The W Series racing driver Nerea Martí performed a training session with a dynamic Driving Simulator at IDIADA’s headquarters facilities. The VI-Grade’s DiM250 simulator generates longitudinal, transversal and rotational acceleration forces up to 2.5 g, allowing the simulation of very realistic and complex driving situations.
IDIADA’s Driving Simulator is designed to recreate a virtual experience very faithful to reality; not only because it simulates the forces that a driver may experience during acceleration, braking and cornering, but also because it is possible to correlate a specific car’s performance and drive feeling through a vehicle model on real simulated racetracks. The combination of both factors makes this dynamic simulator an exceptional tool for motorsport training and vehicle tuning-up.
Right after Martí’s first laps on the virtual Silverstone Circuit, she said she experienced “a true sensation of reality”. She stated she could feel the mass transfer sensation typical of a racing car when driving her simulated W Series Tatuus-Alfa Romeo F3 T-318 and was aware of the exact position of each tyre when fast manoeuvring and cornering over the track’s kerbs.
By bridging the gap between physical and virtual training, IDIADA's Driving Simulator opens the door to motorsport-tailored services. Far from a pure vehicle-development vision, centred on vehicle dynamics and chassis applications, ADAS or autonomous driving technologies, IDIADA's Driving Simulator presents itself as a high-end tool to racing teams for whom virtual simulation solutions are an investment in the future.
Martí’s first experience with virtual racing came from a W Series-supplied static driving simulator. Since the on-track races scheduled for 2020 could not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the W Series organization found in virtual racing the perfect alternative to keep the competition up and running. This season’s 18 drivers were able to train and e-race on each individual simulator in a tournament composed of 10 virtually simulated circuits, after which Nerea Martí finished in 4th position overall.
When asked about the main contrasts she could experience between driving on a static simulator versus the dynamic one at IDIADA, Martí emphasized “the movement”. According to her, this simulator really makes the difference when trying to “keep up the mental and physical endurance required in real-world competition”.