League Racing Guide

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What is this about?

LFS has a built-in server browser to find public servers. There's nothing wrong with racing on these servers, but this guide is mainly for people who want to try something new. Besides these servers, there are some groups of people who organize races and championships at set times. This guide is aimed at those LFS drivers who already have some experience in single player or public servers, and now want to join a league. It explains finding such servers and tries to answer some frequently asked questions.

Why organized racing?

Everyone has their own opinion on that. Some reasons can be:

  • better driving standards (no crashers)
  • championships
  • longer races are more fun and challenging
  • time to practice because the tracks are known in advance
  • more similar to how real motorsport works

Finding a suitable league/event

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There are different ways to find a league or event. First of all, you can check out the Leagues & Events subforum. However, over the years there are now so many sub-subforums and threads, it is like finding a needle in a haystack. The easiest way is looking at the race calendar: https://www.lfs.net/leagues/calendar . Be aware: the racing calendar is not always complete. Some league organizers forget to add their dates to the calendar, or just never do it because they organize them on TeamSpeak or via their own sites. Despite that, you should find some great events there to participate in.

Race calendar 2015.png

You can also check the News section where special events or start of a new season are announced. Some races are long or short, for new or experienced drivers, and so on. Describing all the different types of leagues or events is impossible. Just pick something that looks interesting for you.

Before joining

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  • Most races are open for everybody and are free to join. (Although for popular leagues there might be pre-qualifying or a requirement of a minimum laptime)
  • Mind the time zones!
  • Mind the event starting time and the schedule of specific sessions: the kind of qualifying (open, one-shot, q1/q2/q3 system etc.), races (sometimes there are two races during an event, with the latter having a reversed grid), whether there is a free practice session before the main Qualifying and Race sessions.
  • Visit the forum/site of the particular league and read around a bit. If there are specific rules which drivers have to abide, make sure to get familiar with them.
  • Make sure you own the required LFS license for the event (S1, S2 or S3).
  • Organized leagues usually lock the server with a password to avoid random joiners who are not aware of the rules and did not sign up for the event. If there is a password for the server, you should get it from the organizers through a Private Message on the LFS Forum (or any other official way, through Discord, in the forum thread, etc.). The weekly leagues, which are more "open" and do not require signing up only lock the server after the qualifying session ended: if you are already connected to the server, but just before the race you plan to leave (or during the race you lose connection but would like to rejoin), you might be surprised with the lock. Make sure to ask between Qualifying and Race, what's the password for the event, so you can rejoin safely.

Signing up

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  • Some leagues require registration of some sort. That might be as simple as posting "Hello, I want to race" in the forum.
  • Sometimes that post has to be more formal and include some extra information. Leagues with more sophisticated signup forms might require you to: pick a racing number, pick a car to race with, include your team name, your real name; leagues with driver swapping often need all drivers to be named in signup, using their LFSW usernames. Always check the proper signup format in the first post of the thread, or just copy others' signup forms and edit to your liking.
  • It might also be that you have to create an account on their site or forum, though this is rare.
  • Some leagues (especially officially broadcasted ones) might require you to create and use a car skin with required elements. The required elements might include organization logos, or including your race number on the car skin. This is also rare. If you do not see a forum thread that collects the skins of the drivers (for example "League 2023 - Skins"), the usage of custom skins is probably not required.
  • Some leagues with a specified number of rounds and proper schedule might require you to confirm your attendance for every round. This is usually done in a distinguished thread for each round, with drivers confirming attendance or absence with a "yes" or "no". The purpose of this confirmation requirement is to ensure there are enough free spaces on the server (to avoid overfilling the grid, LFS grid is 40 cars maximum), to make sure the organizers get to know the approximate amount of drivers to be present in that round and to make sure all the data tracking software and championship documents are set up properly.

Examples for leagues which do not require signing up (as of May 2023):

Examples for leagues which require signing up:

  • New Dimension Racing (NDR) events usually require signups of some form. NDR events are usually "taken more seriously", from both an organization and driver attitude standpoint. They usually have a live timing tracker, in-game systems to control sessions (SC/VSC periods), a race stewarding body and are broadcasted live by Sim Broadcasts. The competition level is usually higher, but don't let this scare you - it's probably the most realistic and serious way of racing online in LFS. Instead of organizing weekly events, NDR announces a championship/series for a scheduled calendar of some rounds beforehand, so drivers can plan ahead and practice. Examples: GT2 Challenge, LFSCART Light Series
  • All-Wheel-Drive Winter Series (AWS)

