Connect with us


Phuket’s first Formula One simulators race into Patong



PHUKET: Grid Racing Phuket (GR Phuket) will become the first dedicated F1 racing simulator of its kind in Phuket when it opens its doors to the public on October 3.

Combining his past experience with simulators, Australian national Paul and his partner “Visa” decided to capitalize on the rising popularity of the racing simulator industry and open their own “race space” in Patong.

“I ran a flight simulator in Australia and I sold part of that. I was then looking around for something to help out my Thai partner here in Phuket and to invest in, maybe another flight simulator here or in the US.

“We came up with the idea and looked at doing it in the Philippines first, but we decided, because of the time that I spent here, that Thailand was much more stable and much more tourist-friendly with much less government regulation,” said Mr Bushell.

Although flight simulator businesses, like the one Mr Bushell built and sold in Perth, garner plenty of attention, group participation is limited. This realization helped turn his attention to the multi-player experience that Formula One racing simulators offer.

“Here, you’ve got a lot of tourists… looking for things to do.”

Despite a variety of commercial simulators on the market, Mr Bushell decided to apply his background and expertise in mechanical and network systems, and marine electronics in the design and construction of the simulators himself with help from his partner.

“We’ve tried to keep everything locally built in Thailand so that if we do expand, we can do it with local support,” he said.

“The thing you get by setting it up yourself is that if it stuffs up, you can fix it, because you know what goes wrong and what happened to it.”

Visa with her team of 10 employees and Paul’s support have created a vibrant atmosphere with walls covered in F1 race cars, a bar that belongs at the track and multiple televisions showing recent Grand Prix’s to get racers’ motors running.

Up to eight participants can race head-to-head against each other and choose from all of last year’s F1 cars and about 60 different tracks. It requires near superhuman skills to pilot an F1 car, and for those who lack the dexterity to command one (i.e. most of us), a range of assists are available to make the experience less daunting.

A vast array of settings can be adjusted to customize the cars and the simulator experience – many of which only the most knowledgeable fans will understand.

Mr Bushell explained that other options such as off-road rally racing, Nascar and street circuits will be added in the near future.

Although the business model has a strong emphasis on bringing in tourists, they haven’t forgotten the locals.

“A lot of stuff is priced just for tourists and doesn’t cater to the local market. If you want them [the locals] to use it in the club situation, you’re going to have to price it accordingly so they can afford to do so and come in to have a bit of fun,” he said.

GR Phuket will be offering club memberships that will give members steeply discounted rates during off-peak hours when simulators are not in use. Club members will get other preferential treatment such as discount drinks at the bar, coffee and hot food.

GR Racing has several mobile simulators for rent, which can be delivered to special events, and purchase options are also available.

For more information, visit: or call 076 681011

— Jeremie Schatz


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Road deaths3 hours ago

‘Drowsy’ driver crashes van, killing 3 Laotian workers

Thailand3 hours ago

Is the dream over? China walks back Belt & Road ambitions

Politics4 hours ago

Prasert levels 6-billion corruption accusations at Prayut

Sponsored6 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Baht plunges to 38 against USD for the first time in 16 years

Phuket5 hours ago

Phuket dwellers honour 10th Lunar Month

Thailand5 hours ago

Thai govt owes 100 million baht to hospitality industry

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand6 hours ago

BMA reveals Bangkok druggies buy yaba online 

Phuket6 hours ago

Delivery driver & customer brawl over payment in Phuket

Transport6 hours ago

Thai Airways flying high at Skytrax Awards

Thailand6 hours ago

Soi Dog Foundation steps up fight against rabies and dog meat trade in Vietnam

Visa6 hours ago

Thailand to extend Smart Visa scheme to draw talent

Cannabis7 hours ago

Can I take cannabis on domestic flights in Thailand?

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand pays 3.8 billion baht for first train hub in hospital

Transport8 hours ago

Bomb scare on flight from San Francisco to Singapore

South8 hours ago

English teacher’s body found in South Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11