One of the most advanced and realistic driving simulators in the world is to be installed at Pukekohe Park for up and coming Kiwi racers to hone their skills and it’s all New Zealand made.
Race series promoter Speed Works Events and Christchurch-based Racing Sims have launched a partnership that will see one of the Racing Sim Pro simulators installed at the iconic track, and another will tour the country this coming season as part of the Speed Works Events MotorSport NZ Championship series.
Series drivers from any race category will be able to experience the state of the art virtual reality set-up. On Thursdays and Fridays at each race venue the simulator will only be available to drivers aiming to learn or refine their lines around the track and on Saturday and Sundays there will also be limited access to the public.
“The initial plan is to get a top line driver to set a time on Friday and then allow the public to sample the system and try to beat that time,” explained Speed Works’ Geoff Short. “It’s not really a game but more of a virtual reality experience of what fans are actually watching on the circuit that weekend. It will be a unique experience for them normally reserved for the professionals
“The same corners, the same g-forces, the same bumps and the same lines. There’s nothing like this been done before at a race meeting in New Zealand using technology this advanced, and we are very excited about it.”
The Racing Sims machine not only uses state-of-the-art technology to deliver its virtual racing experience but also utilises hardware like a Tilton 600 pedal box operated – exactly like it would be on a racing car – by a hydraulic fluid reservoir. A Quaife gear shifter, G-Force seat, an F1 steering system and the very latest virtual reality hardware all combine to make the New Zealand designed and manufactured set-up one of the finest in the world.
The iRacing operating system the simulator uses is well known to amateur, professional and e-sports racers alike and Racing Sims engineers have also integrated the New Zealand tracks into their set up. Pukekohe, Hampton Downs, Manfeild, Ruapuna, Levels, Highlands, Teretonga and Taupo – and most of the circuit configurations they include – are available to drive. It’s the same with the cars available to the user. Over 300 are available to select, including cars used in New Zealand in domestic championships.