First Time - Drive an Exotic Car
Car Driving Experience
You’re thinking of getting behind the wheel of one of the nicest cars ever made and drive an exotic car. There are many reasons you want to drive one: maybe you watch autocross religiously, or maybe you just actually want to see what all the fuss is about. Maybe you’re the person that invites people over to watch Netflix and Chill, and actually puts on reruns of Top Gear. Or maybe you’re just scratching something off your bucket list.
Whatever your reasons, it’s good to go in prepared. The driving experience puts you in the driver seat of a Lamborghini, Porsche, Nissan, or other souped up sports car. Very few people have the chance to drive one, let alone own one. These opportunities come at a price, but don’t let that scare you away. Even people who drive BMWs and non-diesel powered Audi’s can get something great out of driving one of these cars.
You want to know what’s the what before you put anything on your card. This article is for you. We’re going to go over some of the basics of exotic car driving experiences so you can know what you’re getting yourself into.
Most driving experiences either put you on an actual race track or a parking lot. I can hear you say it now: “What, a parking lot?” I’ll get to the parking lot in the minute, but rest assured there are good reasons for you to be on one, and it won’t take away from the experience, but let’s talk about the race tracks.
They’re exactly what they sound like, and the race track experience may be better or worse off depending on what you’re going for. Race Track experiences are only as good as the race tracks in your area (or the area you’re visiting for a vacation). Most racetracks are oval, especially in the United States where they dominate. This means you won’t be getting a lot of twists and turns when you’re at the wheel of your Lamborghini Gallardo, but it does mean you’ll probably be able to go faster, but you won’t be making very many right hand turns.
Now, on to the elephant in the room: the parking lot. This is honestly one of the best places to drive an exotic car. Once in our lives, we’ve all seen that guy, driving recklessly to get the most speed out of his car on a busy street. In a parking lot environment, the only thing you’re hitting is a cone. And they set them up to simulate an autocross track, so you’ll definitely get a feeling for making a hard right turn in a car that’s so low to the ground there’s only inches separating the undercarriage from the asphalt.
Also, the parking lots selected have a lot less potholes than your normal road. This means less bumps, less annoyances, and an overall better driving experience. Because of how low the undercarriage is, most Exotic Car Driving Experiences won’t put their expensive cars anywhere near bumps or bad concrete.
The bigger the parking lot, the more turns they can add and the longer the straightaways can be. So before you go ahead and purchase that race car track, double check to make sure it’s not an oval.
Every driving experience offers you options into how many laps you can drive your car. Just in case you’re unsure, a lap is a full circuit of the race track. This is important because the amount of laps you choose can really ruin your enjoyment of the experience.
Very rarely is the least amount of laps the most enjoyable. Like driving any new car, it takes time to get a feel for the vehicle, and doing a 3 lap circuit in a Lambo just won’t feel right. For many users, they won’t start getting a feel for the car until around lap 4. Therefore, if you can afford it, I would recommend grabbing as many laps as you can.
The laps themselves also deserve serious consideration because very rarely are you driving the track by yourself. In order to fit in the amount of people who want to do this into the few precious hours the Driving Experience companies can rent from the location, you tend to be driving on a track with other people at the same time. This means you don’t do five laps and then someone else gets on the track once you’re done.
This leads to the second plus side of choosing more laps:many time slots are filled with people who are doing different amounts of laps. Meaning, the longer you’re on the track, the more likely it is that people will get off the track because their laps are up. This clears up the field till there’s just you, the track, and Janice from Accounting.
The Date & Time
The dates are almost always subject to randomness and tend to be posted months in advance. This is because Driving Experience companies need to negotiate with different race tracks or places with large parking lots to rent out the location. This means there are “seasons” to driving experiences, just like there are to the weather. Very rarely do they run in the winter months, and their peak dates run before or after the racing season ends. It pays to scope out driving experience websites to know when they’re planning on hosting their events.
But the time you do it is a different thing. It’s better to do it earlier rather than later. The afternoon sun can make it kind of unbearable, and if there are any delays in getting people going, it will push back the start time. The mornings also tend to be nicer because the black asphalt or grey concrete isn’t super hot yet. If you don’t want to be the first person on the track, that’s cool, but if you can get a 10AM time slot, that’s probably the best time to drive: the cars are warmed up, the track has been adjusted (if a parking lot) to its optimum setting, and you’ve had enough time to get some breakfast and caffeine.
I hope this has been an illuminating and educational read. Be on the lookout for the next part of our series on driving experiences, where we go over the plethora of cars you can choose from and why you should pick them up.