Can You Make Money on iRacing?
You can make money on iRacing in various ways, from participating to earning prize money and coaching. Here is a complete guide on how to make money iRacing.
How much money can you make on iRacing?
Every iRacing player can earn participation credits of $40 per year. You can also earn prize money from competing in iRacing competitions. The top prize in the eNASCAR Coca Cola iRacing series is $100,000. You could also consider coaching other drivers for a set hourly fee. Or look to earn revenue from streaming iRacing.
While sim racing and iRacing may be a hobby to most, you can in fact turn this hobby into a financial reward. Everybody who races in iRacing can earn some money back through a variety of methods. And those who are extremely good can even turn iRacing into a career.
The great news is that you don’t need to be an alien on track to be able to make money. Every regular iRacing enthusiast can make money. What you can make ranges from a little money back every few months through to a full salary if you work hard enough.
In this guide, I’m going to run through all of the ways that you can make money from iRacing.
How to make money from iRacing
There are numerous routes to make money from sim racing, with some netting you more income than others.
You can start earning money back from iRacing directly via participation credits. You can then move on to streaming your races on platforms such as YouTube and Twitch and earn money from that.
If you are extremely talented at iRacing, you can compete directly in competitions to earn prize money. You can also attract sponsorship opportunities or sign to an eSports team. As you progress with your sim racing career, you can also look to coach other drivers.
All of these methods can earn you money back from iRacing. Below I’ll look at each method in more detail, and I’ll provide some samples of how much you can expect to earn.
Without a doubt, the easiest way to earn money from iRacing is through participation credits. These are offered to any driver in iRacing who completes at least 8 races in a single series throughout a season.
If you do complete the minimum of 8 races, you will be awarded in-game credit at the end of the current season. How much you earn depends on which series you participate in.
- Any D or C class series will earn you $4 credits
- Any B or A class series will earn you $7 credits
The good news is you can stack these credits. By participating in multiple series, you can earn multiple participation credits. iRacing does limit the maximum you can earn to $10 per season. This equates to a maximum earning of $40 every year, just from completing races.
While participation credits won’t earn you a lot of money from iRacing. It is something that most iRacing sim racers can make use of.
Read more about participation credits in our iRacing on a budget guide.
One of the most lucrative ways of making money on iRacing is from prize money. This can be earned from competing in eSports competitions. The main drawback of trying to earn prize money is that your skill level needs to be extremely high.
Only the best iRacing sim racers can compete in the top eSports competitions. However, if you are at a professional level, there is a lot of money to be earned from iRacing competitions.
For example, the annual eNASCAR Coca Cola iRacing series offered up $300,000 in prize money. This series is hosted every year and allows sim racers to compete across a 20 race season.
The overall series winner will be awarded $100,000 with the rest of the prize money being divided between the other top performers. Only 40 of the best iRacing drivers from around the world can qualify to compete in this series each year.
To earn a qualification spot, you’ll need to first participate in the eNASCAR Road to Pro Contender iRacing Series. All you need to enter this qualifying series is an Oval Class A 2.0 License or higher. Performing well in this series can net you a spot in the eNASCAR Coca Cola iRacing series.
If oval racing isn’t your thing, there are other sim racing competitions that offer prize money. The Porsche Esports Supercup series allows sim racers who prefer GT3 cars in iRacing to also compete for prize money.
This Porsche series offers a prize pool of $100,000. And is decided across a shorter 10 race calendar.
YouTube, streaming and subscriptions
Another way of monetising iRacing and sim racing is to start streaming or uploading your races. If you like to record your race replays, you can upload them to YouTube. Many viewers enjoy watching gamers and sim racers competing in iRacing.
If you wanted to increase the production value of your iRacing videos, you can start commentating on them. Or you can record yourself driving with a camera, and overlay that on top of the gameplay video.
Once you reach a certain number of engagements and views on YouTube you can turn on monetisation. This will enable adverts to show before, during and after your videos. Every time a user clicks on one of the YouTube pre-roll adverts, you would earn a small commission.
To qualify for YouTube monetisation you need 4,000 hours of watched content over the past 12 months, and at least 1,000 subscribers. If you upload longer race videos, you can achieve 4,000 hours watched relatively quickly. The harder part is gaining 1,000 subscribers.
YouTube subscribers can be gained by regularly uploading content and by being active with viewers. Try to reply to all comments and interact with your audience.
How much can you make from iRacing on YouTube?
When you first start monetising your YouTube channel, you will start off by earning a few dollars of revenue a month. However, this can quickly grow, and you can start to earn a lot of money from YouTube. If your channel becomes popular enough, you could even start a full-time YouTube career.
Below is a fantastic video from kneebon5, who is an iRacing streamer. This video shows his yearly income from YouTube alone, purely from the in-video ads that are shown during his race videos.
In 2021, kneebon5 earned $8,000 from his iRacing YouTube content. This was all from advert revenue directly through YouTube.
YouTube and Twitch subscriptions
As well as earning money from your iRacing videos via advertising revenue. You can also offer YouTube memberships to subscribers. These work very similar to Twitch subscriptions.
You can set up a variety of tiers, allowing members to pay different levels of subscription each month. You can offer each subscription tier different benefits such as early access to videos.
Patreon works in a similar way to YouTube memberships and Twitch subscriptions. Users subscribe at different tiers to support you and gain different benefits.
You aren’t limited to working with the YouTube or Twitch platforms when it comes to Patreon. Instead, you can offer a variety of benefits for members. You can upload Patreon only videos, provide downloadable assets and access to other restricted content.
