Track Time in Pueblo with the local BMW Club

I’m lucky enough to have joined the local BMW club here in Denver a few years ago. One of the best things has been the track days – they offer a full day of classroom and track time to get everyone from beginners up to more seasoned drivers around the track that little bit safer and quicker. I’ve attended most of the other local car club driving days (Porsche being the major one I haven’t done yet), and have to say the BMW one is head and shoulders above the others.

Of course, I got totally addicted to this immediately, and proceeded to do very school they had for the next few years (they normally do 3 or 4 days per year). A couple of years ago, I was asked if I’d like to be an instructor – despite the feeling I wasn’t really experienced enough to be qualified, I said yes. The Instructor Training School (ITS) was probably one of the more stressful (but fun) things I’ve done in a while, but I passed, and now have the pleasure of helping others get faster in the same way I was helped. Which brings me to the weekend of September 22nd. Pueblo Motorsports Park, home of my first ever venture on a race track in a car, was the destination for the Fall Driving School. Pueblo had fallen out of favor in the past few years with the newly developed High Plains Raceway taking a lot of drivers attention – however, a brand new surface had brought the track back up to spec, and gave everyone a fresh challenge without eating a set of tires every day (which is what the old surface seemed to do). I had a great couple of students who kept me safe and entertained, and hopefully they realized how much they had improved over the course of the day. The next two are planned for Spring 2013 back out at HPR, so if you’re in Colorado (or somewhere else close) and fancy trying out your car on the track (it doesn’t have to be a BMW – we have lots of different makes out there) check out the site and get ready to sign up next year. As an aside, the fastest I went around the track that weekend wasn’t at my own hands (no surprise there). I had the pleasure of being a passenger in the Lotus Exige pictured above and driven by one of my friends and fellow instructors, Ross. Apart from being super lightweight (although with me in there, it’s obviously weighed down a little), it was also sporting a set of slicks for the weekend, meaning the g’s we were pulling through the corners were pretty impressive. It was a lot of fun.

When I’m Not Driving

Track days can be pretty hectic occasions – 30 minutes on, 30 minutes off is your typical open lapping day, but if you head up there with the local clubs, the sessions are a little more spread out and relaxing. This has in the past given me the opportunity to drag up my camera, and attempt to take a few shots as other run groups take to the track.

This photo is one of my favorites – taken at High Plains Raceway the first time the BMW club ran there (May 2010). This is Jeff just coming through turn 1 into 2 at a fair rate of speed in his very nice M3 (the one with the screaming V8, so in addition to looking this good, it was sounding even better at this moment in time).