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Company spotlight – base performance simulators

This month’s ‘company spotlight’ is Base Performance Simulators.  Ella Barrington, Business Manager answers a few questions:-

1.     How long has Base Performance Simulators been members of the Chamber?

We are relatively new – we joined in February this year

2.     What are the major benefits for your company being members of the Chamber?

Despite being in and around Banbury for nearly 5 years serving the motorsport industry, as a training tool for racing drivers and as a corporate entertainment venue, we are still relatively unknown around the town; we’ve joined the Chamber to meet more members of the Banbury business community and hopefully share our unique facility with them!

3.     Brief background of the company

BPS was founded in 2009, by Chacombe resident and Aston Martin racing driver Darren Turner.  Simulators to train racing drivers were first used in Formula 1 about 15 years ago, whilst Darren was the young test driver for McLaren F1.  After working extensively for many of the leading F1 teams developing these cutting edge simulators (whilst still competing around the world himself), Darren became the “go-to” driver for simulator work in motorsport.  After being approached by some drivers from other racing disciplines and the junior ranks, he set up Base Performance Simulators.  Primarily the business was set up to manufacture and sell simulators to teams and drivers with a showroom in Beaumont Road, but it soon became apparent that many UK based racers wanted to just use a simulator for a few hours before each race they do and to keep their preparation level high during the winter months.  So the showroom quickly evolved into a rental site as well.  We moved out to Warkworth last summer to continue our growth in this area; we manufactured and installed our “GT” simulator, doubling our rental capacity, and offering something aimed at the sports car and endurance racing community – a high proportion of which are located in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire.  A larger manufacturing space has allowed us to continue to make bespoke systems for installation across the globe.  We’ve also been able to extend our corporate entertainment offering in the new premises, allowing groups of up to 10 people the chance to be racing drivers for the day, but in a safe, warm and dry environment.

4.     Within the company what is your role?

I joined the company last June as Business Manager, which is a rather broad, but enjoyable remit! I work on building relationships with our existing customers, potential customers and the various organisations that work to make motorsport happen internationally.  I also look after all the operations side of the business behind the scenes making sure customer installations happen in the right place at the right time.  I still occasionally work with drivers in the simulators, as I previously worked as an engineer for an international race team, so if my experience of a specific event or car can benefit our customers I like to use it.

5.     What are the main things going on in your company at the moment?

It has been our busiest year to date on the rental business and we’ve recently taken on a large project to supply a set of very bespoke simulators for a racing series in India. We are working with Oxford Brookes University and have taken on our first technical internship for the summer.  BPS will also exhibit at the Professional Motorsport Expo in Cologne this autumn.  In October we are installing a simulator in the Bahamas, so we are busy arguing about who should supervise that particular installation!

6.     Do you think the business environment in Banbury is thriving?

Certainly within the motorsport market, yes. Although we have weathered the economic storm better than some other industries, for a while the sport suffered as did the employees of it.  But it is great to see it back to full strength and growing again. Banbury is really one of the hearts of the “Motorsport Valley” and we work with so many brilliant local suppliers who understand the demands of such a fast-paced industry.  There are also so many more racing teams coming to the area, and more manufacturers to work with.  I wouldn’t want to locate the business anywhere else.