Tegan Lawson heads to Sydney Motorsport Park at Eastern Creek to take part in the BMW Intensive Driving Experience, featuring the 428i coupe, M235i coupe, M3 sedan and M4 coupe.
The exercises throughout the day include ABS braking, oversteer and understeer, a motorkhana and paced circuit laps.
There are 24 participants, and after a safety briefing and a run through the agenda, we get our helmets on and head out to the track.
In groups, we head around the track in a convoy driving an M3 or M4, getting tips from the instructor over the radio on braking heading into turns, finding the apex and accelerating out of corners.
Gradually we build up speed, until I manage to hit 190km/hr on the straight on my last lap. That’s fast enough for me at this point!
My group then head to the motorkhana, the aim is to make your way through the course in a M235i without hitting any of the traffic cones then coming to a complete stop within a set area.
Though I’m not the fastest in the group, I manage to beat my driving partner by a few seconds.
ABS braking is next on the agenda. As we head to the location, the sky darkens and it starts to pour. Things suddenly get a little more exciting and intimidating.
After doing an emergency brake and swerve in the 428i, it’s a relief to have experienced ABS in very wet conditions. As you’d expect, the car retains full control in this scenario.
I do manage to get a cone wedged under the front bumper. The instructor comes over to pry it out from under the vehicle.
The oversteer and understeer exercises are the most fun in my opinion, but still the scariest and the weather is not calming my nerves.
With traction control on, it’s just like turning a corner on a wet road anywhere. Turn traction control off however, and it’s a completely different story.
The first time I plant my foot down and turn the wheel, I’ve spun three times before I even realize what has happened.
Gradually I start to get more control over the car as it spins out, but it’s not an easy thing to master!