Bought yourself a Lamborghini or a Bugatti? You’ll be sorely disappointed to learn then, that there’s hardly anywhere to push your new car to its limits. Then there’s a speed limit of 90kph on expressways, and traffic lights every 10 metres in the city. We always find it cruel to deprive your road beast of the power and strength it’s been bestowed upon. Besides, these cars require drivers of a certain calibre to function optimally, and practising drifting a la Tokyo Drift in a shopping centre carpark would certainly not be entertained.
Racing fever has certainly taken over the region. If you just want to hone your driving skills, there are a number of karting tracks here such as The Karting Arena and KF1 Karting Circuit, where you’ll be able to push your foot down sans the anxiety of crashing your million-dollar baby. Johor Bahru’s upcoming Fasttrackcity will also soon be a playground for petrolheads with its F1-approved circuit.
If you prefer something more exotic, however, we’ve sussed out some of the most interesting and challenging venues around the world where you can test your mettle as a supercar owner. With track options such as Germany’s infamous and highly unforgiving Nürburgring to the legendary Circuit de la Sarthe, it’s finally time for you (and your car) to shine.
You might have torn down this 3.6km-long, 11-turn track countless times while playing Gran Turismo, but nothing will fully prepare you for its notorious “The Corkscrew” in real life. The five-and-a-half storey drop sees a left-to-right combo turn that has claimed the dignity of some of the best drivers in history, so leave your high-score complacency at home. Built in 1957, the paved road racing track in sunny central California plays host to a number of auto and motorcycle races, but can be rented out whenever available. Contact various car clubs in the region for a slot in one of the many informal high performance driving schools, where you can take your own baby for a trip down memory lane.
Le Mans, France
If you ever get the chance to drive down the Circuit de la Sarthe, take some time to revel in the fact that you’re at the home of the annual Le Mans 24 Hour race, and the birthplace of some of motor racing’s finest champions. The mix of public roads and race track means that you get to push your machine to the ultimate test. And you will, especially when approaching legendary corners such as the Dunlop Curve, Esses and the well-loved Porsche Curves. However, the track only truly comes alive after darkness falls, as you hurtle through the night imagining to be one of your many idols who pushed their endurance to the next level.
Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan
About 50km south of Nagoya lies a track with a unique figure-eight layout and a Spoon Curve that is supposedly one of the most challenging in F1. It’s straight on the start will oblige speeds of more than 300kph, and overtaking opportunities are aplenty. Drivers are truly tested with varying elevations and cambers, where throttle and braking techniques are key to achieving record times. The Suzuka Circuit has been the epicentre of Japanese motorsports since its launch in 1962, and hosts the Japanese Grand Prix while promoting motorsports culture with a racing school. For those looking for an adrenaline-filled getaway but are bogged down by children, the connecting Motopia amusement park will surely entertain them all day — they might even emerge better drivers than you after.
Better known as “the Green Hell”, the Nürburgring is a staggering 20.8km around. But it’s not just for car manufacturers who are obsessed about performance figures; you can also have your car flown there for a little go on this infamous track. The track has four configurations: the whole course, north loop, south loop and finish loop, with a total of 33 left-hand bends and 40 to the right. If you ever fancy challenging Stefan Bellof’s record of six minutes and 11.13 seconds in his Porsche 956 back in 1983, book yourself a slot now.
Don’t scoff at Lime Rock Park’s mere seven corners, this road-racing track will have you at the edge of your seat with its deceptively fast corners. Also known as “Road Racing Center of the East”, the 2.46km course is nestled within the Berkshire Mountains in northwest Connecticut, and is intense with its flowing roads and one breaking turn. The Big Bend — the track’s most famous corner — sees two tightly linked right-handers that are great for practicing late braking. The Lefthander is the only left turn on the circuit, but bends well over 100 degrees so you’ll have to time your apex well. First-timers are recommended to join the Lime Rock Drivers Club, where a profession instructor will have you accustomed to the roads before you have a go at it yourself at full blast.