One summer back at my previous job I was invited to the BMW Performance Center in Thermal, California, near Palm Springs to take part in its one-day M School.

  • Car: F82 BMW M4 Competition
  • Location: Southern California
  • Photog: Peter Nelson (Instagram)
  • Camera: Canon 6D, 35-70mm EF 4.0 Zoom

This was supposed to be a small class size, and that proved true: I was the only participant who showed up. This meant I got a full day of one-on-one instruction. After we got through the various pieces of curriculum, including drifting the skid pad in an M5 Competition, raging through an autocross course with an M2 Competition, and lapping one of Thermal’s tracks in an M4 Competition, the instructor gave me the option to go home early or have more fun.

Without hesitation I requested to rip the M4 on track once more. He obliged, and we each proceeded to burn half a tank of gas ripping through the glorious circuit. It was lead-follow, but with traction and stability control loosened up and a much faster pace than earlier in the day. It was too fun enjoying a bunch of corner-exit oversteer.

The weather was brutally hot, but I didn’t care. I never felt so content driving home as a stinky, sweaty mess.