Never mind buying F1 cars off Ebay, race fans with a little bit of dosh can now buy the exact same equipment used by top racing drivers and engineers to improve their race craft and evaluate new tracks and car settings.
Cruden B.V. - the world's leading designer and manufacturer of interactive motion-based racing simulators - is offering its new racing simulator as an extreme alternative to popular home gaming equipment for affluent motorsport and performance driving enthusiasts.
The Hexatech - a professional full motion simulator with six 'degrees of freedom' (6DOF), realistic g-Force simulation up to multiple g's, seat belt tensioners and 100 per cent realistic steering feedback - is normally found in Formula One factories and automotive research centres.
Now, this same sophisticated equipment can provide the definitive motorsport experience at home, with prices for the base simulator package starting at £120,000.
"Snooker rooms, swimming pools, gyms and cinemas have been done time and again. Now, enter the professional racing simulator," says Frank Kalff, Cruden's commercial director. "Let's be clear: this is not a video game linked up to a steering wheel, race seat and pedals. Although easy to operate, this is the exact same equipment used by the top racing drivers and engineers to improve their race craft and evaluate new tracks and car settings. Our simulator and the software it uses cannot be bought in a store."
The Hexatech promises years of highly challenging entertainment both in terms of durability - it is built to endure hundreds of thousands of 'driving' miles per year in almost constant use and lasts 10 to 15 years without major overhaul - and in ensuring drivers never get tired of the quest to improve.
Kalff explains: "Driving a real Formula One car is not easy and getting fast and consistent laps in the simulator isn't either. The simulator takes minutes to learn and enjoy but a lifetime to master, unlike most driving games which are conquered and then discarded before too long. The immense challenge of honing the same level of driving skill as a top racing driver is unbelievably addictive and satisfying."
Creating a bespoke simulator - or even multiple linked-up systems - will introduce an unrivalled centre-piece within the home. The Hexatech is now available as a three-seater (3CTR), where passengers sit either side of the driver to experience the ride together. Cruden can supply open or closed cockpits, fit bodywork or use actual vehicles, and apply the livery of a race or road vehicle according to customer preference. Owners can choose between three 'wrap around' 42 inch screens or (stereo) projectors to view their virtual world of state-of-the-art graphics. Friends and family can watch the race projected onto nearby screens or walls. There is a wide variety of software packages and competition settings to chose from, allowing customers to host fast lap shoot-outs, 24-hour endurance races and full championships, as well as to select race tracks and cars; for example from F1, rally, NASCAR and sports car racing.
Ownership is made easy with full installation, training, access to upgrades and on-call support provided as part of the purchase. The electro-mechanical system typically requires only five KWh of electricity, making the Hexatech economical to run. The simulator has a footprint of 2.3 m x 3 m, requires a floor loading of 1,000 kg/m2 and a minimum ceiling height of 3 metres. Cruden also makes static and 3DOF simulators to customer order.
For more details visit the Cruden website, though be advised it is currently under construction and will not be running until Sunday (November 15).