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      04-05-2012, 03:08 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by garek View Post
I'm a little late to this party, but here was my experience and write up.

http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=568003
Thanks for the link--I read through the thread. Sounds like you had a great time, too. I was tempted to do the Scuderia as well, but was limited to two cars and wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I passed up the 458 opportunity.

Interesting how your thread turned into a bit of a beat up on the instructor party. I agree that asking you to short-shift at 6000rpm is silly--these cars do have rev-limiters, after all--but, other than that, I would defend the instructors. I think a lot of their clientele is made of thrill seekers with no prior high performance driving experience, or even worse, bachelor party groups composed of a bunch of yahoos bent on proving to each other how big their penises are.

The capital investment made by this outfit is obviously enormous. They change the cars out yearly, which is likely a huge depreciation hit--who wants to buy a one-year old Ferrari or Lambo with 25-30k hard track miles on its clock? And they've had enough incidents or close-calls that the cars are now outfitted with a passenger/instructor brake pedal.

I've got enough HPDE experience now that I'm running in high intermediate, but I wouldn't have the audacity to tell an instructor who happens to be a pro driver to STFU when I'm driving a $300,000 car I've never driven before on a course I've never driven before. It just makes sense to keep your ears open and listen to their instruction--show them you're smooth and willing to listen, and they show you the fast way around the track. In fact, one of the guys there said that the hotdog clients who hop in the cars and go full tilt on lap one end up being a slow, sloppy mess on lap 5 or 7...

Thanks for pointing me to your writeup--loved the videos!

Last edited by paradocs98; 04-05-2012 at 03:17 PM.
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      04-06-2012, 10:07 AM   #24
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The timing of this thread is TERRIBLE. I'm heading to Vegas for a girls-only trip the beginning of May. Of course their calendar is wiiiiide open. I figure I swing do 5 laps in 4 cars (I'd rather spend the money doing this than in a casino). Haven't driven any of those listed but am thinking: Carrera, 997 Turbo S, R8, 430 Scuderia, 458. Advice?
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      04-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by paradocs98 View Post
Thanks for the link--I read through the thread. Sounds like you had a great time, too. I was tempted to do the Scuderia as well, but was limited to two cars and wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I passed up the 458 opportunity.

Interesting how your thread turned into a bit of a beat up on the instructor party. I agree that asking you to short-shift at 6000rpm is silly--these cars do have rev-limiters, after all--but, other than that, I would defend the instructors. I think a lot of their clientele is made of thrill seekers with no prior high performance driving experience, or even worse, bachelor party groups composed of a bunch of yahoos bent on proving to each other how big their penises are.

The capital investment made by this outfit is obviously enormous. They change the cars out yearly, which is likely a huge depreciation hit--who wants to buy a one-year old Ferrari or Lambo with 25-30k hard track miles on its clock? And they've had enough incidents or close-calls that the cars are now outfitted with a passenger/instructor brake pedal.

I've got enough HPDE experience now that I'm running in high intermediate, but I wouldn't have the audacity to tell an instructor who happens to be a pro driver to STFU when I'm driving a $300,000 car I've never driven before on a course I've never driven before. It just makes sense to keep your ears open and listen to their instruction--show them you're smooth and willing to listen, and they show you the fast way around the track. In fact, one of the guys there said that the hotdog clients who hop in the cars and go full tilt on lap one end up being a slow, sloppy mess on lap 5 or 7...

Thanks for pointing me to your writeup--loved the videos!
I agree. A lot of people thought the instructor I had in the 458 was way to involved, but I definitely believe his instruction helped me get around the track faster. He knows the track inside and out and the limits of the car much more than we do.
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The timing of this thread is TERRIBLE. I'm heading to Vegas for a girls-only trip the beginning of May. Of course their calendar is wiiiiide open. I figure I swing do 5 laps in 4 cars (I'd rather spend the money doing this than in a casino). Haven't driven any of those listed but am thinking: Carrera, 997 Turbo S, R8, 430 Scuderia, 458. Advice?
Do as many laps in the 458 as possible!!! That is by far the best car there. R8 is boring.
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      04-06-2012, 08:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by dnvrdrvr View Post
The timing of this thread is TERRIBLE. I'm heading to Vegas for a girls-only trip the beginning of May. Of course their calendar is wiiiiide open. I figure I swing do 5 laps in 4 cars (I'd rather spend the money doing this than in a casino). Haven't driven any of those listed but am thinking: Carrera, 997 Turbo S, R8, 430 Scuderia, 458. Advice?
Do it! Do it! Do it! You won't regret it!

