The Big Mac Blog

Driving a Ferrari at TMS is a solid Valentine’s Day present

A Porsche 911, a Ferrari and other high-end exotic cars are available for personal use in the Exotic Fittapaldi Racing experience.
A Porsche 911, a Ferrari and other high-end exotic cars are available for personal use in the Exotic Fittapaldi Racing experience.

A 2004 Honda Accord with 202,000 miles on it starts to shake at about 74 m.p.h. (at least in a school zone), but a Ferrari heading into a tight turn at 104 m.p.h. doesn’t waiver.

The Honda I know from experience, and now I know about the Ferrari. Oh, and just to emphasize the obnoxious point that I’m better than you, a Lamborghini, too.

If you are looking for a fun (not cheap) gift for that special person in your life in this the most dreaded season of the year for every male alive - Valentine’s Day - the chance to drive a $250,000 car on a race track is a decent gift. It’s not as good as date with tennis star Genie Bouchard, or 1 billion Euros, but ... it’s a good gift.

Former F1 driver Christian Fittapaldi has his Exotic Driving Experience available at three road courses in Texas - Houston, Austin, and Fort Worth.

Click here for It is currently running a 20 percent off Valentine’s Day promotion for this fun experience.

This is a fun way to blow a few hundred dollars, assuming you don’t actually own your own Ferrari. And, if so, that’s on you.

The cars available to drive are a Ferrari Scuderia, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Carerra, Lamborghini Superleggera, or a Lamborghini Gallardo LP 550-2 Valentino Balboni.

With a professional driver in the passenger seat providing constant instruction, you drive six laps in one of the cars of your choice on the 1-mile road course. It gives you an idea of the exceptional design and engineering of these cars.

The handling is controlled and tight, and the acceleration akin to the smoothest roller coaster ever built. There is no reason not to be confident driving these cars; whatever the driver asks of these cars, within reason, they can do.

The car that I wanted to drive was the Lamborghini, but this is a tight fit for anyone 6’ feet tall. I am that tall, making this an uncomfortable ride. The Lambo is fun, but it felt better for a straight line than a road course.

The winner is the Ferrari; I was able to push it to 104 m.p.h., even though it can go a bit more than 200. Along with the Porsche, the Ferrari is better suited for a road course than the Lambo’. Yes, dropping the hammer on a car is fun, but to find a line on a track in these cars and push it around tight turns leaves you with a greater appreciation of what these cars can do.

This “experience” also comes with the chance to turn two laps as a passenger in a Porsche driven by a pro. Wearing a fire suit and a helmet, you’re strapped in and then appreciate the difference between a pro and an amateur driver.

In the Ferrari, I did one mile in 51 seconds. I was quite proud of myself, too, thinking that my window had not passed to win the Indianapolis 500. Then I sat next to the pro, whose lap time was 42 seconds.

The whole experience will leave you mad at your Honda, and exhilarated while asking, “Can we go again?”