And Just like that, summer is over and we are into the lovely autumn weather we so love in Melbourne, perfect for getting out and enjoying our cars and the company of our BMW family and friends. We have so many events upcoming, there is something for everyone, but first a recap of a very busy February, that even included a snap 5 day lockdown!
February started with strong membership numbers. It was fantastic to see lots of new members coming on board over summer and we are now sitting on 547 members, thank you all for joining us and a very warm welcome from us all.
We started off with an event at Revolution Racegear on 3 February, who have come on board for 2021 as club sponsors. This was a very informative night on preparing yourself and your car for motorsport, and it was also well attended. Thank you Aaron and Mark for staying back on your own time and thanks again for the great discounts on the night given to our members. Going forward, Revolution will give you special prices on anything you buy in store, on production of your membership card. Another benefit of your Club Membership and another reason to always carry your membership card with you.
The Torquay Great Ocean Road Drive on 13 February, which was to be an observation run to replace the Torquay Motor Show, had to be cancelled due to the 5-day lockdown in Victoria, which was a shame as this was looking like a really fun drive event, with great numbers booked in to go.
19-21 February saw quite a few Members at Sandown for the first E30 Racing round for 2021. The racing was close across the field and saw one of our founding members, Alex Jory, make a great start to the 2021 Championship, winning all the races across the weekend with fellow DCM member Simon Leach coming home second in each race as well.
A lot of you would have heard our wonderful editor, Jess Bell, rolled her car in third race of the weekend and we are very happy to report she is ok and is very appreciative of the messages of support she received from so many of you as word spread. Poor Gonzales (who we affectionately call Kermit), her bright green E30 Racecar is a bit second hand looking, as you would be after a double somersault in turn 1 at Sandown, but the word from the panel beater is that he reckons he may be able to fix it. For the time being Jess will continue her E30 Racing campaign using her older brother, Sean’s, car until we either repair Gonzales or build Gonzales 2.0.
On 23 February we had a tour of Zagame Autobody, followed by another sunset drive, this time up to Mt Macedon. It was so good to see new members join us at this event and also a few families with their children. The drive was brilliant, thanks again to Peter, who never ceases to amaze us with his drive routes. Thank you also to Essendon BMW for bringing out some beautiful M cars for our members to have a look over whilst devouring the amazing dinner platter laid out for us.
We have also received our new merchandise in the middle of the month and sales have really gone well, you will see some of our members wearing the new style summer shirt at events and in photos. You can also click here to view the online store to check them out yourself.
Our final event for February was Round 1 of our Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship with AROCA at Sandown and it was amazing to see so many BMWs out on the track and also so many club members supporting our competitors, either helping out as pit crew or officials or as instructors. It is a great atmosphere at our track days, with a fantastic bunch of people always coming along, and it was made even better with spectators being able to come and join us, for the first time in nearly a year. With the Covid situation finally starting to abate and vaccines rolling out, we are hoping that the worst of the Pandemic is now behind us and we can now get back to a more normal life that we have all missed.
All in all, a pretty busy Month, considering it was interrupted for a week. The other thing that happened was that our amazing powerhouse, Jo, went under the knife and has had one of her hips replaced and is now well on the road to recovery. I am totally in awe of what doctors can do to the human body and the difference in Jo is amazing already. Being able to get up and walk better than she has been able to for years is very heart-warming to see and only a couple of weeks in and she is back to attending selected events with us again.
Moving straight into March, our Members Meeting on 2 March will be the launch night for Berwick BMW and if you missed the new M3 and M4 launch in December, this is your last chance to get out and see them, whilst they are still here, as I am pretty sure, after this event, they will be boarding a ship to return to Germany. To see the new dealership is worth the visit, but to see these two amazing cars makes it a must do.
Unfortunately, this year there is no Club Display at the Phillip Is Historics, due to COVID. There are very limited entry tickets for spectators and you are restricted on where you can go, so this year we won’t be doing a Club event to the Historics, sadly. We would also normally be going to the Australian Grand Prix in March, but it too has been postponed and we look forward to hearing what will happen regarding a display or any club involvement later inn the year. We will keep you informed, as soon as we know anything.
