Dream Racing Makes High-Speed a Reality in Las Vegas
Arriving at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to take part in the Dream Racing experience, you can feel the excitement build. It is tangible, like an electric feeling in the air. Having real race cars sets Dream Racing apart from their competition. Knowing that you have the opportunity to drive what are essentially the same cars that have taken part in racing championships is amazing. Dream Racing is not only an IMSA race team, fielding a Huracán GT3 this season, but a group of individuals that want to make the dreams of enthusiasts come true.
The experience they have put together allows a driver to pick a car from a huge selection of top supercar marques and test its limits on an actual road course. Perhaps the coup de gras to their competition, with multiple packages available, the experiences are accessible to people at many different levels of income. The Speed Journal was fortunate enough to participate and drive a couple of the quickest cars in Dream Racing’s stable.
Marketing Director, Steve Jones, was kind enough to give us a tour of the facilities and talk to us about Dream racing. He explained that the owners having racing backgrounds, which shaped the experience they wished to create. Due to this, the staff understands that proper instruction is paramount for a rewarding drive. After watching a short introductory video about the process and the car, a stint in the simulator comes next. Using a laser-scanned copy of the track, the simulator acclimates the driver to the actual conditions of the track. Boasting the same seats, LCD tachometer, and roll cage from the race cars, the simulator is as real as it gets without being on track in the actual car. With the simulation complete, the driver moves on to the best part of the day.
In our case, two race cars were lined up for the day’s driving session, a Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo and a Ferrari 458 GT. “The Huracán is raw, beastlier. The 458 racer is smooth, more user-friendly,” Team Principal Jeff Francis attested. With speed not limited, a driver at Dream Racing can test both a car’s capabilities and their own.
A factory-built racer, the smoothness of the Ferrari allows the driver to test its potential. Sharp, precise steering and racing slicks allow the driver to stick the nose into a corner and then rocket out. Large use of carbon fiber drops about 500 pounds from the car’s weight and without engine restrictions, the car makes 570 horsepower. Since the 458 GT puts its power down with force, focus is necessary to hit braking points correctly. Corners appear quickly and you have to be ready to mash hard on the brakes, without heat in the pads they require a lot of input. However, all the effort put into driving the car is rewarding. By the time your session ends you are left wanting more time behind the wheel; driving a Ferrari race car is unlike anything else.
The Huracán Super Trofeo is much the same. A competitor in its own racing series, the Huracán is imposing and getting the car going is an occasion in itself. To start the car you must run through a procedure. Flick the master switch on, push the ecu button, turn the ignition system on, prime the main fuel pump and finally, the large red “push” button fires the starter. The 5.2-liter V-10 bellows into life. Unlike the Ferrari, the Super Trofeo has a clutch pedal to set off with. Getting off the line will grant most drivers with an appreciation for the racing drivers who launch the car during a race. Once you get going, the Xtrac six-speed sequential transmission shifts lightning fast like the sequential box in the Ferrari. However, amidst gear shifts you can feel a noticeable difference between the two cars. The throttle in the Lamborghini is much more sensitive and, with 620 horsepower on tap, modulating it correctly takes some practice. While the amount of power and the engine note scream “raging bull,” the car is actually fairly easy to acclimate to. Also like the Ferrari, the car rides on racing slicks and, depending on the amount of fuel it is carrying, weighs around 2,800 pounds. Lightness goes a long way for the Lamborghini. Along with its high power output and sticky tires, the car is able to blast through corners and down straights with ease. While hard like the Ferrari’s, the Huracán’s brakes provide impressive stopping power. Again, flying around the track, your session ends before you know it. Piloting a race car is the pinnacle of driving experiences and a whole day may never be enough for an enthusiast, but having the chance to drive one is an amazing opportunity in itself.
For those looking to live the millionaire lifestyle, Dream Racing will provide a two day adventure for those who want to feel like a real racing driver. If you have $19,750 to pony up, Ready to Race is an event like no other. To begin, you are picked up from your hotel and driven to the Las Vegas Heliport and flown to the track in a private helicopter. Next, in a supercar of ones choosing, you complete seven laps of the track while your driving skills are analyzed. After completing the analysis, a helicopter again awaits to transport you to a cocktail dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Luxury Hotel, flying over the glittering night landscape of the Las Vegas Strip.
The next day, guests are treated to a racing theory session before suiting up in name-embroidered, custom-fit race gear. Subsequently, a photography session captures the occasion. To give the day a professional feel, a free practice session in the Ferrari GT follows, with a telemetry brief and analysis of your performance after. The racing instructors then teach you extreme recovery techniques and provide a drifting exercise to practice car control. To round out the morning, overtaking procedures and training take place, followed by a solo-driving lead and follow session. Qualifying for the race takes place after lunch. Before the race is set to begin, drivers attend a briefing to go over flag meaning and rules. Split between two teammates, the race is a total of 30 laps. The summation of a real race experience, there is a podium ceremony with interviews as well as a closing ceremony. All said and done, guests are provided an exclusive look into a racing driver’s life and go home with a video production and mementos from an experience to truly remember. All this is assembled by a team that aims to provide the most amazing service possible. From supercars to Ready to Race, Dream Racing provides an experience for enthusiasts at any level.
We at The Speed Journal would like to thank Steve and the rest of the friendly staff at Dream Racing. The hospitality shown during such an incredible event made the experience even better.
The Driver’s Series scours the world to find and explore compelling driving experiences for anyone with a driver’s license and passion for speed. We send our resident driver Jeff Francis to get behind the wheel and report back to Speed Journal readers to ride along virtually or become inspired to take on the driving experiences themselves. Are you involved with a driving experience that should be featured on The Speed Journal? Do you have a driving experience suggestion for The Speed Journal to investigate? Please contact us.