How much can you make from YouTube, Twitch or Patreon subscriptions?
To calculate how much you can earn from any of these subscription sites, simply multiple your subscription price with the number of subscribers. See the example below.
- 100 monthly subscribers
- $5 subscription
- Total of $500 per month in revenue
One way of making money iRacing that doesn’t rely so heavily on your ability to compete with the best in the world is sponsorship. Motorsport and gaming brands are always looking to sponsor competitive drivers across sim racing.
Professional iRacing drivers will be able to negotiate fantastic sponsorship opportunities. These opportunities can come from high profile brands who wish to be seen working with high-quality eSports drivers.
However, if you aren’t at an alien level of sim racing, you can still gain sponsorship. If you are a regular streamer or content creator, brands may look to sponsor your social channel. This can result in a partnership where brands offer monthly revenue to be mentioned in your content. Or it can result in free products and merch being sent your way to showcase in videos and streams.
Many sim racing and motorsport brands have dedicated pages on their company websites discussing sponsorship. And many of these have forms where you can submit an application to be sponsored.
This is often the best route to gaining sponsorship from brands. Although if there are any criteria presented when you apply, ensure you meet all of them to have the most success applying.
Signing to an eSports team
If you are relatively good at iRacing, you may be able to sign to an eSports team. Teams offer a mixture of self-promotion, competitions to enter and sometimes include a yearly salary.
There are a lot of different eSports teams, with many specialising in different areas of gaming. Teams such as Veloce and Quadrant specialise in sim racing, with both of these teams boasting a large roster. In fact, Quadrant was even founded by racing driver Lando Norris.
Even popular brands and racing teams have their own eSports team. Every Formula 1 team has their own eSports team. Getting signed to any of these eSports teams can even lead to test drives or promotional drives in real-world cars.
How to get signed to an iRacing eSports team?
Many teams will actively post online when they are looking for additional drivers for their eSports team. Keeping your eyes peeled for these opportunities is key to applying at the right time and potentially signing to a team.
You may be able to apply directly via eSports team’s websites. Or you may meet and race alongside some members of a team. Using networking opportunities to impress eSports teams can also lead to you being offered a contract.
Coaching other drivers
Another way to earn revenue from sim racing without racing directly is via coaching. Many racers around the world look to professional coaching to improve their lap times and ability. Companies such as VRS (Virtual Racing School) offer 1:1 training with hourly rates from $99.
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Pro racing drivers such as Jean Alesi have also started to dabble with coaching. Alesi offers one to one sessions as well as full three-day boot camps.
As you can see, with hourly rates of around $99, you have the potential to earn a lot of money from coaching other drivers. VRS is often looked at as one of the best sim racing coaching platforms. So if you are starting to coach via your own platform, you may not be able to sell your hourly rate quite as high.
However, if you can sell multiple coaching sessions per week, you have the potential to earn a nice side income. This can supplement your other income from either a different job or other sim racing revenue.
A lot of coaching sessions can be done online via video calls. Or if you have your own sim rig set up at home or in an office, you could offer personal training. You could invite people to your own sim rig to give more intimate training sessions.
How much prize money does iRacing offer for winning?
If you compete and win iRacing competitions, you can earn up to a whopping $100,000.
The eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series which is held annually has a prize fund of $300,000. The series winner earns $100,000 while the rest of the prize money is divided between other top performing competitors.
Another iRacing competition that offers a large amount of prize money is the Porsche Esports Supercup series. This series uses Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars with competitors racing across 10 events to compete for a part of the $100,000 prize fund.
In comparison, these prizes are quite small when compared to other eSports competitions. A few other sim racing eSports competitions include;
- F1 Esports Pro Series – prize fund of $750,000
- FIA Gran Turismo World Championship – prize fund of $250,000
- Forza Racing Championship – prize fund of $250,000 (Not active anymore)
You can see that the official F1 eSports competition offers a whopping $750,000 in prize money. That dwarfs any iRacing competition. However, the top iRacing prize of $100,000 is still an incredibly large amount of money.
How many hours do you need to work
To earn enough money to be considered a salary from iRacing, you will most likely need to work a full working week. Many revenue sources on this list only pay out from activities you perform.
If you earn money from streaming, you won’t earn unless you actively stream. Taking days off will reduce how much you earn. Subscriptions and memberships will pay out no matter how much work you put in. But if you don’t release enough content to be seen as valuable to your members, they may stop subscribing.
If your goal is to earn money from competitions, you’ll need to race daily to reach the skill level required. Most professional sim racers who compete in competitions race daily to constantly improve their ability.
Can iRacing become a career?
If you are good enough to earn regular money from competition winnings, then iRacing can certainly be a career. You can also earn enough from YouTube, Twitch and Patreon to be considered a full-time salary.
If you currently work full time, you could start to offer coaching during your time off to earn additional income. Over time, this could grow to become your main source of income. If you combine a few of the monetisation routes above, you can certainly make sim racing your full-time career.
Transitioning to real-world racing
I touched on this a little bit above during the eSports team segment. If you sign to an eSports team, and you’re fast enough you may be offered the opportunity to race real-world cars.
Formula 1 teams such as Williams and McLaren have offered their eSports drivers the opportunity to drive in real-world cars. Some of these opportunities come in the form of promotional filming days. While others can offer you a full or part-time drive in a real-world motorsport series.
Arguably the most high profile sim racer to transition to real-world motorsports is Jimmy Broadbent. He started off sim racing with iRacing and other games on his homemade sim rig. And recently he has been competing in the 2022 Praga Cup UK as a full-time racing driver.
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