One of the great perks of working at Montway are the super-charged company outings. Our last companywide event was held at the Autobahn Country Club track in Joliet, Illinois, where we had the opportunity to explore and experience the power of exotic Supercars such as the Lamborghini Gallarado LP560, Audi R8, Ferrari F430, Porsche 911 Turbo, Nissan GTR, Corvette C7 Stingray and others. Xtreme Xperience, one of our many partners, helped organize our use of the 2.1 mile long track, including a training prep class which shares tips to get the most out of your ride but also to relay safety rules.
For men, enjoying driving one of these powerful vehicles is a no brainer. They are immediately gun-ho, looking for the fastest car, having already decided this will be near the top of their best experiences list even before stepping onto the track. For ladies however, the approach is very different.
My first challenge was to choose one. I read the stats of each vehicle, their horsepower, top speeds, their intricate steering and suspension features…all of which sorry to say, is lost on the majority of females, myself in particular. Considering my goal was to simply reach 100 mph without crashing, when clearly these vehicles are capable of much more, you can see why such information would be of no use in making my decision. Having driven the Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 at an earlier event this year (simply because it was a Lamborghini), the only thing I knew for sure is that I wanted to try something different.
Looking at all the cars lined up, my eyes were drawn to the boldly beautiful Audi R8, and it was a serious case of love at first sight. Considering I was already star struck by its exterior, I was so excited to see the inside of this black beauty. Could I be further impressed?? YES!! Aside from being visually aesthetic, it’s obvious the interior was intentionally designed to help the driver take advantage of the R8′s potency. Or in my case, reach 100 mph safely in killer style.
The reach and positioning of the gears and pedals were perfectly comfortable. My hands in the 9 and 3 position, as recommended by our instructor, were gripped firmly as I peered out onto the track in front of me. Buckled in for safety, I was ready to learn what this Supercar was prepared to show me. I knew at that moment, with its alluring contouring body and its tailor fit driver’s seat, this Audi R8 was definitely meant for me on this particular day, on this particular track. Stats? Specs? Who needs such information?? Not me!! Sometimes all it takes is one look and this was one of those moments. I remember thinking…hell, I may even go over 100 mph!
Despite it not being an actual race against the other drivers on the track, I couldn’t help but to sense a competitive energy. It was GO TIME!
The driver’s seat held me tight and my R8 rounded the corners of the track even tighter. I needed to know how this bad boy would respond to my queues to maneuver the way I wanted, so the first few laps I purposely took my time getting to know my new crush. Coming to the end of the 3rd lap going into the 4th, I began to pick up speed. The 4th and 5th laps were by far my favorite. I was no longer nervous or looking at my gauges, I could only see the road in front of me. I have no clue how fast or slow I was going, I was simply enjoying the ride. Hitting the designated marks along the track, my turns quickly smoothed out and I felt like I was flying. I even passed another driver…OH YEA, I was feeling good!
Even when you aren’t flooring it, all of that power under your control is wonderfully thrilling. I finally understood why my male colleagues were drooling over these mighty machines. Going into the 6th lap, although I wasn’t ready for it to end, I was determined to make it count and give it all I got. Focused on my goal to reach 100 mph, I pushed my companion as hard as I could on the final straight away and he didn’t disappoint. To my content and utter delight, I surpassed my goal, reaching a max speed of 104 mph. It was evident who the winner of this non-race was; me and my Audi R8.
Message to my fellow Ladies, you may think you’re not interested in driving a Supercar on a real race track, but take it from me, this Xtreme Xperience was extremely satisfying, absolutely one of the best first dates I’ve ever had.
About Kathy R.
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