Welcome to iRacing 101, where each week we’ll go through some of the many features that make iRacing the World’s Premier Motorsport Simulation. From highlighting our features to some of the top series and forms of racing you’ll encounter when you get behind the wheel.

This week’s topic: What is the difference between Ranked and Unranked racing?

Ranked Racing

Most of iRacing’s Official series are Ranked, which means that your iRating and Safety Rating are affected. Your results in these races influence the caliber of other racers that you’ll see in matchmaking, as well as your license level, which affects your series eligibility in whichever form of racing you’re running. Whether you’re just getting started at the Rookie level or competing in A class, these races are intended to be competitive!

Unranked Racing

In Unranked racing, neither your iRating nor Safety Rating are affected by your results. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to obey the iRacing Sporting Code—you’re still responsible for racing safely and cleanly—but it does mean that a race that doesn’t go your way won’t affect your scores towards matchmaking and licenses.

During a normal week on iRacing, Unranked racing is limited to the Rookie class, where everybody can participate. Unranked Series include Carburetor Cup (based on the NASCAR Cup Series), Dallara Dash (using the Dallara DW12 that ran in the INDYCAR Series), and Pickup Cup (based on the NASCAR Truck Series). However, these are the only Rookie series that are Unranked—anything else at the Rookie level is still Ranked!

In Week 13, the week every quarter where iRacing deploys a new release, many more Unranked series are added. These series often feature fantasy-based car and track combinations that are unlike the real world, such as the Ridiculousness series that combines three very different cars for multi-class racing, or Battle of the Little Wings, which applies the multi-class racing concept to open-wheel formula cars.

You can always use the Categories tab under Multiplayer – Official in the iRacing UI to choose between Ranked and Unranked Official series. All user-created races on iRacing are also considered Unranked because they don’t affect your iRating or Safety Rating. This includes Hosted racing, League racing, and AI Single-Player racing.