Exotics Racing: Making Your Dreams Come True
Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing. All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.
Having lived in Los Angeles for the better part of a decade now, super car sightings have become a common occurrence for me. While you see them, you still don’t get to sit in them much less drive one. I’m just a normal guy and have never fathomed being able to afford such cars, so getting to drive one as it should be driven is a dream of mine. Or should I say, WAS a dream of mine.
Exotics Racing first set up shop in Las Vegas with a fleet of 5 cars. In four years, that fleet has ballooned to over 50 cars and Exotics Racing expanded to Los Angeles at the Autoclub Speedway. Martin and I made the short trip out to Autoclub to check out exactly what Exotics Racing was all about. I did some research first of course by checking out their website. 8 types of cars were available to test drive on a purpose designed road course. Hey, sounds fun to me! As it turns out however, there is a lot more to the Exotics Racing experience.
I liken it to a grown ups’ fun amusement park or training camp. When you first walk into the tent, you sign up at registration. While waiting for your brief classroom instruction, you can hang out in the lounge area, munch on some food (or maybe wait to eat until after driving as this may be the safer order of operation), or walk outside and listen and smell the cars circulating around the track.
Martin and I have fairly significant track experience, but the briefing before driving is always a good reminder of the basics, so leave your egos outside the tent. Exotics Racing employs a team of instructors with racing experience ranging from Formula cars, drifters, touring cars, and time attack. Speaking of drifters, a Japanese D1 drifter was on hand giving the ride-alongs in the Corvette Z06. The noises coming from the exhaust and tires of that thing sliding around the track is like music. Back to the briefing, some fundamentals on driving position, use of the paddle shifters (gone are the days of a manual in a super car), and throttle/brake application are covered. Pretty much all the cars are 500hp+, so best to pay attention on the throttle application.