My Editor in Chief Will Byrd and I headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park to drive a few of their cars. You may have seen Will’s article of him driving a Lamborghini Huracan LP 610-4 then being driven in the same car by Mikey Taylor, who is an IMSA driver. If you haven’t check it out here. I was there to drive a Nissan GT-R and do something interesting in a Ferrari 458. I do not want to give to many details about the 458 session yet, but let’s just say records were broken.
When we arrived at the track, we attended the normal informative pre-track classroom session which was run by Stu Warner. We met our two instructors who would be our track liaisons for the day, Mikey Taylor and Joey Muzio, with them we chatted about our track experience so they got an idea of what we can do before we got in the cars. We were then put in the Mitsubishi Evo pace car to get an idea of the track layout before we hopped in our rides.
In between our “Xperiences” we had the time to chat with much of Xtreme Xperience’s staff and I can say these are car people. You could tell they honestly wanted to discuss cars. I got the vibe of a cars & coffee and less than a business.
Eventually, it came time for both Will and I to drive our cars. Will and I both drove our cars on track at the same time hitting over 130 mph in each. Chasing a Lamborghini Huracan in a Nissan GT-R is surely recorded to my personal life highlight reel.
What has changed since last time?
I have an interesting view of Xtreme Xperience. I have been attending their track events long before I did the writing about cars thing. I have been driving with them since 2014.
It has been like watching a small company grow to a power house. When I first road with them they made significant leaps from 2014 to 2015. Now from 2015 to 2016 they did not stop their progress.
In 2016, Xtreme Xperience added a permanent program location in New Orleans at NOLA Motorsports Park. This location is open all year and includes four of the supercars from their fleet: Ferrari 458 Italia, Lamborghini LP560-4, Porsche GT3, and Nissan GT-R.
Their program as a whole every year adds new cars to their fleet while removing underperforming cars. In 2016, Xtreme Xperience brought back the Ferrari F430 which has been absent since 2014, more Lamborghini Huracan’s and Porsche 911 GT3’s at each event to keep up with demand, as well as adding the McLaren 570S to their fleet. Certain tracks feature special cars such as a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 580-2, Lotus Evora S, and the Nissan GT-R Track Edition. From 2015 to 2016, Xtreme Xperience dropped the Audi R8 and the Chevrolet Corvette.
Cars are obviously the focal point, but there are plenty of other positive business changes that effect the customer. They have added more Mitsubishi Evo’s for their thrill ride/pace car experience and a brand new HD video system featuring two cameras, one where you are going and a cabin camera so you can prove to your friends you really did spank that exotic on the track. You can export your track video with graphic track map overlay, track position, and additional lap information.
Track logistical changes have also been made. They have optimized the classroom instruction with new graphics and more concise information and they have increased the run groups to 2 groups. One group drives, while the other waits in the pit. I appreciated this change because before doing this car writing thing the first time I sat in a Ferrari on track went a little like: “OMGGGGGGGG!!! A Ferrari!!!!, wait how do I drive a car again?” You have so much excitement for the car and now you get guaranteed “tinker with time” to touch all over it. Maybe caress the Alcantara steering wheel on the Porsche 911 GT3 or maybe flip the Manettino dial on the Ferrari 458 between Sport, Race, and Wet, while parked of course.
Suggestions if it is your first time?
Talk with and respond to instructors and any Xtreme Xperience employee – They are all car people. If the instructor asks what your driving level is answer with more than one word answers. The more driving information you convey to the instructors the more they can get out of you on the track. For example, with my instructors I talked what I have driven on the track, how many times I have been on track, even mentioned the fact that I daily a dual clutch transmission just so he could get an idea of my experience. I also conveyed what I wanted to achieve on track, I simply said “I am no boy racer and I will probably go 7/10th’s and enjoy the ride with 10/10th’s on the straight”.
Leave your ego at home – Driving is like sex, everyone thinks they are amazing at it, but few are. You will not be the best driver at the track. The instructors at these events are current drivers in racing series around the country and your knowledge on track will not surpass theirs. So listen, learn, and enjoy. If you think you do not need to listen to the instructors or wish they would not talk during your laps, this is not for you. In the end you are in charge of a 3000 lb bomb with someone else’s life inside. If you think you are better than the instructor bad things can happen.
Xtreme Xperience is an “xperience” that every car guy should take advantage of. The price is just right. They do so many promotions that if you register for an event at the right time of year you could save hundreds. Follow Xtreme Xperience and keep an eye out this holiday season. See you at the track!