Former racers turn Orchard Road into sim racing circuit, features ION, Ngee Ann City & Tang Plaza

A thrilling race circuit to experience.

Alfie Kwa | August 04, 2021, 01:40 PM

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It looks like you'll soon be able to race down Orchard Road soon, albeit virtually.

The founders of a sim racing outfit, Legion of Racers (LOR), have been building a new digital sim racing track called the “Orchard Road Racing Circuit” for racing enthusiasts to experience what it’s like to race at one of the most prominent destinations in Singapore.

They hope that the circuit will allow gamers and virtual drivers globally to experience the thrill of e-motorsports.

What the e-racing circuit is like

Racing down Orchard Road in real life is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The founders of LOR, who are ex-racers themselves, designed the e-racing track to mirror every turn and stretch of road, making it as lifelike as possible.

While speeding down the street, virtual drivers will pass landmarks like Tang Plaza, ION Orchard, and Ngee Ann City.

Despite the strangely empty streets, the track looks just like Orchard Road. Virtual drivers can even cruise through ERP gantries, free of charge of course.

The track is 3.2km long and has 10 turns in total.

It stretches from Orchard Road to Somerset before rounding into Killiney Road. Virtual drivers will then zoom down Exeter Road, Orchard Turn, and Orchard Boulevard before turning into Patterson Road and completing the circuit.

An overview of the track. Image via LOR.

As the track is a digital twin of the actual road, virtual drivers will get to see almost every current landmark as they would if they were to drive around Orchard Road today.

This is what it looks like:

Image via LOR.

Image via LOR.

Image via LOR.

Image via LOR.

The founders were both ex-racers

The LOR's founders Lim Keong Wee and Melvin Moh tapped on their years of racing experience to design the virtual track.

Lim participated in Formula Cars in 2014 and in other races like the Rotax Asia Challenge and GT Cars, landing him on the podium multiple times in the years between 2015 to 2018.

His co-founder, Moh, started his racing career at the age of 14 and was one of 10 Malaysian drivers who were selected for the Petronas Formula Xperience program.

Turning their motorsports experience into designing the track

E-racers at Legions of Racers at their sim racing consoles. Image via LOR.

As racers, Lim and Moh know how expensive a profession in racing can be and wanted to use sim racing as a platform for enthusiasts to experience the same thrill of racing, without incurring a high cost.

Lim said that sim racing requires sim racers to learn and apply the right driving techniques, just like racers do.

However, a key difference is that sim racers won't feel some physical aspects of an actual race like the feeling when the car is in acceleration.

"... in sim racing all the feedback is coming from the steering wheel," Lim said.

There were many considerations that the founders had in mind when designing the track as they wanted it to mirror a real race as much as possible.

Besides the landmarks, a major consideration when designing the circuit was making sure that the flow of the track was done right, said Lim.

"So we took into account how tight the turns were, whether there are overtaking spots, how long were the straights."

This was an important step as it adds to the overall driving experience.

To them, Orchard Road was the obvious location choice, but Lim added, "the combination of tight twisty corners to large sweeping turns gives a variety of challenges to drivers."

The last thing to do was to scan and model the buildings to fully replicate the urban environment at Orchard Road.

A comparison between actual landmarks and the landmarks in the game. Image via LOR.

E-circuit to launch in August

The founders believe that sim racers will be excited to race along Orchard road, as it is something that would "never happen in real life" said Lim.

"There is also a large community of gamers that like to experience driving in digital replications of famous race circuits around the world. We took inspiration from these communities and decided to create the Orchard Street Circuit."

They have other Asian countries in mind for future e-circuit editions and are currently looking at destinations in Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, and a few other countries.

The “Orchard Road Racing Circuit” will be launching this month as part of a new global E-Cities Championship, with Singapore being the first stop on the series.

You can find out more on its website which will launch tonight (July 4) at 9 pm:

Top image via LOR.

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