Shell V-Power Racing has become the latest Supercars outfit to add an in-house simulator, in a new partnership with Simworx.
The Queensland-based squad took delivery of an SX02M V2 Pro Motion Simulator earlier this year to aid Scott McLaughlin, Fabian Coulthard and its engineers.
Amid tight testing regulations, simulators are growing in prominence, with Erebus Motorsport purchasing a unit earlier this year.
Drivers including Craig Lowndes, Shane van Gisbergen, Will Davison and Nick Percat have also used one operated by sportscar squad McElrea Racing.
“The feedback coming though the steering wheel, the way the pedals and gearshift feel genuinely mimics the real thing,” championship leader McLaughlin said of the Simworx package.
“Combined with the motion force through the hydraulic system, you can get a genuine feel for how the car might be handling around a particular circuit before we even get on the plane.
“It allows me to get my eye in before hitting the track, and that’s awesome when the field is separated by tenths of a second.”
That the Ford squad has won five of the eight races since the simulator arrived between the Albert Park and Symmons Plains events is no coincidence, Coulthard suggested.
“Having tools like this simulator in our possession means that we are heading to the track with laps under our belts and a feeling of preparation that we’ve not previously had,” he said.
“We took delivery from Simworx just after the Grand Prix, and our on-track pace has really come on from there.
“I think that being able to simulate on-track scenarios has definitely assisted our performance at each event.”
The Simworx Motion Force package was designed and built in Melbourne, with team boss and Supercars icon Dick Johnson among those to have sampled it already.
“Dick Johnson and Roger Penske are icons of the sport,” CEO Jack Klaver said of the partnership.
“They are racers through and through and continually strive to win.
“It is exciting to be part of a team with such talented drivers and engineers, and we look forward to working with them as they strive to achieve both the drivers’ and teams’ championships in 2018.
“On a personal level, it is fantastic to be reunited with Scott McLaughlin – who has previously used our products – now at a professional level within such a quality development environment.
“Working with Fabian Coulthard is an added bonus. The test for Simworx is to supply the team with the tools that they need, and we look forward to that challenge.”