7 March is Round 2 of our Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship and also Round 1 of the Motorsport Australia Interclub Hillclimb Challenge at Rob Roy Hillclimb track. If you fancy a lovely day out with a picnic atmosphere, come along and support our members or even enter and have a run on the oldest Hillclimb Track in Australia. It will be a fun day and I look forward to seeing a few of you out there. Enter via the Motorsport Australia Event Entry portal at the link in the event.
On 8 March, we have been asked by Race Chix Motorsport to run a Come and Try/Driver Training Day as a part of the Shannons International Women’s Festival at Broadford. This is now open to men and women, so if you haven’t registered please make sure you do soon before the event closes. This is manly aimed at women drivers who have never been on a track before and what to learn more about what is needed and what to do. Sorry about the late notice, but we have been working feverishly to get this event up and happening, after only coming on board a week ago. This will be the perfect opportunity for women to come and have a taste of what it’s like on track and with some classroom sessions as well as instruction, we hope you will gain some skills and have a try on a track without any pressure of competition.
On 14 March we will be doing a family day out and visiting the Werribee Zoo, where we have a reserved undercover area, so we can relax and enjoy the day. We have also reserved a bus spot for the Safari tour. Make sure you register your interest as soon as possible if you do want to attend.
On 16 March, our now monthly mid-week drive will be leaving from Waverly BMW, but not before we have time to have a quick look through their show room and have a quick bite to eat and something soft to drink. The drive is taking us to the summit of Mt Dandenong this time, where we should be able to see some amazing views of Melbourne in the twilight. As the days grow shorter and colder, we may not continue our sunset cruise events to the top of a nearby Mountain through Winter, but we will see if we can replace them with a visit somewhere interesting and warm… until Summer returns.
The month will end up at Winton with Round 2 of the E30 Racing Championship, on 26-28 March again with lots of our members competing as well as helping out. We are hoping to have spectators at this event too, so come for a drive and watch some great racing and join in the fun that is real motorsport!
We had a thought earlier this year, that we have a few families now with younger members who have joined as junior members, so why not have a club polo for them. This should be on the club’s merchandise store very shortly so watch out as they are very cute and only $10. Also, we have now dropped the joining fee for additional members joining an existing or new membership at the same address, making it cheaper for families or couples to join us and experience the benefits of being in the Ultimate Driving Club.
As always, watch the calendar for more events and also look out on our Club Partners page to see all of our sponsors and what great offers they have for you all as loyal members.
One final note, it is not long now before we have our annual presentation dinner, at another one of our new Sponsors, Park Hyatt Melbourne. This is going to be a fabulous event and we would love to see you all dressed up and supporting all those who won awards in 2020. So, get your tickets and come and join us for a lovely evening to celebrate the Club’s third birthday.
Thank you for joining us this month and I look forward to seeing you at an event somewhere soon.
Drive safe and take care.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB VIC 3913
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695G
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International Council
Motorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
Event date: 27 February 2021
Saturday, February 27 saw the inaugural round of the 2021 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship at Sandown Raceway. 14 members took to the track with near perfect weather conditions for 6 great sessions of action. Lap times and banter in pit lane heated up throughout the day as new members were welcomed and veterans passed on valuable tips.
A big thank you to the Alfa Club for hosting a very well run day and we look forward to sharing more rounds of the 2021 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship with you.
Be sure to dust off the helmet and get the car prepped to join the fun for the next round at Rob Roy on March 7.
Jon Chadwick | Member #593
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Saturday was an exciting day for me, as I have become a part of the pit crew at Bell Motorsport. It was the first round of the Traction Tyres/Yokohama driver's championship at Sandown. It was a cold start to the morning considering we're still in summer, as drivers begun arriving and unloading. For those that had booked a garage in pitlane, they slowly unloaded their cars and drove their immaculate looking vehicles around and down pitlane to their designated garage in a slow manner, so not to make too much noise and get pinged for exceeding the noise limit before 9am.
