OK, so maybe you’re not the reincarnation of Argentinian racing legend Juan Manuel Fangio. Maybe your prowess on the track is more akin to that of Juan Valdez driving a donkey loaded with coffee beans. No matter. This is Las Vegas, the city where every schlub can be a star, and now every wannabe can drive a racing Ferrari.
Dream Racing (DreamRacing.com) is open for business at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, joining companies that will put you in the driver’s seat of NASCAR racers, street-legal exotics and drifting cars. While there are other outlets where you can indulge those particular fantasies, Dream Racing is the only place in the world for laymen to buy time behind the wheel of a Ferrari F430 GT, a 2,700-pound, $250,000 purebred racing machine.
For $499, you get a ride from CityCenter to the speedway, an instructional video that will immediately set you on information overload and a few virtual laps around the speedway’s 1.1-mile road course on an electronic simulator. Then you suit up, fold yourself into the F430 GT’s cockpit and fire it up. An instructor rides with you for your five laps around the course, but that doesn’t mean you’re on a leash. The car is very fast—you can hit 120 mph on the straight—and supremely responsive. Instructors encourage you to drive as quickly as your skill and nerves allow.
For an additional $179, you can ride shotgun as your teacher takes you around the course at race pace—a humbling experience, because no matter how fast you think you are, they’re probably faster. Unless, of course, you really are the reincarnation of Fangio.