I met a random guy called Mik on Forza. He invited me to a few races, where it pretty soon was obvious that he was way faster than me. Also it turns out that besides being French, and Level 50 in the Forza game, he had a pretty extensive experience on Sim Racing on other platforms.
After having a short chat over text, he told me about something called SimFactory.
It turns out that this is a place in France, where you go and race eRaces. You rent a spot per hour or event, and practice or race in a super realistic and top of the shelf equipment that most of us would either not be able to afford or persuade the wife to let us set up.
The idea is great and sounds like a lot of fun. As much as i like sitting at home on my own console, in a chair that over time has gotten the shape of my back, i’d love to be able to run the top of the notch simulators everybody is talking about.
Not only do you get to sit on a real racing seat, use proper wheel, pedals and shifters, and have the biggest panorama screen i’ve ever seen. They also make sure they have enough computer power to run the heavy processing and graphics required to run these platforms on computers. One of the main reasons why i will never run rFactor or iRacing is that i really don’t want to spend the time and money on buying and maintaining a computer that can run it.
SimFactory sounds like a really good idea, that i am sure is a lot of fun and probably educational for many upcoming racers. That said, it also sounds like a bold investment, and an idea that might need a lot of time and traffic to generate a profit, unless it somehow is funded by sponsors, government or cultural organizations. Non the less, it is a great way to get more racers interested in a field that is growing rapidly and has great potential. Sim Racing is getting big and it is getting serious. Places like these might be the future practice circuits for the future pros.
SimFactory, have an active Facebook Page, where you can book session for pretty cheap. If you find your self around Bordeaux in Frace, i’d make sure to spend a couple of hours experiencing this amazing set up.