Representing Bell Motorsport were two drivers, Rod Martin in his black E30, who races in the Garagistic E30 Racing series and Adam Sleep in his blue E30. There were also a few other E30's like Jim Tucker is his red car, as well as a few other variants of the M3 and a few 1 series too from BMWDCM. The rest of the cars there were made up of Mazda's, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Porsche.
My day was pretty easy, guiding the two Bell Motorsport cars to line up before each of their sessions in pitlane and then checking tyre pressures on their return to the garage after each session. As well as the occasional mop of the windscreen if it got dirty and most importantly keeping the drivers and Graeme hydrated with water, making sure they drank plenty during the day.
Each session ran for 15mins with five groups. So I think the Bell Motorsport drivers had 5 runs over the day, getting in some good laps. It was a good learning for Adam, following Rod around, finding the right lines and improving his race craft. On their return back to the garage both drivers compared feedback and got ready for their next session.
Thanks to Bell Motorsport for allowing me to come down and help out. I look forward to helping out at the next round or perhaps joining the pit crew for the E30 Racing series at some point!
Tim Oh | Member #538
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Saturdays event at Sandown’s Traction Tyres/Yokohama Driver Championship was an absolute blast. Going into the event, I was fairly nervous as I haven’t done many track days before. However, by the end of the day I became more and more confident in my driving ability.
As soon as I arrived, people were very friendly and eager to provide pointers and advice to help me improve my driving skills. This included helping me choose specific driving lines and breaking points. Listening and putting to use the advice from experienced drivers that were very familiar with the track itself, enabled me to improve my driving times drastically throughout the day.
There was an awesome turn out in the range of cars that came to participate in the event. Having an E30 myself, it was great to speak to many likeminded e30 owners and the way they had all differently set up their cars. The days activities brought people coming from all around Melbourne to perform their personal best and nothing less.
It gave me a bit of pride being apart of such a passionate, friendly and inclusive community with BMW Drivers Club Melbourne. There is no doubt that you will see me there next time.
Justin Penev | Member #543
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 23 February 2021
Walking into our first event with BMW Drivers Club Melbourne we were not sure what to expect. We were sure it would be really fun; however, our expectations were exceeded when we were greeted with friendly Zagame and BMW staff that made us feel extremely welcome. The great night began at Zagame Autobody in Tullamarine. Awaiting everyone’s arrival, a very generous charcuterie board and refreshments were provided by the Zagame team.
Once everyone had arrived, Zagame team member, Andre took us on a tour of the building. As many may already know, Zagame Autobody is located on the site of what once was The Age printing press. Andre was part of the Zagame project from day one to ensure the grounds were created into a place that would allow their team to repair cars to factory specifications. The first stop along the tour was a zone where the team apply film and wraps to cars. Andre pointed out that the Zagame Autobody team use a template to cut film rather than cutting film on the car which often damages the paint. Zagame guarantee that the film will protect your car for up to 10 years.
Moving along down the building there were some awesome historic Ferrari’s which were being restored back to their original glory along with other cars that were involved in collisions. Andre stressed the importance the team put on ensuring that the cars must be restored in such a way that they replicate exactly how the factory built the car in the first place. This is so that, firstly, it looks just as good as the day it came off the line at the factory, and secondly, so it can be ready to protect the driver just as well as it did the first time if there were to be another collision.
Moving down the building to the final part of the floor is the painting booths which again, employ the same techniques as the ones used at a factory to ensure that the finish on the car is nothing short of perfect. Andre noted the importance to have the ability to elect a repairer so that when things may go wrong, you know exactly who to take the car to.
The services offered by Zagame are not going to cost you more than any other repairer and you know you are going to get the best result when taking your car to Andre and his team. After all the information we were provided with on the tour, it is safe to say that Zagame Autobody will be at the top of our list if something does go wrong in the future.
