Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter: Adam Macdonald
For most, the dream of doing a lap of our favourite circuits in a Formula One car remains a dream unfulfilled. That is true, until now, as it could all change. TJ13 reporter, Adam Macdonald, went down to the F1 simulator in Horley, Surrey, England, to test out his skills on some of the iconic racing tarmacs from around the world.
The simulator is the closest thing a fan can get to experiencing what it feels like to be your idol, whilst going head to head with your mates at the same time! The centre is used by Marussia and GP2 team, Carlin Motorsports, to hone in the skills of their drivers. With so much importance on being comfortable with setup at a track, there is very little time for a driver to familiarise himself (or herself) with a track – especially with an ever changing calendar.
Max Chilton can frequently be found at the centre before jet-setting off to a corner of the earth. He had this to say, “As F1 drivers we’re in an exceptionally fortunate position in that we’re able to fulfil the ambitions of many people at home when we line up on the grid on a Sunday afternoon. Lets Race offers race fans the opportunity to experience what that feels like, to give a real insight into being a racing driver. The full motion simulators are an accurate reflection of the acceleration and braking that we feel in a real F1 car and it’s great fun in the process!”
Many have commented on his performance throughout his rookie year, where Max finished all 19 races, an impressive record! If you think you can do better than the man from Reigate then get on down and take part in Challenge Chilton where you can race against Max’s fastest lap at circuits from around the world.
With prices starting from just £5, it is by far the cheaper (and more fun) alternative to go-karting. Perfect, for personal crusades, challenging friends or corporate days – the centre can cater for all. The full briefing and explanation will help you to improve on your times as adrenalin and the racer within drives you on to keep on pushing to improve. The experience even includes a full telemetry feedback to analyse your performance throughout the laps.
Ideally located in the heart of Surrey, just a mile from London Gatwick airport, it is easily accessible by car, train or air. With all of the current Championship circuits available as well as many classic circuits, there really is somewhere to tempt everyone.
It’s safe to say I will not be challenging Max Chilton for his seat any time soon, however, the UK’s only F1 full motion race car simulator venue is something I would recommend for all to try.
Book here now, or for more information, follow this link to www.letsrace.co.uk
Sounds incredibly fun! I’ll have to add it to the “wish list” for our next trip to the UK:) Maybe I’ll have more of an advantage over my son compared with trying to play F12013 on the computer with a joystick!
I’ll give you a race next time you’re over Jennie. Though I must warn you, it’s so much harder than I had previously imagined.
we need this sim in NYC ASAP.
It all looks so easy on the screen, but once you try it yourself, it’s a completely different experience. Reminds me of a few years back, when I didn’t yet weigh more than Belgium and could actually fit in the cockpit of one a them damn things. I had the chance to try a Formula 3 car at the Lausitzring – it was terrifying.
Not a big fan of advertorials, but I understand the need to pay the bills I guess.
The problem with this basically being a press release is that you’ve told me zero about the experience. What is the full days experience like? What fun things did you get to do? How are the races with other people structured? What are your personal feelings of the whole thing, positive and negative? What does this offer over an “at home” simulator experience such as iRacing or Assetto Corsa? etc etc
Not a big fan of advertorials, but I understand the need to pay the bills I guess.
The problem with this basically being a press release is that you’ve told me zero about the experience and instead just thrown a bunch of meaningless buzzwords at my eyes.
What is the full days experience like? What fun things did you get to do? How are the races with other people structured? What are your personal feelings of the whole thing, positive and negative? What does this offer over an “at home” simulator experience such as iRacing or Assetto Corsa? etc etc
Full days experience is awesome. A genuinely tiring day which shows how much concentration it takes…further demonstrating how much it is like the real product.
As far as races with others and the day being structured – that entirely depends on the package you choose. With a whole host of them available it really depends on your requirements and group size.
You are in a replica cockpit with sequential gearing. The 1.5G motion will be a challenge for all.
If you have any more questions do ask. Hope this helps!
See, this is great. Put this stuff in the article. Thank you for the reply.
Thanks to you as well. We at TJ13 pride ourselves on listening to feedback to help improve the service.
Plus 1: this place looks good and is “on topic”, but this site deserves better than an embellished press release.
Dd I say this out loud? 🙂
Hey Adam! This place does look like good fun, (though not as fun as karting, and at £15 not much less expensive if at all).
The complaints from Paul and mokhann about this article being merely an advertisement have some merit unfortunatly.
If this was not merely an advertisement, would you like to share a bit more about your experience? I’m asking because I’m curious… it looks like good fun.
Did you race or (/and) practice? Did you run the Marussia or something else? Are the tires cold when you start, or pre-heated? Do they let the tires wear (or grain)? What track(s) did you run? Any nausea problems, or bruising?
Personally, I wasn’t too bad at the end but a friend who I went with had to cut short his session. Apparently, for those who normally suffer from motion sickness can struggle with the simulators.
I did a practice and qualifying session. Very difficult to get used to the car at first. As far as I know the tyres do not grain as you go, but in truth I probably wasn’t on it long enough or at a consistent enough level to really know this for sure.
and finally, I wasn’t allowed to go on the sim at 100%. At full force, an impact with the barriers can break your wrist! When Chilton goes he doesn’t either due to the obvious risk this puts his occupation in.
Interesting! Thanks! It looks impressive, and I’d be likely to check it out when I’m in that part of the world.
I like the underlying point of this article, and of this facility, which is that anyone can give it a go, and for a few minutes be racing an F1 machine.
Slightly harsh Paul. Please some of my further comments.
Point well taken, I did try to soften it with a smiley face though and maybe I was simply jealous… Your additional comments and Vortex’s specific questions added a lot a ton of value to the initial article indeed, so thanks for providing this and keep up the good work.
Need to add this to the “things to do before I die” list 😉
The piece about “Lets Race” is an ad, no?
No, I went there so thought I would upload a short piece on it….hence the personal picture
In 2006 at the hungaroring, Toyota had two ‘simulators’ available for the public. The only thing I saw on the screen were spinning cars – with red faced blokes behind the wheel. I decided to walk on.
Verstappen I am with you on that – very hard to control the cars
I won a day out with Shell and Ferrari via a competition on James Allen. It also included a go in the original 2009 Ferrari simulator around Fiorano.
I have raced, and I have never suffered motion sickness but within a lap I was screwed. My head was gone.
I have noticed in the top picture that although the screens curve slightly, they don’t envelop you completely and I’m wondering if that is important.
Taking a corner in 5th, you actually felt the enormous G force through the wheel and as for the brakes, Alonso’s set up felt like pressing against a brick wall.But I love that there’s a place like this that is more accessible.
The Shell one is different, like an IMAX enveloping hemisphere. And it does make you feel ill
God yes, lol… pity I was on course to beat Massa’s time. He’s shit, he is! 😉
I had a go in one of these, not sure if it was this exact one, but it had a live telemetry feed coming of it as well, they had it setup in MK for a week, it was some Silverstone promo I think. You had one guy talking you round and one watching the telemetry. It was like £15 quid for 7 laps, it was a short track, they said if got under 50 seconds i was doing well, apparently JB had got round in 45 secs. I did it 47 something, and finished the week 5th quickest out of over 700 people. The only way I could drive it was by taking my shoes off. The guy watching the telemetry asked if I actually raced cars because of the way I was using the pedals, as the only people above me were actual racers. I went back on the last day just to see if I’d been bumped down and I hadn’t, still have a pic of the final standings, I’d put the pic up if I knew how, its on my FB page. My son was quick to point out to people as they finished, that they were rubbish for not beating his dad lol.
Anyway jist of it was, I had fun.