REVIEW. ARCTIC ADVENTURES 2018.

ROVANIEMI, FINLAND.

While most of Europe wanted to escape an unexpectedly wintry March, the two groups of adventurous BMW i Pure Impulse members who had signed up for the BMW Winter Driving Experience 2018 headed straight to the Arctic.

Rovaniemi, capital of Lapland, was the destination for 38 guests from across Europe and the US, some of whom had opted to drive up to the Arctic Circle from the more southern Finnish climes of Helsinki. Three days of thrilling driving in a winter wonderland and local activities in the snow awaited them.

The first full day saw the BMW i8 owners head to the driving experience training ground, which offered them a race track as well as drifting and training areas. With many different BMW X Drive models to choose from, including 140i M vehicles, and one-on-one in-car instruction, the guests enjoyed high-class tuition, learning confident, safe driving in extreme conditions.

This was then put to the test later in the day: a real rally driving experience on the track was complemented by the opportunity to test the BMW i8 on a large drift area and the day was brought to a close with a timed race including prizes for the winners.

Another highlight was the expert instruction on offer. The day started with former rally driver Jarkko Miettinen giving a brief workshop, and the driving team included Jesse Krohn, currently racing the BWM M8 GTLM, and Riku Tahko, Finnish race car driver and BMW i brand ambassador.

The day ended with a dinner at the Arctic Light contemporary boutique hotel that included a reindeer main course, adding the kind of local flavour that was to characterise the second day of activities.

A visit to a reindeer farm was followed by a sleigh ride under warm blankets, as these four-legged Arctic natives pulled the guests through the snow-filled scenery. The final activity for the day was an ice-fishing session in the centre of a frozen lake, with most participants making catches.

The weekend of adventure was completed with a chance to explore Rovaniemi followed by dinner at Sky Ounasvaara restaurant, where the wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows gave the BMW i Pure Impulse members a final glimpse of the stunning Arctic surroundings.