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Impossible dream comes true

ON THE GRID: A Lets Race simulator

AFTER JUST 30 minutes in a Lets Race full motion simulator, I had a much greater appreciation of what Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and his colleagues have to go through.

For most of us, the idea of driving a F1 race car is an impossible dream.

At the Lets Race centre in Horley, Sussex (which is just a stone’s throw from Gatwick Airport) the cars are designed to seat one person, so riding with a professional driver is out of the question.

There are few locations that offer F1 driving experiences. They are normally extremely limited, with the cars never allowed to reach their top speeds, or prohibitively expensive.

Although some event locations offer simulators, most people find that these are lacking substance, and at best you’ll feel like you’re sitting in an arcade game or a children’s ride.
For those thinking why waste the money for some- thing that won’t even begin to
approach the full experience of F1 racing – they haven’t tried Lets Race, the UK’s most advanced full-motion simulator centre.

Their professional race car simulators feature a booming sound system, creating an at- mosphere that simply has to be experienced to be believed.

I was surprised just how low drivers have to sit, which can make it an interesting physical challenge – and I just did 15 minutes qualifying followed by a race of the same length. I slept well that night!

It was like learning to drive all over again. The difference was I was in a ‘car’ that was moving at least 170mph quicker to what I was used to.

Add people hurtling past me with ease (nothing new there) and trying to negotiate chicanes and bends, it was certainly an experience!

Lets Race’s F1 model offers speeds of up to 200mph to give a real rush whilst developing enough downforce to keep racers flying round the track when they hit trick corners.

Lets Race’s blacked out simulator room comes alive while spectators can sit in the grandstand to watch the race unfold making sure that everyone feels like they are part of a real F1 race.

Down on the illuminated grated floor their 10 networked simulators allow drivers to experience a wide variety of circuits – I was at Silverstone - meaning drivers can race on the same tracks as the real F1 superstars.

Although Lets Race is primarily an F1 racing centre, they have so much more to offer on their simulators. Motorsport doesn’t just revolve around F1, with many other formulas and categories offering incredible racing and machinery.

Lets Race’s simulators are all F1 ‘tubs’, but every car re- sponds completely different to their standard virtual F1 car. The on screen visuals will change to suit each car, be that a Formula Renault single seater or a Clio Cup car. You will need to adjust your driving style to suit.
I finished third of three competitors but no matter. I was just glad that I had taken the opportunity to say Lets Race!


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