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Old 28th August 2016, 07:20   #1
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Default Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430 Spider, Maserati GranTurismo, Nissan GTR.

Cars you would normally associate with perhaps a drool-worthy automotive test report or an aspirational TV show. Right ? Wrong!

These were the supercars I had to chose from, for a memorable 7-lap driving experience at a track in Long Island, New York; an experience gifted for my birthday from my lovely wife! Oh, did I also mention that the package included photographs and a T-shirt ?!

It all began when I received an e-gift in my email during Aug 1st week. I open it and am greeted with a surprise birthday gift from my wife for an all-expense paid supercar driving experience in Long Island, close to where we live! To add icing on the cake, it is the top package - which involves 7 laps, photographs (framed and online) and a T-shirt - what more can one ask for in a wife and as a birthday gift ?!

This is how I looked with the energy of the venue:
Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track-img_3579.jpg


The procedure:

I am to reserve my drive slot through their website: Velocity Driving against calendar availability - turns out this is one popular hangout for Long Islanders. The fine print says that booking 2 weeks ahead is mandatory - I get lucky and get a slot for Aug 20 - a Saturday, and just 2 days after my birthday.

Insurance is mandatory and two options are provided: one can either use their personal car insurance if the policy covers cars of $300,000 value. Since my job as an IT Program Manager does not permit me to own cars beyond $50,000 yet , I chose the other insurance option: purchase a policy for $40 at the venue that covers driving the supercars all day long !


The track:

An outdoor concert venue - the Pennysaver Amphitheater at Selden, has been adapted to layout a track. Turns out its also just 15 mins drive from our house.

This is what we see as we arrive: all the other cars on the track, with the F430 cooling its heels. The track can be seen behind:
Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track-img_3588.jpg


Its a classic American setting: a carnival atmosphere, trailers everywhere for registration, memorabilia, refreshments and with PYTs in charge of all of them, and driving instructors full of energy. I am envious - and remember I used to have similar enthusiasm before: must make a note to change my career.


The supercars

I had 4 supercars to choose from - Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430 Spider, Maserati GranTurismo and Nissan GTR.; at the track (online car selection is not allowed); your preference is noted and qued:

The garage can be seen here: http://www.velocitydriving.com/garage.html

I wanted to capture the essence of the supercar in a drive that would go by too quickly, and chose the V10, 542 bhp, paddle-shifting Gallardo - Lamborghini’s all-time successful model, over a production run that lasted 10 years from 2003-13.

My 2.5 year daughter though, was quite insistent that “dadda drive the red car” and became upset when I walked past the red F430, and into the grey Gallardo! Hopefully she gets to buy her own Ferrari in real life.

If this were a true technical track. I might have opted for the GTR. I might come back for the F430 later. The Maserati GranTurismo is more of a pleasurable GT car than track-oriented like the other three in this list.

A fifth sportscar- Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, was advertized but not available at the track.

<continued>

Last edited by theMAG : 28th August 2016 at 08:12.
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Old 28th August 2016, 07:28   #2
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

The track experience

Expectedly, the Gallardo was the car in most demand- and had the longest wait. After a wait of 40 mins, my name was called, and it was a case of the momentary cold feet, before we trudged across to the track for the photo session.

I am told I look different these days!
Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track-b.jpg

The family pic we chose to be framed as part of the package:
Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track-.jpg

The rear is as important as the front! The track and the F430 setting out are also seen in the background
Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track-c.jpg


After the multi-angle family shoot from the event organizers came the solo shoot, and the customary smiling shot of this moderator in the car, before the drive started ! The Maserati and the GTR can be seen peeking.

Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track-d.jpg

The instructor explained the various nuances of the track, including-particularly, areas that needed a light foot since the track changed altitude and became rough. Scrapping the precious Lamborghini's underbody was not an option!


Finally, the car and drive experience

The supercar:

The first impressions of the Gallardo is that it looks dramatic.Online representations dont make justice to how it looks in real life.

