Last year I joined the BMW Advanced Driver Training which was held at the carpark area at Sepang Circuit (read my last post here). Later in the year, I managed to score seats at the BMW Intensive Driver Training. The difference between these two trainings is that the Advanced training was mostly done at the Sepang Car Park whilst the Intensive Driver training was done over two days and it had both track driving and also training in the car park.
Both days started off with theory classes in the morning before heading to the carpark for some warm up exercises such as slamming your brakes at higher speeds. On average the speeds you go during the Advanced driver training is around 50km/h, 60km/h and 70km/h. In the intensive, you perform the exercises at higher speeds such as 90km/h, 100km/h and 110km/h. From double lane changes to slamming your brakes and taking high speed corners in the rain (well the weather wasn’t controlled by us), it was all in good fun.
The one bit which gotten me so interested in this course was the ability to drive on the track. On the first day, we followed the instructor car through the track and had to try to keep up and follow their lines. It wasn’t easy at all and I just couldn’t exit the corner fast enough. I kept having to constantly remind myself to go slow into the corner and exit fast! The second day was a lot more stressful as the instructors would then follow behind us and tell us all our mistakes via a walkie talkie as we run through the track.
At the end of the course we had a track challenge where we would run through the south bit of Sepang (started at turn 9 and ended just before turn 15) and do a timed run. Thanks to my over eagerness to win, during my first run I kept slipping on the red and white lines (lost grip) causing me to sabotage the rest by hitting the cones the instructors laid out to help us indicate our braking points and turning points. On my second run I went into turn 12 too fast and when I clipped the apex of turn 13, I lost grip in my rear tyres and spun out. The fastest time clocked was 57 seconds in the F30 328i.
Going through the course was a real eye opener for me, mainly because my lines at Sepang previously was quite crap! Now with a little bit of coaching, I need to learn the more advanced tactics and tips for driving on the track. Definitely a lot more to learn and I am such a newbie compared to our veterans.
Again to note, you do not have to own a BMW to attend this course. I had friends who participated in the course and they are now addicted to track driving. The pre-requisite is that you need to complete the Advanced Driver Training first before attending this course. I highly recommend this course to you all out there! It was really fun! We even had participants who flew in from Hong Kong to participate in the course.
Photo Credit: All photo credit here goes to the photographer hired by BMW. Didn’t manage to catch his name as he was a really stealthy photographer!