Cars pushing more than 600 horsepower took riders on a free obstacle course of professional racecar driving.
Norme Behaven of Reno summed it up with a few words after stepping out of his car: “Fantastic! What a hoot!”
Hot August Nights announced earlier this year that in celebration of its 26th year, organizers were debuting the exhilarating Ride and Drives, allowing passengers to ride with professional drivers as they raced at professional speeds in the newest and most popular Chevy Corvettes on the road.
The event Tuesday took place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the resort.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Ride and Drives to this year’s event and know they will be one of the activities that make our 26th year unforgettable,” said Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights to a Reno-area news organization.
The rides were free to the public as long as the rider could show proof of a valid Nevada driver’s license and took a breathalizer test before the ride.
The riders were able to drive the track one time on their own with a professional driver by their side, and once with the driver taking the wheel. Each vehicle was equipped to take a real-time video, which was then made available for the passenger to email to themselves to watch and share with friends and family. Participants had to be 18 years old or older.
Mike T., who preferred not to use his full last name, said he enjoyed watching the event but didn’t take part in it. The owner of a 1037 Buick, he and his relatives come to Hot August Nights every year from Santa Cruz County, Calif.
“I think it’s fun,” he said. “It’s free, too. (The event) looks a little smaller because of the gas and heat, but it’s always a fun time.”