Hollywood star James Marsden has thrilled cinema-goers for years, with hit films such as X-Men and Superman Returns to his name. He’s currently playing Teddy Flood in the sci-fi drama Westworld, which is set in a high-tech amusement park where the impossible becomes reality. Marsden recently got to realise such a dream in real life, though, when he visited the Corso Pilota Advanced driver experience at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
When he grew up in the wide open spaces of Oklahoma State, Marsden had a poster of a Ferrari Testarossa on his bedroom wall. When he was old enough to drive, he found his thrills fishtailing old cars on gravel roads. “Now I’m living out a fantasy here with Corso Pilota’s expert instruction, driving the 812 Superfast and 488 GTB. There’s definitely some similarity to this dream place and Westworld.” Corso Pilota Advanced is the next step up from the introductory Pilota Ferrari Sport driving course.
There are numerous on-track sessions and, after each one, the Corso Pilota instructors take students through both telemetry data and on-board video. This means their performance improves with every session. Marsden actually graduated from the Advanced course with the fastest times in his group. So might he now consider moving further up through the Pilota Ferrari ladder, to Evolution and finally, Challenge? “We’ll see,” said Marden, grinning. “Ferrari is like an addiction, and it grows lap after lap.”