My Review of 2008

This 2008 year in review covers some of the aspects that made 2008 significant, memorable, poignant, or otherwise for me. I trust that you find some aspects meaningful to you as well.

First is the passing of Paul Newman at the age of 83yrs. I grew up with Paul, he was one cool cowboy in the early western movies I would watch. But it would seem we both grew to have a love of motorsports, howbeit from two completely different directions, and yet exactly the same.

This 7 minute video tribute, remembers a man with compassion, committement, and a vision. Rest in Peace Paul.

The last 4 months has been a busy time for SimDeck bringing alive the race experience in world famous cars.

A rare opportunity to pose alongside the winning Indy 500 car that made a brief appearance in NZ, and below the PET250 where we set it up to simulate the virtual version of the car.

A rare opportunity to pose alongside the winning Indy 500 car that made a brief appearance in NZ, and below the PET250 where we set it up to simulate the virtual version of the car.

It started at the Speed Show expo here in Auckland, followed with the winning Scott Dixon car from Indy 500 on display at Honda’s Newmarket Branch where we set the PET250 to replicate the Indy car on the Indianapolis circuit. The irony was not lost on some as we used a real race car, to simulate another real car in the showroom, in a virtual world where we raced the virtual version of the car … kinda like a Matrix experience.

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Start of a new career and Scott’s autograph session.

Pro Sim Driver Kevin A wearing a Scott Dixon designed bandana in support of the fund raising campaign with Kids CanTeen.

Pro Sim Driver Kevin A wearing a Scott Dixon designed bandana in support of the fund raising campaign with Kids CanTeen.

Well we helped raise $100’s for the St Michael’s Roof Top Auction last night. The lucky bidder has the beginnings of a new career…so watch out Scott there is an up in coming mysterious challenger to your title 🙂

This morning we meet Scott Dixon again briefly on his way to Indy 500 in the Gold Coast. His adoring supporters were there for autographs as part of Scott’s support of Kids CanTeen, an organisation to help children with Cancer.

What must be frustrating for Scott and the CanTeen Trust is that certain NZ schools have banned all or certain coloured bandanna’s as the colours can be associated with gangs.

In a NZ TV street interview in Sth Auckland, many of the children knew that was associated with a certain scum bag gang (ed’s descriptive) It is a pity that the gangs don’t do something as worthy for kids suffering from cancer instead of their soul destroying activities of drug trade, violence, intimidation, prostitution, shootings and killings. Any low life can hide their face behind a bandanna, but with Scott championing the bandanna campaign so the kids can cover their bald heads, lets hope the meaning of a bandanna comes to mean hope, friendship and support. Make sure you support Scott’s example and head into Pak n Save or Repco to buy your colourful bandanna.

Scott Dixon Bandanna Poll
Also we have created a small poll for you to participate in. Scroll to the bottom of this posting.

Scott Dixon and SimDeck supporter and family member Jim Andreassend pose for a photo
Scott Dixon and SimDeck supporter and family member Jim Andreassend pose for a photo

 

 

The irony of the occassion was not lost on the watching audience as World Cahampion Indy 500 2008 recieves last minute briefing from racing in the seat simulator around the virtual Indy 500 track.

The irony of the occassion was not lost on the watching audience as World Cahampion Indy 500 2008 recieves last minute briefing from racing in the seat simulator around the virtual Indy 500 track.

Scott raced against folk in the Castrol branded gaming simulator race seat. In initial qualifying Scott set his leading score and was beaten during the morning, however like a champ in the final 3 lap race Scott came out as a winner.

Scott gratefully recieves an unexpected gift from former 1950's race car driver Vincent Martin. The book covers the history up to 1960, well before Scott was even born. The next volume is surely going to feature Scott ... many times!

Scott gratefully recieves an unexpected gift from former 1950 era race car driver Vincent Martin

During the morning Scott was presented with an out of print book detailing the Indy 500 history up to 1960.  The book was presented by one time race driver Vincent Martin who was delighted that he was able to pass on the treasured book. No doubt Scott will find a place on the book case for some bed time stories read to him by his lovely wife Emma.

1950's Kiwi speed racer Vincent Martin was delighted to be able to pass on his treasured book that covered Indy 500 history up to 1960's. Who more appropriate to recieve it than fellow compatriot and driver Scott Dixon.

From one driver to another. In passing on the historic book Vincent was handing on a token for the next champion who has created a new era in motorsports history. Vincent recalled how he once drove around the Indy 500 track and his emotional visit to the Indy 500 Museum.

