Thursday 26 February 2009

Australia's First V8 Superars Experience has Officially Opened at Dreamworld

Motor enthusiasts and people across the nation can unleash the beast within and find out what it¡¦s like to be King of the Mountain now that Australia¡¦s first full-motion virtual V8 Supercars experience, complete with a computer generated track of Mount Panorama and four V8 simulator cars, has officially opened. Champion drivers Cameron McConville, Craig Lowndes, Greg Murphy and Jamie Whincup were on hand to launch the new attraction at Dreamworld today. They competed in a a two heat race against members of the public that saw a local Coomera police officer out drive one of the pros and make it into the final race of four. Kiwi driver, Greg Murphy was eventually crowned King of the virtual mountain with the fastest lap time of 2 minutes 22.22 seconds. Fitted with collision detection and real dynamic mechanical vibration, V8 Supercars RedLine straps challengers into a 360 degree racing world, with motion cues to support the streaming action on extra wide screens in front of the cars. Drivers feel the roar of the motor as they pit asphalt against controls and follow in the tread marks of the legendary drivers. Dreamworld CEO, Noel Dempsey said the team was determined to bring the simulator racing cars to Australia after first experiencing them in the USA. The trick was to adapt the technology to Australian conditions. "Nothing thunders through the body like the roar of a V8 engine and nothing appeals to Australian driving enthusiasts more than the battle at Bathurst. We've brought the technology from the US and partnered with what is at heart a deeply revered Aussie sport, V8 Supercars racing. Mr Dempsey added that RedLine racing is as real as it gets without spending half a million dollars building a car and taking it track side. "The attention to detail is incredible. You can actually feel the asphalt push against the steering wheel as you work through turns and chicanes"¨ he said. "Drivers also compete against 21 computer generated drone cars that scream in and out of peripheral vision on the three display screens. "Even the rear view mirror shows the on-track action as challengers creep close enough to clip your bumper. Just like a real race, you can also experience the jarring impact of a crash at high speeds." The V8 Supercars RedLine opens racing to a broader community, including enthusiasts not old enough or not deep pocketed enough to experience the real thing. Explained GM Operations, Rob Buchanan, ¡§Sitting in a real V8 Supercar and racing champion drivers is something that very few people get to do, but the RedLine experience gives Dreamworld guests the chance to dice with the pros for the fastest time in a virtual world." Drivers get a choice of three tracks. However, for the Australian audience, the ultimate target is Bathurst's Mount Panorama, regarded as one of the greatest motor sport circuits in the world.

"What we want people to do is sharpen their driving skills on the first two tracks before ascending to the grand daddy of them all, the legendary Mount Panorama. It's the toughest track of all, and at the end of the day, it is the holy grail of racing in this country," said Mr Buchanan.

Anyone can participate in the fun of V8 Supercars RedLine. Drivers must be at least 130 cm, while passengers must be 18kg and four years of age or above. Spectators can cheer from the viewing platform on the sideline and watch the driver stats on digital screens.

Each driver must participate in a short briefing video before their race. After the race, they meet in the winner's podium and receive a printout detailing individual lap times and finishing orders, enabling them to compare results and challenge each other to additional races. Dreamworld's V8 Supercars RedLine costs $10 per Driver's Passes and $5.00 per Passenger Pass and can be booked at V8 Supercars RedLine is also open for corporate functions and private bookings after park operation hours. Today's public challengers included HEAT 1 Rachel Pearce with co-pilot Jelena Drazic Two year 12 L-plated drivers with four months driving under their belt and currently with AA Driving School in Brisbane¡¦s suburb of Macgregor 3mins.24.41 Craig Lowndes 2 minutes 17.86 seconds, Constable Samantha Walsh Constable Samantha Walsh from Coomera Police Station. With claims to have driven more than 180 km on the open roads, Constable Walsh was the surprise finalist when she out-sped Jamie Whincup in heat one of the competition.

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