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iRacing » iRacing Setup Subscriptions Explained
In this guide, I'll look at iRacing setup subscriptions. I'll run through the pros and cons of an iRacing setup subscription with the aim of helping you decide whether it would benefit you.
An iRacing setup subscription is a service provided by setup creators to provide you with optimised car setups for a range of cars across different series. A subscription will grant you access to hundreds of car setups along with data packs to help you further analyse your driving. They can be beneficial if you race across multiple series each season, or if you like to regularly mix up the cars you are racing in.
iRacing setup subscriptions are a way of limiting the amount of car setup bundles you purchase. With a subscription, you get access to hundreds of car setups, which change as iRacing series and seasons progress.
We recently took a deep dive look at how Assetto Corsa Competizione setup subscriptions work, and whether they are worth subscribing to. The answer to whether we’d recommend subscribing to an ACC setup subscription wasn’t an easy question to answer.
However, when it comes to iRacing setup subscriptions, the fluid, dynamic and ever-changing membership style of sim racing that iRacing offers, lends itself much easier to the world of setup subscription services.
In this guide, I’m going to take a detailed look at iRacing setup subscriptions. I’ll run through how they work, who offers the best subscription service, and what to expect from a subscription, and whether an iRacing setup subscription is right for you.
An iRacing setup subscription service works in a very similar way to an ACC setup subscription. You subscribe to a monthly service, where you can access, download and use all of the car setups on offer from the subscription provider.
With the hundreds of cars available to race in iRacing, and the numerous tracks, there is a lot of value to be had in an iRacing setup subscription. But, if you are racing in a single series, in just one car, you may be better off purchasing an individual setup bundle.
Before we go too far, as you browse different iRacing subscription providers, you may notice some use the term data pack, while others call each product setups. Generally these two terms, data packs and setups are referring to the same thing.
But be sure to double check exactly what you are getting. Some setup subscriptions offer more data in their data packs while others may only provide car setups. For example, in a data pack, you may receive telemetry data, reference laps and more alongside the actual car setup itself.
iRacing setup subscriptions will vary in price depending on which setup shop you decide to go with, but generally you will be paying around £7-£10 per month for an iRacing subscription.
It is important to note that the cost of an iRacing car setup subscription is an additional cost to your iRacing membership cost. Most setup providers don’t work directly with iRacing so this subscription will be billed separately from your main iRacing membership.
The content you receive in a subscription varies between the different setup shops. Some focus on GT racing, while others focus on oval racing and some provide a combination of car setups across a range of iRacing series.
The amount of content you get from an iRacing setup subscription will vary between setup shops. You generally get access to a range of optimised car setups for specific series and a wide range of cars.
This access allows you to quickly jump into a race session with a very optimised car setup without spending hours tinkering and adjusting your own car setup. In a competitive series, these car setups can make a difference.
Some subscription providers such as Coach Dave Academy and Virtual Racing School offer much more content beyond car setups. You’ll get access to full data packs which include reference laps, and additional data to allow you to compare your hotlaps against professional drivers.
So now that we have looked at what iRacing setup subscriptions are and what they offer, lets take a look at where you can find the best iRacing setup subscriptions.
Price – £7.99p/m
Cars included – GT3 & cup cars
Includes – Race & Quali setups, Data packs, Onboard laps + more
Where to buy – Subscribe to CDA
The first iRacing setup subscription service I want to look at is Coach Dave Academy (CDA). Coach Dave specialises in GT car setups, be it GT3, GT4 and cup cars. Founder, David Perel himself is a very good GT3 racing driver, who has won numerous championships including two Spa 24 wins.
The CDA iRacing setup subscription focuses solely on GT cars and includes seasonal iRacing setups for the most popular GT3 and cup series. Subscribing will cost you £7.99 per month and will provide you with immediate access to all of the CDA iRacing setups, along with weekly new setups that are added every Monday.
As the iRacing seasons and series progress, the CDA car setups do get updated and tweaked for optimal performance. You’ll also get access to a range of additional data including lap guides, fixed setup data packs, live setup sessions, and more.
Price – €9.99p/m
Cars included – Road, oval, dirt & rallycross
Includes – Data packs, Driving Analyser + more
Where to buy – Subscribe to VRS
The second iRacing setup shop that offers a subscription is Virtual Racing School. They offer a range of different subscription levels including a free tier.
