A visit to CXC Simulations in El Segundo is always fun. Owner/CEO, Chris Considine is a friend and always a very gracious host. The simulators get better and better each time I visit. His ProMotion II simulators are amongst the most sought after machines for pro racer training — and jet-setter living rooms. While I neither have the space nor the bucks for one of these full motion simulators, I am glad that I am generally welcomed to come and play when I either need to train — or just want to blow off some steam in a “race car.” The most recent version is now Oculus Rift-compatible and can even measure where you are looking on track while driving — a key part of the driving is “keeping your eyes up.”
What’s really cool is Chris can put you in any type of car on pretty much any track in the world — through the magic of iRacing — and it benefitted me greatly leading up to race weekends in strange cars on strange tracks. Most recently, Chris set me and my driver coach on AutoClub Speedway’s “Roval” in a SpecMiata, which allowed me to know all my turn-ins, apexes, shifting and braking points, before I ever turned a wheel on the track.
While looking through some old footage, I was reminded of a particular trip I took to CXC about three years ago. I invited a friend to come along and try out the simulator. Of course, it should be noted, my friend was the legendary John Morton, who with team boss Peter Brock, dominated the C-Production and 2.5 Trans Am in the early 1970s — putting the 240Z and the Datsun 510 on the map as formidable racing cars. He went on to drive the Porsche 962 for Jim Busby and scored an overall win at Sebring for Nissan and several class wins at LeMans.
The hard-edged driver was not particularly enthralled with the idea of “playing video games,” but the salesman in me talked him into joining up on a Saturday morning. Needless to say, when Morton strapped into the MotionPro II, it was worthy of setting up a video camera. In this case, he was in a Porsche 911 on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. He honestly picked it up pretty quick and if you watch — really watch — Morton’s feet, eyes and hands, you can observe why he was a champion and highly competitive driver throughout his illustrious career.
There is a bunch more footage, but this particular clip was fun and this is why I chose to share it. The clip shows Morton the driver and Morton the personality. The spin at the end is worthy of why John is one of the greats. He began to push the physics of the sim. While it bit him for a moment, as he was turning around the “spotter radio” told him he was going the wrong way. His retort to the digital voice is classic.