der Bayerische January/February 2021 - 34

The 2020 BMW Ultimate Driving Experience

The Cure for the Car Enthusiast's Cabin Fever
By James Chew

could a car lover's attitude NOT improve?
I almost didn't attend.
In 1998, I attended my first BMW Ultimate Driving Experience. Held in
The thunderstorms during the previous night as well as an ongoing
downpour made me think twice about venturing onto I-95 and I-495 to the parking lot of the old US Airways Arena, I was surprised by the quality of
FedEx Field. Even more maddening was that the day before, the weather was the program and pleased to have the opportunity to drive a new BMW on a
challenging autocross course. No longer having the time to make my annual
sunny and dry, and the forecast for the following day was equally nice.
However, my scheduled session for the Ultimate Driving Experience was drives to some of the country's best racecourses, that two-hour session was a
for that rainy day in between. Having been rescheduled from the previous April, quick and effective fix for my enthusiast's obsession.
Since then, I've kept an eye out for the annual email from the BMW
I was determined to attend, come hell or high water. I just wish the " high water "
part had not been literal. Four weeks prior, a rock kicked up from one of Ultimate Driving Experience, scouring the tour dates and locations. My job
entails a fair amount of travel.
the many I-95 construction/repair
Being able to take a half-day break
zones had previously resulted
to drive a BMW on an autocross
in my having to replace the
course or off the road putting an
windshield on my 2020 M240i
X-vehicle through its paces, and
convertible. Driving my car on that
while driving new BMW vehicles
same road in the rain did not
without the company of a heavily
sound like fun.
cologned salesperson, makes for
However, I made it. Once I
quite a pleasant break during a
entered the FedEx Field parking
business trip
lot, my disposition improved
My reason for participating
greatly. After seeing a number of
in this annual event has evolved.
brand-new BMWs, three autocross
courses, and vehicles driven by
(Top) The 2020 M235i Gran Coupe uses xDrive. (Above) Chicken Soup for the Initially, it was to get a quick fix for
my needs as an enthusiast. Now,
fellow car enthusiasts, how
Car Enthusiast's Soul.

34

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der Bayerische January/February 2021

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