Tam­ing the bull

Sharp - - CARS -

There is no prac­ti­cal rea­son to spend a week­end learn­ing how to make a Lam­borgh­ini go one or two sec­onds faster around a race­track. You will not be­come a pro­fes­sional. You will not win any­thing. And yet the sense of sat­is­fac­tion — of ac­com­plish­ment — is deep.

The Lam­borgh­ini Ac­cademia takes place at a dif­fer­ent race­track around Amer­ica ev­ery year. A very VERY YEAR, more than 60 mil­lion new cars are made. Most of them are for­get­table, anony­mous ap­pli­ances to get us qui­etly from here to there. They might as well be toast­ers. And that’s fine. Be­cause ev­ery year, among the 60 mil­lion, there are a hand­ful of un­for­get­table cars — cars that stand out from the blur of the model-year as it rushes past.

The Year in Cars is a chance to rec­og­nize and cel­e­brate those machines. This year they are a more di­verse group than ever: su­per­cars, of course, but elec­tric cars too, and city cars, lux­ury cars, even the odd SUV. They all did it dif­fer­ently, but they all made get­ting from here to there a gen­uine thrill.

Ebrave pro­fes­sional driver sits in the pas­sen­ger seat and schools you in the dark art of push­ing a su­per­car to its limit. You think you’re there for a good time, but by lunch you are ob­sessed with do­ing the per­fect lap of Las Ve­gas Mo­tor Speed­way’s road course in a 600 horse­power Lambo. Turn in more slowly so the rear wheels don’t slide out. Lift the throt­tle here to get the nose to tuck into a cor­ner. The per­fect lap is elu­sive, al­ways a lit­tle faster, but the real sat­is­fac­tion is in the chase. You come away from the week­end with a sore neck from strain­ing against the G forces, but you’re that much closer to own­ing the track.

The Ac­cademia runs cour­ses for novices (Corso In­ten­sivo, 2 days) and ex­perts (Corso Avan­zato, 3 days) priced at $9,300 and $16,000 re­spec­tively. It is un­for­get­table.

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