Well, today was a very good day for me… Lets start at 6am, when I woke up, filled with pure adrenaline as I knew today was the day to drive some real Supercars. I couldn’t get ready fast enough and head down to the Richard Petty Experience in Disney! As you can imagine, I was driving above and beyond normal speed limits in pure anticipation. (Radar Detector armed)
I arrived promptly to see Channel 6 news coverage and a full house of Press and Media all waiting for their chance to see one of these cars, let along, drive one. Class begins at 8am with an introduction to “Supercars for the average joe.” Yes, we all know they are fast, but brother let me tell you, fast has new meaning. A run through of the class, safety and some training of the course and you are ready. Keep in mind that 60 days ago, this track section was a parking lot. When Richard Petty Experience was given the green light from Disney, they worked fast! So fast, in fact, that the Black Ferrari you see here today was just purchased and brought here last week. You get to hear from the staff and crew of Richard Petty’s Driving Experience and hear from Mike Bartelli, the Chief Marketing Officer, who worked hard to get this program brought into Disney. We had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Christian Fittipaldi, a Brazilian race car driver, who has won titles in Nascar, Formula One and Le Mans. You walk out the doors and your 12 feet from 1 million dollars in inventory gleaming back at you.
Starting with the most basic of vehicles, the Porsche 997 S, we began to see just how new and perfect this inventory was. The Porsche was actually left out of this trip for all of us because we had a smaller class and everyone wants to drive the big boys! Keep in mind that Porsche is a major contender is every aspect of what was going to be driven today. It’s light, it’s fast and overall, the most affordable of the group here today. I have driven Porsche’s before, from the Boxster to a Turbo and I will say they handle amazing, but I have yet to drive the likes of a pure Italian Supercar. If it had been the Turbo model, I would have gone back and asked for seconds.
So, we start with the Lamborghini Gallardo in it’s bright yellow beauty. A stunning all wheel drive Lambo with over 500+ horsepower and less miles on it than most brand new showroom cars. This car has a stance that screams “POWER” and when you sit in the car and hear the engine behind you, it’s like a pure symphony. Many people know the Gallardo as the “affordable” Lamborghini, of course we mean closer to $200,000 than any of the others. Sometimes we see them on ebay, used for under $100,000 and I’m sure thats a steal considering, but this baby was brand new, powerful and ready to rock!
Next, we notice it’s sister, the Superleggera. Same type of Lambo, but with a few hundred less pounds making it slightly faster and more agile through the track, nut nonetheless, still well into the $200,000’s. Channel 6 was lucky to be able to sit in this beauty and the anchor woman was a little “pedal shy” the first lap, but did have some strong lap times posted! Can’t wait to see her review on the news! That was an amazingly sexy vehicle. I have been a fan of the Lamborghini since the late 1980’s Countach and I have to say, they keep getting sexier and sexier. This Superleggera was no different. The V-10, 552 Horsepower All Wheel Drive is (_________) fun to drive! (insert whatever swear you’d like)
Next up was a car that surprisingly many didn’t want to get as their car… The Audi R8. Yes, everyone seems to know this car as the “Tony Stark” car from Iron Man, and with good reason. The Audi was unveiled in production, just as the movie was really being filmed and it played just as big of a role as did Robert Downey Jr. Ok, maybe not, but the car is a hit all across the world. I just wanted to see this car in motion as I have heard how it sounds online and the sound from this V-10 power-plant is supposed to be something of pure genius. As expected, the car performs just as well as it’s competitors next to it. With 525 Horsepower, this car was no slouch.
For the main event, “la creme de la creme”, or the vehicle that EVERYONE wanted to drive that day, was the master of disaster, the one and only, 2012 Car of The Year – Ferrari 458 Italia! Yes, that’s me behind the wheel, and yes, I was fortunate enough to be given this car for my day on the track. Words cant even describe this vehicle, but I am going to try… Ever wonder what it’s really like to accelerate from 0-60 in just about 3 seconds? I can assure you, with 100% certainty, if you have not experienced this, you need to. Remember what Mission Space is like on “More Intense Training?” That’s it. When you blast off and feel the G-force pressure making it hard to breath and you reach 17,000 miles per hour in space? That is what I would describe as the acceleration of this Italian supercar, only your own hands are tightly on the wheel and your foot pressed firmly on the pedal. There is truly nothing like it. My first time driving and of course I am opting for the manual paddle shifter mode, but yes, they do offer full automatic on all these vehicles. As I said before, I have driven some pretty high power machines. I have owned many cars in my life with well over 400+ horsepower and I have street raced cars and motorcycles. I have driven 160mph on a motorcycle on an open highway. I have experienced speed that many will not, but this my friend is a blessing in disguise. This is worth every penny that Ferrari charges for this beauty.
The sleek sexy curves of a Ferrari and the amazing stance the car has just walking around it speak to you. They call you… “drive me…”
Here is a quick video of me from inside the cockpit of the Ferrari Italia on my first run. I finished with a time of 1:00 flat (one minute) on run #2, which was the fastest of the group! (Yay Me!)
The Exotics Course at Walt Disney World® Speedway, a new track configuration at the motorsports complex located on the grounds of the world-famous theme park will be offered 150 days a year beginning January 16. Link: Driving Experience Site
Guests can drive some of the fastest automobiles while on a track designed specifically for them to safely experience what these cars are capable of as they accelerate to high speeds on the backstretch and the incredible braking and handling as they come into the interior section.
The Exotic Driving Experience will feature cars by Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi and Porsche.
Compliments of “Exotic Drive Experience”
5 minutes of Instruction and brief video
40 minutes of classroom learning
5 minutes drivers meeting
1 hour driving experience of the vehicle
10 minutes for closing ceremony with plaque and time slips.
This is a MUST for any Disney Dad!!
- Ferrari 458 Italia – Basic 6-lap Experience is $389
- Ferrari F430 – Basic 6-lap Experience is $329
- Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera – Basic 6-lap Experience is $339
- Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 – Basic 6-lap Experience is $299
- Porsche 911 GT3 RS 997 – Basic 6-lap Experience is $199
- Audi R8 – Basic 6-lap Experience is $269
You can book your tickets here or by calling (855) 822-0149