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Top gear: bolt test-drives BMW M3 Coupe
published: Sunday | November 30, 2008

From Monaco to Munich, Olympic champion, Usain Bolt, is using his new-found fame as the fastest man on Earth to sample some fast cars. Here, the Jamaican sprinter is about to go for a spin in this Ferrari 430 Spider in Monaco.- Contributed photos

THE WORLD record in the men's 100 metres stands at 9.69 seconds, while a BMW M3 coupé is capable of reaching 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds.

Late week, three-times Olympic champion Usain Bolt knew what it felt like to travel at both speeds because the 22-year-old Jamaican was able to experience the outstanding driving characteristics of his future sports car while driving it to its limits at the BMW vehicle test facility in Aschheim, near Munich.

Fascinating experience

"It was a fascinating experience", commented the athlete par excellence after almost three hours of BMW driver training. He was greatly impressed by the tremendous power and the full sound of the engine.

Bolt had obviously thoroughly enjoyed driving the 420 bhp sports car across the handling course in wintry road conditions - fully aware that he was taking the vehicle to its physical limits - under the professional guidance of a BMW driving instructor.

Love at first sight

The triple world-record-holder described his first encounter with a BMW M3 coupé in Jamaica as "love at first sight".

Even as a young boy, he never missed a single opportunity of joining his uncle for a ride in his BMW. The passion remained - and so did the dream of owning his own BMW M3.

This dream, his chief sponsor, Puma, finally fulfilled in special recognition of three gold medals he won at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The black BMW M3 Coupe destined for the fastest man in the world is currently on the way to Kingston, and is scheduled to be handed over before Christmas.

His enthusiasm for everything that travels fast was re-kindled during his visit to BMW Welt.

Ian Robertson, member of the board of management of BMW AG, and Dr Kay Segler, head of Region Importers BMW Group, introduced their athletic guest to the entire BMW portfolio.

He was particularly interested in BMW motorcycles and the various versions of the BMW M3. Prior to that, he had signed the BMW company guestbook.

Bolt, who stands 1.96 metres tall, won the sprint over 100 metres at the Olympic Games in Beijing in the record-breaking time of 9.69 seconds, beating his own previous world record of May 2008. The giant athlete was also unsurpassed in the 200 metres, in which he set a new world record of 19.30 seconds.

He got his third gold medal by participating in the 4x100-metre relay, which was run in a world-record time of 37.10 seconds, the Jamaican quartet improving on the previous world record set by the USA in 1993 by three tenths of a second.

Olympic record-holder Usain Bolt being trained in Germany to drive a BMW M3 coupé. - Contributed

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