Fer­rari un­veils on­line sim­u­la­tor

Learn the tricks of the trade with this track­work treat, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

GRAND prix stars Fer­nando Alonso and Felipe Massa cel­e­brated in Monza last week­end, and not just be­cause they dom­i­nated the Ital­ian Grand Prix for Fer­rari.

They also took the wraps off a driv­ing sim­u­la­tor that taps into their track­work with the lat­est Fer­rari F10, open­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence to on­line gamers around the world.

High-def­i­ni­tion graph­ics and high­speed re­sponse al­lows the cre­ation of a vir­tual car on a vir­tual track, right down to the sort of corner­ing G-forces ex­pe­ri­enced by the rac­ers.

The Fer­rari Vir­tual Academy is based on the Ital­ian com­pany’s in­house test track at Fio­rano, and the Mugello and Nur­bur­gring race­courses will soon be added to the ac­tion.

Fer­rari says it took 15 ex­perts more than 12,000 hours to cre­ate the sim­u­la­tion, which uses 3D graph­ics and data pro­cess­ing for the first time on a PC sim­u­la­tion.

The key to the ex­pe­ri­ence is a vir­tual cock­pit and steer­ing wheel which tap into au­then­tic data from the car, in­clud­ing its aero­dy­namic ef­fects, tyre char­ac­ter­is­tics and be­hav­iour of the chas­sis-sus­pen­sion sys­tem, en­gine and trans­mis­sion.

Alonso, Massa and Fer­rari’s F1 test driver Gian­carlo Fisichella were all in­volved in test­ing of the sim­u­la­tor to en­sure a re­al­is­tic per­for­mance.

Driv­ers on the Fer­rari Vir­tual Academy can record their own time on­line, as well as tak­ing part in an in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment for weekly re­wards from the Fer­rari mer­chan­dise cat­a­logue. But, wait, there’s more. The five fastest driv­ers at the end of the tour­na­ment will win a trip to Fer­rari in Italy and will be re­warded with a place at the Fer­rari Driver Academy course.

The sim­u­la­tor costs around $20 and can be pur­chased on­line from www.fer­rarivir­tu­ala­cademy.com

Just like the real thing: Fer­rari’s new vir­tual rac­ing academy will chal­lenge on­line gamers around the world.

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