You might think it would be strange to find an Olympic athlete behind the wheel of one of our Motion Pro II’s, but that means you don’t know Tyler Clary. You might remember him powering to victory in the closing stages of the 200-meter backstroke at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, but you might not know that once his swimming days are over, he hopes to be powering to victory at the wheel of a race car.
Clary has spent some time behind the wheel – he’s completed the Skip Barber Racing school, done Legends races, and tested open-wheel and sports cars. This seat time has allowed him to draw parallels between being behind the wheel of a race car and his sport of competitive swimming – two sports that only seem to be similar in that they both have a finish line.
“Most people don’t realize it, but driving a race car is actually very physical and requires both strength and endurance,” said Clary. “Not only do you have to deal with fairly extreme forces being exerted on your body, you also have to deal with high levels of heat, heart rate and breathing for lengthy periods of time. This plays perfectly into what I already train for in the pool.”
Clary recently visited CXC Simulations’ facility to sample the Motion Pro II, where he was coached by IndyCar veteran and seven-time Indianapolis 500 starter Oriol Servia. He decided to make a day of driving the current Dallara DW12 at Sonoma Raceway, one of the stops of the Verizion IndyCar Series, as racing in IndyCar is where Tyler would like to make his post-swimming career.
“Tyler is obviously a very accomplished swimmer, but at first I was wondering what was making him think that he could be a professional race car driver or an IndyCar driver?” said Servia. “And then when we put him in the simulator, he selected an IndyCar which I find in iRacing to be one of the hardest cars to drive. And they chose Sonoma which is a hard track to drive in real life and on the simulator. But after watching him drive his first few laps, I thought that he was actually really good! So, it was a real surprise. He definitely understands the basics and then we worked a bit on the small details and small gains, and he picked them up right away. He can definitely listen, change and improve his driving and I think he could have another career with racing.”
Clary regularly uses simulator he has built up at his home, but marveled at the realism of the Motion Pro II and how it enabled him to improve his technique.
“Oriol was absolutely terrific,” said Clary. “He pointed out that I was pushing my braking zones a little too much, which was upsetting the car on corner entry. Once I learned to use his advice, I could see my lap times drop and it wasn’t as ‘white knuckle’ getting around the track. I love the actuators in the seats – it gives you more seat feel than I thought was possible on a simulator. I want a Motion Pro II for my house now!”
“I’ve used a lot of simulators, and the CXC Motion Pro II is really close to the actual experience,” said Servia. “It is very close to the professional simulators used by F1 teams which cost many, many times more. You have the exact same tracks and bumps and curbs and the car models in the computer act the same as the car and tire would behave. And the strength and the feedback you get through the steering wheel and seat, it takes it to another level. It feels like you are in the car, and it is a great tool for getting prepared for a race.”
Follow Tyler (@tylerclary) and Oriol Servia (@OriolServia) on Instagram and twitter.