delivery despite turbos twinned with rear grip makes 963 hard to match under acceleration

The Porsche 963 features significantly more understeer compared to the more neutral Cadillac V-Series R, a characteristic that becomes immediately apparent after you begin driving it.

This makes it easy to jump into and practice building up your speed. This characteristic does ultimately place it behind the V-Series in Coach Dave Academy’s ranking due to its unwillingness to turn in or stop if you fail to slow the car enough before corner entry.

Precision is everything with the 963 and, if you can make sure to not overdrive it, it will provide a very rewarding driving experience. It is especially competitive at tracks with slow corners and prominent traction zones, where its safe balance and imperious traction make it hard to match.

  • If you’re struggling to get to grips with a particular car or track, check out Coach Dave Academy on YouTube to find our Track Guides as well as join in on our Live Steup Sessions.

Acura ARX-06 LMDH

Acura decided to go against the grain when designing its ARX-06 GTP challenger, the Honda-owned brand electing to partner up with renowned LMP2 supplier Oreca to use its chassis.

The manufacturer combined the Oreca underpinnings to a twin-turbocharged 2.4 litre V6 engine, while also designing the visibly most-aggressive bodywork for its machine.    

Why is the Acura ARX-06 worth your time?

  • Balance directed towards oversteer, good rotation through fast corners
  • Good top speed in high-downforce trim
  • Torquey V6 provides good acceleration out of corners

The Acura ARX-06 is the perfect choice should a driver be seeking a vehicle that provides more natural rotation through high-speed corners in particular, this machine being a good choice for more experienced prototype pilots.

Its tendency to oversteer does work against it in the slower speed bends on occasion as it can be trickier than its rivals to keep on a smooth trajectory. It also doesn’t possess the best traction capability of the quartet, making it harder work to be consistent lap after lap.

The ARX-06 is a very solid choice and provides a great base to work from if you seek more of a challenge, Acura’s baby is more than competitive enough to see you competing for victories should you tame its sometimes wild tendencies.  

BMW M Hybrid V8

While sharing the same Dallara-built LMP2 chassis as the Cadillac V-Series R, BMW’s answer to the GTP rule set provides a significantly different driving experience.

The M Hybrid V8 shares a similar twin-turbo V8 engine configuration to the Porsche 963. However, it differs in that BMW’s unit is only four litres compared to the Porsche’s 4.5 litre powertrain, the BMW revving slightly higher as a result.

What makes the BMW M Hybrid V8 competitive?

  • Neutral balance that makes it easy to understand from the outset
  • Engine provides good power as long as caution is taken on corner exit
  • No nasty surprises

The M Hybrid V8 is an interesting specimen because while it isn’t particularly poor in any area, it doesn’t really excel anywhere either.

Its very neutral balance means while it won’t surprise you with a random snap of understeer, precision is key to getting the nose to the corner apex.

It also doesn’t possess the same level of safety, or traction, in the slower corners, as the likes of the Cadillac and the Porsche. This makes the BMW a solid choice and plenty competitive in the GTP class, but not really a stand-out either as its engine note is also reasonably mundane.

  • Should you want to prove us wrong and decimate the competition with the M Hybrid V8, get a helping hand with Coach Dave Academy’s setups for the vehicle. 

Final Thoughts

All four of iRacing’s GTP challengers are competitive enough to give any driver a good chance of being in with a shout of a good result at any track. With times ultimately being so close on the whole across the quartet, choosing the car that best suits a driver’s particular driving style will ultimately give you the best shot of fighting for success in the IMSA racing series.  

If you enjoy a safer set-up geared towards understeer, the Cadillac and Porsche are excellent choices. If you prefer a more challenging experience and would like a vehicle that rotates through corners more easily, the Acura ARX-06 would suit you down to the ground.

  • Whichever route you choose, Coach Dave Academy is here with a range of carefully-tested setups to keep at the right end of the results sheet.

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