Event date: 31 July 2021
At the start of this year at the age of 52 I decided I needed to live life a bit more courageously and among the list of things I have done included changing jobs, creating new friendship groups, buying my first BMW and then coming to the Come and Try Track day held at Broadford last month.
I was terrified. I am not a car person. I bought my brand new BMW XI M-Sport because the boot has push button close, it fits my two dogs comfortably, I love the heated seats and massive moon roof and feel at my age where I have put everyone in front of me (husband, kids etc) for the past 20 years that I deserved something nice. I also had my 18 year-old son doing his best lobbying to direct my choice of car purchase. Pester power just gets stronger as kids get old I am sure. But I am glad he did as I love it and I love driving my car.
The night before Broadford though I finally really closely read through the fine print of the day’s requirements. I totally freaked out. What had I signed up for if you need a helmet, stickers on your car (what about my paint work?) and even fire extinguishers. I thought the day would be a little zip around the track, a few chats with new friends, and the chance to buy some fun merchandise. I called Jo Mawson, who has been so encouraging and supportive of me and she assured me all would be ok.
My son Daniel and I had both signed up to attend. He has only had his Red P Plates since January and is a confident driver so I was keen for him to have some coaching from the volunteers. We were really thrilled at the start of the day that Daniel was announced as winner of the scholarship for the day. He wrote about how he had strongly encouraged me to buy the BMW – we test drove dozens of cars across all brands over every weekend in January when I was looking.
I could not believe when I arrived how friendly, supportive and patient everyone was – and willing to help calm my nerves. It was lovely and I felt welcome and my lack of car knowledge didn’t matter at all. Daniel and I were coached by terrific volunteer Anton (thank you) who taught us both how to manoeuvre around the track, forgetting traditional road rule standards (ie you can drive anywhere on the road if there isn’t a blue flag) but focussing heavily on keeping us safe on a race track. By my third lap session I was feeling a lot more confident. I loved it totally. It was amazing how exhausting driving for 15 minutes can be though – and in normal times I commute 40 minutes along the Calder Freeway and Bulla Road to work each day so didn’t think it would affect me at all.
Taking part in Broadford was a bucket list achievement for me but I am adding it back on and now have a goal to drive all of the tracks for Come and Try days.
If you haven’t done a Come and Try day and if you aren’t a car enthusiast, or even own at BMW you should still give it a go – just like us. There’s young people who are building up their own cars they are making themselves, real car pros, people who just love getting out and about, people who love BMW and people like me who just bought a car and wanted to do something different in their life this year. I hope to meet you there at the next Come and Try day.
Nicole Laurie | Member #690
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne