- October 27, 2009
No matter how skilled, it’s extremely difficult for a rookie driver in a high-profile racing series to immediately make an impact. Yet that’s exactly what Motion Pro II racing simulator user Matt Halliday did in the highly competitive Mobil 1 Porsche Super Cup series run on F1 tracks before every Grand Prix.
The New Zealander turned heads from his first Super Cup racing appearance, scoring a podium finish at Bahrain, a track completely new to him. His secret? Valuable hours spent on the CXC Motion Pro II Simulator.
“It’s the best possible way for me to understand the characteristics of the circuits before I arrive. The Motion Pro II is realistic enough for me to find braking points, gears, even setup adjustments. Like with Bahrain, I’d never seen that track, but with a very limited amount of laps, I was on the pace and finished third. In essence, I did my pre-race testing on the simulator. It was a massive help.”
After six rounds, Halliday was ranked fourth overall in the championship and looked to be a shoe-in for Rookie of the Year. Then it all went wrong. A disagreement between his Dutch-based Jetstream Motorsportteam and the sponsor led to the team’s withdrawal from the series. Halliday has had to watch helplessly through the next five rounds as Spanish driver Siso Cunill chipped away at his auto racing lead for Porsche Super Cup Rookie of the Year. Fortunately, he’s secured a one-off ride with top German outfit MRS Motorsport for the final two rounds of racing at Abu Dhabi. Because of the last-minute arrangement, it’s a one-year-old car, but with just a four-point lead now over his Spanish rival, it’s do or die. And once again, the talented New Zealander is counting on the CXC Motion Pro II driving simulator.
“I’ve used the simulator all along, but for Abu Dhabi, no one’s seen the circuit, it’s really important. I mean, I wouldn’t even know which way turn one goes without it. When you go to a brand new circuit, obviously, it’s important to learn the configuration of the track.
“What I did after I got familiar with it was set a base lap time, then start making changes to the car. You can do that with the MP II and with the Porsche Super Car, it’s quite relevant. I write down the setup changes that seem to work.
“Then you start pushing at different places on the track to see where you can gain or lose time. Really, on your first session at the track, there’s a lot going on and you don’t have the time to do that, so this is like an extra session before I even get there. And again, I make notes while I’m on sim so I’ll have an idea where the biggest time gains are. Whether it’s a particular chicane or corner, you have to understand the different sectors of the track, where time can be gained, sometimes by overdriving here to end up in the right place there.
“You know, when you only get like eight laps on a new track and then have to qualify and try to do a perfect lap, to be able to get there already having experienced the circuit in a Super Car on the MP II is mega.”
Halliday also stresses the importance of the physical component provided by the Motion Pro II driving simulator’s true-to-life motion and force feedback systems.
“From a driver fitness perspective, it puts you under a realistic strain and in particular, doing long runs trains the same core and arm muscles as the real thing. I mean, I’ve been out of the car since June. That’s a long, long time. So seat time on the MP II really helps. I try to do four or five hours on the sim at least once a week. It’s mental, too, because it keeps me in the right place, thinking about the right things. Believe me, when I get to Abu Dhabi, I’ll be ready.”
Whether for professional racecar drivers or racing enthusiasts who demand the best, it is CXC’s innovative solution for the integration of motion, force feedback, sound and high-definition graphic systems that makes the Motion Pro II racing simulator uniquely realistic. And immersive. It’s a simulation, not a game.
Professional driver and Mobil 1 Porsche Super Cup standout Matt Halliday says, simply, “The MP II is by far the most accurate and best racing simulator I’ve ever worked with.”
CXC Simulations is headquartered in Marina del Rey, California and was established specifically to manufacture a professional-level racing simulator that was not only suitable for pro drivers and race teams, but practical for home use. Developed with professional drivers and engineers over a two-year period, the result was the CXC Motion Pro II, about which AutoWeek said, “might just be the best racing simulator in the world.”
Powered by a purpose-built rack-mounted simulation computer, the CXC Motion Pro II Simulator is meticulously assembled from aluminum, laser-cut steel and carbon fiber, the same materials as racecars. It is compatible with all major commercial and online software options and users may choose from a nearly inexhaustible and ever-increasing list of modern or vintage cars to drive, including F1, GT, NASCAR, sports cars, off-road, open-wheel and rally (even race boats) and tracks around the world to race on. But it is the implementation and interpretation of that auto racing software that sets the MP II apart from other simulators; the precise timing, intensity and accuracy of its proprietary full-motion system, tactile transducers and force-feedback controls, together with 5.1 surround sound and a 1080p high-definition video display. The CXC Motion Pro II – for the ultimate driving simulator experience.