iRacing Complete Guide To Safety Rating

iRacing has a range of ratings to score your performance, but safety rating is possibly the most important. This guide runs through your iRacing safety rating in detail.

iRacing Complete Guide To Safety Rating
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.

How do you get a safety rating in iRacing?

Your safety rating in iRacing is without a doubt one of the most important ratings that you should care about. Other ratings such as iRating and your class are both important, but your safety rating dictates much more than your iRating.

Your safety rating will determine which license class you are in and which events you can participate in. It is also your overall rank to how safe your driving is on track.

The good news is that everyone starts their iRacing journey with a safety rating. And that safety rating is a 2.50 when you first start. This will increase or decrease after every race event you participate in.

It is worth noting that you have two individual safety ratings. You have one for road racing and another separate one for oval racing. If you increase your safety rating in oval racing for example, it won’t increase your road racing safety rating.

Your safety rating does not dictate the quality of drivers you’ll be facing in online races. Instead, that is entirely dictated by your iRating. You can improve your iRating by performing well in races and finishing high up. If you finish low down in the order, your iRating will decrease.

Learn more about iRating in our complete iRacing progression guide.


How do I increase my safety rating in iRacing?

Increasing your safety rating in iRacing is easy on paper. Simply participate in race sessions (including qualifying, warmup, race and time trials) and race safely while staying on track. Any off-track excursions or collisions with walls or other drivers will negatively affect your safety rating.

This is easier said than done, as you will often find yourself in races surrounded by faster drivers, especially in the early rookie races.

Your safety rating is determined by the number of corners that you drive through without incurring any incident points. The more corners you race through safely, the faster your safety rating will increase.

Fastest ways of increasing your safety rating

This means that one of the fastest ways to increase your iRacing safety rating is to race around tracks with more corners. Longer race distances also help, as you will be spending more time racing through corners.

You can still increase your safety rating even if you do have an incident during a race. This is because your safety rating is an average of corners per incident. As long as you keep incidents throughout a race down, you should still increase your SR.

Below are a few examples;

  • Short 15-minute race without any incidents = Good safety rating gain
  • Long 6 hour race without any incidents = Extremely good safety rating gain
  • Short race with a few incidents = Potentially a small safety rating gain
  • Long race with a few incidents = Larger SR gain, but not as high as a clean race
  • Short race with a lot of incidents = Large SR decrease
  • Long race with a lot of incidents = SR decrease, but not as much as in a short race with a similar number of incidents

While you can increase your safety rating quickly using some of the methods above. I would highly recommend not to focus too heavily on your SR. If you look to “farm” or quickly increase your SR, you may not get as much practice of racing closely with other drivers. This could put you at a competitive disadvantage as you progress to faster race series.

I would suggest that you focus on racing safely and consistently as your first goal. And then increase your speed while remaining in some of the slower race series such as the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup. This will help you improve as a racing driver in a more well-rounded manner, and you’ll be a better racing driver as a result of this.

Safety rating boosts

You will also get a few safety rating boosts as you progress through iRacing. Every time you jump up a safety rating level you’ll gain an additional 0.40 SR. For example, going from 1.99 to 2.01 in a race will net you an additional 0.40 SR, giving you a new total of 2.41. The same happens if you progressed from 2.98 to 3.02. You would end with an SR of 3.42.


Do you lose safety rating in iRacing?

Losing safety rating in iRacing shouldn’t be ignored as it can mean you get demoted if it falls low enough. Getting demoted from high licenses to lower ones will lock you out of certain racing series.

If you are participating in a racing series in class A and you got demoted to class B at the end of the season, you won’t be able to participate in the class A event the following season.

The main way you would lose safety rating is to incur multiple incidents throughout races, qualifying, warmup and time trials. Incidents in iRacing are categorised into four different severity levels. Each level of incident will award you with higher incident points. The more points you collect, the harder your safety rating will be affected.

The different iRacing incident levels

  • 0x – Having light contact with the wall or barrier, or having light contact with another car on track
  • 1x – Driving off track
  • 2x – Having hard contact with a wall or barrier or losing control
  • 4x – Having hard or critical contact with another car on track

The above points are awarded to you if you do any of the above, but they can also be inherited from other drivers around you. This means that if you make contact with another car and they then proceed to go off track. Instead of them incurring 2x incident points, you would inherit them instead as you caused the incident.

This means that not only do you have to ensure that you are not doing any of the above directly. But that your on-track actions don’t cause any other driver around you to have an incident as a result of your driving.

