Wednesday, February 25, 2015

BMW Performance Center West - Thermal, California

BMW has a new Performance Center West located near La Quinta, California, that offers the full complement of driver training courses similar to the BMW Performance center at the Spartanburg factory in South Carolina which opened in 1999 and has hosted nearly 130,000 drivers. The BMW performance driver training facility occupies 32 acres on the grounds of the The Thermal Club, a private motorsports club that is selling large "garage villas" for car racing enthusiasts who want quick access to 5.5 miles of road racing circuits. When finished, the BMW Performance Center West will have a dedicated 1.4 mile road course, 6.2 acres of paddock, a skid pad and an 8,500 square foot Performance Facility. BMW launched driver training in Germany in 1977.

I challenged the BMW M3 and M4 (above) with acceleration, cornering and braking through a coned autocross course clocking times around 35 seconds per lap.