Cheapest Route From Rookie To A Class in iRacing

In this guide I'm going to look at the cheapest route from Rookie through to A class in iRacing. I'll show you what series to enter, how to maximise your budget and what content to buy.

Cheapest Route From Rookie To A Class in iRacing
Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are our affiliate links, and we may receive a small commission from any sales used via these links. Buying after clicking one of our links will never affect the price you pay.

iRacing can be expensive, however with some good planning, and strategic series management, you don’t need to spend a lot. In our iRacing on a budget guide, I looked at how you can race in iRacing on a budget without having to spend hundreds of dollars.

While I ran through some pretty helpful tips in that guide. I didn’t break down the exact path from Rookie to A class in the cheapest possible route.

In this guide, I’m going to look at the specific cheapest route to progress from Rookie through to A class. I’ll show you exactly what content to purchase to maximise the bang for your buck. And I’ll look at what series to race in for each license.

Just a quick note before I proceed. This guide is going to focus entirely on the road racing discipline as this is one of the most popular disciplines in iRacing.

The cheapest route from Rookie to A class explained

This method is designed entirely around maximising how much racing you can get out of specific car and track purchases. I’m going to plan the cheapest route from Rookie, through each license all the way up to A class in iRacing.

This plan will include what cars to buy, and what tracks to purchase. I’ll be looking at finding cars and tracks that appear in multiple series across different licenses. This method will maximise how often we can use content, and limit how much fresh new content you’ll need to buy.

Ideal progression route breakdown

This route from Rookie to A class in iRacing will help you limit the amount of additional car and track purchases that you make. It’ll maintain a strong approach to managing our budget to keep costs down.

You will be competing across at least eight races in each series and this method will include racing on multiple premium tracks. However, I’ll try to ensure tracks that we do purchase are used in multiple series across different licenses.

Cheapest Route From Rookie To A Class in iRacing


Promotion from Rookie to D Class

The progression from Rookie to D class is still completely free, other than the monthly cost of the subscription. You can race either the Mazda MX-5 Cup or the Formula Vee. All tracks in both series are included with your subscription, so we don’t need to purchase any additional content.

Out of the two series I preferred racing the MX-5 Cup series. This helped me acclimatise to racing GT style cars compared to the open-wheeled Formula Vee cars. The racing action was closer and I found you could go bumper to bumper much easier around a track.

If you’re looking to be promoted from Rookie to D class quickly, follow our tips in our ultimate How To Get Out of Rookie in iRacing guide.

  • Car –  Global Mazda MX-5 Cup (Free)
  • Series – Global Mazda MX-5 Fanatec Cup
  • Track Purchases – All tracks in this series are Free
  • Total cost – $0

Promotion from D class to C class

Once you have a D class license, a whole host of series open up for you to participate in. There are some really fun series here including the Ferrari GT3 Challenge, the Skip Barber Race Series and the Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge.

Out of these three series, the Production Car Challenge features the most amount of free content, including a selection of free cars to choose from. This is certainly the route that I would take.

Cheapest Promotion from D class to C class in iRacing

You can continue racing the Mazda MX-5 Cup, or you can switch things up and race in the Pontiac Solstice or the VW Jetta. The best thing is that you can freely switch between these cars to widen your ability to race different cars.

  • Car – Global Mazda MX-5 Cup, Pontiac Solstice or VW Jetta (Free)
  • Series – Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge
  • Track Purchases – Daytona, Watkins Glen, Brands Hatch, Red Bull Ring, Nürburgring Nordschleife, Road America ($14.95 each)
  • Total cost – $76.25 (including 15% bulk discount)
  • Total earned – $4 (participation credit)

There are four tracks in this series that are included in your membership. The other tracks that feature are all extremely popular and are featured across a lot of other series.

Remember, that once you have purchased a track, you can use it again as much as you like in different series. This will be key to keeping down the cost of iRacing as we progress to A class.

While four tracks are included, we will be looking to purchase at least another four. This will allow us to meet our minimum goal of participating in at least 8 races in each series.

By participating in eight races in each series, you get a participation reward. This will award you in-game credits at the end of the season just for participating. We will be looking to max this free credit out to use towards other purchases moving forward.

