How To Setup Your Tyres in iRacing: Tyre Pressure Setup Guide

In this guide I'm going to run through tyre setup in iRacing. I'll show you the correct tyre temperatures and how to achieve these using your tyre setup.

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Your tyre setup has a pretty large impact on how your car behaves on track in iRacing. It can drastically change the amount of raw grip you have if you aren’t in the working window for your tyres or if they’re too hot or cold. And the stiffness of the tyre sidewall will also impact how your car behaves over kerbs and bumps.

In this guide, I’ll run through exactly how to care a tyre setup in iRacing that improves tyre wear, and can help you car handle better and lap faster.

How do tyre pressures affect your car in iRacing?

With all these factors in play, it is important to fully understand how to set up your tyres in iRacing. If you don’t alter any other part of your car setup, knowing how to adjust your tyre setup to ensure you have the best levels of grip is a good skill.

  • Increasing tyre pressures: This will stiffen your car as the tyre will become more inflated. There will be a smaller tyre contact patch with the track, making your car more responsive. This will also increase tyre temperature.
  • Decreasing tyre pressures: This will soften your car allowing it to ride kerbs and bumps easier. And it will also increase the contact patch with the track, giving you more traction under acceleration. Doing this will also decrease tyre temperature.
iRacing tyre setup

When should I change tyre pressures in iRacing?

Many parts of your car setup will have an impact on your tyre setup, and for this reason, I would always recommend leaving your final tyre setup to last, after you have set up the rest of your car. However, I would also recommend making initial tyre setup adjustments as the first thing you do.

My recommended setup process for iRacing would be to do the following;

  • Perform an initial baseline run: Do this with a baseline setup before making any adjustments. This will give you a reference to work from.
  • Make initial tyre pressure changes: Once you have a baseline, adjust your tyre pressures to ensure the tyres are in the right working temperature window.
  • Make setup changes: Once you have your tyre pressures set so you’re achieving the right tyre temperature on track, make all other car setup changes, remembering to test each change individually.
  • Make final tyre pressure changes: Once you are happy with your overall car setup, make one final pass over your tyre pressures, ensuring that they are still in the right working window.

What tyre pressures should I have?

Your tyre pressures will change how your car handles bumps and the temperature your tyres reach during a race. The later is the more important part of the perfect tyre setup in iRacing, as this will have a big impact on how much grip your tyres give you.

  • Tyres are too hot: Tyres that are too hot will reduce the overall grip your tyres give you and it will increase your tyre wear.
  • Tyres are too cold: When your tyres are too cold, they won’t give you the maximum amount of grip on offer, reducing your grip with the track. However, the tyres won’t wear as fast when they are colder.

With so many cars in iRacing, it is difficult to recommend exact tyre pressures and tyre temperatures for each car. However, we can share our recommendations for GT3 cars, as that is where we spend most of our time in iRacing.

For GT3 cars you should have cold tyre pressures set to the minimum value you can. During racing, your tyres will heat up which in turn will increase the tyre’s pressure. You should aim for hot tyre pressures of around 22-24 psi depending on the car you’re racing with.

These recommendations would vary massively with other cars. Lighter cars such as the Mazda MX-5 can run lower tyre pressures, while heavier cars will require much higher tyre pressures.


What is the optimal tyre temperature for iRacing?

As mentioned, tyre pressures have a direct impact on your tyre temperature in iRacing, and that in turn will have a large effect on just how much grip your tyres give you, and how fast they wear. So what is the ideal tyre temperature in iRacing?

The optimal tyre temperature for iRacing ranges between 85-105°C. This ideal working window will change depending on which car you’re driving, and which tyre compound you are currently using.


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With most compounds, you won’t want to exceed 100°C, especially if you are trying to make your tyres last for a longer stint during a race. During a qualifying run, peak grip can be achieved at around 100°C.

You can view just how hot you’re tyres are running using the HUD or the setup screen. You’ll see that your tyre temperature is broken down into three areas, inside, middle and outer tyre.

The ideal tyre temperature will be an average across these three areas. But a good general rule of thumb is that the inside of your tyre should be the hottest region, but there shouldn’t ever be more than about a 7°C difference between the inner and outer regions.


How tyre compound has an effect in iRacing

The second choice you get when creating a tyre setup in iRacing is your tyre compound. This choice won’t always be available as it is only used for certain cars and series.

Your tyre compound will change both the grip levels and lifespan of your tyres. Different compounds will often require different tyre pressure setups as well to manage heat generation.

Below are overviews of each compound of tyre;

  • Soft tyres: Soft tyres have the most grip, which results in the fastest lap times. They do however have the fastest wear rate, requiring you’ll need to pit and change tyres more often.
  • Medium tyres: Medium compound tyres has a good balance of grip and wear. They aren’t as soft, grippy or as fast as softer tyres, but they do wear slower meaning you can stay on track longer. They’re a very well-balanced tyre.
  • Hard tyres: Hard tyres will have the least amount of out-and-out grip. They do however wear at the slowest rate allowing you to complete longer race stints before pitting.

How to save tyres in iRacing, and make them last longer

Tyres produce wear for a number of reasons. Over time they will wear naturally during use, but this wear can be sped up if you drive aggressively, cause a lot of tyre slip, spin your tyres or overheat your tyres. Doing a combination of all these things will almost certainly lead to faster wearing tyres and more pit stops.

To avoid this, and help reduce tyre wear in iRacing, you can implement a number of tips;

  • Set your tyre pressures correctly: The first thing you can do is run the correct tyre pressures for your car. Running tyre pressures that are too high will cause extra heat and in turn increase tyre wear.
  • Reduce oversteer and/or wheel spin: When your tyres lose traction with the road, they’ll start sliding which both scrubs the tyre surface and increases the tyre temperature. Both of these things should be avoided for longer-lasting tyres in iRacing.
  • Avoid aggressive pedal inputs: A great way to limit the amount of wheel spin you face is to be more gentle on your pedal application. This applies to braking as well, as harsh braking can lead to locking a brake, again causing your tyres to scrub across the track surface.

Where to find iRacing setups

You can find iRacing setups that have already been through the process above and have the perfect tyre setup in our iRacing setup library. These car setups are created by professional setup shops, ensuring they’re of the highest quality.


FAQs

What is the ideal tyre pressure for iRacing?

When it comes to GT3 racing in iRacing the ideal tyre pressures should be the minimum cold pressures available. Then when your tyres are hot, the tyre pressures should be between 22-24psi.

What is the optimal tyre temperature for iRacing?

For GT3 cars, the optimal tyre temperature for iRacing should be between 80 and 90°C. Any colder and your tyres won’t produce enough grip, any hotter and you’ll encounter excess tyre wear.

Is there tyre wear in iRacing?

Tyres will wear during all sessions in iRacing, and during races this will cause you to have to pit if they wear too fast.


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Article written by Rich

Co-Founder of SimRacingSetups.com

Rich is the co-founder, and one of the main F1 setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. With over a decade of experience as a graphic designer, marketing director, competitive sim racer and avid motorsport fan, Rich founded SimRacingSetup.com to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.

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