For Champcar Racers who are new to iRacing:
I thought I’d chime in with a more detailed (read: wordy) description of licenses, safety ratings, and how they work.
Much of the info below is from the “Sporting Code”, found under the “Help” dropdown of the iRacing home page. (For the one of you that actually goes and reads that thing, note it doesn’t mention “fast track” promotions from rookie happen at SR>3.0.)
What's this License and Safety Rating stuff?
All drivers start with a “Rookie” License and a Safety Rating [SR] of 2.50. SR moves up or down after each official race according to the number of “incidents per corner” that you have during the race. A clean MX-5 race will garner about +0.15 SR, and the MX-5 Cup races take about 25 minutes each.
What’s an ‘incident’?
You get assigned ‘incident points’ during a race as follows. You’ve seen them pop up in green lettering at the top of your screen during races and practices. Incidents during Practice sessions do not count. Incidents count during Official Races. They also count with a 50% modifier during, Warm Up for races, Qualifying, Time Trials, and after you cross the finish line of a race.
Light contact with another driver or wall: 0 pts
Off-track: 1 pt
Loss of control, spin or significant contact with a wall: 2 pts
Significant contact with another driver: 4 pts
How do License Promotions work?
As Rapido said, you get promoted from “Rookie” to “D” license as soon as you have completed at least 4 Official Races and/or Time Trials and your SR is over 3.0.
What are official races? When does the Official season end?
Official races are public races that iRacing offers to all members in a variety of different series with different cars & tracks. Global MX-5 cup races happen every hour on the hour. The series visits different free tracks each week for 12 weeks to make up a season.
Go to "Popular Races & Practices" and filter for Road, Eligible, Race. The races will be visible to join about 20-30 minutes before they start, joining will take you to a public practice session and then the service will take you from there to 'warm up', then qualifying, then the race. Races are standing start.
Season 1 2018 for the Global Mazda MX-5 Cup ends Monday afternoon March 5. The series is currently racing Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and will remain there through the 5th.
March 5-12 is called “week 13”, technically part of Season 1. The week is used to test out programming changes and includes some official races at rookie level that count toward SR and some “fun” races that don’t. Many drivers try out unfamiliar cars and tracks during week 13 and the quality of the driving suffers, so be careful trying to gain SR during Week 13.
Season 2 starts the evening of March 12 at one of the free tracks (which one has not been announced yet).
I am an experienced Champcar driver, I've never run "Official Races" in iRacing, and I want to race in the VIR South Championship race on March 8.
WHAT, EXACTLY, DO I DO?
No worries, this will be boring but easy. Plan on investing 2-3 hours total.
Enter 4 ‘Global Mazda MX-5 Cup’ races (this week is Laguna Seca, see above for how to join). Your objective is minimum 'incidents', to get your Safety Rating over 3.0, see above.
Try to do it before Monday evening when "Week 13" starts, or at least get close before then. You can continue racing after Monday afternoon in Week 13 races, just make sure they are not labeled “fun” and be extra cautious, because the relatively few idiots get extra idiot-ish during Week 13.
Don’t forget that incidents during Race Warmup, Qual, and after you cross the finish line still count, albeit at 50%.
You can also run Time Trials and won't be bothered by other drivers doing dumb stuff, but TTs only count 50% toward raising SR, so plan on spending more time at it. You still only need 4 to qualify for promotion, but it will take more TTs to raise your SR from 2.5 to 3.0. Probably 7-8 Time Trials.
You will likely start out in the lower splits of the MX-5 cup. In iRacing the lower splits of the MX-5 cup function as a box for people who can’t or won’t race cleanly, to keep them away from everyone else.
For Pete’s sake don’t try to actually race people! At some point in most of your races some driver will draw on his extensive Playstation experience and do something incredibly stupid that no driver would ever do in real life. Just avoid everyone and finish without contact.