While in Vegas recently I had the opportunity to visit Exotics Racing (exoticsracing.com) and plunk down some cash to drive a Porsche Cayman S around their private track. I couldn't stop grinning from ear to ear from the moment I got into the car until I got out after pulling back into the pit. Here are my thoughts on the experience.
I chose the Cayman for three reasons:
- The Cayman is probably the easiest car there to drive. Since I had zero experience driving performance cars or driving on a track I thought this would be a car I could more easily push to the limits (either mine or the cars, but probably mine).
- The Cayman is something I could actually see buying, as opposed to a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, so that made the prospect of driving one a little more interesting for me.
- The Cayman is the cheapest car there to buy laps in. (If I'm honest this is probably the main reason).
The experience starts off with a briefing; you can choose between a 30 minute classroom session or a 10 minute on track session. Everybody chose the on track option, which involved an instructor driving us around the track in a Porsche Cayenne and going over how to approach the turns. As soon as we got out of the Cayenne I immediately forgot everything the instructor said.
A combination of nerves, excitement, lack of experience and the instructor talking a mile a minute made it impossible for me to process anything that the instructor had just told us. It didn't really matter anyway because of what comes after the "briefing."
Next you get to meet the instructor who will be in the car with you, get fitted for a helmet (they make you wear a hair net under the helmet which makes you feel super cool) and then you get to hop into your car. After a few minutes of getting my seat adjusted and some preliminary tips from the instructor, I attempted to channel my inner Sir Jackie Stewart and was ready to tackle the track.
Once we got on the track the instructor talked me through the course, with the help of cones marking braking points, apexes and targets for coming out of the turns. Having the instructor there made a big difference; without him I don't think I would have really understood what it means to drive fast, and not just like a maniac. Just as things were starting to click the instructor told me to pull off the course and back into the pit. Just like that my 7 laps were over in what felt like the blink of an eye.
It was a great experience, especially for a novice like me who has never had a chance to drive on a race track or drive a sports car. If you're ever in the Las Vegas or Los Angeles area and have the means to visit Exotics Racing, I would highly recommend it.