Those who have been regular readers of Wheels would be familiar with the Ascari Race Resort in Ronda, Spain. We have test driven many exotic cars around the 5.5km track several times over the last decade and a half. Ascari is a billionaire's playground in Ronda built by Dutch businessman Klaas Zwart. With a clubhouse, luxury suites and an underground garage full of exotics, it's a driver's paradise. The Thermal Club in California’s Coachella Valley desert is kind of an American version of Ascari.
Recently in the news for selling a villa within its compound for a whopping $3.25 million (Dh11.9 million), the Thermal Club offers villas that range in size from 8,000 to 15,000 square-feet, with three-to-five bedrooms, and a large garage to store the owner’s fleet of track cars.
With ceilings high enough to house a trailer or stack cars, these garages cover the size of the villa’s footprint and can store up to 15 vehicles. Those who opt for a mezzanine level inside their garage will get an elevated viewing gallery of their collection, as well as two additional rooms with picturesque views of the racing circuits within the community.
Like Ascari, the Thermal Club lets owners store their vehicles when they are away and take them out of storage when the owners choose to vacation at the property. Residential staff can prepare a villa before a member’s arrival, even stocking the kitchen!
Apart from the racetrack, those who invest in the Thermal Club community will also have access to a Members’ Club, a full-service spa and athletic club. Members can have their vehicle fully serviced, tyres changed and mechanics adjusted. There is even an on-site fuel station offering both premium and high-octane petrol. Vehicles can be stored in the climate-controlled village garage for immediate track-side access when it's time to race.
Designed by Alan Wilson, each circuit has its own covered paddock, unique features and the ability to change layout, giving members more than 20 different options with more than five miles of pavement. The Desert Circuit is 1.4 miles long with seven turns, and can be modified according to speed and technical requirements. The North Palm Circuit is 1.2 miles with 10 turns, and features a wide-banked carousel, challenging drivers to keep their pace through every apex. At 1.8 miles and 10 turns, the South Palm Circuit combines the longest straight at Thermal Club with sweeping turns.