A Day at the Racetrack...Bucketlist Chicago
Have you ever wanted to drive an exotic car? Maybe learn how you can drive a Lamborghini, Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette? Would you love to head on down to the speedway, sit in the passenger seat of a professional racer driver, or even drive an exotic car on a racetrack yourself? Check out our Xtreme Xperience Review below!
A day at the racetrack could be a really great day for anyone. Hanging out, watching cars fly by you at crazy high speeds. But if you know me and our bucket list adventures, (like Our Dinner on Top of the World, or Bungee Jumping Experience), a day at the racetrack is not really a bucket list check. Maybe a must do, but bucket list? Doesn't really make the cut. Now, make it a day DRIVING on the racetrack, and that for sure makes the list. But how about Driving a Lamborghini on the racetrack?! Now, you've got yourself a top spot on our Chicago Bucket List! And the best part?! It's not exclusive to Chicago, so even if you aren't planning a trip here soon, you can still experience one of the best adventures you can imagine!
That's right, you can DRIVE a Lamborghini Huracan ON a speedway, just like I did! All thanks to Xtreme Xperiences!
If you've been following our adventures, B and I have made it our mission to find the best bucket list experiences around the Chicago area. When I discovered Xtreme Xperience, it shot up to the very top go my list! You mean we can drive an exotic car, as fast as we can, at a speedway?! Enough said, book it now! I actually kept this one a secret from B until we got there. Even pulling into the Autobahn County Club (in Joliet, IL), I still didn't let him know, and even joked about us riding as passengers. He drove us there, not knowing what we were doing, realized it was the Autobahn Country Club, and I asked him if he was ready to be a passenger now, or if he wanted to keep driving.
Entering the speedway, you immediately see lots of exotic cars flying by, doing their laps. We hopped in the check-in line, got our passes, and headed to a quick overview class that everyone has to take before getting behind the wheel. It was a little intimidating, listening to the cars right outside speeding down the track, and our instructor telling us what to do and not to do. I was nervous the whole time, and I was the one who booked it!
Ride along with a Professional Driver
Xtreme Xperience offers an awesome add-on where you can ride in the lead car in their High Speed Evo Ride Along. (You get to sit in the passenger seat, or in the back seat of the lead car that shows all the drivers where to go on the track. So you get to ride with the professional driver for 3 Really Fast laps.)
We ended up doing the ride along before driving, and let me tell you, it is so so sooooo worth it! If you don't take anything else away from this post, this is the important stuff...If you are driving on the track, do the ride along! If you're just a spectator coming out to watch your guest, do the ride along!! If you are even around the speedway that Xtreme Xperience will be at and you don't plan on going at all, DO THE RIDE ALONG!!!
It's hard to say it topped my driving experience, because really, you can't compare the two...but it's pretty much tied with the best part of the whole day. The ride along is great for a couple of reasons. If you're driving a super awesome exotic car that day, the lead car experience is great because...
1. You get to see the track and visualize where you will be driving. Helps so that you don't waste your first lap trying to understand your bearings.
2. You get to watch the professional driver and see when he breaks and accelerates, when he turns, where he is driving on the track, etc. And they will be giving you tips while you're in there.
3. It will be loads of fun riding in a professional drivers car, racing at top speeds, and taking those turns like you'd never imagine.
I don't think I was breathing the entire 3 laps, and it went by so fast. I was positive the car was going to tip on every turn. Not a scary experience, but definitely an exciting one! If you're looking for an adrenaline rush, this is it!
I'd like to say that it could also help calm some of your nerves because you'll see what the car can actually handle, and it can make you more confident in the car you are driving, and more confidence makes you drive just that much faster! Isn't that the whole point of this experience?!
The High Speed Evo Ride Along probably would've been enough for me and would definitely go on my bucket list for sure, but then it was time to switch gears... ;) ...and become the driver.
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The Driving Experience
B went first in his "heat", and I took pictures and tried to calm my nerves. He drove a white Porsche 911 GT3. You're in the car with a professional driver/instructor, and they are helping you the whole way. The lead car takes off (the one that you should ride along in before you drive!), and it's pretty much follow the leader from there, with 5-6 cars or so heading out one right after the other.
B was second in line and on his second lap, I realized he was right behind the lead car. Apparently the person in front of him was going a bit slower, so the instructor carefully told him how and when to pass safely, so he wasn't being held up by another driver, and then he could drive as fast as he could. Leave it to my B to drive faster than everyone else! ;)
(If you're worried about slowing the others down, you can request to be the back car...I almost took that option, but gave myself a pep talk and decided "I got this!") And then I ended up being the first car in line...of course.
Now I don't know much about types of cars, but as soon as my Lamborghini Huracan pulled up, I knew we were a perfect fit! It was so low to the ground, and the seat fit me like a glove!
I had a great instructor who made me feel at ease in the driver seat. I just encouraged him to tell me exactly what I needed to do, and I would do it. (Can you tell I was nervous?!)
To be 100% honest, I was even more scared after the lead car ride along, but as soon as I hit the gas in the Lamborghini, that all faded away, and I was in pro racer mode.
I'll tell you, B's 3 laps lasted a lot longer than mine! Ok, maybe it just felt that way, but being a spectator, it seems like some time passes in between each lap. But get behind the wheel, and your 3 laps feel like 1!
They have a great system set up, so you can really drive like you know what you are doing right away. And with 3 laps, you don't want to waste a second. Your instructor will tell you exactly what to do in the moment, and you will also follow the cones on the sides of the track. So you'll know exactly when to break, when to let off, and when to floor it, (obviously my favorite part!). The feeling you get while accelerating in your turns then gunning it to upwards of 120MPH in a few seconds, is unmatched. Those 3 laps flew by, but the adrenaline and memories will last so much longer!
Don't forget your Race Day Gear!
An experience like this needs to be documented, and Xtreme Xperience will have you covered. They have a media pack of things you can choose from. We got a professional picture snapped of us in the car right after our laps, and it was printed minutes after we got out. We also got these awesome USB bracelets that recorded our entire drive. You'll see the split screen of our view as the driver, a video of us driving, and the speedometer.
You can always purchase extra laps, be a passenger in any of the Super Cars, or even get a 3-Car Package! Our recommendation would be to book in advance, because when we were there, lots of things were sold out. So make sure to book early!
Schedule and Locations
It seems like they keep adding more and more places, so if you don't see one near you (like everyone in the West except Washington), keep checking back, they might add your state.
And be sure to check out the schedule to see when Xtreme Xperience will be coming to a track near you!
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