The BMW Performance School is second to none when it comes to manufacture based driving schools. Located in South Carolina but often traveling the country for special events, the team of drivers is an experienced as they come and know BMW’s as well as anyone. They offer several programs from the standard performance driving school, a teen focused session, motorcycle instruction and the always popular corporate event.
Then there’s the hot lap. Traveling with the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship the team of BMW Performance Driving instructors and two loaded M3s tackle some of the most famous tracks around the US. Consider this the US version of the ‘Ring Taxi. It’s a great way to experience the thrill of each track as they were intended to be driven – flat our with experienced racers.
During our time at the recent Road America WeatherTech SportsCar race we had the opportunity to meet with BMW Performance Driving School Instructors; Andy Van Cleef and Tommy Van Cleef (father and son) ultimately getting driven around Road America by the latter. Tommy didn’t disappoint as he pushed the M3 (shod with those excellent carbon ceramic brakes) to the limit at one point effortlessly drifting out of turn 5 (drawing a little roar from the crowd). As anyone who’s ever driven Road America will know the highlight is often the Kink and Kettle Bottoms. With a tap of the brakes Tommy entered the Kink fast and gained on his dad (who was in the M3 just in front of us). By the middle of it we were nose to tail giving us all what it really feels like to go wheel to wheel racing.
I’ve raced Road America a few times and even I was floored by the hot lap experience. However for those who have never done a track day or even driven a car quickly, it was nothing short of jaw dropping. They simply never understood the capabilities of the modern performance car. Given that the current M3 is one of the most capable four door sedan on the planet it simply blew them away.
Details about BMW Performance Driving School programs can be found here.
For those who love specs The two Continental Tire shod BMW M3’s are exactly as you can purchase from a BMW Dealership, the only additions are a few BMW M Performance Parts:
- Front Splitter
- Rear Spoiler
- Carbon Fiber Mirror Caps
- Carbon Fiber Interior Trim
- Alcantara Steering Wheel with Display
For reference here’s our review of the new BMW M4 at the same track.