By Joe Koraith/Staff Reporter
What if you could get to experience the thrill of driving a Formula 1 car without having to worry about consequences — crashing, injuries to self or to the ego?
The Evotek simulator is the answer you are looking for and you can experience it at the ongoing Qatar Motor Show.
The simulator came into existence when Evotek Engineering did a project for Ferrari.
The legendary sportscar brand already had a simulator in Gestione Sportiva (Scuderia Ferrari, the arm that handles the racing business).
“Ferrari wanted something smaller, something more reactive. They wanted us to design a simulator that could mimic the movements of Formula 1 car. And that’s how the SYM 026 came into existence,” explained Alberto Baraldi (Electronic & Software design), who is here in Qatar to showcase the amazing potential of the Evotek simulator.
After that, Evotek Engineering, which is based out of Modena, worked on improving the SYM 026. “We improved, adjusted, modified and then in 2011 we started selling it as a commercial product,” said Baraldi.
Two years, the SYM 027 was developed, the “natural evolution of the 026”.
It was technically more advanced than its predecessor. Further tweaks resulted in the Club Edition. Carbon fibre chassis, an active-belt system that is able to reproduce the lateral and longitudinal G-forces, additional vibration sensors (under the pedals and at the back of the driver). And it is this club edition that is present at the Doha Convention and Exhibition Centre where the QMS is being held.
Driving was an involving experience. You can feel the seatbelt tighten when you depress the brakes going into a tight corner, after blazing down the Monza straight, the bumps as you move over the kerbs and the car sliding over the gravel as you go off the track having overdone it. And then you can choose the manual gear mode, making all of these sensations even more enhanced.
More than 50 units of the simulator have already been sold. Clients vary from rich businesspersons to racing driver academies. They also rent out their simulators for events like conventions or motor shows.
So what makes this simulator different from the other ones available in the market. “The main feature that makes our simulator different is the three degrees of movement. Our actuator can reproduce the yaw of the car (movement about the vertical axis). This is what really helps you drive the car at the top of your performance,” explains Baraldi in his thick Italian accent.
Many people have already experienced the Evotek Club Edition at the Qatar Motor Show. Experience it yourself to know the thrill. And of course, if you are the well-heeled types, you can get one installed at your home in Qatar, too. The basic version retails at 60,000 euros.
The carbon fibre Club Edition you ask? That starts from around 80,000 euros. Well, you do get to drive a F1 car around in the comfort of your home every day for that price.
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