BMW Club Banning Cars With Active Safety Features From Track Day Events

BMW M4 racetrack

BMW Car Club of America (BMWCCA) chapters across North America have begun banning newer BMW and Mini cars with active safety features like automatic braking and lane keeping assist from track day events, citing safety concerns surrounding unpredictable behaviour in cars fitted with such systems.

According to BMW enthusiast site Bimmerfile, the Genesee Valley Chapter of western New York State was the club’s first to institute a ban, but others across the continent have since followed suit.

We expect it’s a matter of time before car clubs catering to enthusiasts of other brands institute similar sanctions; active safety features may be making cars safer in everyday driving, but these foreshadowings of BMWs that drive themselves reinforce fears that there soon may be no more fun to be had behind the wheel of a car.

The rationale behind the ban is that, according to the Genesee Valley chapter’s official announcement, “cars with automatic emergency braking and/or lane keeping assistance systems may behave in unpredictable and undesirable ways on a racetrack.”

The club explains that it doesn’t matter if the safety system can be disabled by the driver, “because there is so much uncertainty about how these systems behave in a variety of conditions.”

Any driver who arrives at a Genesee Valley club track event (and, presumably, those hosted by other club chapters that have instituted similar bans) in a car equipped with automatic braking and lane keeping assist will forfeit their entry fees and be denied access to the track.

BMWCCA chapter executives are advising club members to “consult your local (BMW) dealership for assistance if you are unsure whether your vehicle is equipped with these collision avoidance systems.”

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Chris Chase

Chris Chase

As a child, Chris spent much of his time playing with toy cars in his parents’ basement; when his mother would tell him to go play outside, he made car sounds while riding his bicycle or dug roads for his toys in the flower garden. Now he gets to indulge his obsession playing with real cars that make their own cool noises, and gets paid for it.
  • Tom McLachlin

    If BMWCCA is planning on keeping the entry fees of drivers who have prepaid, but arrive to race a car equipped with ineligible safety features, they better be prepared to spend that cash on lawyers fees. Much better to be crystal clear during the registration process – to the point of having each registrant confirm their car is eligible and agreeing to the new rules.

    BMW is not going to stop making street cars with driver nanny features, so BMWCCA is eventually going to put itself out of business with this new rule.

    Also: Three cheers for older BMWs!