"Our APEX3 Formula simulator provides us with a new tool in attracting driver talent and in developing younger drivers. The simulator also allows our team unlimited seat and testing time and is becoming an enabling center piece of collaboration between drivers and engineers for race preparation."
"I knew in a matter of seconds that the APEX3 GT simulator from SimCraft was special. I felt connected to the (virtual) car in iRacing like never before. And since I use iRacing to prepare for races, now feeling the car takes it to the next level as a tool."
"With racing governing bodies restricting testing, driver seat time has been impacted the most. Therefore simulators become an important part in a driver's preparation leading up to a season. I believe SimCraft continues to improve their product. The brake pedal effort and sensation is really close to real life and the feedback at the wheel and the strength needed to drive it gives me a good workout as well."
"The SimCraft driving simulator is a valuable tool that we use at Sam Schmidt Motorsports. SimCraft has allowed us to get the same feel from the pedals and the steering wheel that we have in the Indycar, which improves the realism and performance. This is an important way that we make sure our on-track performance is the best that it can be."
"Our APEX3 GT motion simulator from SimCraft allows for invaluable prep time before all of our races. The car control feel it provides is incredible, particularly the yaw axis, which allows for a limit of adhesion simulation experience."
"Use of the APEX simulator in the classroom allows students to experience accurate race car dynamics at track speed before getting out onto the circuit. SimCraft technology, with its "seat of the pants" feel characteristics is a big step towards more efficient and more economical driver training."
"The APEX is unquestionably the best real-life simulator I've ever experienced. As far as the feedback the driver receives from the device, it's very similar to being in an actual race car. To be honest, the first time I used the APEX, I was speechless. The feel of SimCraft's Motion Technology is very similar to being in an actual racecar. The rotations feel organic and not at all machine-like as I had previously come to expect in traditional motion based simulators. "
"The APEX has been a great tool for me this year when going to tracks that I have not seen before. SimCraft's motion was extremely helpful for getting to feel and learn tracks like Darlington where you fire the car off into the corners and let it ride up the track or at Road America where you learn the braking points and how you can get into and off the corners the best and Charlotte where you actually feel and learn to drive with the bump in turn 3."
"My APEX3 simulator from SimCraft provides me a winning advantage. I get unlimited seat time in the cars at the tracks I need to master in order to advance my racing career. SimCraftâ€™s APEX3 technology brings performance previously only available at the highest levels of motorsport within the reach of any aspiring champion."
"The SimCraft APEX is a fantastic simulator. Its ability to move with yaw, pitch and roll gives you a truly authentic feel when racing. Working in the industry I have had the opportunity to try many motion platforms and the SimCraft APEX is at the top of my list in terms of performance, build quality and accuracy."
"Working in the last ten years with racing simulators, I have always searched for the most accurate technology to close the gap between virtual and real racing. I tried myself when racing and I'm sure that a racing driver can get a huge benefit from training with simulators, and the benefit is always correlated with the equipment you have. After running in the APEX for a few hours, I can certainly say that this is professional stuff! SimCraft Motion Technology gave me the most realistic feeling over any simulator I have ever driven before and has placed the virtual experience as close as you can get to the real one. This is my opinion as a former professional driver and as a current simulation professional."
"Racing simulators have been used by many race drivers over the years to learn tracks or techniques. What is not so well known is that Engineers use them to develop ideas, designs and setup solutions. They are also used to give engineers a better feel for the tracks their drivers race on."
"I have recently spent some time in Europe racing on some of their classic road courses. These tracks are particularly technical with challenging topology. By putting myself in the SimCraft APEX simulator it allowed me to better understand the comments and feedback from drivers. It improved the communication between us as I had experienced some of the same issues they were reporting."
"I raced last month at Magny Cours, a challenging and very technical track in France. Gearing is critical there. The engineers and drivers discussed various solutions. Normally we would just run these thoughts through the usual data analysis tools but with immersed simulation driving with the SimCraft APEX simulator we could develop the ideas racing. The end result was that we never had to change gear ratios all weekend."
"We also believe that immersed simulation is a good teaching aid for young engineers. Most are very proficient in data analysis but have limited on track experience to relate to. By running setup or design solutions through the APEX simulator with the students getting immediate feedback it dramatically improved their data analysis and problem solving. I consider the SimCraft simulator an integral part of the training and developmental processes."