The free tier gives you access to non-premium data packs, whereas the higher tiers allow you to access premium datapacks for a range of series across road, oval, dirt and rallycross series.
The data packs on offer from VRS include setup files along with replays and ghost laps allowing you to quickly compare your laps against the setup creators.
You also gain access to the VRS Driving Analyser tool, which lets you analyse your laps in detail. You can compare your exact racing line along with throttle and brake inputs. This really lets you take a deep dive into where you can find additional lap time.
Price – $5.00p/m
Cars included – GT3, GT4, GTE + more
Includes – Race & Quali setups, replays + more
Where to buy – Subscribe to Craigs Setup Shop
Craig’s Setup Shop is the brainchild of setup creator Craig Williams. Unlike VRS which offers multiple tiers, Craig’s Setup Shop offers a single level of membership for $5 per month. You can also gain access if you subscribe to Craig on Twitch as a sub perk.
The setups on offer from Craig’s Setup Shop span across some of the most popular racing series in iRacing. You’ll find car setups for the most popular GT3 cars include the Mercedes AMG GT3 and the Audi R8 GT3.
Alongside these GT car setups are setups for other popular cars including the Dallara F3 car and Porsche 919 LMP1-H prototype. There is a wide range of setup creators, with each specialising in different cars to allow for extremely high quality setups.
Much like ACC car setups, you can buy iRacing setups individually or as series bundles. Buying in this way will grant you access to car setups for a single car on a single track or for all tracks in a single series. If you only race in a single series at a time, this approach can work well.
Setup subscriptions in comparison generally grant you access to a much wider range of car setups. You’ll get access to the setups for the series you are currently racing in, along with setups for other cars and other series.
This is great if you race in multiple series each season, or if you simply fancy trying out a range of different cars. If you regularly swap the cars you are racing, or race in multiple series each season, an iRacing setup subscription can certainly provide a lot of value.
The example below shows a rough cost comparison between purchasing car setup bundles individually vs subscribing to a setup subscription.
This example assumes the cost for a complete setup bundle for a single series costs £14.99, and the cost of an iRacing setup subscription costs £7.99 per month.
|How Many Cars Being Raced Regularly||Cost To Buy Individual Setup Bundle||iRacing Setup Subscription Cost|
|Setup Bundle For 1 Series||£14.99||£7.99 p/m|
|Setup Bundle For 2 Series||£29.98||£7.99 p/m|
|Setup Bundle For 3 Series||£44.97||£7.99 p/m|
|Setup Bundle For 4 Series||£59.96||£7.99 p/m|
|Cost Over 12 Months||£95.88|
You can see in the example above, that across a single year, if you were to only race with a single car, across four different series, you would be saving money compared to a setup subscription. However, you would be limited to sticking with the car and series you purchased. If you were to start an additional series or start racing with a different car, you’d need to make another setup bundle purchase.
It is important to note that there are four iRacing seasons across a 12 month period. Each of these seasons can change up the tracks that feature in specific series. So if you were to purchase the series bundle for an individual car. It would be highly likely that you’d need to purchase another bundle for the same car the following season.
As an example, if you purchased the updated series bundle each season for two cars, you would be paying around £120 per year, which far outweighs the cost of the setup subscription. The beauty of a subscription is that you don’t need to worry about purchasing any additional setup bundles. You can try whichever cars you fancy and compete in different series each season and always have an optimal car setup for each event.
Deciding whether you would benefit from an iRacing setup subscription really comes down to how often you race iRacing, and how many series you regularly compete in.
If you like to stick to a single car each season, then you may not see the full benefit of a setup subscription. However, if you compete in multiple series each season, or like to regularly try new or different content, a subscription is a nice way of always ensuring you have access to optimised car setups and additional data to help you improve your lap times.
If we were to recommend an iRacing setup subscription, we would recommend Coach Dave. Their setups are some of the smoothest and most comfortable we have raced with, whilst helping find additional lap time.
You can use the links below to shop for your favourite sim racing products, or for any products that we may have recommended. These links are affiliate links, and will earn us a small commission, with no additional cost for you.
iRacing is an extremely competitive form of sim racing. Drivers often spend hours tinkering with their car setup before an event. A well optimised car setup can really benefit both your consistency and lap time, and can make a difference in a highly competitive race.
There are a range of setup providers that each have their own setup subscription service. Coach Dave Academy, VRS and Craig’s Setup Shop are among the most popular iRacing setup subscription services.
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