“Hit the brakes at 200 ft” … “Now Turn in”…”Hit the apex”… “Now Floor it!” I think my driving coach said something else, but all I remember after that point is a growling 530 HP V-10 engine laying the backbeat for the crashing bang of my frantically thumping heart. There are moments in life where large doses of adrenaline make every minute seem like hours, this was one of them. I can tell you all about the smell of the burning rubber from my screeching tires, the sun glistening on the windshield, the heat ripples on the surface of the asphalt, the dry-metallic taste in my mouth brought upon by the mix of fear and exhilaration, and the feel of this 3500 pound machine dancing nimbly on the track. But what I remember most, is the sound. There is something about the growl of an engine that sends chills up my spine and makes the hairs on my neck dance. It always has. It’s the sound every motor head knows and lives for. I’ve heard it a thousand times from the outside, but I haven’t ever felt it from the inside before. It’s life changing. Addicting! I could insert a million adjectives here but I will say this instead: If just reading this paragraph got you excited enough to feel your blood running hot, you need to find your way to the Le Mans track of the Homestead Miami Speedway and pay a visit to the guys at Miami Exotic Auto Racing. Right. Now!
When we first arrived at the Homestead Miami Speedway to meet up with the Miami Exotic Auto Racing team I must admit I was downright giddy. I mean it’s one thing to go to a race track to watch a race, but it’s a whole different experience when you know you’re going to be ON the track.
After signing in, we made our way on to the track, and were presented with a nice little trackside tent and waiting area. They even provided drinks and snacks while you wait which was a nice touch. It was when I got to tent that it started to sink in that I was standing in pit row. It was here that hundreds of mechanics and crew lined up on race day.
That was also when I caught the first glimpse of why we were here, the cars of course!
Of course, before they would let anyone on the track, there was a short but effective track safety and training course. Led by one of their staff, and resident race car drivers, they go through the basics of reading lines on a track, track set up, and safety tips. They also take you through the track turn by turn so you know exactly what to expect and what to do at each moment.
This is pretty important because we weren’t just going to drive the oval track around Homestead, we would be driving the Le Mans track. It includes a combination of an exciting 9-turn street course with half an oval at the back end that lets you open the engine up. The team at Miami Exotic Auto Racing, takes the time to do all this for two reasons. The first and foremost is safety, but the second is my favorite. They want you to be able to go as fast as possible when you finally get behind the wheel. After the inside class, they even take you on a ride-along in order to familiarize you with all the turns and braking points. It’s this attention to detail and level of professionalism that really impressed me. After the safety briefing there was only one thing left to do: GET OUT ON THE TRACK AND DRIVE FAST!!!
For our laps, our chosen steed was an Audi R8. It’s combination of AWD, power, and poise makes it an excellent choice for first timers around the track. Drivers also have a choice of a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Ferrari F430 if they want to get behing the wheel of something more exotic. For us Audi lovers, it was the perfect choice.
I hopped into the car and met my driving coach/safety guy. Another racing veteran, he told me he had only one mission: he wanted to help me go as fast as possible so I could get the most out of my laps. He did an awesome job. After buckling in and getting settled it was time to pull out onto the track and see what I could do. So how was the experience? Incredible! Imagine sitting front seat on a roller coaster that you get to control and that comes close to what it feels like. Feeling the asphalt fly by under you while the engine rumbles through your chest is just incredible. I mean, I was happier than this guy for christ’s sake!
My only complaint? It was too fast! :-) As soon as it started it was over. That and I was left with a bigger problem. Addiction. Much like my first tattoo, I wanted to turn around, get into another car, and do it all over again. Thankfully, if you fall into this category, Miami Exotic Auto Racing has got you covered. They offer packages that let you add laps and cars to the base package to get all the driving in that you can handle.
Overall I would rate our experience with Miami Exotic Auto Racing as top notch and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Miami or South Florida Area. They have experiences in both Homestead and West Palm Beach so it’s relatively easy to get there no matter what part of South Florida you are visiting. For more information on Miami Exotic Auto Racing, or to book your own exotic car experience visit their official website here.
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