A computer expert has designed a 3D racing circuit for gamers that puts roundabouts in Pudsey up alongside the world’s most famous tracks.
Stuart Cowie, who lives in the town, made the virtual race track in his spare time after being given free license by his employers – the San Francisco-based owners of the Simraceway game.
The 39-year-old’s playable creation, which features the Owlcotes Asda store, Stanningley Bypass and two roundabouts in Pudsey, took around two months to design.
He said: “I went out and videoed it and went out taking photographs – I even went out at midnight measuring things.
“You get some rather weird looks when you take pictures of tracks as you end up taking pictures of dustbins and everything.”
Stuart, who recently replicated the Silverstone circuit for the online racing game, is one of around 10 track designers working for Simraceway, getting sent around the world to photograph, measure and video circuits before coming home and designing them.
Over the last two years his career has taken off, after he was contacted by a firm in Singapore who wanted to use one of his track designs, turning his hobby into a full-time job.
Since then he has worked for the Ferrari Formula 1 team and Red Bull Racing, working on simulators in Thailand.
He said: “We weren’t sure which track to do in what order so I thought, ‘I’m not going to sit here doing nothing’, and I have always wanted to do something in this area.
“It is a chance to drive round Pudsey in 90 seconds.”
Having left school with no qualifications, Stuart spent 14 years working as an optical technician making glasses before going back to night school and teaching himself computer game design.
Stuart’s interest in IT started when he bought his first computer in 1981 and through a love of racing games, he began working on 3D tracks and started his own company Madcowie Productions.
He added that track designers can be paid up to £3,000 to create a single course.
Visit: www.simraceway.com to download the game for free.