I absolutely agree--I feel money spent doing this is much more fun and productive than gambling and losing in the casinos.

The facility is easy to get to--only about 20 min from the strip, next to Nellis AFB. (It was cool to watch the F22s doing maneuvers.) If you fly to Vegas, I recommend using the limo service listed on the Exotics Racing website to get from your hotel to the track and back--Presidential Limo. They pick you up in an Escalade, know exactly where to take you, and they are there at the end of your session to take you back.

As to which cars to choose, I can think of a couple of strategies. If you are seriously interested in buying one of them in the near future, such as the new 991 Carrera S, this is the perfect opportunity for a test drive. On the other hand, you could consider this an opportunity to seriously drive some of these cars that you would otherwise never be able to (Aventador). Either way, I would recommend the advice Dave gave me above--save the car(s) you're most excited about for last. That way you've settled into it a bit, know the track a bit, and can get more out of the experience with the car you're most jazzed about.

During our brief intro/classroom session, one of the instructors said they recently had a father/son pair come through and spend all day at the facility, driving 10 cars each! I'm sure it was a small fortune, but fun!

We expect a full report afterwards!
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      04-10-2012, 02:48 PM   #27
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I did 10-12 laps in the Scud about a year ago when they were using the infield course.
Richie Hearn was my instructor. it was the same weekend as the Nellis Air Show - so it was a double treat. (Thunderbirds ftmfw)
All the reviews are great but leave out one giant negative of driving a mid-engine supercar.
My Scud had stock brakes (Ceramic) and stock Tires (Bridgestone).
The traction control setting was one away from 'off'
The problem for me was loading the skinny front 225 tires at corner exit. At high speeds you have to always load the front tires with a touch of brakes so the body will roll on to the front tires and provide front traction. It forces you to a different driving style then we are all use to driving our front engine M3s. BTW, there was more body roll front to back then my Ground Control Coilover Kit M3.
The Scud is a fast car with a superior tranny and power for days. I would def change suspension settings and add wider tires in front (like in the 430/458 challenge cars) to improve the car at the track however.
Other then that, great experience, great organization, instructors have to feel you out for the 1st laps to see if ur a yahoo or whatever, no instructor brake pedal?? In my car, and i also overheated the Scud as they let the car sit for 10 min after my session.

And seriously, dont waste ur time driving multiple cars unless ur a newbie and just want the experience of flooring these cars on the short straight away.
If u have track experience, rent 1 car for as many laps as u can afford and u will get the most out of the track and car that way. It takes a a couple laps to learn a course and a few more laps to learn how to go fast, after that u start to push the car outside ur comfort zone and understand it better.

Last edited by mastek; 04-10-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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      04-10-2012, 07:21 PM   #28
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And seriously, dont waste ur time driving multiple cars unless ur a newbie and just want the experience of flooring these cars on the short straight away. If u have track experience, rent 1 car for as many laps as u can afford and u will get the most out of the track and car that way. It takes a a couple laps to learn a course and a few more laps to learn how to go fast, after that u start to push the car outside ur comfort zone and understand it better.
Interesting take on it. I will very likely never own a supercar, hence my leaning towards driving multiple options. I do have a fair bit of track experience though and wouldn't want to feel as if any of the time wasted. So. Do I just go for 10 or 20 laps in the 458? For the record, my husband is PISSED this is a girls-only trip now.
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      04-12-2012, 12:46 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnvrdrvr View Post
Interesting take on it. I will very likely never own a supercar, hence my leaning towards driving multiple options. I do have a fair bit of track experience though and wouldn't want to feel as if any of the time wasted. So. Do I just go for 10 or 20 laps in the 458? For the record, my husband is PISSED this is a girls-only trip now.
I would say do 2 cars. The 458 and your second choice. That will give a nice comparison. If you're comfortable on the track, 5 laps is enough to give a nice feel for the car. However, if you want to get closer to the edge, more laps are necessary.