We want to give a big thanks to Zagame for hosting the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne and their support of the club as a sponsor again in 2021!
We would also like to mention that the drive up to Mt Macedon was fantastic and was very well organised. All smiles from ear to ear from us, we are definitely looking forward to future events!
Alex LoMoro and Emily Hand | Member #651
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
At about 7.20pm after our magnificent show and tell session from the wonderful people at Zagame, we walked down to our cars ready for the drive.
Peter was leading us in his Blue MINI Clubman, of course he had to park next to my Clubman as per the MINI rules (Rule no.1). There were about 12 cars in the drive and we settled into our line and headed out.
We were all loving the pops and crackles emitting from the M4 in our group and it immediately got plenty of comments, much to the owners exclamations and joy that it was completely stock.
Soon we settled into a pack and some asked Jo if we would get to see the sunset on top of Mt Macedon. Jo replied that we would get one, just not sure where. The clouds were dappled with the afternoon setting sun and the temperature was dropping. Much to the commentary about the temperature was for the benefit of our convertible BWM friends who some of us thought were silly for keeping the top down is such conditions. It was about 13.5deg crisp and clear but that Celsius was dropping fast.
Soon we were traveling through Wallan and heading towards derit gum, I mean derriweeeet gummy, oh who can really pronounce Darraweit Guim.
We encountered some beautiful curves and lovely rolling green hills for Jo to exclaim that she liked the look of our bums, or rather taillights, but we all know what she meant.
We were guided by Peter through yet more curvy roads much to the delight of the drivers and vehicles who took the turns in the appropriate manner with machines that were just made to enjoy said curves.
Chatter on the two-way radios was full of appreciation of the curves and constant updates to the lowering temperature and how our convertible friends were fairing. I had my windows down to hear the pops and crackles better but I had to wind them up when it got down to single digits.
We approached the base of Mt Macedon as it started to get properly dark and convoy of excitement was lighting up the road ahead. We had to do a dog leg left turn to start the climb up the mountain and I came in a bit hard but "Chubby" the clubby took the corner with ease and said "please sir may I have another?".
A slow and low gear wind up the hill in the dark was exhilarating with the temperature now hitting 8.5deg, I sure hope that people brough their jackets.
Then it seemed just as soon as the fun had started we had arrived at Mt Macedon. We parked in a line and a few photos in the dark were taken and we all walked up to the cross. We had a little chat about the great drive and the road and then after about 15 mins (mainly due to the cold) went back to our cars to start the journey home.
I can certainly say for my first club drive with BWM it was an absolute blast. Thanks to Jo, Graeme, Lawrence, Shaaron and Peter for including me from ClubMini and for the amazing hospitality and warm welcome from the team at Zagame.
I hope to join you for another exciting drive soon.
This story has been published with permission and the member mentioned de-identified.
2020 started off looking like it was going to be a great year for most of us and especially the club, with some fantastic events in February, March rolled around and the Australian Grand Prix was coming to Melbourne and BMWDCM again had a great display area linked with E30 racing.
We had all heard about COVID in other countries and we had all be taking precautions, but I don’t think any of us really thought that we would be hit so hard by this pandemic.
On the Wednesday before the Grand Prix all of our members and sponsors took their cars to Albert Park to be placed on display and I can honestly say it was one of the best displays we have had there, with a wide range of BMWs on display. With the E30 Racing group next to us, it was a wonderful display of old and new BMWs.
We managed to get a day of Grand Prix on the Thursday with members and general public coming past and enjoying our display but then everything went pear shaped and it was feeling like the world was coming to and end. Friday morning, we got notification from the organisers to get our cars out as soon as possible and we had the task of contacting everyone and arranging for our members and sponsors to get their cars removed straight away. We were incredibly lucky as Lawrence was at the track with some of our members and managed to get in whilst the public were kept waiting for a decision on what was happening, so we could coordinate from Albert Park and from home as well.
Still even with the cancellation of the Grand Prix we did not think that we would be as bad as some of the other states in Australia, especially NSW as they were experiencing some bad clusters.
