Practice makes perfect
Driving is a skill that takes many years of learning and practice to master. You don’t become a good driver overnight. Experience – both practical and theoretical – is required.
Good vision, the proper seating and steering positions are fundamental. Knowledge of vehicle handling and basic physics are a definite asset. A dose of common sense never hurts. Bad habits do. Good teachers are nice, but great teachers are even better.
You get all of the above at any BMW Driver Training program, including some of the best BMW driving instructors in the country. Ironically, head coach Philippe Létourneau has been coaching some of the country’s worst drivers on Discovery’s “Canada’s Worst Driver” TV show for seven of its nine seasons. He is also the chief instructor at the Jim Russel Racing School and lead instructor / presenter for the Ferrari Driving Experience at Circuit Mont-Tremblant.
In Canada since 2001, BMW Driver Training is the automaker’s fully integrated approach to road safety. As part of an overall marketing strategy, its programs are currently offered in 35 countries; and offer drivers the unique opportunity to learn from highly-qualified and experienced BMW-certified instructors who can teach approved driving skills, superior safety and a better understanding of a vehicle’s capabilities.
Having completed the BMW Winter Driver Training course at Circuit ICAR outside of Montreal at the Mirabel Airport, I can tell you a few things for certain. Anyone can take the course, so long as they have a full driver’s license and $795 plus applicable taxes. Owning a BMW is not a prerequisite. Holding a valid full-class license and being at least 18 years of age is.
Furthermore, I am a better driver because of it, and it was a lot of fun! Both are, in large part, thanks to Létourneau’s team of instructors, which includes former and current racers Sylvain Champoux and Jean-François Dumolin among others. And, for those who don’t (yet) own the keys to a Bimmer, this experience can be bittersweet since you get to drive the latest and greatest models. Correction. You get to drift them!
Continue reading my experience at the BMW Driving Academy winter edition on the IGNITION MAGAZINE website!