I have purchased six tracks here to ensure we get the 15% bulk discount. And I have left out one track, Phoenix Raceway. This track isn’t going to be used again in future series.

This will give us eleven races to compete in, and one off week. During this week, we can still participate in the Global MX-5 Cup series to help improve our safety rating.


Promotion from C class to B class

While progressing from C class to B class in iRacing, we will be looking to make the most of tracks that we have already purchased. The tracks we purchased in D class are widely used across a variety of race series.

The series I’ve chosen to participate in to be promoted from C class to B class is the Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Series. This series features a car we already own, the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup. And it makes use of almost all of the tracks we purchased in our D class series.

iRacing overtaking

If you fancy a change, you could opt for the Radical Racing Challenge. This series uses a free car, the Radical SR8, and uses a couple of our previously purchased tracks. Although you would need to purchase at least four more tracks to meet the eight race minimum.

Top tip – While competing in this C class series, I would recommend also competing in the previous D class series. This will maximise your participation credits at the end of the season. They’re awarded from every series that you compete in at least 8 races, up to a maximum of $10 per season.

  • Car –  Global Mazda MX-5 Cup (Free)
  • Series – Advanced Mazda MX-5 Cup Apex Sim Racing Series
  • Track Purchases – Sebring, Autódromo José Carlos Pace ($14.95 each)
  • Total cost – $29.90
  • Total earned – $8 (participation credit from participating in both C and D series this season)

As we already own six of the races that feature in the Advanced Mazda series, we only need to purchase two more tracks to be able to participate in eight races.

I’ve chosen Sebring and Autódromo José Carlos Pace as they both feature in the B class series that I’m going to recommend.

During the four weeks that you won’t be racing in this series, you can continue to race in the Production Car Sim-Lab Challenge. I would recommend trying to complete at least eight races in this series as well, to earn participation credits from both series.


Promotion from B class to A class

Finally, the last promotion that we’ll need to earn in iRacing is from B class to A class. Keeping on the trend of keeping budgets down, I would recommend a series that features a variety of tracks that we’ve already purchased.

iracing GT3 series progression

The series I’d recommend is either the GT Sprint VRS Series or the GT3 Fanatec Challenge series. Both of these series use the same tracks and car selection. The only difference is the race duration.

You’ll have to purchase a new car at this stage, but you have a wide variety to choose from. There are eight cars to choose from in total. I’d recommend either the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo or the new BMW M4 GT3. Both are incredibly quick, and the Ferrari features in a lot of other series.

  • Car –  Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo or BMW M4 GT3 ($11.95)
  • Series – GT Sprint VRS Series or GT3 Fanatec Challenge
  • Track Purchases – Nürburgring Combined, Winton Motor Raceway ($14.95 each)
  • Total cost – $37.67 (including 10% bulk discount)
  • Total earned – $10 (participation credit)

At this stage, we’ll own six of the tracks that feature in these two series. This means you’ll only need another two to reach your eight-race minimum to ensure we get our participation credits.

I’d also recommend competing in another series alongside this B class series. This will ensure you get the maximum participation credits at the end of the season.


Total cost to progress from Rookie to A class in iRacing for the cheapest price

With all of those series planned out, we’d be looking at a total of just one car purchase, and ten track purchases.

You would be able to earn participation credits for every series you race in, giving you a total of $22 in credit. This is presuming you get promoted every season.

Total cost breakdown

  • Cars purchased –  Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo or BMW M4 GT3 ($11.95)
  • Tracks Purchased – 10 tracks ($14.95 each)
  • Cost of purchases – $143.82
  • Total earned – $22 (participation credit across three seasons)
  • Total cost – $121.82 (including credit above)

Cheapest Route From Rookie To A Class in iRacing

That gives us a grand total of just over $121 in additional content purchases. These purchases allow you to race in at least eight races every season giving you plenty of track time.

This doesn’t include the cost of your subscription. This is $13 per month at full price. But I’d highly recommend using one of the iRacing discount codes to reduce your subscription cost massively. View all active promo codes here.


What’s the minimum cost of getting from Rookie to A class?

Technically, the minimum cost of progressing from Rookie through to A class is just $11.95 plus your subscription cost. You will only need to purchase one piece of additional content if you don’t fancy spending anything.

