Part of being a gearhead is track driving. While not all car enthusiasts take their cars to the track, there’s quite a large culture of them that do. Tracking your car is the best way, and probably only safe way, to really explore the limits of your performance car. And if you have a BMW, chances are that pushing your car to its limits is something you’d like to do.
There are plenty of racetracks scattered across the United States, and the rest of the world, that people can take their cars to and push them to their limits, or more likely their own personal limits. We just recently sampled the BMW M2 on one of the US’ most famous race tracks, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It was an awesome experience and that track was perfect for the M2. Laguna Seca is one of the more technical and difficult race tracks in the world, making it perfect for a car like the M2, as it promotes finesse and agility over raw power.
We’ve also driven many new BMWs at many other circuits around the US. We’ve been to the Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Monticello Raceway in New York, just to name a few. Both of these tracks are fantastic. COTA is also a circuit on the F1 Calendar, giving it some prestige that makes driving on it very cool. Willow Springs Raceway in California is also a very good one and is where a lot of California-based journalists go to test new cars, as it has some really great turns and a long straight. There’s some more exclusive and expensive tracks around the country, like Virginia International Raceway, which is as much a country club as it is a racetrack. The Nurburgring Nordeschleife, in Germany, is probably the most famous and most difficult track in the world that can be driven by the public and is so often the benchmark track for performance cars.
Being a member of a racetrack and regularly taking your car there is a great way to really build a relationship with your car. We drive a lot of new and really cool cars but, unless you live in an area with some really great driving roads, a lot of new cars feel exactly the same, as everyday driving is very mundane and doesn’t allow modern cars to really open up. So having a performance car can often feel like a waste in the ho-hum stop-and-go of everyday driving. Taking that performance car to the track really allows the owner to bond with it, learn it and understand its capabilities.
Track driving isn’t for everyone, especially if you only own one performance car and it’s rather new, because track driving can put a beating on a car and no one wants to spend all of that money on repair bills when they have to daily drive the car. So most of the time, people who track drive cars typically do so with an older, second car than their daily sports car. But if you have the means, track driving is excellent and there are some really excellent tracks out there. So what is your favorite racetrack to use, if you do track your car, and what kind of experiences have you have with your BMW on track?