SupercarDay
SupercarDay
11/20/19 7:58 p.m.

Hi all, I posted this question on reddit and they suggested I ask here, as some of you probably have experience with this kind of thing. Thanks in advance for your advice!

I've been looking into getting my dad the opportunity to drive (an) exotic car(s) at a track. He used to race cars a decent amount. It has been a while, but I'm not really looking for something instructional and I want to make sure he can push the car a bit.

I've come across a few things, but it seems like the 3 places in Vegas (Exotics Racing, Dream Racing, SpeedVegas) are the only options for driving supercars without much restriction (other places seem to hold you back a bit in the name of safety, which I think would sully the drive for someone with track experience). I've also found some places focused on a single car/make. Specifically, the Porsche thing comes up a lot, but it's not clear to me if that contains a time trial component (the website makes it look purely instructional). I've also seen some racing school stuff, but that gets kinda expensive (~$3k for a day of formula 4 at Skip Barber) and I'd like to keep the cost closer to $1k.

After thinking through some of the suggestions I've gotten, I've decided I want the car itself to be exciting. My dad has done plenty of track days, and we can do that too in the future, but I'm trying to give him a different kind of experience. So the places in Vegas, maybe the Porsche experience, and I think the formula 4 would all fit the bill (but I'm passing over renting a Miata at an SCDA track day). I'm interested in any opinions on these options, whether people have specifically purchased any of these packages or just based on what you think would be worthwhile from what I've said here.

Thanks!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/20/19 8:47 p.m.

I did the super car package at Speedvegas during SEMA. They definitely let me get after it, although the nannies had to stay on. The Lamborghini didn’t seem to care - I had it penduluming nicely through some esses- but the Mercedes GT got pretty pissy when I tried to rotate it hard. Even fired the seatbelt pretensioners twice :)

Overall, it was a pretty good experience. The track out there is one straight with a lot of wiggles that takes a bit of learning, and far more fun than one of the parking lot courses would be. 

I can’t comment on value for money because a vendor paid for it (thanks Bolt!) but I definitely walked away with a good idea of what the cars were like to drive. Also, if you’re used to LS3 Miatas, supercars accelerate at what I call a comfortable pace. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
11/20/19 8:55 p.m.

I’ve not been to Vegas, but fwiw, I’ve had mixed results with the traveling exotics rental orgs that host events at tracks here in the southeast.

My favorite arrive-and-drive experiences have been at the Porsche Experience Center, which I would highly recommend, but that limits your selection of cars to just Porsches. The M School I attended at the BMW factory was really educational, but expensive, and (of course) limited to BMWs.

Mental
Mental Mod Squad
11/20/19 9:55 p.m.

Hi,

I actually am a former full time instructor for an exotic experience company and was in the training program for the Porsche Experience Center. I still instruct part time in supercars.

All of those companies will deliberately remove a time component from the equation. Having a clock is a recipe for disaster, sure Keith Tanner and your Dad know what they're doing, but cast a wider net. In fact, if someone starts asking me about time, or "how many cars can I pass?" I already revise my instruction, because its going to be a challenge. But that's not really your question.

Porsche Experience Center is actually really neat. Its not racing as much as a chance to show what those cars can do. They have a skid pad where you learn to drift, and kick plate which is unique to the PEC. There is also a low friction course. Its a very flexible curriculum and the instructors will help the clients do what they want. Its worth the money. The one in Atlanta is co located with the North American HQ. The museum is rotating displays and awesome, not to mention the restoration facility. Really neat restaurant and facility, your also within 90 minutes of Barber which has a staggering museum as well.

The traveling show is a direct competitor for the two here in Las Vegas, where I live now. As a result, I have not experienced them directly. But my friends enjoyed it who drove enjoyed it. They know the course and instruct accordingly.

