The Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation was recently established in Halifax County, Va., through the merging of the National Tire Research Center and SoVa Motion.
The facility will remain at the Virginia Motorsports Technology Park, adjacent to the Virginia International Raceway, which is the longest motorsports road course in the U.S. with 4.2 miles of tarmac.
The National Tire Research Center was established in 2010 through a public-private partnership among the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, General Motors, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, and the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission.
The tire center houses the Flat Trac LTRe, an $11.3 million, high-performance tire testing machine that allows speeds of 200 mph on car, truck and motorsports vehicles. Due to strong customer demand, the center has grown from 13 to 26 employees, and expects to expand beyond 30 employees over the next year.
NTRC has previously partnered with SoVa Motion (Southern Virginia Vehicle Motion Lab), which is operated by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. SoVa Motion has an eight-post shaker rig and driving simulator which can replicate various road conditions and many of the world’s racing tracks to test driver performance, shock and suspension reaction, on-vehicle sensing, as well as virtually prototype vehicle components.
While the facilities have served major U.S. customers, such as General Motors, Goodyear Racing and NASCAR, rebranding as GCAPS reflects the increasing global scope of their customer base.
GCAPS will also build upon the success of its math modeling and simulation capabilities by adding a virtual design and integration laboratory. The facility will provide full performance testing of highway and racetrack vehicles in both physical and virtual environments.
GCAPS is a key part of Virginia’s Motorsports Alley and augments the Commonwealth’s strengths in the automotive industry. To learn why more than 150 automotive companies call Virginia home, click here.
Executive Director Frank Della Pia appears next to a tire testing machine at the newly-branded Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation in Halifax County, Va. Photo courtesy of the Global Center for Automotive Performance Simulation.