1950 Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum: 4790 W. 16 St., Indianapolis (between the first and second turns at the south end of the racetrack infield); http://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com or 317-492-6747. Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed Christmas) with extended hours in May (open whenever the gate is open). Adults, $3; ages 6-15, $1. The 15-minute narrated tour with a shuttle bus ride around the track is an additional $3. Also available are 90-minute tours of the grounds on selected dates; adults, $24 (includes museum admission).

Scott emerged the winner, pride intact before heading on to lunch with Grandma and Emma.

Scott emerged the winner, pride intact before heading on to lunch with Grandma and Emma.

This driver flew in especially to meet with Scott Dixon. As they say dare devils of a kind stick together.

This driver flew in especially to meet with Scott Dixon. As they say dare devils of a kind stick together.

Kiwi’s are a most eccentric bunch going by one of the visitors who came to get Scott’s autograph. This one arrived by his plane or was it a car.

Indy 500 Colouring Competition

We launched the SimDeck Indy 500 Colouring competition at the Speed Expo a few weeks back.

We have two cars to choose from.
The Scott Dixon Indy 500 car and one of the early Indy 500 Roadster cars.

Scott Dixon's winning Indy 500 car. Entiries must be recieved by 30 November 2008

Scott Dixon's winning Indy 500 car. Entiries must be recieved by 30 November 2008

Man and machine, no computers to power these cars, just steady nerves and without fear.

Man and machine, no computers to power these cars, just steady nerves and without fear.

For those who never attended and would like to enter, simply email us at sales@simdeck.com and make sure you have in the Subject Line – Colouring competition and we will email the preferred picture to you.

The competition is open to to children up to the age of 14 years and falls into two age categories.

The prizes includes race time here at SimDeck Race HQ in the PET250 simulator. So get the colouring pencils sharpened and make your chance to race in the SimDeck PET 250 race car simulator.

Competition closes 5pm 30 November 2008.

All decisions final.
All entries become the property of SimDec Simulators.
Prizes non transferable.
Winning Entrants and their guardians give permission to appear in publicity materiall and announcement.
Prizes must be taken prior to 20 December 2008
Purchase the Autobiography of one very cool driver – Scott Dixon – $NZ36.99 + shipping …
Indy to Indy

Five days before a hectic race weekend…and counting down!!!

Well the time to head back on the track is fast approaching with the Speedshow here in Auckland.

SimDeck will recreate what will now go down in history as one of NZ’s most famous motorsports achievements when Scott Dixon won the May 2008 Indy 500. With Scott’s winning car on display and a scheduled appearance it only seemed fitting that we give visitors to the show a 0.01% taste on what that incredible achievement is and for Scott’s name to go into the realm of legends.

We have made some minor upgrades to the PET250 race car in the sensory department, and have further immediate plans after the Speedshow for an additional indepth integration in some areas that will further immerse drivers, audience and race management into the virtual world. So come race weekend we expect to see many egos bruised and reputations enhanced. We will try and have the photos and videos uploaded as soon as we can after next weekend.

Thank goodness the F1 was held in Monsa and not Houston! Evenso I see the pit garages were getting flooded with water due to a heavy downpour….anyone got a spare mop:-)

You may well ask is race simulation just for kids games and boys who have never grownup, or simply those who did not have the connections, dollars or opportunities to actually race cars in the real world. 

In a break between work, young Josh could not resist jumping in the tub for a few laps at Blackwood.

In a break between work, young Josh could not resist jumping in the tub for a few laps at Blackwood.

Most associate race simulation with gaming. In itself it would not be in-accurate to call it gaming, however the SimDeck experience and others, take this to a whole new dimension. Compare it to a $100 Microsoft Flight sim programme which is actually used to teach pilots how to fly, www.flightexperience.com,  however as with a Boeing or F16 fighter pilot who train in a simulator,  many race car drivers consider training in a race car simulator crucial to their skill development for winning in the real world. MacLaren race team have a simulator that have cost in the hundreds of $1,000 ..upwards of $2mil I recall. As for the Simdeck simulators these sell for well over what most people could afford for the family car. So yes there are similarities with the gaming industry and many aspects do intersect with the race simulation industry which is a whole new breed that we are implementing for entertainment, training, team building and the like.

As an example from our friends over at www.iracing.com BEDFORD, MA (29 May 2008) — What a difference a month (and some simulation time) makes — Ryan Dalziel and Henri Zogaib finished second in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series event at Virginia International Raceway in April. Less than four weeks later, following intensive pre-race preparation with iRacing simulation software, the pair drove their SAMAX BMW Riley Daytona Prototype to victory at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a track that Zogaib had never even visited, much less driven.

