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Hagerty Employee

Ford Performance has its own simulator, so why not build your own?

Just outside NASCAR’s capital of Charlotte, North Carolina, the world’s top race car drivers file in and out of a white warehouse shrouded in black glass. Some stay for hours, some for the day—most leave sweaty. This is the Ford Performance Technical Center. Constructed in 2014, the 33,000-square-foot facility houses computers and apparatus used to test Ford’s race cars and its race car drivers. Every day, around the clock, racers take turns sharing Ford’s two driving simulators.


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Intermediate Driver

I'm not convinced that a simulator can give you "seat of the pants" feel as you get in a real car on a real track. I have seat time in many race cars for quite a few decades. I have tried a couple simulators and I don't like them at all. I wonder what Dale Sr. would have to say about them.


I’m currently in the market for a multi axis capable simulator.

How about something more advanced on simulators and the numerous technical enhancements that can be applied?

These can run from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands. I’ve tried sophisticated 5 axis simulators that mimic every imaginable motion, and they are incredible. When F1 drivers state they could never be at their level without them, that speaks volumes.

It would be great to see comparatives on differing cost systems and components for us to consider? 


I've followed motor sports since I was a child (listened to the Indy 500 on radio back in the '50s) and have done a bit of autocross in my Porsche 356's and my current 911.  I have no real interest in sim racing as such, but I am very much interested in getting a sense of the classic race courses around the world, viz., Laguna Seca, Lemans, Spa, Nurbergring, Monaco, etc., etc.  Maybe even some of the ovals. I'd like a pretty basic set up so that I can tool around the various tracks and just get to know them.  I'd use my living room tv as a monitor (65" OLED) and my easy chair (which is similar to my Porsche seat).  I'm thinking I could just set up a tv dinner tray in front of my chair for the wheel and put the pedals on the floor.  No exactly an ideal racing driving position, but enough, I'm thinking, to get me around the course at 75% and find the apexes.  I know that hardcore sim racers might scoff, but hey, I've got a different agenda.  Whaddaya think?

Community Manager

I think there is no wrong answer, make that happen!