Looking for a Breakthrough, Burrows & Hopwood Head for the "Lab." Grand Am ST Title Contenders Seek Unfair Advantage Through iRacing.com Simulation Technology Bedford, MA (Oct 1 ) -- After a hard-fought season-long battle, the Grand Am Koni ...
Looking for a Breakthrough, Burrows & Hopwood Head for the "Lab."
Grand Am ST Title Contenders Seek Unfair Advantage Through iRacing.com Simulation Technology
Bedford, MA (Oct 1 ) -- After a hard-fought season-long battle, the Grand Am Koni Challenge championship in the Street Tuner class comes down to the six-hour season finale race at Virginia International Raceway, October 6. Leading the standing by a slim five-point margin, Turner Motorsport BMW teammates Adam Burrows and Trevor Hopwood are pulling out all the stops in their effort to take the title; they'll be spending a couple of days next week practicing for the showdown race in...Massachusetts?
That's right, Massachusetts. Although both Burrows and Hopwood have each driven hundreds of laps around the challenging 3.27-mile southern Virginia road circuit over the past several years, they will each clock a couple of hundred more on iRacing.com's simulation of VIR in the company's Driver Development Lab in Bedford, just outside Boston.
"The championship is our goal, and Adam and I believe that the time we spend driving the simulation will provide us with an advantage over our competitors before the track even opens for practice," Hopwood said following an initial familiarization run last week.
Burrows noted that the iRacing.com Sim's extreme accuracy was one of the keys to making it useful as a race rehearsal tool. "I've seen lots of software that describes itself as 'realistic' but this is at an entirely different level. I was really blown away by the quality. Where there are bumps in the real track, there are bumps in the Sim and the car reacts to them. And this is the first time I've seen any software that produces an accurate representation of elevation changes. I'm really impressed -- it is so real."
Scott McKee, iRacing.com's vice president of marketing, explained that the company's proprietary track-building process, which uses three-dimensional laser scanning technology, replicates the sight-pictures that drivers make use of in the real world with significantly higher accuracy than has previously been possible.
"That's one of the factors that makes our sim useful to real world racers," McKee said. "The top Formula One teams all have highly sophisticated simulation suites where they do extensive driver familiarization and race rehearsals. Racers who don't have access to the Ferrari or McLaren suites -- which means pretty much everybody -- understand the benefits of simulations and iRacing.com is going to provide it for them. Our software is still under development, but as Adam and Trevor have seen, it's quite remarkable. We'll be interested in their feedback following the race at VIR."