DfTC – The Event Itself

To what extent does technology help drivers get out of trouble? In short, it helps a lot.

All-wheel drive and various control systems made us forget, for instance, that the X5 was an SUV while we threw it around corners. Better yet, they made us forget we were driving in horrible weather in the first place!

Just think about that for a second. That's like saying you can skydive without a parachute and not die on landing.

But that's only true to a certain degree...

DfTC – 2014 BMW 435i xDrive

Having done a couple laps with the 428i and (regular) 435i, you prepare to take the next car 'round the second track for all it's worth: the 435i M Sport, the one with the magic suspension...

Hammer down through the slalom, taking each turn faster as you go. By about turn three or four, the back end of the car already starts to lead the direction of travel – despite the all-wheel drive – squishing a cone or four in the process. Not to worry though: to keep the correct side facing forward, all you have to do is lift off and the car finds traction.

Just as you're about to enter the brief straight you notice that, because of a giant puddle and an errant cone from somebody's previous run, you're not sure if its entrance lies through the giant puddle or right next to it...

You flip a mental coin and end up in the right place.

So down the straight you go, into a 90-degree turn and...BOOM! You're blind!

DfTC – 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i

As always, a professional driver briefs our group on the point of our impending adventure. "Push the car until you feel it just slightly start to understeer and then let the systems do their thing," he says.

Alrighty then.

So you head out for your first run in the X5 M Sport. To say that this truck is confidence-inspiring is an understatement, despite both being in a lake and being an SUV.

Having gradually built up some very nice speed in the slalom, you charge the roundabout only having lifted off – no brakes applied.

The X5 seems to be holding on as you steer it through...

BMW Drive for Team Canada

Imagine my shock waking up to a torrential downpour – after a month of dry, sunny weather – on the morning of BMW's track driving event...

Remember how everybody was always excited to have school cancelled due to bad weather? Try telling your fourth-grade self that one day, you wouldn't want that to happen.

With no cancellation notice in my inbox, I sailed drove to the event. Walking from my car to registration already got my shoes soaked – but no matter, I was about to go indoors.