What to Expect at an Exotic Supercar Driving Experience
If you’ve never had the money to drive your dream car, exotic supercar driving experiences are popping up across the country, offering fans a chance to pilot a luxury automobile on a racetrack with no speed limits. If you’ve never visited one of these courses but are curious about them, you might be wondering what they involve.
These closed-course driving experiences put you behind the wheel of an exotic supercar, typically of brands like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, or Porsche, with some higher-end models from Audi or Mercedes. Some are stationed at specific places throughout the country, including tourist areas like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Orlando, while others tour around the country.
Many of these details vary from by course, location, and company, so the following is only a basic idea of what to expect.
Before You Arrive…
Before you do anything else, visit the website of the driving experience you want to attend, reserving a date, time, and car(s). Many driving experiences offer discounted admission through websites like Groupon and Living Social, so shop around before signing up, and make sure you read the fine print if you buy one of these discount vouchers. The more you spend, the newer the car and the more you’ll be able to do. Cheaper packages run under $200 while a multi-car experience can exceed $1,000.
If you’ve been sent any waivers to fill out in advance, print and bring those along on the big day. Other items to bring include your driver’s license, comfortable clothes, long pants, closed-toe shoes, and proof of car insurance. Track insurance is sometimes included in the price or will be charged in addition. Mandatory safety helmets are typically provided by the facility in one-size-fits-all.
There are some restrictions to be aware of before booking your experience. To drive the cars, you must be at least 18 years of age (no 16-year-olds with their freshly acquired licenses) with a current driver’s license. There’s typically a 6-ft 8-inch height limit and 350-pound weight limit. If you’re only going for a ride-along experience as a passenger to a certified driver, you’ll need to be at least 12 years old and 54 inches tall, with a parent signing a waiver for you (if under 18).
What Is a Luxury Driving Experience Like?
When you arrive at your driving experience, you will be checked in by a staff member and your registration will be finalized. Arrive around 15 minutes early, unless instructed otherwise. After a brief waiting time, you will go through a 30 – 40 minute instructional session that briefs you on the technical aspects and safety regulations of the driving experience. These classes cater to the track you’ll be driving on, the car you’ll be piloting, and who your moderator will be (you will have a pro joining you the entire time). You must follow specified safety rules and procedures or else you might forfeit your admission.
The actual driving starts with a warm-up lap around the track, either driven by yourself or the moderator accompanying you. Once you get the hang of it after a lap, you’re allowed to go as fast as you want (unless told otherwise) for 3 – 5 laps, depending on what you signed up for. Friends and family can attend as spectators by taking pictures from off the course area, typically for free, but sometimes are given the chance to take closer photos from special locations for a small fee ($15 – $20).
Before you leave, you will receive memorabilia such as a completion certificate, photos, video of the drive, or any other souvenirs you signed up for. The entire experience lasts 2 – 3 hours, depending on how many cars you drive.