iRacing 101: Incident Points

Welcome to iRacing 101, where each week, we’ll go through some of the features that make iRacing the World’s Premier Motorsport Simulation—from highlighting our features to some of the top series and forms of racing you’ll encounter when you get behind the wheel.

This week’s topic: What are iRacing incident points, and how do they work?

Incident points are one of the primary factors that help determine your Safety Rating. These points are awarded for events like contact with other cars, contact with walls, spins, or crossing track limits. Drivers who avoid earning any incident points in a given session will see their Safety Rating continue to increase, giving them the opportunity to upgrade their iRacing License and compete in public races in faster and more difficult cars.

Don’t let it bother you or get frustrated when you get incident points. Even the best and safest drivers in the world collect incident points, but they realize that it’s part of racing to make contact from time to time and try to learn from it. Remember, the incident system is designed to help keep the racing as clean as possible so it’s more fun for everyone. Stay focused on the next corner, racing hard and clean, and most importantly, having fun!

How many points are awarded for each type of incident?

Light contact awards drivers with a 0x. This means that, while a driver’s score does not increase, the incident is still noted. Any incident noted can be enough to invalidate laps in certain sessions, such as Qualifying or Time Trials. Going too far off track awards a 1x, while contact with objects like walls and other barriers and loss of control (i.e., a spin) award 2x for each.

Finally, heavy contact is awarded a 4x in paved forms of racing, and 2x in Dirt Oval and Dirt Road. The reason for the lower score in dirt-based racing is that contact is often an accepted and legal facet of these forms of racing in a way that it may not be elsewhere.

If multiple incidents happen in quick succession, only the highest-scoring incident will be tallied. For example, if a driver loses control and then makes heavy contact, they will only receive the 4x score for heavy contact. This is noted in the in-game UI with the “2x -> 4x” message. In addition, this tally in quick succession can apply to all drivers involved in the first incident. For example, if two drivers make light contact and one of them goes on to make heavy contact quickly after, the other driver will also see their incident point total increase.

Do incident points reflect or determine fault in an incident?

No. These points are simply a tracker of what happened to you during a race. Receiving an incident point is not a determination of fault; were an incident to be protested, which driver received which incident points is not a giveaway as to how that protest would be judged.

Do incident points affect my Safety Rating the same way in every kind of session?

No. The outcomes of single-car sessions, such as Time Trials, are weighted lower than race sessions when determining your Safety Rating. However, that doesn’t mean you should take any scored session for granted! For example, if you have a perfectly clean race session, but had numerous incidents in the warmup right before it (or even after the checkered flag before all cars have finished), your Safety Rating may still be impacted negatively in the end.

Are incident points calculated differently across different license levels?

While incident points themselves are calculated on the same scale from race to race within any discipline, you may find that, as your license improves, incidents feel like they impact your Safety Rating more significantly. This is because your Safety Rating is based on the amount of corners you take per incident (CPI). If your CPI is very high because you’re a clean driver, incidents in a more recent session will have a higher effect on your CPI.

The further you go into your iRacing career, the less impactful incidents from older sessions will be. If your clean driving skills have improved, that will pay off over the long term with a higher Safety Rating, earning you promotions into higher license levels.

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