Once we (the club) were notified that we could no longer gather in groups or hold events, I contacted the other members of the executive and said we need to keep our members involved and engaged and we need to make sure everyone’s mental health is ok. I know we couldn’t contact everyone, but what we decided to do was go virtual with all our meetings and events and hold them via Zoom and continue on as best we could.
Our first Zoom meeting was really just a test to see what our members thought and how well it was going to work. The first meeting was mainly about what we would be doing through COVID and to get feedback from our members on what they wanted. We were overwhelmed by the success of the first Zoom meeting, so then we just kept adding more meetings and events week after week.
Our sponsors and advertisers were on board and we held some amazing events, even a private tour of BMW Classic in Munich, which gathered close to 100 members on the night.
For me, organising these events gave me a purpose and kept me engaged with our friends and members and I know for our sponsors and members it was something to look forward to. It was good for the club too as our membership continued to grow over the year. Even with the lack of in person events, people kept saying to us 'this is fantastic', as a lot of other clubs and groups just shut up shop and went silent.
What prompted me to pen this is that just recently, is that I had been contacted by a member who found the start of COVID ok, like most of us, but then when we went into stage 4 lockdown, they really struggled and went into a very dark place, as I know a few of us did, myself included. What helped me through this was my family and my video calls from our granddaughter and my connection with club members who just wanted to chat. Arranging these online events gave me something to do and I was determined to make the events I put on, both fun but also interesting and informative, so members could gain something from them all too. This member told me recently that having the constant COVID updates from Graeme and the articles from other members, along with all the brilliant events gave them a reason to get through each day and look forward to the events that were coming up. It gave them a purpose to go on and not take the road to nowhere.
I spoke to this member for several hours, not only about this but other things we share a common interest in, and I know it made both of us feel so much better.
It's not over yet and people are still struggling, so please reach out to your family, friends and loved ones, also your fellow club members and just talk. It doesn’t have to be a deep conversation about the meaning of life, just sharing a conversation with someone can make a huge change in their lives and we don’t all wear our hearts on our sleeves and sometimes people who look like they are coping are actually crying out for help.
Speaking to this member about their dark times really made me proud of how our club kept everything together and kept our members involved and to know we helped them, may mean we helped others as well. I am very thankful this person is still with us, and hate to think of those that had nothing to hang on to, or to look forward to, and I am very thankful we managed to help at least one of you, as well as ourselves, to get through what turned out to be a terrible year.
Jo Mawson | Member #2
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 3 February 2021
Fun Fact Time:
These fun facts and more were shared with a group of enthusiastic Club members during a wonderful evening hosted by the aforementioned new BMWDCM Sponsors, Revolution Racegear on Wednesday 3 February - “Preparing for a Motorsport Event”.
So if you missed it, you also missed some wonderfully comprehensive and helpful information shared by Jo and Graeme about how to go about getting yourself and your car ready for the racetrack. The discussions and presentation covered everything from how to purchase the best drivers kit, and essential safety items through to licencing, insurance and how to avoid NASCAR like confrontations in pitlane.
It reminded us all that you can’t just rock up to a track day with your car, a stack-hat and a Posca Pen ready to scribble a number on your window and expect to go racing. Preparing for a motorsport event requires proper equipment, preparation and an understanding of regulations and rules- all designed to ensure that you (and fellow competitors/participants) have an amazing and safe day enjoying the power and precision of you car on a proper track.
The team at Revolution were wonderful hosts, extending their expertise, passion and a warm welcome to all of us. The range of gear they stock is amazing, and you could easily spend hours with the team at the counter bench-racing or exploring everything from helmets to harnesses, fire systems to fuel tanks through to seats, suits and steering wheels. The great news is that your Credit Card will be better off owing to the generous discounts on offer to BMWDCM Members.
A big thanks to Aaron and Mark from Revolution and Jo and Graeme for organising another wonderful event for us.
