It’s certainly not every day that one gets to witness a fleet of sleek and shiny BMW 420i Coupé Sport cars all lined up like pretty maids in a row while waiting to hit the tarmac. This was just the tip of the iceberg for the lucky participants that had enrolled in the recent thrilling edition of the BMW Driving Experience. The history of this reputable initiative can be traced back to 1977 when the German luxury marque cemented its status as one of the pioneering car manufacturers to offer its distinguished clientele with access to specialised driver training courses that will enable them to fully comprehend the power of these incredible driving machines.
SEE ALSO: Go on an adventure with BMW
Currently in its 12th edition in Malaysia, participants who sign up for this enlightening programme will be guided by fully certified experts and can select from two courses based on their driving capabilities. The first is the ‘Advanced’ module which focuses on learning the basic fundamentals for skilful driving that includes mastering the perfect driving position to suit one’s individual body shape. These seemingly minute details not only provides drivers with a firmer and better grip on the wheel but also better access to the pedals and brakes, which can make all the difference in reducing the risk of serious injuries during any sudden collisions. Meant to simulate typical traffic and hazard conditions between 50 to 60 km/h, this full-day course involves a multitude of practical exercises such as emergency braking, as well as manoeuvring while understeering and oversteering.
Once you complete the Advance module and feel confident enough to take on the big leagues, the Intensive module is the way to go. Catered towards serious driving enthusiasts who wish to hone specific skills, the purpose of this module is to enable drivers to prepare for any unexpected driving situations by familiarising themselves with the high-tech features that have been equipped in these powerful vehicles. During this 2-day course, participants will be able to develop the necessary skills, reactions and awareness needed to master the challenges of day-to-day driving, while also steering clear of any unexpected surprises that one might encounter during the journey.
Besides learning about basic racing skills such as driving lines, braking points, apex and acceleration points, there are several professional lessons included that requires plenty of focus and multitasking within a fraction of a second. The first is dynamic braking which involves applying the brake pedal with intense force at the precise moment, an especially valuable skill when it comes to tackling specific corners on the circuit. There’s also the lane change manoeuvring exercise to simulate swerving around an accident at mid to high speeds. During this particular challenge, drivers are expected to maintain a speed of 100 km/h towards a small area marked by orange cones before applying the brakes and manoeuvring out of harm’s way. For most participants, it was mastering the dreaded oversteer that proved to be the biggest challenge of the day. However, this essential skill is what can either make or break executing the perfect half circle drifts required to blaze through the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). While there are certainly plenty of celebratory moments to be had throughout this entire experience, the most visceral of all would have to be the opportunity to utilise these newfound skills during a timed drive on the actual track. During this portion of the exercise, each participant is given the freedom to lead a convoy throughout the track before giving in to the adrenaline rush while barreling their way across the finish line. If there’s one ultimate takeaway to be had from this experience, it would be the liberating feeling of being behind the wheel of a powerful machine while cranking away at one’s fears and self-imposed limitations.
If all this sounds like your idea of a fun weekend, you’ll need to be fast as the BMW Driving Experience only takes place five times a year. For more information or to reserve a seat, visit the official website here. Interested applicants can also call BMW Voice at 1800 88 3000 or 03-2082 0000.