The BMW Ultimate Driving Experience is back again, offering people the chance to sample the entire current BMW lineup. In proving their ability on the track, they also stand a chance to compete in the Ultimate Driver Competition, which puts them against some of the fastest and most capable drivers from across the country.
Entry into the competition is given to the quickest drivers in any registered autocross of the M Car Control Clinic. In each of the five cities these events are hosted in, the two fastest drivers at each event will be given an opportunity to compete at The Thermal Club for the Finals, and the winner will be crowned the BMW Ultimate Driver. As we can witness from the footage above, last year’s Finals were tense and closely fought — this year’s event should be no different.
The first of the preliminary competitions — autocross — offers a comfortable environment where people can push the limits of their car in a casually competitive fashion. They’ll spend two hours with BMW Professional Driving Instructors driving the BMW 530e iPerformance and the first-ever BMW X2, and compete in a final lap where the top times qualify for the Ultimate Driver competition. The instantaneous torque available from the electric motor offers the perfect response for the tight confines of these courses, and gives these larger cars a sense of immediacy which belies their weight.
For those eager to further stretch the performance envelope, The M Car Control Clinic offers a wide variety of potent performers to play with. For the price of $750, drivers will get to enjoy both the M3 and the M4 with instruction from BMW Professional Driving Instructors. They take part in activities like slalom and high-speed skids — all promising new levels of driving skill. The best lap times qualify for the Ultimate Driver.
There is one other route into the BMW Ultimate Driver Competition. For those who want to experience all that BMW’s M Division has to offer, they can partake in an M Track Day. The half-day program, which comes in at $250, lets drivers test the limits of numerous M vehicles with over 4 hours of activities on the course, including a drag race, timed autocross, lead-follow laps, a classroom session with BMW Professional Driving Instructors, and hot laps.
The premiere M Track Days package, which includes all half-day activities, as well as driftpad sessions with the all-new M5 and one-on-ones with motorsport legend Bill Auberlen, offers a total of eight hours on track, all for $750. Every driver taking part in M Track Days is immediately entered into the Ultimate Driver Competition.
Of the five cities that host these events this year, only one has already been visited: Washington DC. The upcoming events are as follows:
- New Jersey—MetLife Stadium, May 19-25
- San Francisco—Cow Palace, June 16-22
- Los Angeles—Santa Anita Park, August 18-24
- New York—Citi Field, November 10-16
For its unique combination of competition and camaraderie, the BMW Ultimate Driver Competition holds a special sort of appeal. For an exciting experience with some of the best performance cars on the market and the chance to see one’s name in lights, it seems like a bargain.
For more information on the BMW Ultimate Driver Competition, see here.