(Oh, and in case you are having FOMO, you can access and download the presentation right here on the BMWDCM website)
Shannon Cooper | Member #599
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Welcome back to a brand-new year and welcome to what should be a great 2021.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/New Year break and managed to spend time with you family and loved ones.
We started the year with a very informal meeting at Jay Leno’s Garage on 5 January. Melbourne put on a very cool summers night, but it didn't deter our members from coming out and catching up after our short Christmas break. The boys at Jay Leno’s put on drinks and pizzas and even turned on the patio heaters as the temp dropped and made it a bit cool standing around. Remember if you are wanting great detailing products, visit the Jay Leno's website, use our discount code (BMWDCM) and you’ll get 15% and your order will not only be much cheaper but will arrive in only a few days by courier.
13 January was our January mid-week drive starting from Mornington BMW. Thank you to Alex and Tony and the rest of the team at Mornington BMW for putting on a sausage sizzle before the drive and then joining us as well. We were amazed at how many people turned up and also how many BMWs were there to join us for the drive. We even had 3 L-plate drivers, which is a credit to Peter Williams - his drive instructions are great and clear enough for new drivers to feel confident to follow. As always it was an interesting and fun drive around the beautiful Mornington Peninsula and culminated in a view of a magnificent sunset over the lower end of the Peninsula. A perfect end to a lovely evening. Setting off it was amazing looking in our mirrors and seeing a long line of BMW’s following us. I felt so honoured leading this group of wonderful BMWs in our E3 who did surprisingly well up and down all the twisting roads.
On 23 January, we had two events - Mates With 8’s Observation Drive, with Trevor and Theo organising and leading this event and they had an amazing turn out of E31s. Anywhere you get a few 8s together they draw the looks and having a bunch of them cruising together got quite a few heads turning along the route. From all reports it was a great event, and all had a great time.
Our other event was our Australia Day Weekend Away to Beechworth which was full of amazing cars, driving roads, scenery, warm friendly members, laughter, children and just good old fashion friendship. What can I say, if you didn’t come, you missed a brilliant weekend! We saw lots around Beechworth, with tours of the Courthouse precinct and the Gaol, as well as dinners in different places each night and touring to some lovely towns in the area and enjoying the roads in between. It started out pretty warm for Saturday to Monday, topping 43.5 degrees on two days then a bit of rain on Tuesday morning, enough to freshen things up a bit but not enough to dampen what was a fantastic weekend long away. We posted many photos on our facebook page over the weekend - head on over to have a look.
I must thank Jo and Peter, as well as all our committee, for the effort they put into our events, the planning and execution is faultless every time, whether it be a casual evening somewhere, or an epic 4-day weekend in the High Country. And of course, our events would be nothing with out the amazing people that come and join us and make it all worthwhile. Personally, I can’t wait for the next weekend away and the real big one, how about a week or so touring Tasmania with us in October/November, it will be awesome!
You may have noticed that we passed 500 current financial members, just before the end of December. Well, I am very, very, proud to say, that we are well on our way to our next century. Since the year began, we have already had 128 attendances at events and 26 new members join up! Welcome to you all, I hope you enjoy the ride with us. As of tonight, we are already at 528 members and amazingly, we are now the largest BMW Car Club in Victoria and the second largest in Australia! All in less than three years! Just amazing! I never envisaged this would happen and the club would go so well and grow so fast. Thank you all for coming and joining us, we must be doing something right.
And on to February. February will start with our monthly meeting on Wednesday 3 February at Revolution Racegear, with a talk on preparing yourself for motorsport, whether it be doing club days, officialling or full-on racing. There will also be lots of products to check out at Revolution. If you are needing any gear for the track don’t miss this night! There will be plenty of specials for our members, so come along and join the fun, grab some bargains and get yourself ready for some fun on the track. Even if you’re not looking to get on track, you are welcome to come and join us, just for a chat and catch-up. Please register if you are coming, so we know how much food to get, as there will snacks and refreshments on the night.
13 February will be the Torquay Motor Show Great Ocean Road Drive. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions the display day itself has been cancelled for 2021, but the organisers are still running an observation run around the district.
