First off thanks to other members on this forum who posted their experiences it certainly helped me decide to take this trip. Secondly thanks to Floyd Glinton at Lauderdale BMW
, he made the whole process super easy.
The rest of this will be part story, part pics, part video. When I was looking to go down to SC to do this I had a hard time finding some good video, lots of people used hand held cameras. I brought a GoPro and got seem decent footage. If anyone else goes down make sure you bring someone who wants to drive, I brought a friend who's a car guy and was glad I did.
2014 BMW 435i msport x-drive
Black Dakota Leather
Hex Aluminum Trim w/ Black Gloss
Driver Assistance Package
Cold Weather Package
Harmon Kardon Stereo
Arriving at Greenville
We flew down from Boston on Wed night and got into Greenville around 9:30PM. BMW made this whole process really easy and provided a number to call once we arrived to get a shuttle from the airport. We called right as wel landed and a new X5 came to pick us up in under 10 mins (very impressive)
We crashed at the Marriot in the room BMW provides for the night and we're up the next morning to get the day started.
A shuttle came to pick us up at 7:45AM and we were at the Spartanburg facility minutes later. As we got out of the shuttle I got my first glimpse of my new 435 which they put right in the main entrance.
It was hard not to jump in the car right then but we headed to the classroom for some quick instruction. This was mainly an introduction to our instructors were Matt Mullins and Paul Mazzacane ,both of whom had extensive professional racing experience. They were great teachers and really let us go for it.
I should note that SC was going through an odd winter snap and it was 20 degrees out, not ideal track temperatures.
We got outside and got into our cars. For those not familiar BMW provides a car similar to the one you purchased. My only slight disappointment here was that the car was an automatic, though the new 8 speed is a great transmission and I can't say I had any less fun during the day as a result. We were the only non SUV of the day and the instructors seemed to be having some extra fun with us.
The slalom course was the first event of the day. We lined up and followed Matt through the course for a few laps to learn the course. At that time he let us go for it. There were pretty much no limits here, you go as fast as you feel comfortable. Video of my laps below, it was a blast, I only wish the other drivers went for it a little harder, as you'll see I kept catching up with them within a single lap. (please excuse our child like giggling in the video)
The next event of the day was the skid pad. Sadly due to freezing temps the water they sprayed down instantly turned to ice. This was still fun but a little different as we couldn't get a lot of speed up. My buddy took the video here so I'll add it in later on. It is amazing how much of a difference DTC makes though
This event was really interesting and in some ways I wished we had done this before the slalom course. They have you line up and do emergency stops from 40, 45 and 50 MPH. This is a full weight on the pedal ABS engaged stop. I've never had to make that hard of a stop in real life so it gave me a really interesting sense of how the car reacts. I was amazed at how smoothly the car responded.
Having viewed other videos from PCD I was really excited for this part of the day. The instructors were using M3's this day. The first round of people went our with Matt behind the wheel as we watched on...
When it was our chance to get in I couldn't wait. Matt is an incredible driver and this experience made me start looking at driving schools right away. If I can be half the driver he is I'd be happy. They power slide a lot of the corners and it's really all about showing off car control not the fastest possible lap, though we were hauling ass
At this point we broke for lunch. Paul, one of the instructors sat down with us and chatted about his experiences in racing, he also had VERY posit things to say about the new M4, both Matt and Paul mentioned the new M4 with glowing remarks during the day (they recently had one at the track they got to play with)
After lunch we went over the the museum. They had a cool e30 race car, some older bikes but if you've ever been to BMW Welt in Munich it's a fraction of the size of that museum. We spent a short time here and then went to the off road course.
This was a ton of fun and while no one will ever use a BMW SUV to do this in real life it was cool to know you could. With the X3 and X5 built in Spartanburg even if you aren't getting an X-car you get to do this course. They gave us a new X5 to go through this course. As you watch the video below try to look at how extreme the angle is when the cars tip at the top of the hill on the second obstacle. It doesn't come through fully on video but our right rear tire was feet into the air.
Getting our Cars
From here they broke us up and we got to meet our cars up close for the first time that day. They give a couple of hours to go through this, though if it's not your first BMW you'll find it goes rather quickly. Justin, my CA for the day guided me though some of the things that changed since my e90 335i and go everything set up for me.
Seeing the car pull out of the lobby for the first time confirmed I had made all the right choices ordering the car.
The whole day was a blast and I would do it again in a heartbeat. If you've ever wondered if it's worth doing the answer is a plain and simple YES. Warning though, if this is your first time on a track where you can start pushing a car (it was for me) this will make you want more...a LOT more. My buddy and I already started looking at dates to go down and take their two day school where you get lots of full on track time plus instruction.
Hope this was useful/interesting for you guys. If the weather holds up I'm going to detail the car a bit today and post up some additional pics.
Updated w/ Pics
Here's some more pics of the car, sadly it started raining right after I washed it.