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Motorsports are growing at a rapid pace in India. There are many racing academies in the country, that not only train enthusiasts, but also give them a chance to showcase their talents on the track. Professional race drivers however, go through a lot of training on and off the track.
The training undergone by professional racers are of various kinds. Strength, fitness, reflexes, and most importantly, simulation. Racing simulators allows drivers or riders to understand the track better, and also give a virtual feel of the car or motorcycle. Racers can even set different racing conditions to check the response of their cars and motorcycles, before stepping out on the actual track.
Race simulations are an essential part of training for professional racers, most of who spend hours on it to get the perfect understanding of the track in virtual conditions. However in India, this technology or this part of the training process is reserved for top-level racers as most simulators are expensive, and have to be imported.
But, this is about to change!
INRacing — a Bangalore-based company run by Indian Racing Champions, have built their first-ever racing simulator rig in the country. It is also the first racing simulator manufactured in India, and is built with inputs from previous National Racing Champions.
According to INRacing, the intent of building the simulator is to encourage more enthusiasts towards motorsports, and help them achieve their goal of racing. They also hope to identify young talent, nurture and develop them for a variety of competitive fields — from eSports to motorsports. They plan to achieve this via various events held across the country.
The Team Behind INRacing
The company is run by Sumukha Rao and Deepak Chinnappa. Sumukha Rao has over 20 year of experience in the Indian and international market. His expertise is with business-operations, solutions and customer management. He also has the ability to read the market and understand demand. He has a successful track record of building many companies offering unique product ideas.
Deepak Chinnappa, is a thoroughbred racer. He has participated in a number of racing disciplines, including Go-Karts, Touring Cars and Formula Cars. Deepak Chinnappa is a four-time Indian National Champion as well as a two-time National Karting Champion. He has been in the racing arena since he was seven, and has won a number of accolades over the years; most recent being, vice champion at the the 2017 MRF National Racing Championship.
INRacing's main driver is Tijil Rao (son of Sumukha Rao), who was the Vice Champion at the 2018 Indian National Racing Championships. At just 14-years old, Tijil Rao was also the youngest racer on the grid; participating in the MRF Formula LGB category, racing for Momentum Motorsports — know more about him here.
The simulator itself is designed and built in-house using some of the best quality powder-coated CNC pipes available. The seat is designed so that it offers high-level driver comfort, and excellent ergonomics. The seats have been tested extensively, among a multitude people with different physiques — to optimise the best level of comfort for everyone.
The INRacing simulator is compatible with any branded gaming steering wheel and foot pedals available in the market, including Thrustmaster, Madcatz, Fanatec and Logitech. The foot pedals are fixed into position while the simulator allows forward and backward adjustment of the seats. The steering wheel can also be adjusted according to the driver comfort via telescopic and tilt functions.
In The Driver's Seat
We tested the racing simulator rig on the Silverstone Formula 1 Circuit, in a virtual Formula 1 car. Driving this simulator was an immersive experience. The feedback provided by the Logitech steering wheel and the overall design of the rig enhanced our experience, made it realistic, and fully isolated us from known surroundings.
For a first-timer on a simulator, the rig gives an almost real-world feel. It allows drivers to experience different tracks, different racing lines and different racing conditions, without having to leave the comfort of their home, or in our case, the INRacing Facility.
Racers can participate in different track scenarios and compete online against others. This helps sharpen their skill sets before they advance to a track.
INRacing Future Plans
INRacing has plans to use the simulator to identify new talents and nurture them into future professional eSport, and motorsport athletes. INRacing also has plans to expand its area of operations from manufacturing simulators to hosting multiple E-Sport racing leagues across the country. These racing leagues will be at a level similar to other sporting leagues such as the IPL or football. The difference being INRacing will be accessible to all motorsport enthusiasts!
- Momentum Motorsports: A professional racing team from Chennai. They made their MRF MMSC FMSCI National Racing Championships debut in 2016; participating in the Formula LGB 1300 Rookie Class. Deepak Chinnappa is is one of the coaches in the professional racing team while Tijil Rao is part of their racing driver lineup.
- WE Fitness: A professional gym, which trains Tijil Rao in his preparation for races throughout the entire season.
- Logitech: INRacing has partnered with Logitech to help provide them with the gaming consoles, which includes the steering wheel and the foot pedals.
For More Information and Pricing get in touch with INRacing:
Let the lads at INRacing know you heard about them from DriveSpark! Maybe there's something in it for you!
Thoughts On The INRacing Simulator
INRacing has big plans for the future of eSports and motorsports in the country. The simulator is just the first step towards a much larger process of bringing in professional racers, fans and other enthusiasts of the sport together. They also aim to make these accessible to every enthusiast in the country, which will help nurture the talent and turn budding racers into professional drivers. We can't wait to race one of these sims in a competitive environment. May the games begin!
- Vice Champions finish second on the points table at the end of a given racing season.
(Writing by Rahul Nagaraj; Editing by Rahul Jaswal; Additional inputs by Jobo Kuruvilla)