Photo credit by: MarcelClemens / Shutterstock.com
Many drivers are enticed by the fine design lines, incredible engineering and power of sports cars. Automotive enthusiasts are born out of any number of places – from playing with Matchbox cars as a child, seeing stunt scenes in movies, accompanying someone to a racetrack and visiting a car show with friends, to watching motorsports on television. One thing many enthusiasts have in common is a desire, or at minimum a curiosity, to learn first-hand what it would be like to drive a sports car at the speed and manner they were designed for. Luckily, wealthy hobbyists have paved the way for the general public to be able to partake in this luxury. Although, a lot of enthusiasts remain unaware of the options to get behind the wheel of an exotic sports car, or to press the gas pedal down on a racetrack.
For those who are curious what it would be like to drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche or other luxury sports vehicle, there are a few options. One of easiest ways to accomplish this goal is by pursuing a daily rental. Believe it or not, in major cities even the most common rental agencies have a foot in the exotic car rental business. There are also a number of smaller agencies, private owners and clubs that provide rental and car share possibilities. I’ve seen prices start at around $200 and range up to $2000 depending on how exotic the vehicle is.
In addition to the above, there are exotic car driving experiences that generally include driving a minimum of three different vehicles either on a racetrack, or on a road course. These types of packages make great gifts to celebrate life events as they are special, yet still within reach for many people when considering a special occasion. I’ve even seen these for sale on deal sites like Groupon and Living Social.
If that doesn’t satisfy your appetite or tempt you enough, there are open track days at professional racetracks across the United States, as well as driving schools any person of appropriate age and health can attend; there are even car clubs that support enthusiasts’ interests in particular automotive brands.
My first exposure to the racetrack came with Porsche and their popular World Roadshow, an exciting driver’s experience that is also an incredibly well thought out marketing event. As an automotive enthusiast who has frequented car shows and socialized with a mix of collectors, I received an invite to the Roadshow from a Porsche dealer. It was a great experience held at Monticello Motor Club and I was quickly hooked! Well played Porsche, well played…
From that first introduction, I became even more interested in pursuing on-track driving experiences. This led me to enthusiast focused driving clubs like the Sports Club Driving Association (SCDA), Porsche Club of America, BMW Car Club of America and others who rent track time and provide open track days to their members. The premise of each of these associations and clubs is simple: Learn to drive on the racetrack, in your own car, and maybe even compete against similar minded and skilled enthusiasts in special amateur racing events. Within each club you have access to driving instructors who will help you bring your skills to the next level. If interested in accelerating the learning, there is always high performance driving schools like Skip Barber, Bondurant and Porsche Sport Driving School among others. At each of these schools, which have become institutions in the world of auto enthusiasts, drivers can test their skills on a range of vehicles while on the skid pad, autocross and with hot laps around professional racetracks.
There is no right or wrong answer as to which experience to start with. The only important consideration is to be wise when making a decision, both for skill level and financial commitment to the experience.