Pictured: Exotics Racing's Lamborghini Aventador LP700 and Ferrari 458 Italia.
I'm not historically one who is hard-wired for speed. To this day, my favorite car is my departed Saab 900, a vehicle that mimicked a turtle in more ways than just its shape. Most of this is economical, I suppose -- it's not as if the "S" on cars equates with savings on the sticker price -- but I've truly been happy with cars either pretty (miss you, '64 Ford Comet) or plain and practical (hello, Honda Civic).
This has changed. A combination of dating someone who has subscribed to car magazines since he could read and my first go-kart experience last summer, which felt great from the helmet to my spinout, has resulted in me harboring a desire to push a car to its limits.
But not just any car. I want to drive a supercar.
Helping such fantasies is Exotics Racing in Las Vegas. Open since the summer of 2009, Exotics has grown its fleet of supercars from six to 30, offering mere mortals the chance to rent 14 models including a Porsche 997, a Lamborghini Superleggera and an Audi R8. The private, 1.4-mile track has banked corners, 11 turns and an 1,800-foot straightaway, so I'm betting it beats my go-kart experience by just a bit.
The track is new as of February, says Josh Martin, Exotics' director of marketing. It isn't modeled on any particular raceway -- my karting experience, at Musselman Honda Circuit in Tucson, Ariz., was on a replica of Japan's Suzuka South Kart Circuit -- but rather comes from the minds of French stunt and race car driver Romain Thievin and David Perisset, Exotics' co-owners.
Before you can get onto that track, instructors run through the basics -- understeer, oversteer, proper driving position -- so that you can be as efficient and fast as you want. There is a a ride-along with an intructor, and then you two swap seats. Drivers can rent various combos, with the minimum five laps with one car.
Starting at $199, prices vary per car, but one thing is a constant: Martin recommends booking at least two weeks in advance to get the machine you want.
For more info, check exoticsracing.com.