On the weekend of 19-21 February a few of our members will be racing at Sandown in the first round of the 2021 E30 Racing Championship. We wish all of our drivers and crews and officials all the best and if you would like to be a part of the weekend, as an official or crew member, let Jo or I know and we will see what we can do to get you track-side.
On 23 February we will also be doing another mid-week drive, starting with nibbles and a bit of a tour of club sponsors Zagame Autobody in Tullamarine and then off on one of Peter Williams’ fantastic drives, heading up to the Mt Macedon Memorial Cross where hopefully we will get to see the sun set again, from another hilltop, this time to the North of Melbourne.
27 February is then the first round of Traction Tyres/Yokohama BMWDCM Drivers Championship at Sandown. Registrations have been out for a few weeks now, so if you haven’t entered yet, get your entry in quickly, as of tonight there are still a few spots available. The great news is that, after twelve months of no spectators, we can finally have spectators at this event, so there will be no restriction on numbers at the track. If you want to come and help or just see what goes on at one of our track events, here is your chance! Again, if you want any information on events or getting on track or into officialling, give Jo or myself a call. We will give you all the help you need to steer you in the right direction.
All of the committee are working hard behind the scenes to get some great events ready for you all this year, so be sure to keep checking your emails as to not miss out. There are lots of things coming or planned so keep your eyes out for new events popping up all the time. As always, if you have an idea for an event or have been somewhere you thought we would enjoy, let us know and we will either help you to run an event or do it off your idea.
One final note, Jo goes into hospital on 4 February for her hip replacement operation. Many of you would have seen her hobbling around at events as her hips have been getting slowly worse and worse, so hopefully when next you see Jo she will be up and walking again without all her aids and most importantly, without the debilitating pain she has endured over the last year or more. I am so proud that even though she has struggled to do many things, Jo has kept going and doing so much for the club and for me. We’d all be lost without her and her drive. All our best wishes to you Jo and for a speedy recovery after.
Take care out there and I look forward to seeing you all at an event soon.
Name: Dom KauKasWhat make is your vehicle? BMWWhat model is your vehicle? 135i E88What year is it? 2010Does it have a nickname? NoWhat engine does it have? 6 Cylinder Twin Turbo What colour is it? Sapphire BlackWhen did you purchase it? 2020What attracted you to this particular vehicle? It has everything I wantHow have you modified it since purchasing it? Not yetGenerally, what do you love about it? It's great to driveTell us about the best drive you've had in it. It's great on the freeway.Any improvements/modifications/restorations planned? Performance tuning, better exhaust noteIn two words, how would you describe it? Great funIs there anything else about your car that is of interest (i.e previous celebrity owner, raced, a show winner, limited number in Australia)? Previous one owner low KMs
Thanks for sharing with us Dom! If you'd like to share your car (or motorbike!) with us, click here to submit your car or bike for next month!
Event date: 23-26 January 2021
On the first day we met early in the morning at Essendon BMW. I really liked looking at the MINIs… and of course the BMWs.
Jo explained to us what we would be doing that day and then the man from the dealership showed us a new type of BMW - none of them have even been sold yet. I think Dad want’s one now. I also had a yummy hot chocolate while we waited to leave.
Then first part of our trip was a nice drive as we headed to Yea for morning tea. We had a wander around the shops and found a nice bakery where I got some hedgehog slice, it was very yummy.
We then had a nice easy drive to Mansfield for lunch. Lunch was at a hotel - and it was busy! There was a kids playground though so my sister and I could have a play. I had fish and chips for lunch.
After lunch we all lined up in our cars for a fun drive to Beechworth. We drove through some mountains on some windy roads. The mountains were beautiful, but sometimes Dad was driving a bit too fast around the corners!
It wasn’t long until we arrive in Beechworth. It’s a very beautiful town - very old building along the street and lots of interesting shops. Mum and Dad told us all about how busy it was during the gold rush. My sister and I imagined what it must have been like with all the people, horses and carriages and tents that some people lived in.
