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At iRacing, Life Simulates Art

When your engineers compete in real-world racing, a racing simulator that’s less than perfect isn’t an option

At iRacing, Life Simulates Art

Steve Myers knows racing, and he knows software. As executive vice president and executive producer at iRacing, his goal is simple: “Creating the most realistic racing simulation that racers and race fans alike can purchase and use on their home PCs.” That includes recreating software-simulated versions of some of the most famous racetracks in the world, such as those from Formula 1 and NASCAR, and some of the most famous racecars, including a planned release of the famed Lotus 49 Formula 1 car.

Myers also knows how important details are to his customers. “By far, the force that drives innovation for us is our customers,” he said. “We have to constantly listen to what our customers want, and provide it to them.” That’s where his simple goal became more complicated. “Our international customer base wanted to race an authentic F1 car. Our domestic customer base is passionate about NASCAR and wanted to race the same tracks and cars that their heroes race on the weekends.”

To keep up with such exacting demands from customers, iRacing partnered with every NASCAR track in the United States and with Formula 1 tracks in Brazil, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere to create exact replications. No detail was left undone.

But a world-class racing simulation includes more than just accurate maps of famous racetracks. iRacing wanted to simulate the entire racing experience, not just the scenery. This simulation would require a lot of computing power. Already firmly established as a desktop PC powerhouse, iRacing needed to move to tablet PCs and Ultrabook™ devices, especially those capable of Microsoft Windows* 8 touch-based interaction.

Enter the engineers at Intel. “The new Intel graphics engine allows us to provide desktop performance on an ultra-light platform,” Myers said. “The touch controllers in the Intel Ultrabook reference design were light years ahead of any touch screens we could find on the market.”

Touch, in particular, brings the iRacing simulation experience even closer to real life. “We also use touch to let you rapidly make pit stop adjustments to your car without reaching for the keyboard.” Touch technology is also cost-effective for iRacing customers. “Touch eliminates the need for additional hardware in order to drive and enjoy the iRacing experience,” Myers said.

Blurring the line between simulated and real-world racing—inching ever closer to perfection—is ultimately the goal iRacing hopes to achieve. Myers thinks iRacing can do just that “as much as technology lets us. With Intel’s help, who knows what’s possible.”

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No additional hardware

“Any user with a touch-enabled device has the ability to test iRacing without additional investment in hardware.”

—Steve Myers, Executive Vice President and Executive Producer, iRacing