VIRTUAL REALITY: Digital Motorsports founder Niall Maher driving the Moll’s Gap stage on a computer simulator.
By Sean Moriarty
The Moll’s Gap road – famous as a stage in the Rally of the Lakes and the old Circuit of Ireland Rally – has been digitally mastered into a video game and will be made available to gaming and rally fans all over the world.
The 18km stage, which runs from the Dinis Cottage entrance to the National Park almost to Kenmare, is the most famous rally road in Ireland. The road, that climbs up past Ladies View and along the shores of Muckross Lake, the Upper Lake and Looscaunagh Lough, is both loved and revered by rally drivers from all over the world.
The digital adaption of the famous road has been made possible by Kildare-based Digital Motorsports – the same firm that digitally mastered Mondello Park as part of the circuit’s 50th anniversary in 2018.
Company co-founder Niall Maher explained to the Killarney Advertiser how he gathered data from several sources including on-board videos of previous rallies, Ordnance Survey maps, Google Maps data, and GPS taken from rally cars and timing trackers.
“Once we did Mondello, there was only one other next step, and that was Moll’s Gap,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.
“The way the world is going now, we are hoping to open it up to a whole generation that might never have been to the ‘Gap’ before.”
The video game is suitable for the Assetto Corsa platform, a racing simulator that is popular with professional racing drivers who want to learn various tracks.
“Anyone who is serious into their racing simulation will know that as a gaming title,” added Maher.
In time it will be made available on the Richard Burns RBR Rally Pro platform making the simulation more accessible to gaming and rally fans all over the world.
The final product is not quite finished and while the road and undulations are as close as possible to realistic, some fine tuning by rally drivers familiar with the stage are needed and it’s expected to be officially launched in mid- April.
Once that is completed the developers will add what they call street furniture and landmarks like Derrycunnihy Church.