Whether you love cars as a driver or just a spectator, there are certain “bucket list” items that are more than just a to-do – they’re a rite of passage. You can tour the roads of northern Italy or take a lap on the Nürburgring in Germany, but these are the five experiences you simply have to see and do first.
If you have the need for speed, you need Germany’s Autobahn. Imagine driving down a perfectly maintained freeway – and there is no speed limit. It’s no surprise this network of German roads is consistently occupied by the world’s most powerful supercars. There’s almost no other public road in the world where you can (legally) push a car, and your courage, to its limits.
The Indy 500 is pure, unbridled Americana. It’s the American Pie of races in the United States, and it takes place at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway every year. While most Americans have eyes on NASCAR, the Indy 500 is one of the few races where non-stock cars get the spotlight. If you have the chance to see it live, do it – everything from the sounds of the engines to the pit stops is truly unique.
If you fancy yourself more of a NASCAR fan, the Daytona 500 is the race you need to see. But in the 35-race series for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, what makes this one so special? The Daytona 500 is held at the end of a two-week, action-packed group of races called Speedweeks, and it’s like March Madness to a NASCAR fan. But while the race on the track has raised stakes, it’s the crowd and atmosphere that make the Daytona 500 America’s favorite race to see in person.
Bonneville Salt Flats
Have you ever seen a video where any vehicle breaks the land speed record? Often, the background is a solid, flat white desert with mountains over the horizon. It’s the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, and it’s one of the largest, flattest pieces of land in the world. Even if you don’t get to actually drive a vehicle on the flats, which feel like they go on forever, you may have the chance to see a record attempt in action.
There’s racing school, and then there’s rally school. And if the only roads you’ve ever driven are made of asphalt, this is a one-in-a-lifetime experience you can’t miss. Rally schools like DirtFish in Washington State will have you behind the wheel and driving a beast on some of the most intense dirt roads in the country. It’s a driving experience like no other.