Randum wrote:Alright so I did the 8am group this past saturday and I would definitely do this again if they offer it at the same price point.
I drove the black 430, which sounded incredible - here's how the day went:
Show up, checked in, pretty short process, painless. Also they offer insurance, which is optional - working with car insurance companies ,and I spoke with mine - its best if you get something...additional $50+...wish it was worked into the price, but it is what it is.
They gave you a little info session, mostly racing 101, "Don't watch the speedometer, dont mash the gas before its straight on the turns etc"
They took you in order as you came, and up until this point, all the staff was extremely friendly for being 8am in the morning, which was nice- because we are there to have fun.
After watching the first few groups, I knew you could really "drive", cars were definitely hitting speed on the straight (north track?) - I was getting pretty excited considering my only experience has been with racing simulators (and I use that term loosely), Gran Turismo and Forza.
So funny story as we are waiting this guy in front of me is talking about how he drove his uncle's Gallardo etc, really talking up his experience etc. We are waiting and you hear some serious throttle on the last turn - and who's spun out in the grass!?!? That guy!! In the Ferrari!!!
So my turn is up, and now the ferrari is sprayed with mud...but thats alright. I hop in and the owner of the company is my passenger seat - I notice the floor mat is not only still in the car, but its draped over the gas pedal!!! So I asked if we can take that out - and I also see if I can drive in manual - he just says "lets try one in the auto first, get used to the power" and honestly- this was the best piece of advice. The car literally feels like it would take off if you let it. When you mashed the gas you would cut the tail loose. I dont know everyone's experience level, but I have none with RWD- and nothing with this power. I hit the lines and acceleration identically to the simulators, if you hit too much gas you will kick the tail loose. I was glad I wasn't watching the tachometer and fixed on just the feel and response of the car.
Also the exhaust note was great - when it would shift= awesome. It put my "fart" of the DSG to shame. I must admit, it shifted REAL hard. I know its the older f1 auto-manual trans (updated variant from the 360?) and is slower than most dual clutch trans now. It felt more like someone was shifting a manual for me. But again, a car of that strength, I only know our cars.
Overall, was a great experience and only makes me hungry to drive on a track. I am pretty obsessed with cars/driving to begin with - this just amplified my ambition. Also the staff at imagine lifestyles were great, fun guys, all seemed to really enjoy cars too.
Would I do it again? Absolutely...now just to get that price down...they did offer additional rides in the Lamborghini for $100....if I didn't drag my sister and wife out there...I would have jumped on it but I just felt bad making them wait all morning etc.
Word to the wise...cops most definitely sit on the highway outside of the race way, so I don't suggest you hot rod home, although you really want to after driving on the track!
Excellent write up. A couple of comments from my experience on Sun. Nov 6. My only disappointment was that they ran the North track instead of the South so we got less than 4.5 mi total after 3 laps, it was advertised to be 7.35 mi. Considering the South track is almost a mile longer, we would've gotten the advertised distance with that. They should've at least given us a lap or two extra to make up for the shorter distance. I complained to the guy running the event and all he said is that he could give me a refund if I wanted to back out.
Other than that, it was a good experience, and I loved driving the Ferrari, it is definitely fastest car I have ever driving by far. There's so much power and no sense of speed since the car accelerates so effortlessly. My co-driver wouldn't let me drive it with the paddle shifters, but I didn't really miss it. The transmission is pretty good even in auto. I wanted to push the car a little harder, but the pace car in front of me was going pretty slow since the Bentley at the end was lagging pretty far behind. I felt like I could've taken things a lot faster, I barely even used the brakes in the corners. I've braked harder with my GTI on the track. Regardless, it was still really fun.
One guy in my group actually just bought a F430 but did this event so that he could try it on the track w/out having to use his own. I'm not surprised the guy from your group spun out in the Ferrari since it is RWD vs. the Gallardo's AWD.
You mentioned the Ferrari's exhaust, the guy running the event said that it has an aftermarket exhaust which makes sense since it was basically the loudest car there.
Finally, the guy also said that they're planning on doing it again next year. He said he wants to do tiered plans, like 3,5 or 7 laps for different prices.