With the demanding Nashville street circuit IndyCar race taking place this weekend, newcomer Romain Grosjean has been utilizing Honda Performance Development’s driver-in-the-loop (DIL) simulator to drive virtual laps of the circuit to prepare for the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix.
The HPD simulator can replicate a wide array of on-track situations, scenarios and details, including changing ambient and track temperatures, a vehicle’s tire grip and even wind speed and direction. Furthermore, test chassis setups, aerodynamics, engine mapping and development paths can all be simulated to aid driver training and to help competitors learn the NTT IndyCar Series’s newest racetrack.
“For me this year, as a rookie in IndyCar, having the Honda Simulator has been hugely important,” commented IndyCar driver Romain Grosjean. “It’s helped me to learn the tracks, set up the car and understand what it takes to go fast – and to get there quickly! The days we’ve had on the simulator have been quite valuable for us.”
To enhance the simulator experience, a 180° image of the circuit can be viewed on the console, while engine noises and undulations are all simulated to make the training as realistic as possible. In addition, HPD engineers can implement and monitor programs that teams and drivers request, alongside capturing real-time vehicle or track data for feedback.
“Nashville looks like a super-challenging track, but also super exciting,” Grosjean continued. “It’s tight, it’s bumpy, but then you have a super flat-out section where you go over the bridge, and then a very flowing section next to the stadium. It’s a very complicated layout, but once you get into the rhythm, I think it’s going to be an incredible event.”