Have you ever wondered what it might be like in Automotive Heaven? After a recent trip to Las Vegas, I think I might be able to put it into words.
For me (and perhaps soon some of you) Automotive Heaven is a place called Exotics Racing, located right next to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Exotics Racing isn’t some fly by night outfit. They are actually the U.S. subsidiary of the number one supercar racing school in Europe, Cascade Events. Exotics Racing was designed by a team lead by five time race champion, stunt driver and Fast Club tv host Romain Thievin.
So enough about the background, what will you find at Exotics Racing? If it’s exotic they probably have it. In the Ferrari category there is the F430, F430 Scuderia and the 458 Italia. Lamborghini choices include the Gallardo LP550, Superleggera LP570 and the all new LP700 Aventador. SLS AMG, Corvette, Audi R8, Aston-Martin, Nissan GTR, Porsche? Yes, they have those too.
So, you’re probably thinking, “sure, you can get in them, and drive really slowly and carefully around a really easy course”. Nope. They built a 1.4 mile track, that although not terribly difficult does require some skill if you want to get the most out of the car. And they actually let you go all out, with other cars on the track. They do place a pro in the passenger seat who gives some really helpful advice or just in case you miss a turn, or when there’s a passing issue (in fact they prefer that the co-driver take control during cases where cars coming from behind go to pass). But as intrusive as a “co-pilot” might sound you’ll find that the “right” person next to you will help you reach the full potential of that car on that course.
I decided to take two cars out, the 458 Italia and the F430 Scuderia. The experience in the 458 Italia was incredible, after one lap (getting comfortable with the track) I found myself hitting the line fairly consistently and accurately, and really pushing the car through the corners. There’s one long straight, and that was taken with the throttle wide open until the clearly marked “brake zone” just prior to turn one, a easy right. As I got more confident the co-drive changed from suggesting, “brake” when I got to that zone, to “brake, brake more, BRAKE HARD”! It was a blast. I did get passed by one car, I managed to pass one car, and ended up in a race with another 458 Italia, with me on it’s tail. And then the five laps were over. Dang.
One slight negative, your experience may depend to some degree on the person in the seat next to you. The pro in the 458 Italia seemed relaxed, and really urged me to be as well. He helped me quickly get the most out of both the car and myself. But the experience in the F430 Scuderia was not quite as good. It’s an excellent car, but I never really hit that comfort zone.
Long story short, I highly recommend adding this to your bucket list. It doesn’t cost as much as some might think, with five laps starting as low as $199 in the Corvette Grand Sport and $299 in the Ferrari F430 F1.
They also offer two drifting laps, with a pro drifting driver at the wheel, for $99.
For more information Exotics Racing