To make the challenge that much greater, a fuel-cell leak wiped out the SAMAX team’s first practice session and much of the second, which left Zogaib, a Daytona Beach businessman, with only six laps of the circuit before he had to qualify. “It was immense pressure,” Zogaib recalled. “But with the time I spent in the simulator I was able to understand the track. I’m very pleased with the iRacing software; it was very informative in the specific details of all the corners. It gave me a level of comfort with the circuit that allowed me to do what I needed to do in a tough situation.”

A fascinating piece of simulation technology history reinforces, that race car simulation was first demonstrated and used in the 1960’s…well before computers were in common existance. First seen in public on global TV in one of the most high suspense TV series  where it featured for one episode. I’ll write about it in a future Diary entry, but it is a classic piece of history that resurfaced in recent years.

Post Show Comment: TV One Saturday 6pm news item closes with the SimDeck PET250 open wheeler race car simulator. Further full report with photos and videos will appear on this site.
Late breaking news also just released is the news that Graham McRae is relaunching his motorsports career. SimDeck hopes to have Graham in the PET250 simulator in the very near future…maybe we just might be able to give him a head start to get that precision edge back 😉

Now no entry in the the diary would be complete without some current TV replays, so check out some recent video broadcast of recent virtual world Grand Prix. These cars are being driven by real people in a virtual world and driving cars that mimic with stunning uncanny accuracy their real world counterparts. For the average person this footage could easily fool the average person into thinking this was a TV replay broadcast. So ok fellow racers prepare to impress there is a world-wide audience watching.

 

FSR 2008 WC
Hockenheim

Here at the SimDeck Sim centre we held some practice sessions on the Indy track over this last weekend with a full compilment of 2008 cars and are truely looking forward to see Scott Dixon visit the Speed Show and participate in a crowd drawing race.  Hey it is one thing to be able to win a realk world race…but can he win in the virtual world…the real test of any driver 🙂

FSR 2008 WC – Silverstone

Our new team member / driver Marcus dropped by and he gave the upgrade his approval. Our Junior Mentoring Programme is underway with young Josh spending Saturday afternoon here at the HQ Sim Office helping out and learning some new skills. Further progress ahs been made in fitting out the new sim area to cater for the demand ot manage private race parties, birthday events, driver training and demo’s for our growing list of corporate clients.

FSR 2008 WC – Round 10 Pro Series.

In a break between work, young Josh could not resist jumping in the tub for a few laps at Blackwood.

In a break between work, young Josh could not resist jumping in the tub for a few laps at Blackwood.

Well the time to head back on the track is fast approaching with the Speedshow here in Auckland and Scott Dixon’s winning Indy 500 car to be on display.

A Kiwi rules the US motorsports – wow!

Drama in Belgium and Chicago had the two top drivers in the world unable to sleep after their respective races.

Scott Dixon, who has now got to be the most eligible sports person for NZ’s top sports award – Halberg Awards, after his amazing win of the Indy Car Series 08 he and Emma would have been partying and celebrating long into the evening …the relief he must be now feeling that 2007 did not come back to haunt him. Fantastic win Scott and hope you win the NZ sports award later this year. The photo finish where he came second still secured him as the clear leader of the entire Indy Championship for 2008.

Fantastic effort Scott. Enjoy the feeling it must be amazing experience.

Fantastic effort Scott. Enjoy the feeling it must be amazing experience.

To celebrate Scotts win we are now running a special promotion for companies wanting to recreate the Indy experience for their next staff social, event or networking function. Details are on the Page links. The SimDeck PET250 full size race car simulator will create the drama at your next event and puts everyone in the hot seat.

Scott is returning to NZ for a private visit next week and will be visiting the Auckland Speedshow on the 20th September. www.speedshow.co.nz. We have an open invitation for Scott to see him demo that uncanny ability to take the winning flag. So be sure you’re at the show to see Scott in the SimDeck PET250 simulator when he visits. (His race in the SimDECK PET250 will be a spontaneous occurance) Visitors will be able to establish their race time to see if their egos can stay intact before an enthusiastic audience of motorsports fans.

Scott’s dreams were created in childhood and today became the brightest star in NZ motorsport where he conquered the greatest motorsports event in the USA…not bad for a Sunday afternoon drive where he also won $NZ3.22million dollars and the closest finish in Indy sports history.

Frustration reigns though in the McLaren camp and Lewis Hamilton must have been hoping it was all a bad dream when he eventually retired for the night, however I doubt if he got any sleep. Take a lap on the following video of this high speed circuit 40km from Brussels. Featuring the Eau Rouge corner it is a corner for those with steady nerves and the ability have your stomach in your mouth ! It is one of the courses we feature on the SimDeck PET250 simulator.