So my recommendation is 5 laps in your second choice, as many as you want to pay for in the 458.
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      04-24-2012, 12:44 PM   #30
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Just signed up for the following on 5/6 @10:30am:

McLaren MP4-12C (7 laps)
Ferrari 458 Italia (7 laps)

The McLaren must've just pulled into their list yesterday or today as I was out there Sunday about to book and waited because I wasn't on a secured network. Glad I waited!!! Paid for the onboard video as well - will post it up when we get back, along with my review.
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      04-24-2012, 12:54 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnvrdrvr View Post
Just signed up for the following on 5/6 @10:30am:

McLaren MP4-12C (7 laps)
Ferrari 458 Italia (7 laps)

The McLaren must've just pulled into their list yesterday or today as I was out there Sunday about to book and waited because I wasn't on a secured network. Glad I waited!!! Paid for the onboard video as well - will post it up when we get back, along with my review.
Awesome choices on cars, and glad you will have video to share.
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      04-24-2012, 03:38 PM   #32
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Oh wow...might need to add some more laps. Doing the 430 Scud and 458 on 5/4...but might have to add the MP4 : O
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      04-24-2012, 04:20 PM   #33
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Thanks for the heads up. Called and added the MP4-12C : )

They said they just got it in 3 days ago, and there is a waiting list.
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      04-24-2012, 08:17 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnvrdrvr View Post
Just signed up for the following on 5/6 @10:30am:

McLaren MP4-12C (7 laps)
Ferrari 458 Italia (7 laps)

The McLaren must've just pulled into their list yesterday or today as I was out there Sunday about to book and waited because I wasn't on a secured network. Glad I waited!!! Paid for the onboard video as well - will post it up when we get back, along with my review.
Nicely done! They mentioned when I was out there that they might be getting the McLaren--looking forward to hearing your review and seeing the video. Also, when you arrive, make sure to sign up for 2 or 3 laps riding shotgun with one of their pros--it's well worth the $99.
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      04-24-2012, 11:19 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singletrack
Thanks for the heads up. Called and added the MP4-12C : )

They said they just got it in 3 days ago, and there is a waiting list.
There must be a waiting list for the Aventador too as it wouldn't let me select it. Either that or Lamborghini has a recall out on them since the one burned in Cali last week.
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      04-24-2012, 11:27 PM   #36
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There must be a waiting list for the Aventador too as it wouldn't let me select it. Either that or Lamborghini has a recall out on them since the one burned in Cali last week.
Ha! Actually a friend of mine is driving it. Must be sold out for the given time slot.
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      05-04-2012, 04:09 PM   #37
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Nooooooooo. MP4-12C just broke!

Also FYI Aventador has been in shop for over a week.

Waiting on scuderia and italia now : )
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      05-05-2012, 09:34 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Singletrack
Nooooooooo. MP4-12C just broke!

Also FYI Aventador has been in shop for over a week.

