Ever dream of driving a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or McLaren at warp speed on a racetrack? Track experiences are popular for their pure adrenaline rushes and frequently top bucket list items. They typically begin with some classroom instruction from pro race drivers about understeering, oversteering, down-shifting, and anticipating turns. You then get to feel the throaty roar and ridiculous horsepower of a six-figure supercar on a twisty racetrack for yourself.
We dug up the top three racecar offerings for your next daredevil adventure. While they aren't the cheapest of thrills, the bragging rights are priceless. Ditto for the value of your lessons, which are bound to make you a safer, smarter driver in any car.
Xtreme Xperience brings more than $2 million worth of vroomers to 18 tracks around the U.S, and drivers get to choose which 500+hp drooler to drive. Tracks include Talladega Superspeedway in Birmingham, NOLA Motorsports Park in New Orleans, and Pikes Peak International Raceway in Colorado. Racecars include the Audi R8, Chevy Corvette Z1, Nissan GT-R, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG and Porsche 911 Turbo, along with a Lambo LP560 and Ferrari F430, and a McLaren.
Prices start at $199 for three adrenalin-charged laps in the driver’s seat following a pro race driver in guided laps. You can also ride shotgun as a pro takes you for a real ride at NASCAR speeds. Packages start at $1,999 for a bundle that includes a photos and vehicle-mounted video, lunch, and a goodie bag, going up to $2,999 to include special racetrack and spectator passes. (Most people opt for the half-day Supercar Academy, which includes track time behind the wheel of four different vehicles.) Dates are still available for the rest of 2014; registration for 2015 dates opens by early November.
Retired NASCAR champion racer Richard Petty runs a similar program at tracks including Daytona International Speedway, home of the Daytona 500 (which he won a record seven times), and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indianapolis 500. The Richard Petty Driving Experience uses NASCAR-worthy vehicles, often during a race weekend. Prices range between $99 for a three-lapper as a passenger and $2,199 for 30 laps at the wheel of such iconic muscle cars as a Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and a Dodge Challenger SRT392. If it's an extended family affair, Petty also has a special program for juniors, who he calls "rookies."
Finally, Dream Racing lets you roar around the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for two to ten laps, costing between $189 to $859 depending on which supercar you choose. The selection includes the 700hp Lamborghini Aventador V12, which has waitlist of around one year and a price tag between $397,500 and $548,800 to own. For the ultimate experience, you can also spring for the $3,950 Full Throttle package with 40 laps over a half-day in a Ferrari F430 GT racecar. In addition to a classroom review of your driving ability and improvement after 10 or 12 few laps, the package also includes 3D race simulator lessons, car-mounted video, lounge access with a guest, and a souvenir miniature model of the vroomer you drove.