What does it really take to put on a track day? Xtreme Xperience, since 2012, has hosted over 300 track days for over over 250,000 people. We’ve talked about how to prepare to drive your own car on a racetrack, but what does it really take for Xtreme Xperience to put a million dollar’s worth of supercars on a track with beginners in the driver’s seat? We can tell you one thing, it’s not beginner’s luck!
Hosting a supercar track day where ANYONE can sign up to drive cars that aren’t theirs takes a lot of behind the scenes work. Today we’re going to pull back the curtain and take a look at four crucial aspects to successfully hosting a track day. By the end, you’ll hopefully appreciate the work that goes into making it possible for you to show up, jump in the driver’s seat of a Lamborghini and go fast!
4 Crucial Aspects To Planning A Supercar Track Day
- Early Planning
- Elaborate Logistics
- Constant Connection
- Prestigious Preparation
Planning A Supercar Track Day
With 50 track days over the course of the calendar year, planning starts much earlier than you would expect. The first step, solidifying contracts with agreed upon dates happens nearly a year in advance. When all is said and done, the crowded calendar includes several weekends with two events, runs of two months straight without a break, and four day long events.
With the calendar locked in around September, it’s not long until the fearless event coordinators begin their complicated job of working out the tangled knot of details. At between 15 and 12 weeks out from an event (over 3 months!), the track day roster of 30 – 40 people is solidified and flights and hotels are starting to be booked. While most travel from the office in Chicago, many instructors join from other parts of the country. Seats in rental cars and hotel rooms all need to be planned so that no one is left without a place to sit or sleep!
As 12 weeks becomes 8 and then six, other details like catered lunch, racetrack safety & EMS team procurement, tent & chair rentals, and set up availability are all worked out until by the week of the event, every detail is in its perfect place.
It’s worth remembering that the two event coordinators aren’t just each managing one event at a time, they are keeping track of 10-15 ever-changing track day plans all at once. In addition, no two racetracks are the same, with each requiring different rules and procedures.
Getting supercars around the country
What sets Xtreme Xperience apart from other track days is that we have the racetrack and the cars to drive on it! However, Xtreme Xperience does not road trip or rally our supercars across the country. Though some have suggested that doing so could be an exciting new Xperience, the reality is that our cars travel in style on custom built semi trailers called car haulers.
Xtreme Xperience owns four semi trailers and rents four more so that we are able to transport our fleet of 40+ supercars around the country. Currently, Autobox, a specialty exotic car transport service works with Xtreme Xperience to ensure that cars are safely transported from the Chicago garage to the racetrack and back. Often cars leave a day or two before the team for the long haul to the track. Once the last guest has left at the end of the weekend, the cars are loaded up and often head back to the office immediately, travelling through the night to arrive back in the office for some TLC. Other times, the cars will stay out on the road for weeks on end. For example, while in Texas, the cars will be on the road for near two months before returning to the safety of the garage.
Don’t even ask to see the spreadsheet that keeps track of them all, it’s a complicated web! Thankfully, each car is equipped with a Geotab device that ensures they’ll never be lost.
However, this is all in a perfect world! When a car unfortunately breaks down, a replacement may need to be shipped overnight from the garage to get to an event. If this isn’t possible, our team will utilize on track garage space to work tirelessly on the car to get it up and running, occasionally even shipping parts to the track and changing flights. Whatever the unique scenario, the operations team will do anything possible to get the car back up and running so that guests can drive it.
While clarity and careful planning are essential to getting a supercar track day to happen, it is clear communication that keeps it running smoothly. What most guests don’t realize is that every single member of the Xtreme Xperience team at a supercar track day is connected via radio at all times. Each team has a different channel so that communication remains uninterrupted and topics don’t mix.
What will surprise guests more than anything is that every single Xtreme Xperience instructor has a headset hiding under their helmet so that they are always hearing what is communicated by the pit lane director and lead car driver. These are crucial as unexpected circumstances arise, from debris or even an animal on track to an overexcited driver accidentally missing pit lane and heading around for an extra lap. No matter what happens, the team is always talking with one another to stay on top of it!
Getting Cars Ready
Long before guests arrive and supercars begin flying around racetracks each weekend, a long regimented process starts every single track day that keeps each supercar in tip top shape. To ensure these delicate vehicles remain problem free and in peak condition, technicians complete a checklist that includes checking fuel levels, tire pressure, brake fluid, engine oil; torquing wheels; and performing a system health check and vbox performance check. After the checklist is complete cars take the track for the first time with both instructors and technicians keeping a keen eye on performance, while also using intuition and familiarity to identify if anything is even marginally not up to standard.
This involved process is a primary reason why Xtreme Xperience can host track days for multiple weekends on end. Each technician intimately knows every single supercar, able to identify slight quirks between different vehicles of the same model. In addition, each technician is assigned a portion of the supercar fleet for the entirety of a day, to monitor tire pressure, tire wear, and other aspects of the vehicle. More than once, the watchful eye of a technician has caught an irregularity and prevented a potentially hazardous situation. Their constant care of the supercars is what makes a supercar track day possible.
Our goal is for every single guest to drive their dream supercar and have the time of their life. To make this happen, a lot goes on behind the scenes and even long before the event starts. It’s the unattractive, often dull part of the business but it makes the biggest difference and is what sets Xtreme Xperience apart from the competition. Not only do we rent real racetracks for the best possible way to enjoy supercars at high speeds, but we put in the work to ensure that if at all possible, we can exceed your expectations. See you at the racetrack!