FrontRunners: Fasten Your Seat Belts

    Some of the biggest thrills in Las Vegas now can be found miles from the Strip, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s new Formula One racing school (lrsformula-usa.com). This is the only venue in the United States where nonprofessional drivers can pilot retired Formula One cars, including the 2001 Prost, the 1997 Arrows, and the 1998 Benetton. The track, with nearly two miles of challenging chicanes and straightaways, resembles a European road course, but it is far safer, with desert scrub in lieu of fences or walls. A few laps with an instructor in a specially built three-seat Formula One car cost $395. Before driving solo, you have to attend a full-day training program ($2,995 and more). . . . 

    Also for lovers of speed and split-second timing, on July 7 through 9, the third biennial Le Mans Classic in France (lemansclassic.com) will bring together 24 hours of racing, an automobilia village, a sports-carmakers’ open-air trade fair, and an auction of car-related items organized by Christie’s. . . .

    This summer, Dan Harris of Oregon’s Jetmousine (learmousine.com) placed the finishing touches on his first car fabricated from a jet body—in this case, the cherry red fuselage of a 1974 Learjet, with its tail and engine housings intact. The car, propelled by a 400 hp, 8,100 cc Vertec engine, includes five flat-screen TVs, a 4,500-watt surround-sound system, and seating for as many as 18 people. Harris already has sold three of the vehicles and hopes to find customers for 100, starting at about $1 million each. . . .

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