"I have been incorporating the SimCraft APEX simulator into my physical training program while working out at Performance Physixx. Being able to be in the car full time is a challenge these days, but the APEX simulator gives me an advantage. I can keep my skills sharp dynamically while working on my concentration. It is just like replicating a test session for a race. Being able to visualize the track and by exercising muscle memory before you get to the actual venue is extremely important for being able to maximize limited track time. The APEX is a must tool to be 100% prepared for the race!"
"It is such an advantage to be able to FEEL what the car is doing. To me this is so realistic, with all the adjustments you can make. Like the pitch from the rear to the front, the roll from side to side, and you can adjust the yaw. It is so realistic that it really helped me earlier this season when I went to Miami, one of the race tracks I had never raced at. I went straight into the race with zero practice and was right on the pace.
To me I have never been in anything like it. SimCraft motion is the real deal."
"The APEX gets me prepared for the track configuration and for different feel adjustments. I really think the reaction of the sim is close to reality. I can feel the driving style and approach for both the formula car as well as for NASCAR since I'm driving both those days. I get really focused and the APEX is really good training for me...and probably makes me a better driver."
"The SimCraft unit really helps me when working with our young development clients. The simulated motion provides me with an opportunity to teach our clients certain characteristics of the tracks and visual points of each track with amazing realism and precision. Coaching our clients in the SimCraft unit allows me to see certain abilities and styles that I would not be able to see without actually being in the race car with these guys. I can truly witness the "feel" a driver has and level of talent that certain drivers have when they jump in the SimCraft unit. Without the motion and the realism, that would not be possible."
"I just started using the SimCraft simulator and the motion technology is amazing with how much it adds to the reality of racing simulation. I use the APEX as a tool now to learn new tracks and just to practice techniques. The APEX is as close as you can get to the real thing. I was actually doing Chicago the other day and the bumps in the high line in Turn 3 are really realistic!"
"The SimCraft motion technology really lets you feel every bump in the track and helps me get visually acquainted with racetracks with the HD 42" monitor. You can feel it when you hit the apron or run off into the banking at 200 mph. The SimCraft motion simulation is incredible because it banks with the corners and yaws out when you get loose or sideways at all. It is amazing to feel that without actually being in the car."
"One of the things I noticed the most with the having the motion on the SimCraft unit is that I am able to feel the hills and elevation changes when I am learning tracks. The motion really lets me get a feel for how the car will actually react on track. You don't get that with a static unit."
"The motion simulation is more physically and mentally challenging when getting prepared for actual racing. Feeling side by side racing in simulation is much more intense and it prepares you more for what you are going to feel in a race car. It definitely makes you work harder and it gets your attention when it steps out on you and keeps your attention throughout simulated races"
Driver in Midgets, Sprint Cars and Stock Cars
77 wins in Sprints, Mini-Sprints, Karts, Quarter Midgets and Road Race Karts
Karting Team Owner and IndyCar Driver Phil Giebler has spent significant time in the APEX @ Performance Physixx and feels by giving simulation a workout dynamic that this allows the driver to be taxed in a more specific way than just by having a static simulation experience.
"You really have a skill element involved, so these days with testing budgets almost non existent, the professional motion of the APEX allows us to actually feel what we are doing with the car"
"I have been fascinated by the science of motion simulation since I first learned of its application to sim-racing. I looked at the various options, did research, and came to two fundamental conclusions:
1. The entire cockpit, including controls and displays, must move in unison as a prerequisite to convincing simulation of motion.
2. A system which balances the load of cockpit, controls, display, and, most importantly, occupant, about the motion axes would provide the most timely and therefore convincing simulation, since the mechanicals that impart the motions have less work to do, especially when rapid reversal is required.
If we put aside the debate of what "feels" realistic (this is a topic which has no "correct" answer--it's subjective because we we must operate within the confines of a room, atop a stationary apparatus, and therefore cannot replicate the magnitude and duration of real-world forces experienced by racing drivers), only a couple of systems, DIY or commercial, satisfy the above criteria.
SimCraft is unique in meeting both criteria as a commercial developer of both motion sim hardware and software. I chose to partner with SimCraft, and I operate a demo unit of the APEX sc830, their top-of-the-line commercial turnkey system, here in Indianapolis, four blocks from turn one of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It's free and readily-available for all real-world and sim-racers to experience. I have no business relationship with SimCraft, no commissions, etc... I'm simply the caretaker of their hardware, provide it a good home, and allow demos. In return, I use it when it's not busy and share my thoughts regularly with the SimCraft crew about feel, design, etc.
