I feel my brain slowly turning into mush as I stare at this computer screen, wondering what the heck is going on. I used to have nothing but amusing stories about adventuring in my 1 Series and all the exciting people I would meet on my adventures. I look back at almost a year and a half of writing for Roundel and wonder what sort of adventures I’m supposed to have from here on. But before that can happen, I have to find out where my adventurous spirit went. Sadly, my life has not been all that adventurous lately.
A few weeks ago, I took a road trip from San Diego to Monterey to cover BMW Motorsport at the Tudor Championship Monterey Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. I planned a great route that would wind up the famous Highway 1 through the beautiful coastline of Big Sur, and I would return home on some of the best-driving back roads in California. What I didn’t know while I was planning the trip is that the drive up and back would be more fun than the race!
I had always wanted to race, but never had the opportunity until about twelve years ago, so this was the option I chose—a program for which BMW CCA had prepared me, and which would provide the structure and opportunity to have some seriously good fun.
So there we were, me and photographer Klaus Schnitzer, wandering around the north coast of Spain in a 428i Gran Coupé. Yes, that’s right—it’s the two-liter four-banger. And since the car is also available with the N55 six-cylinder three-liter turbo, you might get the same first impression: four cylinders? Eeeeew. And without a clutch pedal to boot.
“Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!” Even before the shiver can finish its way up your spine, it begins: cacophony, dissonance. Like professional musicians tuning their instruments before the performance, 33 drivers play their blaring, puffing, snorting instruments, blasting out the clean remnants of combusted ethanol and turbocharged air.