If you're a fan of driving and driving very fast your options are limited on Fairfield County roads. It's only off the thoroughfare and on the track where things can get interesting. And all fast roads, it seems, lead to Ultimate Track Rentals in Redding.
Ultimate Track Rentals allows anyone to be a racecar driver or passenger in almost any one of his handpicked vehicles. "So many people have the same love of cars as I do," he says. But most of them have neither the funds nor find the time to acquire, maintain and run sports cars like these, he explains. UTR provides access for vehicular speed-seekers to "the thrill of a lifetime" on a real racetrack. Jim uses the track at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ (easily accessible to his Conn. clients via the highway or a nearby airport) where drivers, from novices to experienced drivers can ride or passenger in cars on the track. "Each driver progresses at his or her own pace and comfort level," he says. UTR provides different cars to match each driver, "From a two-liter, four cylinder Indy vehicle to a Methanol 900 Horse Power Indy car we've got them all." He also rents some of the high-profile cars to customers on a short terms basis.
Owner and fast car-lover Jim Scheckter, who grew up in Greenwich, has racing in his blood. His cousin, Jodi Scheckter, raced Formula 1 for Team Ferrari in Europe in 1968 and was Formula 1 champion in 1979. Jody's son Tomas currently races in the Indy Racing League . But cars were also Jim's early passion. By the age of five he could identify any car, "past or present," he says. "Other kids wanted to be firemen or policemen. I wanted to be a racecar driver like the cartoon, "' Speed Racer .'" Today, Jim owns and drives, among other rides, a Lamborghini Murcielago, Ferrari F 430, Porsche, Corvette, Nissan GT-R and a Dodge Viper ACR.
Until the economic downturn Jim ran his own mortgage banking company. He opened Ultimate Track Rentals this year because he wanted to spend time doing what he'd always loved: being in and around cars. He's owned "just about any car ever made, from Fiat to Rolls Royce," he says, and spent a good deal of his teenaged years importing custom cars from Europe and converting them, according to Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency specifications, then selling them. Italian and German cars, he states, are still his "biggest loves."
But his experience isn't only behind the wheel. It's on the track as well: "I started racing with my friends when I was about 14 in the dirt on real estate development properties my father was working on. I would steal the keys to the diesel equipment and then build my own track layout, and have the locals come and race on the properties," he says. Some of which were more than 100 acres.
Jim runs the company with his wife, Susy, who is also an accomplished driver (she is a licensed Sports Car Club of America racer.) When they're not on the track, they raise champion Samoyed dogs, and they also build custom motorcycles. Nothing about Jim's life is slow, which is exactly the way he likes it.
Have you ever raced in a car on a track? Share your experiences with me here .
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