By Doug Halberstadt
Last week, I wrote an advance story about the company Xtreme Xperience coming to the Blackhawk Farms Raceway with their stable of luxury sports cars. Last Saturday, Sept. 13, I was fortunate enough to be their guest at the 1.95-mile road course.
It was a perfect fall day for racing. The skies were sunny and clear, and the track was dry and fast. The electricity among the staff, drivers and spectators was easily palpable.
Much of that was because of the contagious positive energy and passion exuded by Xtreme Xperience President Adam Olalde. His job on Saturday was teaching the prerequisite safety course. It was clear to see this was his baby and something he loved sharing with other people passionate about driving these incredible vehicles.
There were people of all shapes and sizes waiting to climb into the cockpits of a variety of cars normally reserved for the super wealthy or only seen in the movies. Here, they were right at our fingertips and begging us to take them out for a spin on a real racetrack.
After putting on a helmet and buckling in, I was ready to take the controls of a Nissan GT-R. The car has a suggested retail price of $95,000. It does zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds and has a top speed of 193 miles per hour. Needless to say, vastly different from the vehicle I drive daily. This was beyond anything I could have imagined.
My ride-along instructor was Scott. He expertly guided me through the course and continuously provided me with tips and instructions to assure I was able to get the most performance and thrills out of our three-lap adventure. I never took my eyes off the course, so I wasn’t able to check the speedometer, but I’m pretty sure we hit some fairly high three-digit numbers down the long front stretch. The turns and curves were taken at significantly lower speeds, but were no less exciting. These cars were meant to perform at their peak under these conditions.
One of the other awesome things offered by XX is their ride-along option. This is a great way for the less adventurous thrill-seekers to go for the ride of their life. They get to sit in the passenger’s seat and let the professionals chauffeur them around the course at a very high rate of speed.
One individual I saw taking advantage of this opportunity was a middle-aged male who was sightless. I overheard him say it was a gift from his daughter. I can’t begin to imagine what a thrill that must have been for him.
I would strongly encourage anyone who may even be remotely interested in doing this to pull the trigger and make a reservation today. XX is in Joliet, Illinois, this Saturday and Sunday with a variety of packages available. You can reserve your spot by visiting their website at www.XXSPEED.com, and be sure to tell them you read it here! I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
Posted Sept. 16, 2014