Five days before I drove an exotic supercar, I was nonchalant about driving a fast car. Five hours before I drove an exotic supercar, I was kicking myself for agreeing to do something so early on a Saturday morning. Five minutes before I drove an exotic supercar, I was downright nervous.
Come again? I’m going to be driving how fast? You have got to be kidding me!
Driving a really, really fast car around a racetrack must be a guy thing. There were five of us in our group—three girls and two guys—and the adrenaline factor was definitely running high in the male species. They talked about horsepower and engine size and other manly things that meant nothing to me. I hung back with the other two ladies, shocked at the price tag on the blue Audi R8 V10 that I’d been assigned to drive. This sleek little supercar was on par with what we paid for our house. No joke. And it could reach speeds upward of 186 MPH. Again, no joke. You can’t make this stuff up.
Exotics Racing is a place where dreams come true, which is true if you’ve ever dreamed of driving really, really fast. Though I’ve been known to push the speed limit by 10 MPH or so, I’ve never received a speeding ticket (knock on wood) and I’m certainly not a risky driver. Nonetheless, I agreed to strap in for a drive of a lifetime.
The Exotics Racing experience is a three-step process. First, there’s an orientation class, where you learn about the cars, the instructors and how to navigate the 1.2-mile race track complete with seven turns and one straightaway that is 1,800 feet long. The strategy for turning corners went against my intuition, and I started getting nervous as we moved to the second part of the experience: a ride along in an SUV.
The point of the SUV ride along is to get a feel for what the course feels like and how it should be driven. Our driver said that he never drove faster than 50MPH, but as he cranked the wheel going around the curves, my nerves hit a new high gear and I became more nervous than I’d been up to that point.
My instructor put me at ease as he helped me adjust the Audi’s seat. The next five laps—my five laps—were about having fun, going somewhere (at some speed) that I’d never gone before. He took control of checking the traffic coming up behind me; my job was simply to follow his instructions on where to turn and when … and, most importantly, when to floor the gas pedal.
The first couple laps were the most nerve wracking as I worked up the courage to feel the race track under my tires, but by the final three laps, I had passed both a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. My instructor even said I was going about 105 MPH by the time I hit my last long stretch of track.
As I pulled my supercar back into its parking place and pulled my helmet off, I realized my sunglasses were fogging up, my lips were dry and my palms were sweating. Five minutes prior, I’d been a nervous wreck. Now, I was ready to make another five laps.
THE DETAILS: Exotics Racing is located on a private track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. More information is available at the company’s website.
My experience was provided by Exotics Racing but all opinions are my own.