This can be especially bad if you have large on-track incidents. For example, if you hit another card hard you would incur 4x penalty points. If that collision then resulted in the other car spinning off track and into a wall. Instead of them picking up 2x penalty points for hitting a wall, you would also inherit them as well.

As I mentioned above, when you progress up from an SR of 1.99 to 2.01 for example, you will receive a 0.40 SR boost. The same happens when you drop down a main numbered level.

So if you dropped from an SR of 2.01 to 1.99 during a race, you would incur a -0.40 SR penalty. This would leave you with an SR of 1.59 after the race.

What is classified as driving off track?

Driving off-track is a tricky incident to define, as we see so often in motorsport such as Formula 1. It can be hard to define track limits. In iRacing, off-track is defined by the center point of your car passing over the white line around the track.

This isn’t applicable to kerbs, as you may run out wide on some kerbs. In this case, an off-track incident is defined by the center point of your car crossing the line determined as an illegal surface. So with kerbs, if you run out wide and cross the outside part of a kerb with the center point of your car, this will be determined as an off-track incident.

Much like in real motorsport, some tracks have different parts which will be determined as an illegal track surface. You should look to test track limits in a practice session to get comfortable with the edge of the track. Then during all sessions that follow, you will know not to push your car past that certain point.


Does safety rating affect license

As mentioned above, your iRacing license is heavily affected by your safety rating. To progress through licenses you will need to meet the minimum participation requirements (MPR) and have a safety rating above 3.00 at the end of a season.

The MPR for each license will be different but usually consists of completing so many races. You can check the MPR for the next license by clicking your license in the iRacing dashboard.


How to get promoted in iRacing

Once you’ve met the MPR for a license promotion, you just need to ensure your SR is above 3.00 at the end of the season. If both of these conditions are met, you’ll be promoted to the next license for the following season.

You can earn an instant promotion part way through a season if you drive well enough. To do this, you need to achieve an SR of 4.00. If you hit this number at any point during a season, you’ll get an instant promotion.

After a promotion, your safety rating will reduce by 1.00. This is designed to make you earn each license level, rather than automatically qualifying for a promotion every season. If you got promoted with an SR of 3.45, come the start of the following season, your SR will reduce to 2.45.

Read our iRacing progression paths guide to see how to quickly progress through each license.


Getting demoted because of safety rating

Much like your safety rating affects whether you are promoted, it can also cause you to be demoted if it isn’t high enough. If you finish a season with an SR lower than 2.00, you will be demoted to the previous license level. This can cause you to miss out on certain race series if you get demoted to a lower license level.

You will always have series to race in though, as you cannot be demoted past class D. Once you are out of your rookie license and have earnt a class D license, you can never be demoted back to rookie.


Why is it harder to gain safety rating at higher license levels?

Your safety rating is an average of your corners per incident (CPI) which spans around 2600 corners. This means as you race more consistently, your average CPI increases. If your CPI is around 100, having a few incidents can cause a sharp decrease of your CPI and in-turn your SR.

If you have a good safety rating due to a good CPI, increasing that further can be hard. It means you need to race more and more corners each race without incident to increase your overall average. If your incident per corner ratio is already low, you need to maintain that and improve upon it to further gain SR. This gets harder the higher you progress through the licenses.

As I mentioned, your CPI is thought to be set to only consider the previous 2600 corners that you’ve driven through. As you drive more corners, older corners and incidents start to drop off your average.

This means that if you had a lot of incidents early on in your iRacing career, these will start to drop off as you race more.


Are there any iRacing promo codes for new members?

iRacing often run promotional codes giving reduced price memberships. These normally apply to new members only, but sometimes you can pick up a renewal code, so it’s always worth checking.

Read our iRacing promo code guide for a full list of working 2022 iRacing codes.


Grab Your Sim Racing Gear Here

Buy from Fanatec US
Buy from Fanatac Europe
Buy from Fanatac Australia
Buy from Fanatac Japan (English)

Shop Sim Racing Products
Buy from Moza Racing
Buy from GT Omega
Buy from Digital Motorsports

Shop for Logitech Wheels
Buy Logitech USA
Buy Logitech UK & Europe

Shop for Thrustmaster Wheels
Buy from Amazon US
Buy from Amazon UK

Disclaimer: The links above 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.

Fanatec Stock Checker

Check the current stock levels of Fanatec's most popular products

Our Recommended Racing Wheels F1 22

The Best Racing Wheels For PS5