The traveling company does the same, we remove a time aspect of the time and focus more on actually the whole event.  What the car feels like, sounds like. The first emphasis is safety. We open every morning with a review of in car videos and a discussion on where we can be safer while enhancing the client experience. I have had several former racers drive me, and they all have loved it. If your interested, I can get you a discount code. PM Me. The full time site in New Orleans is really great and the instructor is also buddy. Plus, you know, New Orleans

Now, if I may add a third option. If you really want to get the race car experience. It ain't cheap, but I have also worked with these folks;

http://www.primal.racing

Open cockpit, paddle shift, active aero.

A

MAZ

ING

The staff is legit, lots of former pro racers and I can put you directly in touch with a couple. They are really good. The track is also one of my favorites. 

However, its about three times what a supercar or PEC experience will cost.

Bottom line, you really don't have  a bad choice. All of them are fun, but they aren't "racing" its an "experience." A wonderful experience, but not a race school. If you want a race school, it costs a little more.

 

Hope this helps a little bit.

 

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/20/19 9:59 p.m.

FYI, Speedvegas will give you your lap times at the end of the day. Nothing live. 

Clay
Clay HalfDork
11/20/19 11:59 p.m.

I did the Exotics racing event at Fontana. They also are in Vegas. Fun time and they instructor let me really go as fast as I wanted. You get the lap times afterwards. I drove a Porsche  GT3 and had a ton of fun. Driver aids were turned off (dash was very lit up), but the instructor had a brake pedal rigged up. I went as a wingman for a non-carguy buddy who really wanted to drive a Lamborghini so I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised.. 

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
11/21/19 6:10 a.m.

I can recommend the "M-Days" that the BMW Performance  Center has been touring around the country. 
 

Half day at Autobahn Country Club consisted of autocross(ish) in M2s, a drag race kind of event where first to stop in the box at the end of the run wins in X3M, X4M, M850 and M4  convertible and then lead/follow lapping in M4s and M5s. Lead/follow lapping was two sessions alternating between the cars and it was done at speed. 
 

Day ended with a hot lap ride around the track in the M4 where they burned the tires off drifting around the track, then a nice catered dinner at the club house. 

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
11/21/19 7:15 a.m.

If your dad has not been on track for a long time some instruction is not a bad thing. I raced actively for more than 20 years and never once missed an opportunity  to get instruction. Good race car drivers never miss an opportunity  to learn and be faster. I am sure your dad would not be offended with some instruction.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
11/21/19 10:13 a.m.

One other thing about Speedvegas - if you go after dark, they have lights all over the track with lights to show braking, turn-in and apex points. It does NOT make the track any easier to learn, but it's an interesting experience if you've never driven a track in the dark before. I would have preferred daytime, but I'll take a night drive over none at all.

_
_ Dork
11/21/19 10:58 a.m.

My exotics experience in Vegas was alright. I paid $299 to have the Skyline (bucket list). And then added three laps. 
couple of things- instructor was an old guy that didn't explain well. They say never meet your heroes- I drove a GTR, walked away unenthused. For someone with prior track experience I think he will be bored. I got bored after five laps. On my sixth I said to myself "when is this over?"  Plenty of trafffic will keep you from hitting any time goals you have. After lap three I had the car dialed in and the felt really comfortable. We **NEVER** so much as squealed the tires. Which means I was never allowed to push the car and find it's boundaries. 
when my wife asked how it was I responded "I'd rather dump $500 into my personal car."

codrus
codrus UberDork
11/21/19 11:43 a.m.

I have no personal experience with the Vegas "exotic car driving experience", but I've read a bunch of accounts similar to the ones mentioned above.  Lots of money, not many laps, frustration with the limits imposed and traffic.

Totally not the answer you were looking for but I'll throw it out anyway -- what about the rally school at DirtFish?

 

lnlogauge
lnlogauge HalfDork
11/21/19 11:46 a.m.

I don't think Vegas is the only way to experience this. Look up tracks around you, and I bet there's exotic rental days.

I drove a Ferrari 430 Scudaria around Atlanta Motorsports Park. I've never been on a track, and I've never driven a Ferrari before that event. There wasn't anything holding the car back other than my fear, and lack of ability. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
11/21/19 12:17 p.m.

