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The future of racing: Turn1 Sim Racing puts Guelph on the esports map

Get behind the wheel of these state-of-the-art sim racing rigs

The future of local racing may not lie on the physical racetrack, but inside the digital world of esports. Sim racing has been growing at an astronomical pace around the world, and now Guelph has a pit row for local race enthusiasts.

Turn1 Sim Racing opened their doors in May and have quickly become renowned for their true-to-life sim racing location. Using some of the most advanced gear in the industry, strapping in one of these state-of-the-art rigs is as close to real-life driving as you can get.

Andre Robinson is the General Manager, and one of the Directors of Turn1. After participating in sim racing for many years, his desire to create a space for fellow sim racers spurred him to make a place of his own for the local racing community.

“The core of the idea is to wow someone when they walk into the Sim Lounge. They should see equipment that they don’t have at home, and have always wanted to use,” Robinson said. “Most sim racers will know of this type of equipment and would have craved to own or be able to use them, I can relate, as I am one of those individuals,” Robinson said.

Turn1’s sim racing rigs feature state-of-the-art 49-inch curved screens, and Moza wheelbases and steering wheels, and Fanatec pedals. This combination gives the customer a chance to try different brands in the industry.


Many racers got into simulation racing during the height of the pandemic, which fuels the industry’s growth by leaps and bounds every year since. Now it’s an officially recognized Olympic sport and has become a viable path towards fame and fortune for the best drivers in the world.

Turn1 is open to racers of all skill levels, but anyone buckling in for the first time should be aware of the slight learning curve when it comes to sim racing. It’s not quite like the arcade racing of yesteryear like Cruis’n USA or Crazy Taxi.

Think more along the lines of simulation racing games like Grand Turismo and Forza Horizon. Sim racing is extremely close to real life and requires a delicate touch and quick reflexes on the track.


“It’s 99 per cent similar to driving a real car, and that’s the mentality you need to approach it with,” Robinson said. “Once you take this approach and mentality, within a few laps on track, you’ll definitely get the hang of it.”

Sim racing is much more than a game; it’s often used as a breeding ground for the next generation of crew members and drivers in the real world. Automobile manufacturers often send car data to the best sim drivers in the world to solicit their feedback on how to improve their cars.

And many of these sim racers find themselves employed by those major manufacturers in real life, even though they may never have set foot in a real racing car before. The skills translate from the sim world to the real racetrack.

“Sim racing is used as a training tool these days, no longer gaming,” Robinson said. “The experience and knowledge you can gain from sim racing, once you are serious about your craft, you could have the opportunity to drive a real car, if so desired.”


Although they’re just based in Guelph for the time being, eventually Turn1 envisions expansion into other cities, but for now they’re looking to grow the local sim racer community by building a local team and their own Sim Racing league.

Every racer must start somewhere, and most get their feet wet by playing sim titles like Race Room or Assetto Corsa. These are entry-level titles where racers can ease their way into the simulation world and get accustomed to the feel of the racetrack.

After that, the sky’s the limit for many of these aspiring esports folks. One Day, Turn1 Sim Racing hopes to be ground zero for the next big name in sim racing.

“One of our core principles at Turn1, our proudest day will be the day that someone gets up on a podium in real life and mentions that they started their racing journey at Turn1.”

Turn1 Sim Racing is now open in Guelph and is open to racers of all skill levels.

If you haven’t tried the rigs yet, now’s the time to take a test drive. Book a session online and then come race in person at 33 Quebec Street, Guelph.