Realistic Racing Simulators Come On-Line at World of Speed Museum, Wilsonville, Oregon
“World of Speed, approached me in 2013 with the concept of turning real race cars into simulators (sims).” said Keith Maher, President/Founder VR Motion, Corp. “At the time we were focused on using our simulators primarily for race driver training, however, World of Speed was interested in having interactive exhibits. We brainstormed the idea of using real race cars to further enhance the experience—basically marrying a traditional solo-seat simulator with a real race car. Back then, it was a bold new idea, but one that I was completely on-board with.”
The three simulators comprise of:
2000 Roush Ford Taurus NASCAR originally driven by Jonny Benson
1995 Lola-Mercedes Indy Car originally driven by Adrian Fernandez
1960’s Lotus 31 Formula 3 originally build in the 60’s as a simulator by Colin Chapman
“Each of the three race cars was modified to accept up-to-date simulator technology.” commented Maher. “There are steering control boxes, pedal assemblies, motion seats, sound, and other proprietary technology that combined with wrap-around, 120-degree screens, offer a sensational driving experience second to none in terms of reality.”
During an exhaustive two-year development program a number of professional drivers were given the opportunity to test the devices. Dominic Cicero, who won the world renowned Elf-Winfield Driving Championship said, “I use Maher simulators for my pre- and post-race preparation and it is very exciting to know that museum visitors get the same experience as a professional. Keith has achieved such a high fidelity of reality, I almost forget that I am in a simulator.”
Installed side-by-side at World of Speed, the simulators offer museum patrons a chance to experience three very different types of racing in three very different cars. The NASCAR is a beast, albeit an agile beast. It’s lots of fun to drive on a big, banked oval similar to Daytona, and trying to lower your lap times quickly becomes addictive. It’s very different from the lightweight Lola and the Lotus.
In between, the Lola-Mercedes Indy Car is snug and consequently gives the driver a real-world feel for a modern open wheel race car.
“To attract and entertain younger audiences, museums need to be more interactive, more fun, and more engaging while educating.” said Maher. “Accurate simulators fit the bill and are great revenue generators as well as good fund raisers. We are ready to explore new possibilities.”
About VR Motion, Corp:
Keith Maher has been in the motorsport simulation business since 2007. The development office and simulator shop is located conveniently adjacent to Hillsboro Airport, just 20 minutes from Downtown Portland. VR Motion, Corp. is dedicated to creating world class virtual racing experiences for individuals, teams, museums and corporations and offers a cost effective supplement to motorsport testing and preparation by using on-site, unique, realistic, and accurate simulation systems. SimToWin.com