Not too long ago I was able to partake in an event hosted by BMW. I signed up ahead of time for a free autocross course in a new BMW 2 Series. I wasn’t sure what the event details were or what it would be like but was excited anyway. On the day of, I arrived at the location, parked, and checked in.
They had a couple of fun setups to demonstrate the capabilities of their cars, one being a skidpad and another a mountain of sorts. The skidpad was essentially a giant piece of plastic covered in water and soap, but fun to slide around on. The driver demonstrated the difference between having traction control on and off. The other setup demonstrated how their SAV’s handle uneven terrain, putting power to the wheels that need it most, and how the SAV can assist the driver in coming down a hill at a safe and steady speed.
For the autocross course, we all sat in the Harmon Kardon theater for a class on driving. We learned about common driving mistakes, how to fix them, and other great principles for driving a car. I feel like I learned a lot, even to use in my day-to-day driving.
We were shuttled out to the track, first riding around a couple of laps slow with the driver as he gave us some pointers and helpful information, then he demonstrated the track at full speed. It was exhilarating, to say the least. I had a lot of doubts about whether or not I could drive a car like that, or if I’d know what to do when it came time. After a couple of practice rounds and knocking a few cones out of my way, it was my turn…
It turns out that I can drive the track (with helpful guidance from a professional driver). After we all had a chance to make our video we had a fun relay race and said our goodbyes. I have to admit that the drive home was not as exciting as the few hours I spent with BMW, and I’m so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to do this. It was one of the best times I’ve had behind the wheel of a car.