The big news from iRacing on Arpil 1st (no it wasn't an April fools joke) is that iRacing confired they are doing proper dirt racing. Today announced they signed the Eldorado Speedway, a half mile clay oval, to be it's first speedway track. Today they also release, via Facebook, a very short video of a car in motion on what they report is a Rallycross track.
Dirt is a natural evolution for iRacing, after releasing their dynamic track model last year, with debris and rubber build up.
What I find impressive is that as early as 2011 Dave Kraemmer was thinking about dirt. From his answers to questions here, I get the impression he had been considering the complexity of dirt modelling and it's rendering and almost waiting for CPU's and GPU's to become powerful enough to render the tiny particles floating through the air. The recently(ish) released dirt thrown up by cars in iRacing sounds cool as it hits the tubs of cars. I can only imagine with a smile, how cool dirt racing is going to sound from inside the sprint cars (Pretty damned awesome).
Speedway racing is the natural first step in the evolution of dirt on iRacing. iRacing gained it's popularity as a oval racing sim, given it's heritage from NASCAR 2003, and it's current popularity in the United States as THE NASCAR and Indycar simulator. When you think about it Speedway racing is a lot like the existing oval racing support in iRacing but with a clar top.
As indicated in the short video above, iRacing isn't going to be just Speedway racing (even though that will be cool). They are also extending to RallyCross, hybrid dirt and tarmac racing using rally like cars. If anyone hasn't tried Rallycross racing on a sim, I thoroughly recommend they do so, it's great fun - sort of the best of both worlds.
I would be surprised if iRacing branches out into full blown Rally (WRC style) though. Perhaps a long way down the track they may - after they've added rain effects (and water splash modelling), something that's also on their radar. I'm not sure how Rally, and it's single file racing would work on an entirely human player game. I suspect events would open for two weeks and you could set you could complete your stages in sequence at any time in those two weeks, and then the leaderboard would be worked out at the end of the two week rally period and a winner announced. It could work but it would be a big departure from the way races are run now.
With dirt racing announced, how long will it be until we see drag racing in iRacing? :)