My best friend invited me to go to the BMW Performance Driving Experience with him in 2017. His brother got him 2 tickets to it for his birthday and luckily his brother doesn’t care about cars. So I booked my plane ticket to Columbia, South Carolina and laced up my driving shoes.

We met up at my parents house and drove together to Greer, SC. Greer is the home to BMW’s manufacturing plant in the US. Included in our driving experience was a trip to the local BMW Car Club of America’s Museum.

After our Museum trip was complete, we headed over to the The Zentrum BMW Visitor Center to see the collection of cars there.

After we were done with the visitor center, it was back to the driving center to get our instructions for the day and split into groups. First up for our group was some off road driving in the BMW X5M.

The course demonstrates the various capabilities of the SUV such as driving through standing water, an undulating circuit to show the rigidity of the frame, and a hill descent that feels like it’s a straight down vertical drop.

Finally you finish the course with some side to side hills showing the roll over control. After this, we moved on to a BMW 650i for a wet rat race (that’s what they called it).

The rat race was a fun exercise. Two cars will “race” each other around an wet oval track. The cars will start on opposite sides of the track and the object is to close the distance on the car in front of you. I was able to finish 3rd place on this one. Long story short, a cheater won. The purpose of the race was to be on wet ground for reduced traction. The winner decided to go outside the track limits to the dry asphalt. After I gave him a scowling look, we moved on.

The final exercise of the day will be in the BMW M2, M3, and M4. This consisted of several different tracks to show the agility and speed of the cars. One of the tracks had a slalom, tight turns, and a braking zone you had to completely stop in to register a time.

After a fun day of driving, we all got to take a hot lap with an instructor who drifted the car all around the BMW test track to include a couple circles on their 360 degree wet skid pad. Any day driving is a good one, but this was extra fun because I had my friend with me.