Waiting on scuderia and italia now : )
Ack! We're flying in today and driving tomorrow. What happened to the McLaren? Please tell me it's easily repairable.
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      05-05-2012, 02:28 PM   #39
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Ack! We're flying in today and driving tomorrow. What happened to the McLaren? Please tell me it's easily repairable.
None of my instructors knew - they were bummed also. They had only had it in-service for 6 days. It got flat-bedded out, so it could not have been good. Doubt they got it fixed yet since it happened mid-day on a Friday. The 458 is absolutely amazing though and seemed to be all the instructors' favorite "track car". I highly recommend doing 10 laps in it or so, and doing it after you have learned the track in another car if possible. I guess they just changed the layout, and I thought it was absolutely awesome.
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      05-07-2012, 09:12 AM   #40
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Ack! We're flying in today and driving tomorrow. What happened to the McLaren? Please tell me it's easily repairable.
Full report now!!!
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      05-07-2012, 11:22 AM   #41
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by dnvrdrvr View Post
Ack! We're flying in today and driving tomorrow. What happened to the McLaren? Please tell me it's easily repairable.
Full report now!!!
Ahhh yes. We're still in Vegas awaiting spa services, so I'll keep it brief for now The McLaren was indeed MIA. I received a call from Exotics as I was plucking my bag off the carousel to inform me of the unfortunate news. No one would tell me what had happened, excerpt this is the first to be put into track-only use and they had truly thought it'd last more than 6 days.

Anyhow, I ended up with 15 laps in the Italia instead (as one friend said, a terribly sad first-world problem). My instructor was decent, talked a little much but was helpful overall. I did two ride-along laps in the Gallardo which I can only describe as violently delicious. We haven't seen the video yet because we only brought our iPads and they handed to us on DVDs (was expecting a thumb drive).

More later after I'm home, have dug myself out at work and have watched the video.

Cheers!
C
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      05-11-2012, 11:08 AM   #42
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Watched the video Tuesday evening with my husband. Overall I think I drove better than I seem to have remembered.
  1. Do NOT chew gum if you intend to get the in-car video. Also, the little hairnet they make you wear was poking out the back so when I'm looking through corners I looked like the chubby-cheeked lunch lady.
  2. Try to keep in mind the instructor's perspective: they're very likely terrified you're going to kill them and total a $300K car.
  3. Buy a cool suit to wear if you intend to try this in July or August. I was sweating buckets and it was only in the mid-80's. They won't be running the AC. I saw my heated seat light indicator pop up on the dash at one point and could only think that was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen.
  4. If I were to do it over (and I will!), I would have driven 3 cars. One I cared the least about, with the lowest HP first to get a feel for the track. Then move to the cars you're more excited about. Having the McLaren be broken was a huge bummer and I wasn't really ready to choose a different second car when they called.

The second item above is especially where I'll focus my review. Objectively, I understand this. It was still really REALLY hard for me to not have access to even one mirror (they move them all to be in the instructor's line-of-sight) and know they'd be grabbing the wheel to allow others to pass.

Bigger than these two things was my overall feeling of disappointment I had when I climbed out of the car. I couldn't put my finger on it until after I'd watched the video. My instructor repeated the same information related to what I should be doing where on the track even when I'd been demonstrating my understanding via DOING IT for several laps. I was also surprised to realize he only acknowledged twice when I'd nailed something. Not that I need an ego stroke, but I tend to celebrate with my students when they're working hard and then succeed on track.

The 458 Italia: This a LOT of car. It sounds sooo goooood. It will go exactly where you point it. I really struggled with the brakes in particular. I liken braking in it to trying to squeeze a cup of water out of a granite rock. They did not modulate whatsoever so I had a tough time feeling whether I was braking hard enough, too hard, etc until it was too late. I definitely blew a few corners (especially that last kink which is downhill and slightly off camber) and ended up doing some trail braking a couple of times (much to my instructor's dismay). The tires gave a lot of high-pitched feedback (like an Italian supermodel perhaps?), but seemed to let go gradually. I never felt in danger of a spin. The girl friend I went with has decided to sell her house and her dog to buy this car. Poor Toyo...

The ride-along was thrilling. They won't let you do it until after you've completed your driving for the day... and with good reason. The car was sideways more than pointed in the appropriate direction. Also, a proxy a drifting this much is that his hands weren't exactly on the wheel a whole lot. I can only imagine how someone drive if they let you do so after the ride-along.

Overall, I have a good opinion of the operation they're running out there. The inventory is staggering - and you're allowed to put your dirty little hands all over it! (FYI, they've ordered another Aventador and GTR to ensure they're not without again.) Their staff was friendly and helpful. The classroom session was jam packed with all the right info. And yes, I'll be doing it again.

