Hello again men and woman of simulation racing! Although my home sim-racing league hasn’t been featured here for quite some time, the IFCA (International Forza Club Association) is quite active as of late. All the buzz is about the, “2012 IFCA World Championship” and how to get into the “Sweet 16.”
On the whole, 2012 was a rebuilding year for one of the very first Forza leagues to ever exist. With a long history dating back to FM1, the IFCA has a storied past with all or almost all of the very fastest Forza drivers in the world at one time or another. Names like, IIxcamxII, picaso, SP33DRAC3R, Chilledheat, Jed, Rayzer, Potthed, Lou, b0x, General E Live,Chemical, MOPAR, BRIZZO, Semper, and so many more have competed at various times at the IFCA.
2011 was a crossroads moment for the league when key members sought alternative and independent futures apart from the IFCA. Fairly painful at the time for everyone, it resulted in yet another successful league spinoff (“Virtual Motorsports”) to add to the growing list which have been started by racers who competed in the IFCA.
The retooling emphasis at the IFCA for 2012 was to explore new ways and means to conduct organized Forza racing in simpler more user friendly formats, while at the same time establishing “standards” across the board. The idea was and is to standardize everything in a kind of turn-key fashion so that over time drivers and organizers would be able to focus more on competing, and steady competition, than ever changing rules and formats. This resulted in the creation of 5 different ongoing series with the same general four week season and rules. Three of the series used a different class of cars that would change every four weeks. The “Bone Stock” series as the name implies was a 100% stock series that ran for 9 seasons on Monday nights this year. The “Super Spec” series on Thursday nights used cars that could be partially tuned. The “Glory Days” series on Friday nights was to take older fully tunable cars of roughly the same era and pit them against each other.
The other two series on Saturday and Sunday nights are mixed class racing, “World Cup” and “World Cup II.” These are IFCA signature series repeat events without series points. So often it is that with series points a driver can miss a race or two and be out of the points chase, and as a result drivers will quite often quit the series. Our solution to this problem was to offer a couple of series that didn’t have any season points to lose. These events run continuously rain or shine every weekend of the regular season ending on September 16.
Everyone loves mixed class racing but the problem has always been about balanced grids and having enough drivers in each class week to week. Our answer to this issue was to figure out a way that would allow different classes to compete equally against each other at the same time. We accomplished this by calculating how many times the higher class faster car would have to pit vs. the lower class car, and still arrive at the finish line at the same time as the slower lower class car. This clever calculation enables us to race an R1-Class car against an R3, and an S-Class car against and A-class car. The result is fuller grids and exciting finishes where the higher class faster cars are flying through traffic and chasing down the slower lower class leaders at the finish line! The cars used in “World Cup” are R3-R1 from all the most popular real-life series such as ALMS, JGTC, Grand Am, and even Can/Am. So not only is there a mixed class of cars, drivers have the opportunity to select 66 cars from any series they like.
What connects all of the IFCA series whether they have series points or not, is another unique league invention called the, “IFCA Driver Ratings Formula.” Each driver is numerically rated based on the finishing order of each official race. If you are expected to finish 1 but only finish 2 you lose points, but if you are expected to finish 2nd and you finish 1, you will gain points. Fairly simple until you have a grid of 16. It took some study and creative math to arrive at what we think is a reasonable formula that really works. It’s similar to what our “iRacing” friends use, a type of skill rating also used in organized chess.
Because each IFCA competitor is rated, a rankings list is created that indicates who the overall stronger/faster driver is during the course of the year. The goal is to be in the top 16 by September 16 so that you can compete in the IFCA World Championship on September 30. At stake is a small prize purse of $200.00, and the coveted #1 number plate. Details here.
The only “catch” is you need 5 official races under your belt by September 16 to be eligible. There are only about 21 official races left between now and 9/16, so there is still time, but time is starting to run out. Send a friends request to AAR GTDon to get in on some races and visit www.IFCAracing.com to get your official competition number plate.
At the IFCA we welcome anyone interested in good clean fun racing regardless of skill level. See you at the races!