It’s hard not to love a good supercar. They’re gorgeous to look at, they’re loud, sleek, and go really fast. For most of us though, owning one is just a dream. Luckily, there’s a way to experience the thrill of driving one of these besides renting them for the day.
On a recent trip to Las Vegas, I came across a few racing experience centers, but settled with one called Dream Racing. They stood out from the rest because they had a very wide selection of cars to choose from, and offered a decent training session before the actual test drive around the circuit.
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Tickets can either be purchased online via TripAdvisor or directly through their website. As mentioned before, there is a huge selection of cars to choose from. At the time, I wanted to try the Lamborghini Huracan, but opted for the cheaper Lamborghini Gallardo LP550-2. Prices vary depending on the type of car you choose, and the number of laps around the track, and the track type (varies throughout the year).
Just remember that you must have a valid driver’s license as you will be required to present it on the day. It does not matter where the license was issued though. You can also purchase additional packages on the day depending on car availability.
As the program caters mainly to tourists, their pick-up location is centered at The Shops at Crystals on Las Vegas Boulevard (the strip). The mall is next to the Aria hotel (if you have any difficulty finding it). Once inside, follow the directions given by the Dream Racing team. Their booth is usually near the back. Just look out for the red Ferrari F430 GT (pictured below).
Once checked in, the team will shuttle you to the Dream Racing track at the Las Vegas Speedway. The ride takes about 30 minutes to the track, but there’s a lot to see on either side of the highway, so the time will pass by quickly.
Once checked in at the track’s front office, participants will take part in two short training activities to prep drivers for the actual drive, led by trained company racing drivers.
Video session – The group will first be required to watch a short presentation on what to expect in terms of car behaviour, the layout of the track, best techniques, and other tips and tricks to maximize your experience when doing the real thing. If you’ve never had any kind of racing experience before, it would be good to take a few mental notes at this point.
Racing simulator – Once you’re done with the presentation, you will then take part in a simulated practice run. Remember those arcade styled racing set-ups? Well they have an even more professional configuration with bucket seats, a proper steering wheel, and gas and brake pedals. Each participant will be paired with a driver so that they can get acquainted with the track as they make each turn.
For those who play racing simulators, they actually use iRacing and a laser-scanned copy of the actual track for their test runs. As the seat does not simulate g-forces of any kind, the experience was underwhelming, but the instructor did make a point to say that the practice run was just to get an idea what the track offered.
Now for the fun stuff. Even though I had signed up to drive the Gallardo, I opted to take three warm-up laps in as Aston Martin V8 Vantage. This does come at an extra cost, but it’s completely optional.
Once outside, we were paired up with instructors who sat in the passenger seat the whole time. At no point did I feel pressured, but there were moments where I was encouraged to drive faster, as I severely underestimated how well these cars handled on the track. They offered advice on how to take each corner and kept an eye out for other passing cars.
After my second lap in the Aston Martin, I already felt the thrill that I was looking for. My confidence grew with each lap as I transitioned on to the Gallardo. It really impressed me how well these cards maintained grip around the corners and braked in short distances.
Once you’re done blazing around the track, you then return to the front office where you can request a video copy of your run around the circuit. It is a bit pricey though at $79.95.
While you’re in the pit lane waiting for the other drivers to finish up, you’re free to look at other parked cars as the doors on all of them are unlocked. They encourage you to check out the interior, sit in the driver’s seat, and take photos as well.
All in all, even with a steep-ish price tag, the entire experience is worth it. Compared to other racing experience services, Dream Racing offers a lot in one package. I think if I am ever in Sin City again, I will definitely give this a second run.
[Featured Photo: Bradley Wint]