iRacing subscriptions have surged nearly 50% this year

In the wake of COVID-19, sim racing has blown up in a big way. iRacing President and CFO Anthony Gardner tells us that his service is seeing unprecedented growth.

Tim Stevens Former editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Tim Stevens
2 min read

With nearly all forms of global motorsport on hold as the world shelters in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, more and more pros and fans have turned to the world of sim racing to get their kicks. iRacing is at the forefront, and President and CFO Anthony Gardner tells us that the company has seen unprecedented growth in 2020.

iRacing had about 110,000 active customers at the beginning of the year -- that is, people paying the between eight and 13 dollars per month for access to the service. As of today, Gardner said, that number has grown to over 160,000 active customers.

"The last five or six weeks I would say the membership signups are 8x higher than average," Gardner told me in an email. "It's been crazy."

Launched back in 2008 as a sort of online, spiritual successor to legendary PC-based race sims like NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, iRacing developed a loyal but somewhat underground following among race fans. However, in the wake of the coronavirus, that's all changed.

With major series like the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and now the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup Virtual Edition, some of the world's best professionals are now competing digitally, and uniquely the fans can get in there in join them. iRacing offers a low-cost way to challenge them with a direct ladder of progress that's unlike any physical form of motorsport on the planet.

iRacing's growth this year has surely also been bolstered by the 50% discount it's currently offering new members. Looking to get in on the action? Make sure you check our guide on the best PC components for iRacing, and the best PC games to help you prepare for online sim racing.