Luxurious Magazine journalist Paul Kinsley, has followed F1 since childhood, the chances of him pushing the pedal to the metal in a real track car is unlikely, so he decided to opt for the next best thing, the Lets Race F1 Simulator
When you arrive at Lets Race F1 Simulator, there is a feeling of excitement as you approach the building. The exterior and visually through the glass frontage appears to be immaculately clean, you really could be inside of a Formula 1 team garage.
We entered the building and were immediately greeted by a selection of friendly staff offering refreshments and directing us to a seating area. As you look around facility there are signs of competitiveness with a time table of the highest performing individuals, including a known current F1 driver.
Our Lets Race host for the occasion introduced himself to us and gave a summary of the evening’s event. We were then taken through each part of the experience. The showroom or meet area is a large and very clean space with a selection of F1 car shells, a large Scalextric race track with multiple positions for up to 6 users, a selection of sit down terminals to race while you wait for your briefing, a pit stop area for changing wheels against the clock and a large café / restaurant.
Matt (our host) guided us to the briefing room for a 10 minute video presented by Martin Brundle. The briefing included a comprehensive guide to the racing line as used in professional racing to achieve the best results during the race, braking points, apex points and the accelerating points as you accelerate out of the corners. The briefing also covers health and safety points, you really must consider there are other cars racing against you and an impact to your car will cause it to move quite violently, exiting the simulators must be under guidance.
Once we had our briefing we were taken back to meeting area and shown a video demonstrating our performance in time, brake and acceleration against other competitors and an F1 driver, the analysis was excellent showing a graphic of our performance.
Were ready for our drive……
As you guide yourself into the car you begin to feel how cramped and compact the cockpit of an F1 car is, the steering wheel is futuristic with the gear selectors placed neatly behind the wheel and a selection of LEDs for engine stats and gear indicator, removing the wheel is the only way to enter the car and is identical to the real thing.
The pedals move smoothly with 2 buttons on the main dash area, as long as you are taller than 1.5 metres you can experience the drive of a lifetime.
The host reminds us of some basic points from the briefing and we are off racing. Immediately I felt the rumble of the outer areas of the track as I accelerate into the 1st corner, we chose Canada but all of the current race circuits are available for selection, the car literally demonstrating all of the sensations of the road or grass areas, including spins and accidents as I found very quickly. This was an incredible experience, but only designed to familiarise ourselves with the functions and characteristics of the simulator. We drove for 10 minutes before revisiting the analytics area to see how we had performed and then back to the simulators for the full race experience.
As you prepare yourself in the seat of the Lets Race simulator you are aware of your grid position, the extended screens positioned directly in front and to the sides allow you to see the other drivers awaiting the green lights. There is a visual of the race projected against the wall of the grid area and behind the cars a spectator seating area, a real life race experience for everyone. There are prizes for podium finishes and statistics for all that take part.
Use Lets Race as a family and friends get together or team building in the office, either way a fantastic experience for all.
By Paul Kinsley