With a surprise drop of the new Chicago Street Track on the iRacing platform on Tuesday, not one to be playing catchup, Academy Coach Reinaldo Llerena took his Porsche Cayman round the Windy City to get a feel for what challenges await us all. Rey shares his initial thoughts and points of note from the first few hours on this technical street circuit.

Over to you Rey

To be cliche, you know the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” That applies to the Chicago Street Circuit. From above, the track looks like it has a few fast sections with a lot of 90 degree corners, but as always, it’s more technical than that. Chicago’s pit lane exit reminds me of the Yeongam Circuit in South Korea. The pit exit spits cars out at a sharp angle on the track, and because the crown of the road makes turn 1 off-cambered on exit, there may be issues with cars leaving pit road and those going through turn 1.

 

Turns 1 and 2
The first two turns are innocuous enough, two medium speed 90 degree corners where you have to set up the exit

 

Turns 4 and 5 are where the track starts to separate those brave enough to push the limits. The wall comes up on you fast on the exit of 4, but you have to carry enough speed through that turn to arc it into turn 5. Although it looks like a 90 degree corner, you can take a lot more speed there than you think.

 

Turn 6 is one of the tightest corners on the track. You come in from a high speed, and if you carry too much speed on entry, there’s a bump on the inside and a fast-approaching wall on the outside to catch you out.

 

Then, it’s over the bridge into turn 7, which is unique, as the cars have to go around the median on Michigan Avenue. It’s a late turn-in where you’re aiming to hit the inside yellow barrier as the road crowns away from you.

 

Turn 8 is an early turn-in with a lift in the GT4 Cayman. You have to get as close as you can to the wall on the inside to get the best possible run through turn 9.

 

Turn 9 is a long corner, and you have to keep the car as close to the inside wall as possible throughout. However, there’s an intersection in the curve around halfway through, and the track suddenly flattens before cambering once again, causing a massive bump that can unsettle the car.

 

Turn 10 is the scariest corner on the track. In that lap, I entered in 4th gear and only lifted, trying to aim for the wall that prevents cars from going into an underground parking garage. There’s a huge bump just outside of the racing line on the left, and if you catch it, you’re in the wall. This corner alone will separate the fastest from those trying to survive.

 

Turn 11 comes up quick after turn 10. It’s a harder braking zone than you think, and you have to aim for the inside wall that protects cars from going into the underground parking garage. Exit is very slippery, and it is easy to activate the traction control on exit.

 

Turn 12 is the final corner on the track. There’s hardly any braking markers, but due to how wide the pit straight is, it’s a very fast corner.

 

You have over eight U.S. street lanes to work with, so it’s fun to use all of it.
 
Although it looks simple from above, there’s a few corners, particularly the ones over the bridge, that separate the good from the best

 

 

And an added bonus, here’s a HotLap video of Rey tackling those corners and bumps.

 

And that wraps up this initial thoughts and experiences post on the new iRacing Chicago street circuit. Not quite as simple as it seems!

Over to you. Watch those bumps!

Available now on iracing.com

 

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Rey is an Academy Coach currently specialising in the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and BMW M4 GT4, building data packs and coaching, and is always on hand to answer questions from Academy members in our Discord.

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