With real-life motorsport events suspended all over the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has been less than ideal for many Australian motor-racing businesses.
However, from adversity comes innovation, and one business that has adapted its capabilities to cater for the meteoric growth in the sim racing scene has been Rampage Race Products.
Rampage is owned by mechanic and engineer Mike Elkington, who has more than 15 years’ experience working with teams in top-level Australian categories such as Supercars, Carrera Cup and Australian GT.
Rampage’s electronic on-board drinking systems are used in race cars all over the world, with even Formula 1 and NASCAR teams adopting the technology. Another one of Rampage’s developments has been its quick release connection system for cool suits and drink/radio fittings, which enhances safety along with speeding up the process of driver changes during endurance races.
And now, Rampage has diversified its manufacturing and engineering capabilities into the simulator racing scene, where it is producing some of the most advanced home simulator setups on the market.
“Luckily, we already had the main backbone in place, which is our motorsport product business; we had a lot of the people and equipment ready to change our manufacturing program over to simulators reasonably quickly.
“It took a lot of time and effort, a lot of sleepless nights, but we wanted to make sure we had the right products and processes in place to sell high-quality, professional simulators.”
One of the distinguishing features of Rampage Simulators is that they use a high percentage of Australian-made components. In an environment where a lot of Aussie businesses are struggling, Elkington said sourcing locally-produced items has been a key objective.
“We wanted to try and use as many Australian-made parts as possible,” he said.
“We believe using Australian-made products is going to be the way forward, even if it is a bit more expensive than sourcing components from overseas.”
Rampage’s flagship product is the Extreme Simulator TK-01, which has already proven popular since it was released onto the market.
The TK-01 is ideal for the sim racing enthusiast who wants an advanced, ergonomic simulator without the hassle of having to purchase individual components, or worries of hardware and software upgrades.
Its features include triple monitors, a direct-drive steering wheel, high-end pedals, the option of a comfort race seat or replica FIA race seat, a custom-built PC and surround sound speaker system.
The TK-01 retails for $18,499 as a complete, “turn-key” package.
“It’s a proper, professional sim – it’s been designed so it’s extremely rigid and there’s no movement in anything, even with the high amount of force generated through the direct-drive steering wheel,” Elkington said.
“With our background in motorsport products, we’ve even been able to offer the option of an on-board drinking system!”
To ensure they can enjoy a glitch-free racing experience, TK-01 owners benefit from ongoing technical support after the initial purchase. According to Rampage technical guru Brad Elkin, the computer hardware is also easy to update.
“We can log in from anywhere in the world and change settings, improve or update parts of the programming and ensure the system is maintained,” Elkin said.
“With the graphics card and CPU we’ve selected, we’ve gone for options that are going to be good for as long as possible before our client requires an upgrade – we’ve ensured our graphics and processing power exceeds the demands of current software, but things like graphics cards can be updated as new technology becomes available.”
With TK-01 sales ticking over, the Rampage team is continuing to work on the development of other products.
“We’re developing an entry-level sim rig, for people on tighter budgets – we’ll be releasing that very soon,” Elkington said.
“We’re also working on a pedal set. We’ve noticed a lot of pedal sets don’t accurately replicate the forces a driver will feel through the pedals in a race car, especially with the brake pedal, so we’re making some developments in that area as well.”
So far, Rampage has sold a number of simulators across Australia, with high-profile customers including freestyle motocross competitor Blake “Bilko” Williams.
“We’re aiming more for the high-end section of the market, and our goal is to become one of the top sim racing companies in Australia and then expand into America,” Elkington said.
“One of our advantages is the networks and distributors we already have in overseas markets through our motorsport activities.”
Stay tuned for more details on Rampage sim products in the coming weeks, including special deals available exclusively through Sim Racing Oz!
For more info, head to http://rampagesimulators.com.au/.