This method below will see you racing the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo almost exclusively, combined with races in the Mazda MX-5 Cup.

You will be able to race in a series at every license level with the Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020. This will limit us from having to purchase any additional cars.

The best news is that each of the series that the Ferrari 488 GT3 features, has at least one free track on its schedule. This will prevent us from having to purchase any track.

Rookie

  • Car –  Global Mazda MX-5 Cup or Formula Vee (Free)
  • Series – Global Mazda MX-5 Fanatec Cup
  • Track – Any (All tracks in this series are Free)
  • Total cost – $0

Promotion from D class to C class

  • Car –  Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo (Buy for $11.95)
  • Series – Ferrari GT3 Challenge
  • Track – Laguna Seca, Okayama or Summit Point Raceway (All Free)
  • Total cost – $11.95

Promotion from C class to B class

  • Car –  Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo (Already purchased)
  • Series – GT Endurance VRS Series
  • Track – Oulton Park (Free)
  • Total cost – $0

Promotion from B class to A class

  • Car –  Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo (Already purchased)
  • Series – IMSA iRacing Series or GT3 Fanatec Challenge
  • Track – Laguna Seca or Oulton Park (Both Free)
  • Total cost – $0

This route may not be the most interesting to race, as you will be sticking with just a single car. And you’ll be limiting yourself to race in just one race in most of the series.

In order to race every week when you aren’t racing in the Ferrari 488. You’ll need to be using the cars that are included with your subscription such as the Mazda MX-5 Cup.

This method won’t allow you to properly challenge in any series but will allow you to meet the minimum requirements for promotion.

I wouldn’t recommend this route to A class for most racers. Limiting your time on track in this way can really negatively affect the amount of fun you get out of iRacing. Instead, I would recommend following the progression route that I’m about to lay out below.


Top tip – Schedule your series

As I’ve proved above, scheduling the series that you plan to participate in can really help save costs in the long run. Picking series that use tracks you’ve already purchased, or purchasing tracks that you know will be in future series is fantastic planning. And this will save you money as you progress through your iRacing career.

Use an iRacing planning tool such as IRBG.net to help plan your iRacing schedule.


Most commonly used tracks in iRacing

When choosing tracks to purchase in iRacing, it is handy knowing how many series they’re featured in. The more times a track is used and the more popular it is. The more you will be able to use that track in different series.

Below is a list of the most commonly used and most popular iRacing tracks currently.

  • Road America – Used in 24 series
  • Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps – Used in 22 series
  • USA International Speedway – Used in 21 series
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway – Used in 20 series
  • Autódromo José Carlos Pace – Used in 20 series
  • Lanier National Speedway – Used in 18 series
  • Watkins Glen International – Used in 18 series
  • WeatherTech Raceway at Laguna Seca – Used in 18 series
  • Autodromo Nazionale Monza – Used in 18 series
  • Limaland Motorsports Park – Used in 16 series
  • Sebring International Raceway – Used in 16 series

Top Tip – Use the seasonal participation bonus

As I have mentioned above in my breakdowns, making full use of the participation bonus can help you earn back some credits in iRacing.

Across three seasons, you would have earned back $22 using my method above. Then moving forward you could earn $10 per season from participating in multiple race series.

This can help towards buying a new track each season, and it almost covers the entire cost of a new car.


How to reduce iRacing subscription cost

An iRacing subscription should cost $13 per month. However, there are plenty of ways to reduce this cost.

iRacing promo codes

The first way and the one that can save you the most money is to make use of promo codes. If you’re a new iRacing member, you can sign up using one of the promo codes to save a huge amount on your initial subscription.

View all active iRacing promo codes here.

Participation credits

I’ve touched on this already, but participation credits are one of the most reliable ways to save money when iRacing often. By participating in at least eight races in any particular series you’ll earn participation credits at the end of the series.

You can earn up to a maximum of $10 per season in participation credits if you participate in multiple race series.

Black Friday Deals

The last way to save money on iRacing is to buy credits during Black Friday. iRacing often runs Black Friday deals where you can save money on credit purchases.

If you know you are looking to purchase more cars and tracks in the future, it may be worth stocking up on credits during a Black Friday event.


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