The SimCraft motion control software ("CraftCon") is entirely tunable, even while driving via hotkeys. One can simulate motion ranging from exact following of the terrain of the track (position of the vehicle relative to the world at large--banking, inclines, etc.) to rather extreme simulation of the forces imparted by the motion of the car--nosedive under braking, feeling each and every bump, curb, rumble strip, and even opposite-roll lateral G simulation during cornering). So the debate of what "feels" realistic is left to the user's taste. SimCraft has plenty of data based on extensive feedback from real-world racers which they are very helpful with, but in the end what sim-racer can resist the urge to tweak on things?
I have many hours in the simulator, and never have I perceived a lack of complete synchronicity between my control inputs, what I see, what I feel in the FFB (using iRacing only thus far, BTW) and the motions of the cockpit section of the APEX sc830. Quite the contrary, in fact--the SimCraft unit is quite remarkable in its precision timing. Even if one would debate the "realism" of the motion, there's simply no doubt that it is delivered absolutely on-cue."
iRacing Driver, son of Gary Bettenhausen and grandson of two-time national champion Tony Bettenhausen
Vehicle Control Training, LLC
"Vehicle Control Training, llc is dedicated to saving lives otherwise lost to motor vehicle accidents. We do this through the development of many specialized technologies, including rigorous synthetic car control training. We are the prime contractor and driving force behind the Department of Defense's "SAVE Program", an applied research and development project dedicated to reducing the number of soldier lives lost to motor vehicle accidents (the number one cause of accidental death within the military)."
"After looking at all the available motion technologies available to us, we chose SimCraft's APEX motion chassis for our synthetic training program for many reasons: lightweight and portable, center of mass architecture, high-fidelity, low force actuation, and Simcraft's unrivaled technical and developmental support."
"Our work also required chassis modification, which SimCraft has effectively supported. What we've been able to deliver with SimCraft hardware is simply outstanding and we look forward to a long relationship."
"The APEX from SimCraft is a truly professional racing simulator and the motion of the system is very realistic.
It makes me feel like I am in a real car and driving on a real road (or off-road).
Becoming a good rally driver, like any form of racing, is about experience and the APEX can help drivers get the seat time it will take to make them a better driver."
USACE - Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory
"CRREL is performing research regarding high speed vehicle control on loose surfaces (gravel, snow, mud) and driver accident avoidance training on high center-of-gravity (c.g.) vehicles. The driver skills necessary require the sensation of certain vehicle movements and applying correct steering, brake and throttle inputs at appropriate times to implement desired vehicle responses for the sensed motions. For example, when executing a tight fast turn in a high c.g. vehicle the driver needs to feel what the vehicle motion is as he approaches an unstable condition to be able to counteract the unstable condition before it is too late to do so."
"To accomplish this sensation, we are utilizing SimCraft motion technology, (specifically the APEX), in our research to investigate the value of simulated vehicle motion for driver training and skills sustainment. We think that a motion based simulator is a natural extension for a generation of young soldiers raised in a video game era that would not only be comfortable with the technology but could also be drawn to it thus potentially making training easier to absorb."
"There are both economic and scholastic advantages to a motion simulator in vehicle control training. The trainee will be able to feel the motions associated with marginal vehicle stability and can train on countering those situations without the expense and danger associated with performing those maneuvers in a real vehicle. The trainee can repeatedly perform the correct maneuvers to build and maintain muscle memory so that the correct maneuvers become automatic to perform. We think the simulator can also be used to sustain skills learned in real vehicle training."
"As much as I am impressed with the immediate response of SimCraft's APEX and the sync between my inputs, the imagery, and the motion, what impressed me the most is how easy it is to adjust the feel. This is critical to making it as real as possible. When I got in and started around Watkins Glen, the feel was not quite right to me. But after some quick adjustments, I was easily flat out through the esses and braking hard for the inner loop. I suspect folks who aren't race drivers might prefer something completely different, but because of this adjustability, this SimCraft unit can accommodate them too."
"In my first run on the APEX simulator, it was immediately obvious that this wasn't just your ordinary arcade-style simulator. The APEX is clearly a professionally-designed machine intended to accurately mimic good seat time for pro drivers and high-level sim fans alike. The physics are outstanding, with excellent, immediate feedback through the wheel, the brake pedal and the seat. Certainly this would be an ideal way for a driver like myself to learn new tracks, get cheap seat time, and to ultimately try and perfect new setups on the car. I highly recommend you take it for a drive."