SIM Racing or esports is, for the majority of people, the closest that we will ever get to experience what it is like to drive a car around a race circuit. VRROOM Racing is a new business in Brighton which gives people the opportunity to do just that. Outbound b2b had a call with VRROOM to see what it is all about. (Actually we must be honest, on this occasion as they are quite close to us, we couldn’t resist the kind offer of visiting in person and getting behind the wheel!!) And it didn’t disappoint! It puts smiles on faces.
How was VRROOM Racing born – what was the idea and back story behind it?
VRROOM, short for Virtual Race Room was conceived out of the notion that motorsport is not accessible enough. Indoor go-karting is fun, but the track remains the same as does the car. Not everyone wants to wear a race suit or helmet worn by hundreds of others before them. If VRROOM was in a central location, easily accessible, close to restaurants and other attractions would that appeal? If we offered a range of cars and tracks within an attractively designed space with a fully licensed bar then we would have a unique proposition. So that’s exactly what we built.
Is it fair to say that the market for SIM racing is generally younger people – or does this appeal to all age groups? It looks ideal for corporate events, and local businesses bringing staff for a fun evening out. Watching live F1 races in your motorsport bar also sound’s amazing!
SIM racing is accessible to everyone. In our first few weeks VRROOM have welcomed over 500 male and female drivers aged between 12 and 83 years old. We don’t recommend our simulators to under 12’s because our adult sized cockpits make it hard for younger drivers to reach and operate the pedals. The largest demographic group has been male car enthusiasts aged 25 – 55. We’ve had professional racing drivers, the British open Go-kart champion, several police pursuit drivers and a few esports drivers. Some have come in their Lamborghini to drive a Mazda MX-5 cup car, while others come in a Fiat Abarth to drive a Porsche 911 GT3 cup car. Many come to test their car control skills and feature on our ‘hotlap’ leaderboards, others come as part of a stag, birthday, family or work group. Racing against friends and family is very popular. Our Virtual Race Room is a fairly unique venue. There are very few places you get the opportunity to drive a professional race car simulator, the same type as used by professional race drivers, but we have on offer more than just the best sim racing equipment to attract visitors. When developing VRROOM, we paid a great deal of attention to the décor and interior design. We have a licensed motorsport bar serving wine, champagne, spirits and beers plus numerous large screen TV’s tuned to live motorsport events. F1 race days are popular for those seeking to relax and watch events with like minded individuals. Our TV’s can also be tuned to the racing taking place live in the simulators. The graphics are so realistic it is easy to get confused as to what is real racing and what is sim racing. It was important to us that spectators could also enjoy their time with us.
Racing different cars around various circuit’s is what we see here at VRROOM, will other experiences ultimately be on offer? Racing a superbike around Brands Hatch or the Isle of Man TT circuit for instance, would be pretty cool!
VRROOM is currently 100% focussed on track racing in club sport, GT endurance and Formula One cars. We run on renowned circuits such as Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Donington, Spa, Monza, Imola, Le Mans, and Nurburgring to name a few. We have over 50 laser scanned tracks in total. We don’t have motorbike simulators but technology is advancing rapidly and we certainly would consider it if we felt there was something viable out there that we could offer to riders. I mean the Isle of Man TT does sound awesome, and a damn sight safer than in real life.
In time, are there plans to open other venues so that more people can enjoy the VRROOM virtual race room experience around the UK?
Yes, we have always envisaged opening more virtual race rooms. We’ve only been open a few weeks so don’t expect us to announce a second venue anytime soon but it is definitely on our radar.
Virtual Race Room
8 The Waterfront