The Gallardo looks razor sharp from all angles and looks like it can cut paper. Open the door, and the first thing I notice is that the seat is roughly where my ankles are! Driving an SUV in my non-Batman life, I immediately have my doubts on fitting into the car without making an overt fool of myself - but extend the seat all the way back and am able to climb in comfortably.

Once in, two aspects strike you immediately:

1. The seating is quite comfortable - and I dont notice any indentations from a pebble underneath poking into my irreplaceable posterior - which is now less than a half inch off the tarmac

2. The car is by no means luxurious from the inside. You can tell its primary purpose was not much else but to give the driver a steering wheel to point the car when the driver is nearly getting killed at all times!


The drive:

I disengage the e-gear, paddle shift into first gear and we are off. The first impression is the weight of the steering - it is a really H-E-A-V-Y steering wheel as we build up initial pace and I am glad I have my gym muscles. It lightens up as we build speed though.I realize this is an opposite expectation from a steering, but I will defer my final judgement to when I have been able to extensively lap the Lamborghini on a technical race track.

The paddle shifter itself is something that struck me as lazy, with a noticeable lag between shifts. Although I dont recall the exact clutch specifications, this could very be due to a single-clutch gearbox.

The V10 engine idles rougher than we are used to in a baby inline-four by comparison. But this is one engine that changes character on a dime! Floor the Lambo and the engine explodes and pulls the car like a freight train with a sticky open-throttle. Note that I am not exaggerating nor using innuendo by any means. This is why we wish the V-engines never fall out of favor!

Slot the paddle into second gear, floor the throttle, and the V10 in the Gallardo makes you wish you were part of the 5% elite that owns 95% of the world’s wealth! It is so explosive that I am transported back to my engineering days, where I have the earliest memories of experiencing an adrenaline rush from making our family’s Premier Padmini drift on mud ! The sound that the Gallardo makes in the process of utilizing its 542 horses is nothing but orgasmic.

The Gallardo corners F-L-A-T. Other than those areas where I was mandated to lift off due to a rough/altitude change section of the track, the other corners were taken FLAT OUT and the Gallardo couldnt care less.


The 7-laps get by extremely quickly. As I grudgingly climb out of the Lamborghini Gallardo that seems to have become my soulmate over the last 10 minutes, I am left with nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T for the car’s multiple personalities. It seems to be a comfortable cruiser at street speeds and a real alter-ego superhero during other times when you know it wants you to floor that accelerator.

I promise myself, I will try my darndest to have a Lamborghini in my personal garage before the V-engine is relegated to history. One day.


We drive back in my Chevrolet Equinox SUV - which now suddenly feels like a luxury hotel room on the 10th floor by comparison, to having a satisfying lunch at a local diner and wish this day never ended!

Thanks once again to my lovely wife for the unforgettable experience.

Last edited by theMAG : 1st September 2016 at 18:35.
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Old 28th August 2016, 07:48   #3
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Moved from Assembly Line to The International Automotive Scene !

Last edited by theMAG : 28th August 2016 at 07:50.
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Old 29th August 2016, 13:31   #4
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

I have nothing but JEALOUSY for you at this time. Awesome gift for a petrolhead. Could you mention the indicative pricing for the drive please?
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Old 29th August 2016, 14:10   #5
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

This is BHPian's wet dream come true

Thanks theMAG for sharing your experience and a wonderful write up!

Btw, how long was the track, were you able to really open up on a long stretch?
How I wish such experiences get opened up in India, Zoomcar are you listening?
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Old 29th August 2016, 14:43   #6
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
......

The paddle shifter itself is something that struck me as lazy, with a noticeable lag between shifts. Although I dont recall the exact clutch specifications, this could very be due to a single-clutch gearbox.
...........

We drive back in my Chevrolet Equinox SUV - which now suddenly feels like a luxury hotel room on the 10th floor by comparison, to having a satisfying lunch at a local diner and wish this day never ended!

