Meet the Member - James Whitehouse of Century Sim Racing
· Name of Business? Century Sim Racing
· Who are you? We are the North West’s premier sim racing facility!
· What sets you apart from the competition? For the most part, all the other sim racing centre’s we’ve seen (not that there are many!) have simply put a focus on racing and forget a little about the user experience when you’re not in the sim. We have put a huge emphasis on how the place feels, the lighting, the coffee, the customer service, whilst still having amazing sims and an incredible experience when you are racing!
· How did the business come about? It came about from a love of sim racing! James has been doing it for years and was chatting to Chris about it one day and the idea to make a business out of it came out pretty naturally.
· What are your main target markets? Our market so far is predominantly people who are interested in cars and racing but we’re also looking for people who might be looking for something a bit different! We’re also very keen to get more women involved. There’s no reason there can’t be more successful female racing drivers and we’re eager to be part of changing the balance a little.
· How long has your business been in existence? We’ve been trading since mid October but we’ve been working on it for about two years now. The name has had some use though, we’ve entered a team into the British 24hr kart series for the last two years so the brand has had a little exposure already!
· How many staff do you employ? We have two staff at the moment.
· What job or achievement makes you most proud? Seeing the place full of people enjoying it for the first time was truly one of the proudest moments of my life!
· Where do you see the business being in five years? We’re aiming to be the biggest sim racing company in the UK!
· Why Warrington? With all of us being based in the North West, Warrington made sense for us because it’s a great catchment area for all the surrounding cities and it already has a strong motorsport scene - the kart track (in which we’re situated) has been here for twenty years already.
· Tell us one interesting thing about the business that might surprise us? Just about everybody who’s tried it so far has been surprised at how much of a different experience it is to just playing F1 on the Xbox!
· Tell us one interesting thing about you that people might not know? (ie, hobbies, amusing fact, etc) My background is actually in the music industry playing in bands! I’ve done tours of Europe and Korea as well as the UK of course, and have been lucky enough to play alongside Grammy winning artists from all over the world!
· Brexit – good, bad, opportunity? I thought we should remain. I think that there are reasonable arguments on both sides but overwhelmingly we should stay in the EU, or at least give the people a chance to have another say in the matter now that we all have more information. If we’re leaving, we'll just have to find the opportunities that come our way.
· Fantasy dinner party – which six people alive or dead would you invite? Jim Hendrix, we'd talk about guitars and music all night. Sebastian Vettel and Jim Clark for the racing chat. Matthew McConnaughey because he is so supremely good at what he does. Tom Morello for guitars, music and politics. Nelson Mandela because I’m the only one in my family that never got to meet him and as a South African he’s had an enormous impact on my life. That ought to be lively!