From the Bronx to SoCal in a Porsche 911 GT3

By Jason Gonzalez- Contributing Writer For Bronx Chronicle

Los Angeles—Prior to heading to Staples Center to cover the welterweight unification bout between Errol Spence and Shawn Porter, yours truly and The Bronx Chronicle’s own, Jason Gonzalez, was pushing a Porsche 911 GT3 full throttle on a 1.5-mile racetrack in southern California. 

I completed five laps on the winding racetrack courtesy of Exotics Racing Los Angeles, located in the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana. Exotics Racing provides opportunities for amateur drivers such as myself to get behind the wheel of a supercar.

On an average day, I can be found stuck in traffic on the Cross Bronx Expressway in my Nissan Versa while heading to work. But on the day of the big fight, [besides being on the west coast], I found myself attaining speeds of 113 mph in a vehicle that costs a cool 143 grand. Just a slight change from the norm. Wouldn’t you agree? 

Now I can appreciate a nice car, however, I would never go as far as saying that I am a car junkie per say. Simply knowing the make and model of a car isn’t enough to be considered an “expert”. Terms such as horsepower and fuel injection and all other jargon referencing automobiles is a foreign concept to me. I’ll take it a step forward, I never learned how to drive stick shift either. Now taking all of this into consideration, while under the supervision of professional driving instructor Cyrille Lemoine, [who rode shotgun] I roared around the course like a pro.

Customers can experience a ride along from a fleet of high-performance cars such as the Dodge SRT, Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Audis, Porsches, the McLaren, and the Nissan GT for 5 laps or more for prices ranging anywhere from $199 to $499. Obviously, the price is contingent on the type of car that you choose, as well as the number of laps you pick to complete. My package included had a total price value of $299 attached to it. 

All excursions begin with a 20-minute training class. The seminar provides all customers with an opportunity to get a feel for the track as they ride in a Porsche Cayenne SUV. This part of the process is called the “Discovery Laps”. Safety is paramount and non-negotiable. At the conclusion of the briefing, you are given a helmet. With all my boxes checked off, I climbed into my Porsche 911 GT3, put my seatbelt and waited for Lemoine to give me my instructions.

Customers can pose for photos in the driver’s seat of Exotics Racing’s bevy of cars as they wait their turn to hit the track. For a city boy like me, I knew I was in store for something “different” when I heard the engine of the Lamborghini Huracan revving as it went on the track. I immediately knew that my experience was going to be an epic one.

I won’t lie, this adventure is very pricey. Secondly, you would be silly to not try to justify the cost, but as Drake would say, you only live once. If this is the type of stuff that you’re into, then live a little. You’ll have a memory that will stand the test of time. You can’t put a price on things like this. With the pictures and video [there is dash cam recording everything into a USB card] that you are provided with your friends can live your experience vicariously through you.

For me, being in control of a high-performance vehicle that I’ve never driven before, nor will I own is something that I now can scratch off my bucket list. I won’t pretend like there weren’t any nerves before hitting the track. There were some butterflies in my stomach prior to entering the grand tourer. I was concerned about losing control and spinning out. I wanted to be perfect. Which according to Lemoine, I almost was. 

“Not bad for your first time on a racetrack,” he said in his heavily French accent. “Had you been perfect you would have hit 120 [mph] coming around the apex. Not bad though, almost.”

Photo: Jason Gonzalez

Like everything else in life, you get better with practice. I got comfortable completing the turns, to the point that it eventually felt natural. I improved with each lap I completed. The course is a 100% safe. The cars are equipped with brakes on the passenger side for the instructor to press if there is a problem. Plus, there isn’t anything to crash into other than the visible road cones. The track is a huge empty lot. My session lasted between 15-20 minutes.

Just a quick piece of information pertaining to other packages and the rules and regulations at Exotics Racing. If driving isn’t your thing and you prefer to be a passenger in one of the cars, that is an option that you can consider too. Lastly, children are able to ride in the cars under the pretense that they meet the criteria of being 11-years-of-age or older, weigh 85 pounds or more and is over 4 feet tall.

If you are in the SoCal area check out Exotic Racing Los Angeles, you won’t regret it. When is the next time that will you be purchasing an automobile that costs six figures? Exotic Racing can help you ride a dream for much less price wise. 

Photo: Jason Gonzalez

The Bronx Chronicle gives Exotic Racing a rating of five stars. My inclusion was magnificent. Exotics Racing has another location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas. Coincidentally another fight town. I think I have an idea of how I am going to start my next big fight night, assuming I am out in Sin City covering it. I am just saying folks… 

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