Thanks once again to my lovely wife for the unforgettable experience.
Guess the moto-journos were right with their reviews of the Gallardo (and its contemporaries) in its heyday !

The Gearbox is a robotized manual (or what is termed as an AMT) and is most certainly not known to have smooth shifts. And your experience falls right in line with what all of us must have heard and read about the sportscars/supercars of this era with an AMT gearbox.

With that outta the way...

What a way to spend a birthday !
Mrs MAG sure knows what an awesome birthday present is

Cheers !

Sundar
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Old 29th August 2016, 19:00   #7
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Thanks theMAG for sharing your awesome experience.

Quick question - Do they accept Indian driving license? If yes, it's going to be on my list whenever next I am in US.
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Old 29th August 2016, 19:20   #8
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

There's a quote by Winston Churchill which comes in my mind after reading this, i.e., 'my most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me'.

It would have been an amazing experience and once in a life-time experience. Especially reading such first hard information without any exaggeration and innuendos gives you a more personalized account of how the car is in real life.
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Old 29th August 2016, 20:39   #9
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG View Post
It all began when I received an e-gift in my email during Aug 1st week. I open it and am greeted with a surprise birthday gift from my wife for an all-expense paid supercar driving experience in Long Island, close to where we live! To add icing on the cake, it is the top package - which involves 7 laps, photographs (framed and online) and a T-shirt - what more can one ask for in a wife and as a birthday gift ?!
Damn! what a Gift and an absolutely epic wife i must say! Kudos. Im sure it wold be a memory which will remain fresh for many years(decades) to come.

And yea, you're in trouble now! Try topping this gift!
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Old 29th August 2016, 22:41   #10
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Epic experience! This is a day you will never forget in your life.

As someone else said, good luck trying to gift your wife anything in the future!
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Old 30th August 2016, 07:06   #11
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Quote:
Originally Posted by speedmunster View Post
.. Could you mention the indicative pricing for the drive please?
Although my wife refused to reveal the price of the gift, their website indicated $600 as the price for this package.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acharya View Post
..
Btw, how long was the track, were you able to really open up on a long stretch?
The track must have been a quarter mile. Unfortunately, it was not possible to open the throttle through all gears due to the limitation of the adapted track. I would love to be able to put the Gallardo through a technical track sometime - it does present some interesting observations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sid_deb View Post
..

Quick question - Do they accept Indian driving license? ..
Not sure - but you could shoot them a query. I've included their website in my review. They do insist on a license though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by One:1 View Post
..

And yea, you're in trouble now! Try topping this gift!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
As someone else said, good luck trying to gift your wife anything in the future!
How about an all-expense salon package ?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by MavericK46 View Post
..
Mrs MAG sure knows what an awesome birthday present is
..
She sure does!
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Old 1st September 2016, 18:33   #12
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

Congrats on getting to drive this beast, theMAG! I'm positive that feeling must be crazy exciting!


Might i suggest checking out The Xtreme Xperience whenever they are on the East Coast. I had a chance to try them out when i was in the US. I've posted an article of the same with videos! They offer video packages and a 3 Lap run on whatever circuit is nearby and starts from only $200. I had a blast with them! Just ask them about the guy who flew all the way from India last year to Austin.
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Old 1st September 2016, 19:03   #13
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

That is indeed a superb gift and a lifetime experience for a petrolhead.

At first I thought I would be jealous and was not going through the thread. But thankfully my inquisitiveness got the better of me . Thanks for sharing this report. Sincerely wish you have many such sessions before you fulfill your promise of buying one of the ultimate driving machines
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Old 4th September 2016, 15:31   #14
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Default Re: Tale of a Lamborghini and a race track

MAGnificient birthday gift any petrol head could dream of. Way to go.! Not everyone who gets behind the wheel of such super cars and not everyone who were there could narrate so well to make us feel 'being there'. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Last edited by RajaTaurus : 4th September 2016 at 15:33.
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