Real racing drivers receive information whilst driving in a number of ways. Data may be available in-car on the dash, steering wheel, and heads-up display with additional information being provided by a race engineer, crew chief, team manager etc.
With sim racing, however, you as the driver will be generally responsible for acquiring all information required. The information you would normally need would be race position, lap times, fuel level and usage, tire information, and in-car settings like brake bias and engine modes,
iRacing by default will display in-car information as a Heads Up Display (HUD) consisting of a few small information boxes that become visible when you are in the car. This is supplemented with information on the steering or dashboard as well as vocal feedback from the virtual iRacing crew/spotter.
How to customize the HUD
The default HUD can be customized in a few ways to make it more suitable for your needs. For example, you may want to move some HUD windows around to have the critical information in a central location and less important windows to the edges of your screen so that you can quickly glance at them when needed.
While you’re in the car in the pitlane, press Alt+L on your keyboard and the HUD windows then become moveable. You can use your mouse to shift them around to your liking.
You can then exit the car and go to Settings>Options and configure which buttons/knobs on your steering you would like to use to skip through the main HUD window. By mapping this setting to your steering, several pages of important data can be accessed whilst driving.
Advanced HUD customization
Additional HUD windows can be added by editing the app.ini file found inside the My Documents/iRacing folder. Open this file and look for the forceVisibleWhenMove line contained within the [Graphics] section and change the “0” to a “1”. Save the file and launch iRacing. Once you’re in the car, you’ll see a few extra HUD windows that you can choose to use like flags, voice chat, session timer etc.
Suppose have a second monitor or a triple-screen setup, in that case, the app.ini file can be edited again by changing the DriveUIFullScreen line found under the [Graphics] section from a “0” to a “1”. Once this is done, you can then move the HUD windows to any other monitor connected to your PC.
NOTE: If you cannot locate these two lines in app.ini, check the [User Options] section in the rendererDX11Monitor.ini file.
If you don’t have too many buttons on your steering, then using your keyboard can be a good option to access information. Here’s a short list of keyboard shortcuts for iRacing that we think is vital whilst on track:
There are several third-party apps that can be used to complement or even replace the default iRacing HUD. If you find that the information provided by the default HUD doesn’t work for you, then third party apps should help you find exactly what you need to make your sim racing experience in iRacing even better. We recommend the following apps that not only look good but support a myriad of customization options:
|Racelab||Free version is suitable for most people. |
Very high-quality overlays
|Pro version costs €3.90 per month|
Advanced customization and features only in Pro version
Only supports iRacing, Assetto Corsa Competizione and F1 2020/21
|Simhub||Highly customizable to suit just about any vehicle|
Licensed version is cheap ( €6 or whatever amount you choose)
|Not as visually appealing as Racelab|
Supports almost all popular racing sims and games
|Joel Real Timing (JRT)||Huge amount of overlays and data||Licensed version isn’t cheap (€25 initially and then €10 per year to get updates)|
Only works in iRacing
You can check out our full article on all of the must-have apps for iRacing here.
Your sim-racing experience in iRacing is highly customizable and makes a huge difference in creating the perfect virtual cockpit to make sure that you get all the information you need at your fingertips or just a simple glance away. It may seem that it’s too much bother or not worth it but our experience shows that once you’ve figured out and created your personal iRacing HUD, the difference it makes is definitely worth the effort.