Fancy riding shotgun in GP Xtreme’s mental Renault RS01race car? All you need to do is prove that you’re worthy by entering their simulator racing challenge
While scrolling down through my Instagram feed, I saw a post from the Dubai based motorsports outfit GP Xtreme about a simulator competition they are running, and it immediately got me excited. If you know me, you know how much I love simulator races and I’m always competitive once I’m behind a steering wheel. It doesn’t hurt that the prize for doing well is a passenger ride in their incredible Renault RS01 prototype that they’ve been running very successfully in endurance races around the world.
Next thing I know I’m at GP Xtreme’s awesome Sheikh Zayed Road showroom, setting lap times on one of the most developed racing simulators that I’ve ever seen. It’s housed in a genuine Aston Martin Racing chassis, fully kitted with a MoTeC dash, a proper alcantara steering wheel and pedals that felt like the real deal.
I caught up with Stéphane Clain from GP Xtreme and he showed me what I’ve been missing out on since we were there last time with James.
The simulator competition is running from now until early/mid October, and the cost of entry is only 150dhs ($40) for a total of seven laps (it’s usually 500dhs for a 1 hour session). You get two warm up laps, followed by 5 timed hot laps in a virtual Ferrari 458 GT3 racecar around the Dubai Autodrome circuit. The previous best time was 1:59.8 so that was my target.
It took me a moment to get used to the simulator, I even had a glance in the mirrors a couple of times because the super wide all-around screen made me feel like I’m actually on track. This thing messed with my head and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with it.
After completing my laps I went back to Stephane for a debrief, and he showed me some in-depth data on my driving, and compared it to the fastest laps recorded on the simulator in the past. The lap times were set by the teams pro drivers who use the simulator as a tool to prepare for upcoming races. Details included my throttle movement, braking zones, steering angles and shifting points. It gave me a lot more than what I thought I knew about my driving, so after learning from my mistakes, I can say that I can definitely go faster by a second or maybe more. I think I might have to register again for another shot at improving, as this thing is really addictive.
So there it is, my fastest lap was 1:58.2, I was thrilled to have managed to score the fastest – so far – overall for this competition. I even called out a few friends to go try and beat my number. Do you think you could do better than my time? If so then head down to GP Xtreme and bring your A-game.
Before we go, here’s a video of the Renault R.S.01 in action: