CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Founded in 2014, the Ford Technology Center provides its NASCAR and IMSA race teams with a full motion platform simulator. The simulator gives teams an avenue to test out new theories, as well as a platform to continue developing driving skills.
The biggest advantage the simulator offers is the opportunity for teams to test out their setup on specific tracks. It gives the driver a chance to get a feel for the car, while also allowing the crew to make real life adjustments based on what they find in the simulated runs.
Mark Rushbrook, the engineering manager for the Ford Performance Technology Center, has seen the simulator make drivers believe they're actually in a real race car.
"It all goes back to the early days with Marcos Ambrose when he was driving at Watkins Glen, put his hand out the window like he was going to deflect air in, just like he was in the real car, but he wasn't, so there was no air there," Rushbrook said. "He realized, 'wow, I really was immersed in that whole experience.'"
The facility also houses engineers that help apply racing knowledge into the racing vehicles Ford produces.