The only thing dented was driver ego, and I was able to ease the still-intact V8 stock car out of the kitty litter and back onto the circuit for another go at breaking the lap record.
If I’d been in a real car the off-track excursion would’ve ended with a lot of expensive crunched metal and wide-eyed marshalls running towards me clutching fire extinguishers.
Fortunately, the damage was only digital as I was at the wheel of a simulator at the recently-opened Simtec Racing in Edenvale.
It’s as realistic a racing experience you can get without paying hundreds of thousands of rands to get an actual racing car onto an actual racing circuit. Instead, you can bump and barge cars with your mates at a fraction of the cost.
It depicts a realistic feel and fury of driving a race car in anger. The simulators are powered by servo actuators mounted to the seat which provide forces which simulate the gear changing, acceleration, braking, and lateral G forces that you’d experience in the seat of a high-performance racing car. It even simulates a traction loss effect and drifting out of the rear end of the car, making the experience as realistic as the virtual world can offer.
NOT CHILD’S PLAY
This is no kid’s toy, with all the bumping and bouncing, together with the vocal fury coming from the Skull Candy headphones and the real sweat on my forehead.
There are many different tracks to choose from. Apart from legendary international circuits like Laguna Seca, Nurburgring and Spa Francorchamps, most of South Africa’s tracks are there too including Killarney, East London and Phakisa, along with the old and new versions of Kyalami.
The list of cars is numerous too, from F1 racers to V8 stock cars, and the realism settings can all be modified to suit your driving skills.
You can choose a session as an individual, or get a group of friends or fellow colleagues together and race against one another. Four participants at a time can race each other in real-time, or you can race against people all over the world online.
These hardcore racing simulators are for over-16s only, but the venue also caters for children aged 10 to 15 with more basic-effect simulators.
As with any big boy’s hobby it’s not cheap at R120 per person for 15 minutes (R75 per 15 minutes for the 10-15 age group), but still a lot more affordable than the real thing.
Simtec Racing is located at the Stoneridge shopping centre in Edenvale.
For more information visit the www.simtecracing.co.za website or contact 011 452 0641.
Original source: This simulator feels very real!