Monday, May 21, 2007

Pleasure. Distilled? Trip to Valencia for America's Cup, 13-17 March 2oo7

Driving around the Valencia countryside was only a small part of our "'Valencia Files" experience. I, Rainer, was selected as one of 24 winners from all worldwide entrants in the BMW competition to travel to Valencia in Spain with Kerstin to be part of this unforgettable trip.

The four day experience included various driving experiences, from track to road and an excursion to see the BMW Oracle Sailing HQ. We recall it was the most fantastically well prepared and thought out trip we have ever had the pleasure of being on. BMW thought of every eventuality and nothing was too much trouble.

Almost all 24 winners plus partners from around the world met at the five-star hotel in Valencia in March. Once the initial greetings had been taken care of, it was an early night ready for trip to begin in earnest.

The first full day began with driver training for all delegates before being taken out for a scenic drive around the Valencia countryside in a convoy of new BMW 3 Series Coupes. Each competition winner (incl. companion) was allowed to select either the power of the new twin turbo 335i, or the immense torque of the 330d!

The second day's morning dawned with a pastime dear to several BMW drivers' hearts, golf.
Following a session of some wayward driving on the range, it was back to the 3 Series Coupes for a further tour of Valencia. This time the destination was the harbour, to the BMW Oracle Racing Base, where all of us were allowed to get up close and personal with the yacht and her crew who are the current leaders of the Louis Vuitton Cup. After an evening meal at the Racing Base it was back to the hotel to prepare for last day of the trip.

On the final day the party was spilt in two, each group taking it in turn to travel to the Grand Prix race track that had been hired exclusively for the competition winners for a Formula BMW Experience. Here, we were given professional training and advice on how to pilot the single seater racing car (equivalent to Formula 3
race cars) around the demanding track.

The trip was rounded off in style, another drive around Valencia (although undertaken at much 'brisker' pace to the previous days' following the mornings race tuition!) was followed by a superb final evening meal and one final night in the hotel before the flight back to Alemania.

We both beamed as we recalled the trip, "as we arrived there was a representative ready to show us to our room, when we opened the room door we found and array of BMW clothing, bags, umbrellas, etc laid out on the bed for us. Then, every evening, one of the three professional photographers would slip a personalised envelope of photographs under our door showing the highlights of that particular day - we can't wait to receive the DVD of all the images they took".

For the next decades, this will be an exclusive experience to remember...
for more visual impressions, feel free to have a look at those impressions.