To a recent post of his BMW F10 535i six-speed, Mike Gessner added, “itpaystobeafuelrewardsmember.” But it was after he had been notified that his submission was selected as the week’s Fill-up Friday winner that he added, “I’ve been using Shell since the 1990s, and it’s been my primary fuel source for the BMWs. The Fuel Rewards program is great!”

We know that many of you posting pictures to the Instagram tags for this program might have just started using Shell, or maybe even just pulled into a Shell station for one fill-up in order to take the picture. There isn’t any requirement for how many times you use Shell, and there’s no requirement that you own a certain number of BMWs—or even any BMWs—to be selected as a weekly winner

But it does seem like Mike was due.

In addition to being a long-time user of Shell, he’s been a BMW fan since his first job right out of college. “The boss man had an 850CSi, and a few of us were allowed to drive it—to the dealership, mainly,” he remembers fondly. “That was the first BMW I ever drove, and wow, it was intoxicating! I later helped the vice-president of that company pick up an E36 M3 sedan and was also allowed a test drive. Needless to say, that planted the seed. It’d take us a while to get one brand-new, but we were hooked.”

The brand-new BMW he mentioned is the F10 535i pictured here, purchased in November 2012. “We got the 535i for its increased size and trunk space over our previous BMW [an E90 328i], as well as the silky-smooth N55 engine.”

As Mike said, they’re hooked; he and his wife, Bessie, now own three BMWs. “We’ve had the F87 M2 for almost a year now. We picked that one up at the Performance Center. Just a month ago, we added the E90 M3, which will be used as a track car/fun car.” [We agree, Mike—the M3 is definitely a fun car!] “I think what I like most about BMWs is the way they drive—and the smile they put on your face.”

The $25 Shell gas card is not the first time that the BMW CCA has put smiles on their faces, either. “I joined the CCA just after we bought the E90 328i,” Mike recalls. “My first use of the perks of memberships was a one-day car-control clinic at the Performance Driving School in South Carolina. I had not pushed myself or the car to its limits on a track before; that experience was eye-opening, and again I was hooked.”

As is the case with many of us, there are so many benefits within the club that we continue to find new ones with each renewed year. “I later found out that my then-chapter [National Capital] did—and still does!—annual treks to the Performance Center for M School days,” Mike adds. “I’ve done five of those with the National Capital Chapter, and will be going again this May, even though my home chapter is now Golden Gate. That led to a two-day M School at Thermal last year, and an advanced M School last month—not to mention M Track Days at Road Atlanta, COTA, and the Ridge Motorsports Park. While I’m no race driver, I’ve gotten better with each class, as the instructors are all top-notch.”

Mike Gessner has handled M cars and some solid camera equipment around the Performance Centers.

Mike and Bessie, both members, have found that the benefits don’t stop there. “What’s not to like about the BMW CCA?” Mike asks rhetorically. “I’ve met great people and seen some amazing cars. There’s something for everyone with the club, from socials, Cars-and-Coffee events, autocross, HPDE, M Schools, car corrals at IMSA races, driving tours, up-close-and-personal tours with the various BMW racing teams [RLL, Turner, BimmerWorld], the great discounts, and the friends you make at each event! And last, but certainly not least, is Roundel magazine!”

Thank you, Mike—and congratulations on your submission being selected!  Shell and the BMW CCA have given out more than $300 in Shell gas cards so far this year. Every Friday, Shell and the BMW CCA will be awarding a BMW CCA member at least $25 in Shell fuel cards. We should have some more fun twists coming in the months to come, so keep taking and submitting those pictures of you fueling up your car at Shell stations and posting them to Instagram with the hastags #fillupfriday, #bmwccashell, #fuelrewards, and #shell_ontheroad. We’ll announce the winners on Instagram and Facebook—and here on BimmerLife.com, too.

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