The one thing not to do when you’re about to drive cars worth about $300,000 at speeds upward of 100 miles per hour is to have a conversation about the cars you’ve crashed previously.
That might be why we were a little trepidatious when we arrived at NOLA Motorsports Park to try out the Exotic Driving Experience. A bit of a drive from New Orleans, the park is located in Avondale and boasts what we were told might be the safest track in the United States.
We sat through a mini class about being safe while driving the cars – Ferraris, Audis and Lamborghinis – then walked with the rest of the group out to the track. After being fitted for a helmet (complete with microphone and speakers to hear the instructor sitting next to you and a USB port that collects your driving data), we each had a little time to chat with the instructor who helps guide you around the track and tells you when to brake – and when to brake more.
We each drove a black Ferrari 458 Italia to speeds of 97 and 136 respectively. The cars were extremely smooth compared to the “normal” cars we drive everyday, but it was still a bit difficult to get used to driving on a track instead of on the road. The instructor in the passenger seat says not to look in the rear view mirrors and to not worry about the cars behind you. The speedometer is also covered up so drivers keep their eyes on the track instead of on their speed.
We each drove six laps around the track, but we both wished we could have done more. We are both hoping to do it again to see if we can go faster. Like a few of the instructors said, going fast in an expensive car is addictive, and now we understand why.