MrsMTB has apparently been planning this little surprise for me for quite awhile. She asked me to take yesterday off work so we could drive to "Ann Arbor" for something fun.
"Ann Arbor" turned out to be Michigan Speedway, and something fun was the "extreme experience" (no, I won't accept their dumb branding practice of eliminating the "E"s. Misspelling words for the sake of branding is dumb.)
Basically, this is a track experience for anybody from beginners to people who know what they're doing but want to get a bit of seat time in a car they don't own. They provide a short classroom session, instructors, and lead-follow laps in your choice of 6-8 sports cars.
My wife had apparently asked my buddies which car I'd like to go with, and they chose the 911 GT3 RS for me. When I first saw a Huracán doing some safety check laps I was thinking I might want to swap to get some V10 in my life, but then the GT3 went around and my worries were squashed. That thing is LOUD! Easily the loudest car there by far. (The Huracán was next on the list, the rest of the fleet were leagues behind.)
I did a few laps sitting shotgun in the Charger Hellcat lead car to get the lay of the land before joining the line for my turn in the Porsche, and I'm glad I did. We got "3" laps... I put that in air quotes, because they count your time entering and leaving pit lane as part of your third lap, so you only get two shots at the straight. I'd count that as 2.5, but tomato, potato I guess.
When I got behind the wheel, it was immediately clear how focused the car is. The racing bucket doesn't recline at all, and to be honest the seating position was a bit too stiff and upright for me, especially with a helmet. But I got used to it pretty quick. All the cars there are autos, so I didn't have to learn a new clutch. And I have to admit, PDK was incredible. It was exactly as aggressive as my right foot told it to be, with it dropping gears into the power band the instant my foot stabbed the throttle. The acceleration was great, the braking and turn it was even better, but by far the best was the noise!
After my two-and-a-half short laps, I was definitely thirsty for more. This car has definitely worked its way onto my bucket list.
My overall impressions of the event were pretty positive, but damn was it expensive. I was a bit turned off by how many opportunities they had to work more money out of you. Want a photo of you in the car (that's already printed out on a rack as you exit) ? That'll be $20. Want to unlock the onboard video that they took on a USB while you were driving? That's another $60. More laps? Several hundred.
Considering they're providing the cars, all the consumables and wear items, I guess the price isn't too bad. I just wish I had gotten more than a couple minutes of seat time! If you have a car that's capable of surviving a track day, that's definitely a better value at $200-500/day with probably four or five 20 minute sessions full of lapping. It's definitely a great way to get some full-throttle time behind the wheel of your favorite supercars though, just not cheap!