Cheers!
C
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      05-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dnvrdrvr View Post
Watched the video Tuesday evening with my husband. Overall I think I drove better than I seem to have remembered.
  1. Do NOT chew gum if you intend to get the in-car video. Also, the little hairnet they make you wear was poking out the back so when I'm looking through corners I looked like the chubby-cheeked lunch lady.
  2. Try to keep in mind the instructor's perspective: they're very likely terrified you're going to kill them and total a $300K car.
  3. Buy a cool suit to wear if you intend to try this in July or August. I was sweating buckets and it was only in the mid-80's. They won't be running the AC. I saw my heated seat light indicator pop up on the dash at one point and could only think that was the stupidest thing I'd ever seen.
  4. If I were to do it over (and I will!), I would have driven 3 cars. One I cared the least about, with the lowest HP first to get a feel for the track. Then move to the cars you're more excited about. Having the McLaren be broken was a huge bummer and I wasn't really ready to choose a different second car when they called.

The second item above is especially where I'll focus my review. Objectively, I understand this. It was still really REALLY hard for me to not have access to even one mirror (they move them all to be in the instructor's line-of-sight) and know they'd be grabbing the wheel to allow others to pass.

Bigger than these two things was my overall feeling of disappointment I had when I climbed out of the car. I couldn't put my finger on it until after I'd watched the video. My instructor repeated the same information related to what I should be doing where on the track even when I'd been demonstrating my understanding via DOING IT for several laps. I was also surprised to realize he only acknowledged twice when I'd nailed something. Not that I need an ego stroke, but I tend to celebrate with my students when they're working hard and then succeed on track.

The 458 Italia: This a LOT of car. It sounds sooo goooood. It will go exactly where you point it. I really struggled with the brakes in particular. I liken braking in it to trying to squeeze a cup of water out of a granite rock. They did not modulate whatsoever so I had a tough time feeling whether I was braking hard enough, too hard, etc until it was too late. I definitely blew a few corners (especially that last kink which is downhill and slightly off camber) and ended up doing some trail braking a couple of times (much to my instructor's dismay). The tires gave a lot of high-pitched feedback (like an Italian supermodel perhaps?), but seemed to let go gradually. I never felt in danger of a spin. The girl friend I went with has decided to sell her house and her dog to buy this car. Poor Toyo...

The ride-along was thrilling. They won't let you do it until after you've completed your driving for the day... and with good reason. The car was sideways more than pointed in the appropriate direction. Also, a proxy a drifting this much is that his hands weren't exactly on the wheel a whole lot. I can only imagine how someone drive if they let you do so after the ride-along.

Overall, I have a good opinion of the operation they're running out there. The inventory is staggering - and you're allowed to put your dirty little hands all over it! (FYI, they've ordered another Aventador and GTR to ensure they're not without again.) Their staff was friendly and helpful. The classroom session was jam packed with all the right info. And yes, I'll be doing it again.

Cheers!
C
This is a good list. I totally agree on the "slower car" for the initial run. I was in the 430 Scud off the bat and totally freaked my instructor out a couple of times haha. Hard to be in a car like then when learning the track! I'd recommend something like the GTR or R8 for the first run personally.

I LOVED the brakes on the 458 personally; and everything about it to be honest. I wonder if the driver before you simply beat them up or sucked the life out of them. If they don't let it cool down, you may get screwed. Also, the crappier the driver before you, the more traction control, the more the brakes get chewed up. I was fortunate, the instructor I had in the 458 got really comfortable with me very quickly and let me go all out for 10 laps with only timely reminders as to where to be. He appeared to have a great time also. : )
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      05-11-2012, 06:25 PM   #44
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Drives: 1997 BMW M3 Coupe
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Las Vegas, NV

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1997 BMW M3  [0.00]
1997 BMW M3  [0.00]
Sounds like an amazing experience! I've been wanting to try it out. Now I just might have to treat myself.
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