The Fast Track

View from the SIC Paddock Club

The end of the work week often leaves me with the desire to unwind – often alone, sometimes with company – coupled with the need to free my mind before I start afresh the next week, which often spells out to catching up on my sleep. But if anything could drive me out of bed at the crack of dawn on a Saturday morning, it would be the BMW M Track Experience.

Without knowing what to expect from this experience save for what information I could gather beforehand, I arrivde at the Sepang International Circuit Paddock Club with high hopes and a trace of nervousness in my movement. After all, it’s not every day you have access to cruise the race tracks of the state-of-the-art circuit, or even be granted the opportunity to push the powerful beasts in the BMW M series to their limits. On this day, I got to do both, and it was thrilling in every way possible.

The lush interior of the BMW M6 Gran Coupe

“High performance at BMW M GmbH means all of a vehicle’s components working in perfect harmony and the precise interplay of various details resulting in maximum performance, agility, precision, poise and assurance out on the road,” says Thomas Senser, director of finance and administration, BMW Group Malaysia.

And what better way to be introduced to that with a tease of everything that the BMW M vehicles are capable of? Jumping into the front seat of the M3 with a BMW instructor was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve had this year. As he made the first sharp turn on the track, the compulsory helmet they equipped us made so much sense, and while my head struggled to find a comfortable position amidst the polished drifting and expert handling around the race track, the thrill of not knowing what comes next added to the on-top-of-the-world perception that I could never duplicate with any other activity.

Nen Lin Soo at the wheel

When it was our turn to take the wheel, everything fell into place the way BMW intended it to be even for its most novice of drivers – Hello! Switching from the recently introduced BMW X5 M to the also newly imported X6 M, then to the BMW M135i and the BMW M6 Gran Coupe, I felt the proverbial need for speed. If I didn’t go full throttle on this day with these powerful engines, I don’t know when I ever would again, legally, that is.

Cars may not be my absolute forte but the power in its performance, the clean, aerodynamic lines that go into the design of both exterior and interior, and the ingenuity in automotive engineering are some of the few things I’ve learned to appreciate since I was a teenager. Physical beauty, after all, doesn’t count for much if the substance does not match the form.

From an experience like this you get the incredible rush of power that race car drivers must take for granted – taking corners at regular highway cruising speeds and experimentally drifting through the very same corners ­– and at that moment, it wasn’t difficult to comprehend the top-class functionality in a truly harmonious vehicle.

Sheer driving pleasure, indeed.

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