REVIEW. RACING THE NORTHERN STAR.

ROVANIEMI, FINLAND.

The early morning pickup with a BMW fleet was the start of an adrenaline-fuelled experience for two groups of drivers from Europe, Russia, Canada, Singapore and the US who had travelled to the Arctic Circle, taking them to a stellar BMW driving facility in Lapland.

It wasn’t just the full-day on-ice driving experience with thrilling manoeuvres, including emergency braking and avoiding, oversteering and drifting, that captivated the BMW i8 owners. The cars on offer were top-class: the BMW i8, as well as many different BMW X Drive models, including the incredibly nimble 140i M vehicles. And another highlight was the calibre of the training, with instructors Jarkko Miettinen, a former rally driver, and Riku Tahko, Finnish race car driver and BMW i Brand Ambassador, on hand to support.

After a morning session getting to grips with the vehicles on different parts of the training ground, guests ventured onto the track for some real rally driving experience. A large drift area was also used in the afternoon, with members having the opportunity to test the BMW i8 here. To finish the day, a timed race took place with prizes for the winners.

The evening was centred around a delicious three-course dinner featuring a main course of reindeer served at the Arctic Boulevard restaurant, following up on a hearty salmon soup as part of the lunchtime spread, and highlighting the excellent cuisine dished up across the whole event.

The culinary offering added a local flavour that then characterised the second day of events, with a sparkling, silent wilderness opening up to the BMW i Pure Impulse members, providing a calm contrast to the previous day’s thrills. Guests were treated to a reindeer farm visit followed by a wonderful reindeer trek into the Arctic landscape, before ice fishing in the middle of a frozen lake.

A real social highlight of the weekend was the joint dinner at Sky Ounasvaara restaurant with its wide views of the stunning Arctic surroundings, where both groups met and had the chance to get to know each other better in the company of Riku Tahko on behalf of BMW. The BMW i Pure Impulse members departed the northern setting with memories of an action-packed experience, as well as a BMW-branded jacket, framed driving certificate and souvenir from Rovaniemi.