When a stunt driver and an investment banker get together to start a business, one might not be able to predict what kind of business is in the works. For David Perisset and Romain Thievin one past time in particular, stuck out— driving supercars. Thievin, a stunt driver for the likes of Matt Damon in the Bourne Identity franchise and Robert De Niro in Running knew a thing or two about driving cars. Perisset, Thievin’s friend, and former investment banker, knew the inner working of the business and how to bring one from idea to inception.
Forged on the banks of the pristine French Riviera, the two friends brought their company idea to fruition in 2005. “We built our own track on an existing speedway,” Perisset recalled. And thus, Exotics Racing, the track experience for anyone from novice to professional, was born.
In 2009, Perisset and Thievin decided to branch out overseas and chose a Las Vegas location for Exotics Racing. “We started out with six cars and a handful of employees,” Perisset said. “Now, six and a half years later, we have 170 employees, about 60 fully owned supercars and two locations in the United States.” The second installment of Exotics Racing is located in Fontana, Calif. just east of Los Angeles.
With over 200,000 drivers taking to the track since Exotics Racing opened in 2009, they can easily call themselves the largest driving experience in the nation.
Here’s how it works:
Experienced track driver or not, as long as you’re over 18 and possess a valid driver’s license, you’re good to go. Once you check in at the track, you’ll participate in a 30-minute classroom session, which will walk you through the track experience and safety tools. You’ll then hop into the passenger seat of a Porsche Cayenne with an instructor for a few laps around the track. This is done in place of a simulator to give you an actual feel for the track before you head out in your chosen supercar. As stated by Perisset, “Simulators don’t really work as well as being physically on the track. Feeling the weight transfer and the speed of the car in person is best.”
Now it’s your turn. You have an abundance of supercar options from Audi to Nissan, Porsche to Lamborghini, Ferrari to McLaren and more. Once you’ve chosen your car and gone through the classroom and track training, you’re ready to go. Jump in the driver’s seat while an instructor rides passenger to guide you. Want a little more action? No problem.
“Our instructors will adapt the level of instruction to the wants and needs of the customer,” Perisset explained, “They’ll keep you safe, but they’ll also make sure you have the experience you’re looking for.”
Want more? Exotics Racing also offers in-depth instruction on driving techniques for specific cars, and instruction in high-performance cars specifically tailored to racing. Their fleet of 24 racecars has been imported straight from Europe.
You Never Know Who You Might See
When asked about a memorable experience with a customer, Perisset couldn’t come up with just one. “What we offer is so unique that every experience is a special story. Celebrities visit all the time. You never know who you’re going to meet. Lebron James stopped by for his birthday with 15 of his friends. Caitlyn Jenner comes by quite a bit. Michelle Rodriquez is a regular. We’ve actually become friends with her.”
What’s more, Exotics Racing understands the importance of giving back. They’ve worked with the Make a Wish Foundation and helped bring a smile to the face of a child suffering with a terminal illness. “We’ve been able to help them and their families.”
Exotics Racing definitely provides an experience like no other. They’ve achieved the “Best of Las Vegas” award three years in a row and are regularly recognized by Trip Advisor as a top Las Vegas destination. “We’re evolving with our customer base,” Perisset stated. “We want to provide the best experience possible.”