5 Spectacular Cars For The Track Day Enthusiast's Dream Garage

Feature

Life is short; don't waste it driving slow cars.

Don’t be one of those shitty people who spend their lives safely soaking up the years like a Toyota Corolla soaks up miles. Spend those precious and limited years raising hell, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and making more mistakes than you’re proud of. Now you’re starting to see things the way F1 playboy-racing driver James Hunt saw them, and coincidentally, this philosophy will also help you get around a racetrack more quickly. So what army of cars would best suit the person who lives life like there’s no tomorrow?

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A 4.0-liter flat six, 500 horsepower, and one of the most well-made chassis ever make the Porsche 911 GT3 RS the first pick for any track day veteran. A GT3 RS owner doesn’t care about image like a Ferrari buyer. They don’t want the drama of a Huracan or an Aventador. In fact, they want almost nothing but pure focused driving experience, and the GT3 RS delivers on this promise. It lacks door handles, and obsessive weight-saving Porsche engineers even added a magnesium roof over the driver’s head because carbon fiber was too heavy. The meticulous thought behind the GT3 RS will ensure what when the track is clear of tourists, the real cars can come out and experience fight-or-flight survival battles with each corner.

If earlier dreams in life included becoming a Formula 1 driver, then the Ariel Atom 3.5R is the car to buy. For about $93,000, buyers get four tires, an engine, and a driver’s seat all held together by a few interconnected tubes of steel. Just like an F1 car, everything about the Atom is raw. There are no doors, no roof, no trunk or hood. The tires and an exposed 2.0-liter supercharged four-cylinder from Honda are the only things that hint that this thing is a car. The rear wing makes it look more like an alien, and with only 1,350 pounds for the 350 horsepower engine to tow, it definitely accelerates like a spacecraft from another world. Novice or not, there is little doubt that a driver will never feel more alive than when behind the wheel of the Ariel Atom.

The BMW M3 seems like the runt of this group. It may have been built with some track focus in mind, but in the automotive world that’s as vague a statement as saying that Taco Bell was made with Mexico’s culture in mind. The car is heavier than the competition and has luxury amenities like leather seats, a good sound system, and plenty of space for groceries and child shuttle service. But this is exactly what makes it so great. Not all racecar drivers are the Stig, meaning they have families and need to eat food. For retaining the ability to pull off the daily chores of life while becoming a lap time-hungry track car at the push of a button, the BMW M3 earns a spot in the garages of anyone who lives for the racetrack.

In the world of sports, there are the people who give 75% intensity during the game and those that give it 110%. For days when the ladder is needed, the Aston Martin Vulcan should more than do the trick. Like most Aston Martins, it has looks to kill, but this time it has track-bred performance to back it up. A 7.0-liter V12 with 800 plus horsepower of tire-smoking rage makes sure of that. So does the swaths of carbon fiber that make up the monocoque and body panels. Technically this FIA compliant car is not road legal, but even the cars of Dubai’s police fleet would have a hard time catching up and telling a driver that they just pulled a huge no-no. Just try not to crash because this car is on the "endangered exotics" list.

Big brutish American muscle may not be the first thing that comes to mind for the race track enthusiast, but when the Corvette Z06 beat a Porsche 918 Spyder around Virginia International Raceway, the game was forever changed. Even if the circumstances of that lap were skewed in the Corvette’s direction (a GM racing driver set the time in the Z06 while a journalist was in the 918), the fact that $764,605 separates the cars makes this feat eminently impressive. What’s more is that the Z06 is cheap for a track car, coming in at less than $100,000. This means that drivers in need of a car to practice with can exploit the Corvette without worrying that they’ll kill off a rare exotic beast like the Aston Martin Vulcan.

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