So today was the day! Yes, and it was what I least expected! A few weeks ago, I had the tremendous opportunity to meet up with someone cool, the one and only Kamran Popkin from SWAG Club. This guy is more than just about great SWAG, but sharing some fun and connecting people. He invited a few of us for a corporate trip out to the BMW Performance Track in Spartanburg, SC next to the BMW Manufacturing facility where they build the X5’s for international distribution.
As I got into my little red 1991 BMW 325i convertible, and made my way to Spartanburg, I had no idea what was in store for the day. As I pulled into the facility and made my way inside, I was greeted by some close friends who had also decided to attend this day. From there, it was lunch, some ground rules and off to the track. OK…ground rules and off to the track…YES….we are going to RACE BMW’s on a performance track. No weird Interstate driving where we are worried about blue lights. Yes, it was the petal to the metal. BTW, one of the attendees was late today because he was pulled over on the way to the day’s activities, he was a little PUMPED! Rightfully so!
So…four tracks, eight different BMW’s, 38 attendees and time for loads of fun. We started with driving the X5’s on an off road track where you can take the SUV through 2.5 feet of water, on steep inclines, and even on two wheels, YES..TWO WHEELS. My partner for the day was Wendi Hil,l whom is also a marketing professional. From the moment we jumped into the X5, it was a day off holding onto the “Ole Shit” handle accompanied by loads of laughter and screams.
So a few things that rocked my boat:
1) Racing a BMW 650i on a timed track.
We were able to drive a black 650i on a timed track where we could unleash the 4.8L 360HP V8…and charge around the track in uniform chaos with a partner in the car. Here is Wendi as she drove around the track, a video from my iPhone. Notice the intensity in her eyes and the shake in my hand as we scream around the track. If you listen, you can here the scream of the engine!
2) The Instructor “Hot Run” – AKA Check your Britches Run!
This is where the instructors get to take us ego driven goof balls (after we think we have mastered the track) and show us how to really drive a BMW M5 on this “Performance Track.” Umm…OK, my head still hurts, I never thought that I could ride in a car where the only forward motion that was created was when the car was sideways. What do I mean, this M5 spent more time moving up the track sideways than actually wheels pointing forward. After slipping and sliding, a few 360’s, my head hurt from laughing so hard! My hand was permanently engrained into the “Ole Shit” handle above the window. IT WAS AWESOME! It is amazing the performance and safety of a BMW M5.
3) The BMW 135i 3.0 Liter Twin Turbo
This little two seater actually has four seats, but the two in the back are the insurance seats. But, this little firecracker on the open track made me get on the gas in the open straight-aways and get on the brakes before those sharp turns because of this amazing power. WOW! Man does it have torque! This was my favorite car of the day, and at the nearly $30K price tag, WOW!
All I can say to my friend Kamran Popkin, thanks a BUNCH! He knows how to through a party BMW style! What a great pre-birthday present!