Sept19-20 – Summit Point Shenandoah – NJBMW

Mary is recovering from surgery and her own set of “bolt-ons” … guest writer Mike Holland provides the following:

So….Kyle invites me to drivers school at Summit Point Shenandoah Circuit. It seems Mary will not be participating this weekend, but will attend to record the carnage. Hmmmmmmm should I? ABSOLUTELY!

Friday evening we arrive for early tech. We miss it by 5 minutes so we decide to walk the track. We stroll out. It’s dark, and getting darker. I see for the first time that this is not a Nascar track. All those left turns I practiced for nothing. Time for dinner and some sleep.

Summit Point - Shenandoah Circuit

We awake Saturday morning. Damn it’s early, and cold. We stroll out to the cars parked at the far end of the hotel lot. The sun glistens off of the dew covering every inch of glass. It’s my first time ever driving a BMW, my first time paddle shifting, my first time on a track……This is either going to be really good, or really bad.

I fumble around trying to start the car, then trying to figure out how to put it in gear. Kyle comes over to help me not once, but twice. Now to find the defogger setting. I might as well just press every button and turn every knob. Ok, so I just roll the windows down and hit the wipers. Lets roll to the track.

The first classroom session begins. Kyle’s busy taking notes and laying out a spread sheet with the ambient temp, the humidity, and spots for the tire pressures to be recorded throughout the day. I’m trying to pay close attention to the instructor while struggling to keep my head from bobbing, and hitting the table, as I slide in and out of consciousness. I knew I should have worn my helmet.

I now know that the crossed furled white and yellow flags mean “Bambi” is on the track. I thought I would probably figure it out on my own when she comes through the windshield…..

Track session #1.
My instructor climbs in the driver’s seat to take me for a few laps. Shit, this is going to be a lot harder than I thought. My goal of completing a lap sporting the “Detroit Lean” is crushed. I’m far too distracted to remember his name. Oh well.

I’m behind the wheel, stabbing the accelerator and brake pedals like they are on/off switches. Smooth steering? Not so much. If I had a cup of coffee between my legs my instructor would have had the burned crotch. Checkered Flag! We are ALIVE and spend a few minutes working through the myriad of things I’m doing wrong.

Track session #2
Ok, time to start thinking. Hey the stuff he told me actually works! I settle in and start learning the track. A little progress is made and we’re done. My instructor goes through another tutorial and its lunch time.

Track sessions #3 & #4
I get more and more comfortable. I still am very aggressive with the speed, but I’m making the turns better. I’m chasing Kyle around the track. This by no means is successful, but it’s a ball. WAIT! We are done for the day and I realize that I had not waved anyone by all day. No one passed me! Maybe I should check my mirrors a bit more tomorrow?

Day 2

It’s too freaking early, and it’s colder this morning. UGH!

Track sessions #1 and #2
My instructor challenges me to slow down and be smooth. He advises me he is not wearing a Depends undergarment today. What a vote of confidence! I heed his wishes and I’m slow and smooth. I wave Kyle and a few more around. I hate that but I’m learning quickly. We have our post track talk and he says if I want to drive solo, he’d have another instructor ride with me. I decline.

At some point during these sessions Kyle came in hot and blew through a turn and off of the track (safely). I missed it. Dammit!

Track sessions #3 and #4
I’m back to full speed and hitting my apexes much more often. THIS IS A BLAST! I don’t want it to be over! I’m hooked. We pull into pit row the final time. I DIDN’T WRECK THE CAR! My instructor complements my progress and my skills. I done good, I guess.

I need to build another car. I see a divorce in my near future…………..


Colin one of the NJBMWCCA drivers was kind enough to post the video linked here, Kyle (Black M3), David (Red Cayman) & Mike (Silver M3) all wiz by during the course of this 10min segment!

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