Preparation before the race

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  • If it is your first race of this kind, sign up early enough so that you have time to practice.
  • Speed does not matter – but rule of thumb make sure you can do at least half the distance without spinning.
  • Do some long stints as practice too, so that you know what tire temperatures to expect.
  • Look (or ask) if the server is open for practice in days before the race, or if there is another place where people practice. It's much more fun to practice together with others. You can always practice offline, though.
  • Acquire setups: build one yourself, get one from the Car Setups page or ask other drivers. If they send you a setup in-game, you can save it by opening the connection list (N) and clicking on the green S (as for "save") next to the driver who sent you the setup. Name the setup tellingly (for example: KY3R_sender_r, or RO7_sender_q), so later on you know which track and what kind of session it is made for.
  • Keep in mind, setups have two kinds: a setup made for hotlapping/qualifying is fast, but usually only lasts 1-2 laps, before the tyres overheat. A race setup, compared to a hotlap setup, is slower, but is much more forgiving and lasts much longer. You should use a hotlapping setup for qualifying, and a race setup for the race. After a qualifying session, do not forget to change your setup to a race setup, as starting the race with a hotlapping setup will hinder your race massively.
  • Make sure you know how pit stops work: how to enter pit lane, speed limit, managing the pit-menu overlay (F12) with arrow keys. You can try these offline any time, and pre-set the pit settings in F12 before the race. You might want to disable Damage repair for the race, especially for those which require a pitstop (reason: if you have a relatively clean race with almost no bodywork/suspension damage, but still have a tiny little bit of suspension damage due to kerbs, during a pitstop LFS will still repair all that, and you will spend many seconds in the pit standings still, while you could have easily continued with that small damage). If you do get in a huge crash with heavy damage on the suspension, you might want to repair that damage in the pits, of course. You have to decide - you can enable damage repair during the race as well, using the F12 menu.
  • Calculate (or ask) how much fuel you need, and make sure you set it properly before starting the race. You can set the amount of fuel to start with in the Pits screen ⇧ Shift + P, on the Info tab. Multiply the usual fuel usage % by the number of laps, and bring that much fuel with you for the race (add 2-3% extra to be safe). Some car/track combos and race lengths require more than 100% fuel to complete the full race distance by nature - you can also set the amount of fuel to be refilled during a pitstop here.
  • If you have any questions, ask them as soon as possible, before lights go green. ;)


Lights green.jpg
  • It's your first race in a new environment: better be careful and instead of winning, concentrate on getting familiar with rules and behaviour of other drivers.
  • Take no risks and just try to finish the race – there will be more laps than on a public server. Later there will be plenty more races to push harder.
  • If you are out, you are out: no automatic restart or "second chance".
  • Obey whatever racing rules there are – otherwise it might gain you a penalty during or after race. Usually following the rules of clean racing is enough.
  • Needs to be highlighted: you might be lapped during a longer race. Obey blue flags at all times, and do so safely. See section Lapping of the Rules of Clean Racing article and the Obeying flags section of the Basic driving guides article for a detailed explanation.
  • Some leagues have a no-chat policy for the race session. Make sure to not get any unnecessary penalites for unallowed chatting. Ask any questions before the race, so you only have to focus on performing the best you can.

After the race

  • Wait a few days then check on the site/forum for official results. Read the race report (if there is one) or the comments by other racers. Post your own comments, if you want to.
  • If you caused a crash it might be good idea to apologize. Watch the replay and learn from mistakes.
  • Prepare for the next race. :) Repeat until champion.


Looks very hard. Am I good / fast enough?

If you have enough interest in LFS to be reading this, then you are probably fast enough. There are leagues aimed at casual or beginner drivers. Often one can race in mid-field even with lap times some seconds of the world record. A minimum of car control is always required to finish the race, of course.

Is this only for dedicated hardcore drivers?

It's for everyone: the tracks and dates of race are known in advance, so there is plenty of time to prepare. When you join an open, "public racing" server there is usually no time to practice at all, as the races are short and are on repeat race after race. The few rules that league racing involves only make it a more fair, more controlled environment, which is always a bonus for a simracing experience, to have fun.

I am scared of so many cars. What happens if I cause big accidents?

If you are really scared of racing in a crowd, there are races with slower drivers or small grids, start in those. After a crash you can always explain the situation in chat (wait until race is over so you don't disturb others in the race) or in forum. Usually it is solved after that. :)

What league is the best?

Depends on what you expect: ask in LFS forum what league is suitable for your preferences and skills.

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