Celebrating its 15th anniversary, iRacing has pulled out all of the stops for the brand-new 2023 Season 4 release. In this guide, we’ll look at the new cars, tracks, and everything you should expect from the season ahead.
If you’d like to look more at what we’ll be offering here at Coach Dave Academy this season, you can do so here.
Five New Cars
Season 4’s new cars come from all different corners of the racing world, having taken on some of the biggest challenges in the world in their own disciplines.
From 24-hour races at Le Mans and the Nürburgring, to high-level single-seater sprints at Fuji and Suzuka to the daunting Daytona 500, iRacers can now get their hands on cars competing over 6 continents with nearly 40 years of racing history.
Acura ARX-06 & Porsche 963
Sharing the headlines in this season’s updates are two new GTP prototypes. The all-new Acura ARX-06 and Porsche 963 complete IMSA’s premier class in iRacing, joining the already-impressive Cadillac V-Series.R and the BMW M Hybrid V8. Sportcar fans are well and truly spoiled for choice as the golden era of endurance racing gets into its swing on iRacing.
Of course, both the Acura and Porsche are winners in IMSA’s GTP class this season. The ARX-06 has won three races, with the #60 Meyer Shank Racing car having won the prestigious Rolex 24 at Daytona. The 963, meanwhile, has won twice, with the #6 Porsche Penske Motorsport car winning the Grand Prix of Long Beach and their #7 winning the IMSA SportsCar Weekend at Road America.
- Make sure to check out our iRacing Setup Subscription if you want to get your hands on professionally crafted setups for the entire GTP class.
Ferrari 296 GT3
For the Tifosi and GT fans alike, the Ferrari 296 GT3 is an eye-catching addition to iRacing’s GT3 roster. Fresh from its debut on the international stage in 2023 – and following on from its addition to Assetto Corsa Competizione’s rostrum – it will replace the Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO, bringing the challenge to its rivals in the IMSA iRacing Series and ever-popular VRS GT Series.
The Ferrari 296 GT3 is mid-engined just like its predecessor – as we have come to expect from Maranello – although with a new turbocharged V6 engine as opposed to the V8 engine present in the 488.
In the real world, it didn’t take long for the Prancing Horse to start winning with the new 296, winning overall at the Nürburgring 24 Hours earlier in 2023 to take another of endurance racing’s crown jewels back to Italy as the Ferrari 499P LMH romped home to success at Le Mans.
- Here at Coach Dave Academy, we’ll be producing setups, Lap Guides and more for the Ferrari 296 GT3 this season.
Super Formula SF-23-Toyota
For fans of single-seaters, the Super Formula SF-23 will be your weapon of choice. The Toyota-engined version of the SF-23 is now available on iRacing after being tested extensively by drivers from the Japanese Super Formula series itself such as Red Bull Junior Driver Liam Lawson.
The SF-23 has been introduced at a similar level to the Dallara IR-18 Road series and the Formula Renault 3.5. With advanced in-car systems such as launch control and push-to-pass, there will be a lot of strategy involved in getting the most out of this car in a race.
NASCAR Pontiac Grand Prix – 1987
The final car introduced with the 2023 Season 4 update is for the oval side of iRacing: Richard Petty’s Pontiac Grand Prix joins the NASCAR 1987 field alongside Dale Earnhardt’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Bill Elliott’s Ford Thunderbird, and Bobby Allison’s Buick Regal.
To add The King’s 1987 challenger to a collection that also includes The Intimidator and Awesome Bill from Dawsonville is a must-have for any fans of classic oval racing, and it also marks a return to competitive action for Pontiac in iRacing after the Solstice was replaced by the Renault Clio in the Production Car Cup series.
Three New Tracks
On top of a raft of new cars for the simulator, iRacing has also added three new circuits to the simulator. One is a long-awaited update to a fan favourite, another is a brand-new club circuit that’s making its first official appearance in a sim racing title, and the third is a cult favourite in the oval discipline.
All three feature the latest technologies in iRacing, including the rollout of the new 3D foliage system that we covered in last season’s updates.
What might be strange for experienced iRacers is that the new track that’s bringing the most fanfare this season isn’t really that new at all; Zandvoort is one of the oldest tracks on the platform, but in 2023 Season 4, it receives a long-awaited refresh and update.
With a new pitlane and new banked corners at Tarzan, Hugenholtz, and Arie Luyendyk, this familiar Dutch track will be an entirely different beast this season. It is also the first full laser scan of the track after it was updated in 2020 – previous renditions such as that in rFactor 2 relied on CAD Data provided to them by the circuit owners to add the new changes to their sim.
Circuit de Lédenon
Keeping with the theme of firsts, the addition of Lédenon is a landmark addition to iRacing as it is the first time that the French stalwart has been added to a sim racing title.
At just over 3 km in length, this short and technical circuit has played host to numerous tin-top series over its history and currently hosts both the FFSA GT Series as well as the open-wheel French F4 championship.
Alongside updates to Zandvoort and the addition of circuits such as Magny-Cours to the service, this signals iRacing’s continued focus on European circuits that will also see tracks such as Portimao and Misano added in future updates.
Rounding out the new circuits for Season 4 is Kern County, which is a bit of a double-whammy as circuits go.
With both Paved and Dirt Oval configurations, the half-mile California-based oval will welcome Sprint Cars and NASCARs alike with its competition debut.
On top of this raft of new content, iRacing is bringing a lot of technical updates to the service. Some of the nitty-gritty details can be viewed in their patch notes, and if you’re struggling with some of the technical terms that they use you can check out our guide to reading iRacing patch notes here.
The biggest overall shakeup comes with the changes to the licence structure.
The IMSA iRacing Series, which was previously a B-licence Road series, has been elevated to A-licence at the top of the iRacing road pyramid as the European Sprint Series ceases to exist. There will also be a fixed-setup version of this well-loved series running at opposite hours to the open-setup version.
Further changes come to the Global Endurance Pure Driving School Tour, which is now available at B-licence and replaces the outgoing GTE class with the GT3 class that will feature at the top level of world endurance starting in 2024. But GTE owners don’t need to fear, however, as their beloved ABS-less Grand Tourers now have their own standalone series for the first time in years which will run for 45 minutes and feature a pit stop in their races.
On the driving side, the biggest difference in the world of iRacing will likely come with changes to the damage model. With cars such as GT3s and the Dallara P217, updates have meant that wheel and mechanical damage will be repaired first and, for the LMP2, that the dreaded “perma-damage” where there would still be permanent effects on the car’s performance after repairs are no more.
Instantly noticeable if you head off the track after the 2023 Season 4 update will be changes to the grip provided by gravel and grass. Both surfaces have become grippier, with gravel now noticeably more efficient in slowing cars down.
It’s now time to get stuck into iRacing’s new content with the commencement of Week 1. Make sure to pick up our iRacing Setup Subscription to get a leg up on the competition, with regular updates working to bring you the ultimate product through our setups and the innovative Coach Dave Delta app.