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Monday, October 6, 2008

A night at the BMW performance center: Part 5

After riding in the M5 I was ready to step behind the wheel of some high powered BMW's. The last event of the night was the 335i match races. A course was set up on a dry portion of the track, and half was on the wet track.  Cones were places in the course just to make things more complicated. 

Wetting down the track

Basically two people were placed on the course, one at the start line, and one half way through the course. The cars would then start and try to catch each other, if someone got within 2 car lengths the race was over and the loser would have to leave the track, while the winner would stay on for another round. Pretty cool setup if you ask me.

BMW 335i getting ready to be raced

I signed up to race and got in line. After waiting for 30 minutes I began to wander around and see what else was going on. I watched the opening ceremony and took some more pictures. There was a pretty big crowd gathered, ready to walk the rest of the night until the sun came up.

Bags set around the track

All lit up

I found my car!

Getting ready to walk

Inside the performance center

After this I made my way back over to the other side of the performance center where the Match Races started.  I got a chance to ride with another driver on the course before I drove.  We made it a lap and a half then flew off the track into the grass at about 80. It seemed like we slid forever, until we landed in a ditch.  Instant disqualification, I barely got to see the track. This made me even more nervous as I'm not used to driving fast rear wheel drive cars on a daily basis. Soon, it was time for me to drive.


Coming through the slalom

I hopped in the car and adjusted the 56 way power seat into the proper position and was off. I started off fast, flooring the car and kicking out the tail. A little more power than my scion. I was soon dodging cones at 60mph while trying to keep my car from going sideways. My adrenaline was pumping. I soon entered the wet area and fought to keep the car from going completely sideways. I finished my first lap.

A 335i Covered in tire and brake dust

High speed section

I heard over the radio that I was in a slight lead but my opponent was catching me. I drove faster, pushing the car around the track with tires screaming and adrenaline pouring. Soon I began to catch the other car and I secured victory. I stayed on the track for my second race. One of my co-workers was in the other car. He beat me off the line and gained a slight lead. I began driving even faster but I could not catch him. After several laps he was declared the winner by a slight lead. I was almost glad to get out of the car and take a break. It was probably the most intense 20 minutes I've had in a long time.  It was hard to sleep that night. I loved every minute of it.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time at the BMW center, I would have paid good money ... for research of course to see the look on your face the first time you hit 155 mph ... lol.