GET OUTTA MY DREAMS, GET INTO MY CAR
Pelly Damianos has a passion for BMW’s. One of the principals of Smithtown-based Damianos Realty, Pelly has purchased more than a dozen BMW’s from Competition BMW for his personal use, and almost a dozen more for his key staff. Pelly is the personification of a BMW Enthusiast.
When he ordered his fifth vehicle from Competition BMW, he opted to try a unique way to take delivery of his new car. What happened when he completed the transaction was nothing short of life-changing for the real estate tycoon. He soon learned that a BMW Performance Center Delivery not only made him a better driver, it allowed him to be a participant in his own destiny.
“This is one for the record books, take my word for it,” Pelly says.
The moment he arrived in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Pelly’s Performance Center Delivery experience began.
Whisked away from the airport in a BMW courtesy vehicle, he was treated to dinner and an overnight stay at a luxury hotel, all compliments of Competition BMW.
The next morning after breakfast, Pelly was off to the Performance Center.
“They divided us into two small groups. Half of us went to the BMW factory to watch the production line, and then we visited the Zenthrum Museum for a first-hand look at BMW history.”
After a German-style lunch, it was Pelly’s turn to head out to the race track to begin his personal Ultimate Driving Experience, which is an integral part of the Performance Delivery.
Pelly was amazed at the attention to detail that went into his personal experience.
“Whatever BMW model you purchased, you get the same version to drive. It might be a different color but it’s the same series platform with transmission configuration, etc.”
Pelly was teamed up with a professional driving instructor who worked one-on-one with him to show him exactly how each feature on his vehicle worked.
Next was the fun part, driving on the unique 2-mile track.
“On the track you begin with braking exercises. The instructor measures your stopping distances at 30, 40 and 50 feet. He then asks you how many feet you think it will take to bring the car to a stop. Then, you step out of the vehicle and the instructor demonstrates exactly what happens at each measure.”
“It’s fascinating. You learn how to drive your car the way it’s meant to be driven.”
After about two hours of track time, Pelly was presented with the keys to his new BMW.
The Performance Delivery Experience is designed to educate the driver about the many features on their new BMW and in turn make the driver more confident and safer. The personalized instruction and actual driving experience can have a marked improvement in steering, braking and acceleration. Most importantly, the driver learns how to examine the road ahead.
BMW is the only manufacturer to offer the Ultimate Delivery Experience that includes a tour of the plant and museum and a course staffed with professional drivers and a top-notch skills program, all complimentary.
Pelly loved the experience so much he’s visited the Performance Center more than eight times, taking several different courses. His wife, Marilyn, has also picked up her new BMW using this program.
Pelly has a fleet of BMW’s that are provided to his top employees at Damianos Realty. He likes to accompany them to the Performance Center when they pick up their vehicle and turns the trip into a unique opportunity to bond with his employees.
“When you drive back, you have time to get to know each other better. It’s not just business. It’s fun to let your hair down a little. A lot of goodwill comes out of that.”
The Performance Center offers other programs for BMW and non-BMW owners.
Josh Martinez has been working at the BMW Performance Center for more than 16 years and says, “If you have never done anything like this before, it is fun. You don’t have to own a BMW to come to receive the skills we teach. We focus on real-world driving and car control. The confidence and understanding about the road, cars and different safety techniques we teach is an important tool to have when driving.”
The one-day car control school teaches drivers how to handle a BMW in a safe and controlled environment including a warm-up slalom, braking, cornering, stability control and timed laps on their 2-mile track.
I CAN’T DRIVE 55
The M School program sharpens reflexes to brake and corner at high speeds.
“This course always sells out,” Martinez says.
He added that the BMW Driving and Golf Program is a popular offering and includes a two-night hotel stay, a round of golf at The Thornblade Club or Cliffs at Keowee Springs, and one day of M School.
Pelly has taken both M courses several times and highly recommends the golf package, too.
“They have extreme courses set up to show you what your car is capable of, so if you had to go off road you know how to use every feature,” he says.
The track is comprised of five waterwalls that are activated by an instructor from a control tower and it also has decreasing and increasing radius turns, elevations changes and straightaways.
“You learn about the characteristics native to your vehicle with time trials, unreal ABS braking exercises, and my personal favorite, the 600-foot polished concrete water skid pad,” he says.
“You actually balance the car in a full drifting controlled slide almost completely sideways around a gigantic water-sprayed circle while learning about the handling characteristics of your new car.”
Pelly can only describe the experience one way: “Epic, truly epic!”
LIFE IS A HIGHWAY
At the Teen Car Control School, under the supervision of BMW-certified instructors, teens learn accident-avoidance maneuvers from a variety of on-road situations like wet-weather driving.
Students must be at least 15 years of age and possess a valid learner’s permit to attend the school.
“This program raises their self-confidence and focuses on real-world driving conditions,” says Martinez. “We keep the teens separate from adults and they are just with an instructor while driving.
“They learn how to focus on where they are going when driving and how to accelerate out of a turn.
“We use BMW 335’s for the car control class with about 180 hp, about one-third of the horsepower of an M school car,” Martinez explains.
“For our advanced teen program, they can go 140 to 150 mph on the track,” he adds.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Pelly already plans on sending his children to the teen program when they are old enough to drive.
“BMW offers a great program, and it is so much fun. They really do a great job,” he says.
“It gets your heart pumping with adrenaline for sure! Once you try a Performance Center Delivery, you won’t want to pick up your car at the center anymore.
“This experience is one for the record books. Take my word for it!”
For more information on how you can schedule a BMW Performance Delivery, contact our Sales Department.
888-734-3331 | www.competitionbmw.com