iRacing Cadillac CTS-VEnlarge Photo
Racing simulators have been quite popular for a number of years now. The average virtual racer consumes the digitized cars and tracks by way of console games such as Forza and Gran Turismo. It's the world of PC-based simulators, however, that offer up the most hardcore virtual racing experience.
One of the leaders in this arena is iRacing, which features a wide range of laser-measured cars from sprint cars to NASCAR racers on over to V8 Supercars and the Radical SR8 and even on to Prototype racers. It's been the joy of PC racers for years now, but it's finally being offered up for Apple enthusiasts.
iRacing has officially made its way on the OS X-powered machines. That means the Starbucks crowd should get a lot more lively thanks to the sounds of a Star Mazda car being flung around the track.
This simulator can exist on Apple machines running either Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion. No word on whether House Cat or Feral Feline can handle the game. Additionally, you'll need Intel HD 4000 graphics or better, 2GB of RAM, and 6GB of hard drive space.
iRacing is purchased by way of a membership system, and you can pay monthly or yearly. The per-month cost is $12, but if you buy two months you get a third free right now. If you'd rather pay once and forget about things for awhile, the two-year membership is $179 and that drops the per month cost to under eight bucks.
Once you've signed up, you have access to numerous official iRacing series as well as hundreds of private leagues. There are seven free cars and ten free tracks, and then you can upgrade to have access to 30 cars and over 90 tracks, which have also been laser scanned for precise accuracy.