...and the Manettino dial devil

karplus2
karplus2 New Reader
11/21/19 1:04 p.m.

I did the Exotics Racing thing in Vegas a few years back. I drove the McLaren MP4-12C. It was pretty awesome. The instructor was knowledgeable and was quickly able to pick up on my skill level and tailor his instruction to me . I am a mediocre driver at best but a lot of the people who were there when I was had zero experience on track so I had to do a lot of passing which really slowed things down. Instructors have to give you permission to pass. 

If I were to do it again, I would have driven multiple less exotic cars. They had some pretty sweet cars that were only $99 back then. I should have done 3 or 4 of those instead of paying $300-400? on just driving one. I can't remember what I actually paid now. 

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane SuperDork
11/21/19 8:18 p.m.

There's always the option of arriving and driving for a race, say lemons or champ, too..  probably want to hit a regular track day first to freshen up a bit, but I'd rather race in a Hyundai than lap in a Ferrari :)

SupercarDay
SupercarDay New Reader
11/22/19 5:18 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I did the super car package at Speedvegas during SEMA. They definitely let me get after it, although the nannies had to stay on.

Even during SEMA you had some clear track ahead of you? That's my biggest worry with these - as some people here have pointed out, traffic can put a damper on the whole thing.

Keith Tanner said:

if you’re used to LS3 Miatas, supercars accelerate at what I call a comfortable pace. 

I assume that this is a note of sarcasm and you're pointing out how much harder the supercars accelerate, yes?

 

Mental said:

...

Thanks, this post is super helpful! I realize that it's not quite racing and that there's a safety component, but my dad isn't a hot head and he's not going to do anything stupid, I just want him to be able to drive. Truth be told, my guess is he'd drive at ~90% just to enjoy the car a bit more.

This primal thing looks really cool actually, and at ~$1500 for a day of driving, I'm considering it as an option.

 

Clay said:

I did the Exotics racing event at Fontana... Driver aids were turned off (dash was very lit up) 

Interesting, a lot of the negative reviews I've read have actually been complaining about having to keep traction control on (I don't think that really bothers me much though)

 

codrus said:

Totally not the answer you were looking for but I'll throw it out anyway -- what about the rally school at DirtFish?

I hadn't considered this but, but it does look really cool. Thanks for the suggestion.

 

dean1484 said:

If your dad has not been on track for a long time some instruction is not a bad thing.. Good race car drivers never miss an opportunity  to learn and be faster. I am sure your dad would not be offended with some instruction.

Totally agreed, I think it's just not quite the experience I'm going for. Even considering what Wonko said:

WonkoTheSane said:

...I'd rather race in a Hyundai than lap in a Ferrari :)

I think it would be really cool to do the "laps in a supercar" thing one time. After that, I think one of these racing schools, track days, or the PEC/BMW experience would be more worthwhile for sure.

 

lnlogauge said:

I don't think Vegas is the only way to experience this. Look up tracks around you, and I bet there's exotic rental days.

Oh, there are definitely some ways to do this at tracks near us. From the reviews & videos I've found, it just seemed like the Vegas ones gave you a better shot at having open track in front of you. The reviews people have posted here are still kinda mixed about Vegas, so I may re-assess.

 

 

I appreciate the feedback from all. Some good new ideas to throw into the mix. The more I think about it though, the more I'd really like to get him in some fancy cars just the one time, like I mentioned above. I just have to decide if it's worth traveling for it or if I'm just as well off using one of the traveling places when they come around here.

kazoospec
kazoospec UltraDork
11/22/19 6:03 p.m.

Be sure to look the paperwork over carefully.  In some cases, you assume liability for the car if you drive.  A friend and I were planning to go at a local track until I realized the only way to really insure the event was to purchase their liability insurance, which still had a BIG deductible ($4K is what sticks in my mind) and almost doubled the cost of the event.  

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