When I started this blog, one of my post ideas was to rent a Ferrari so that I could test drive it and write about it. We are at pretty much the first anniversary of the inception of this blog and I already got to treat myself to a similar experience.
This past weekend, my wife and I visited Las Vegas for her cousin’s combo stag and his fiancee’s stagette. On the guys email thread, my new friend Alan threw out this link as something to do http://www.exoticsracing.com. Unbelievably, no one else took him up on this, however when I read it, I was IN. Not only was I already planning to do this, but EVERYTHING I read on that site convinced me this was a good idea. The simple math I did in my head told me that it was an incredible deal (see WAY below for more on this). I told my wife I was going to do it and she said she was coming and left no room for discussion. I told you earlier she was cool.
Because my wife wanted to try a Ferrari (she took out the Ferrari 430 F1), I decided I’d take out the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 so that we would try different types of super cars. It doesn’t matter anyway because I’m going back there next time I’m in Vegas!
There isn’t anything else I’ve driven that can compare to the Gallardo. It was amazingly responsive, great at cornering; perfectly balanced throughout the whole turn. The brakes were easy to control even though they were very sensitive. The acceleration was like a motorcycle, it felt like I could only push the gas pedal down 50% towards the floor. I wish I got to take it on a longer straight-away to see if I could scare myself.
Since it doesn’t make sense to compare the car to anything else I’ve driven, I’d rather focus this post on how great the experience was. Driving an exotic car was something I’d always wanted to do and these guys make it accessible to us mortals. The people at Exotics Racing were incredible. They make the experience safe, fun, educational and affordable; it was racing class where you got to drive an exotic car as the tutorial portion. They are confident in their teaching methods and procedures in that they assume responsibility for potential damage to the cars (unless you’re a grossly negligent idiot).
- Amazingly hospitable staff. I was half-expecting it to be a little pretentious like when you try to get near a Lamborghini or Ferrari at a car show but I was pleasantly surprised.
- The briefing by professional race car drivers was informative. They explain the cars and the track to ensure you get the most out of your laps. There are cones on the track that show you the apex of the turns and where to start braking for efficient cornering.
- You get to drive a freakin’ Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin, Audi R8…
- Las Vegas Motor Speedway is a bit of a hike from the strip so budget a few hours for the whole thing. I pre-arranged a limo service with their partner, Presidential Limo Service, which cost about $100 round trip for up to 3 people.
Here’s a little video I put together of my experience. The in-car part of the video is of my last lap.
This way of getting to drive a super car was MUCH better than what I was originally planning. I looked it up in Toronto and you can rent a Ferrari or Lamborghini but it will cost over $1000. And you have to pay for kilometres. AND worst of all you will probably end up sitting in traffic looking like a poseur or getting yourself a ticket. These cars were meant to be driven on a track, the whole program is genius.
When you book, they may ask you how you heard about them. I would love if you told them it was my blog. Maybe I can get comp’d a lap or two my next visit! :P
Below this, I just decided to work out what the experience cost me and compare it to the cost of actually owning an exotic car. This article is already pretty long so you may or may not want to continue reading.
- Cost per month of the lease annualized: $2372 x 12 = $28,464
- Cost to insure*: modest estimate of $2000
- Cost of track time**: $225/day x 20 times = $4500
- Cost of gas: minimum 91 octane, from this site: $3703 per year
- Cost of maintenance: Yikes, let’s assume it’s covered by the lease, though for sure they won’t buy you tires: ~$1500