Our second BMW Car Club X-drive event was held on Sunday 9 November 2014, proudly sponsored by Bridgestone and Joburg City Auto BMW.
We again made use of the Bridgestone facility, Leeuwenkloof, which is very close to Hartebeespoort dam and offers over 1,000 hectares of the best that nature has to offer including many off-road challenges and interesting topography such as caves.
Upon arrival at the venue on Saturday morning, we were greeted with tea, coffee and snacks. All the vehicles including all the X-vehicles from Joburg City Auto BMW got their pink Bridgestone windscreen stickers. In case you were wondering about the pink, it is part of Bridgestone’s PinkDrive which is an initiative to raise funds toward breast cancer awareness and detection. As part of this initiative you can purchase a set of 4 pink valve caps for your vehicle from any Supa Quick outlet throughout the country for only R50.
A quick briefing was held just explaining the proceedings for the day – the group would be split in two and one group would first do the 4x4 offroad course while the other group did the dirt skidpan and then halfway through the morning the group would swop over to experience the other activity. The off-road course was either done in your own X vehicles or else you got to experience a new X3, X4, X5 or X6 that was provided by Joburg City Auto BMW. The dirt skidpan is a fun timed gymkhana in an X1 2.0d S-drive.
The off-road course demonstrated the impressive off-road capabilities of these BMW X-drive vehicles, which have certainly proved that they are not “soft-roaders”. Participants got to experience the depth of off-road capabilities these X-drive vehicles have to offer including: HDC (Hill Descent Control), which controls the vehicle’s speed on a steep downhill without having to touch the brake pedal and the speed desired can be set via the cruise control stalk. All each driver had to do was steer.
The skidpan course was quite a challenging one with three zig-zag slaloms, followed by a U-turn, back through the same three slaloms, a sharp right into an emergency lane change, followed by a 360 degree loop before stopping in the “garage” (and sometimes overshooting the garage and stopping in the kitchen!). Each person got to drive the same vehicle to help level the playing field with their choice of traction control on or off. First a practice run then the timed run – huge smiles and copious amounts of dust ensued as the participants raced around (and occasionally even over) the cones in an effort to stop the clock as quickly as they could.
The fastest Joburg City Auto BMW Customer was Wandile Xuba with a time of 33.65 seconds closely followed by Nzame with a time of 33.84 seconds. Quinton Richardson took third place with a best time of 35.43 seconds. The fastest BMW Car Club Gauteng club member was Ray Mayet with a lightning fast time of 31.38 seconds. Stephan Marais took second place with a time of 32.72 seconds and Brian Viljoen clinched third place with a time of 32.91 seconds.