When we got to the motel in Beechworth my sister and I couldn’t wait to go swimming in the swimming pool. It was a little pool, but still lots of fun to cool down in.
That night for dinner, instead of staying with the group we decided to go to Billson’s Brewery where they make cordial (as well as some alcohol drinks). It’s a very old building that has been around since the early days of Beechworth.
Before we ate our dinner, my sister and I got to do a cordial tasting and I tried about 8 different cordials. My favourite was the lemon & ginger. My sisters was Raspberry Vinegar.
I had a great weekend and everyone was really friendly and funny. people cracked lots of jokes and shared fun facts on the radios the whole weekend.
I can’t wait till our next trip and hopefully next time more people with kids come too.
Thanks to Jo, Graeme and Peter for organising it.
Harper Cooper (aged 10) | Member #631
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
We’d made it to Beechworth the previous day, some did the trip in significantly less time than at least one participant. Jo rolled her eyes when he called in to say he thought he’d left his coffee machine simmering so already 45 mins into the journey, the coffee addict turned around and headed home to find that an extra hour and a half’s driving whilst enjoyable, was in vain. It was OFF!
Firstly, if you didn’t make this event, you must be really disappointed. The driving is the northeast is nothing short of fabulous. Peter’s drive encyclopaedia put’s Melways to shame and whereas Dr Google generally gets you there, Pete’s tome actually has useful stuff in it. You won’t get lost with Pete on the trip.
o Day 2, 24 January, was Silo Art Day. The silos in question are on the opposite side of the Hume to Beechworth. So that meant we headed into the wheat and fortified wine country of Rutherglen and surrounds via Wangaratta and the Warby Ranges. Now if you drive a Beamer, the Warbies, are just what the doctor ordered; 18 km of twists and turns, rises and falls, short straights and not much traffic. Being still under warranty, and not too sure of the capabilities of these beasts, I learnt a lot trying to keep up with Pete in his little blue box MINI, that thing has actually got some legs. Firstly, in the twists and turns, Sports mode works a treat and this owner’s car appears to know how to corner, better than its driver. [Don’t say anything Jo!]
So, if you like to stretch your car’s legs, get up the front of the convoy and play, ‘Catch Pete.’ If you want to meander, that’s fine, you can do that too, just slip to the back of the convoy and spend more time on the scenery than the corners.
The Beechworth side of the highway’s history is steeped in gold, the Rutherglen side is steeped in cropping and damn good fortified wines. Mind you, there’s some very good wines on the Beechworth side too, just think Brown Brotheres at Milawa!
The north east is littered with lots of small towns, with pubs of course, that are the hub of the district. The trains came to town to get the grain to ports. Grain needs silos and as the size of farms increased and populations decreased, these little icons of Australiana needed to find ways to attract people to town. Somewhere along the line, one town decided to decorate their silos and turn them into concrete art galleries, a trend had commenced. Some silos are 90m high so they’re substantial structures.
The artwork that we saw on the silos of Goorambat, Devenish, St James and Tungamah are stunning. How the artists scale the images to get the perspective correct is an incredible feat. The silos depict life of the area, the impact of wars and the wildlife of the area. Fabulous snapshots of life in the country.
We lunched in Rutherglen, and suffice it to say that these small towns have some seriously good food on offer including some of the best pies you can get to wrap your laughing gear around. Then it was off to Chambers’ Winery where some of our great fortified wines are produced. A cellar tour and the inevitable tastings took place then it was back to Beechworth via Chiltern, another north-eastern gem.
A couple of hours to recover and then it was off to Bridge Road Brewers for gourmet pizzas and way too many beer varieties to sample in a month, let alone a night.
A great day of driving, food, wine, comradeship, and seeing some of the best country this state has to offer and meeting new friends with a common interest. It don’t get much better than that!
Graham Thomas | Member #534
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Monday in Beechworth began with the "Echoes of History Walking Tour". It was already extremely hot so the walking was mainly from one shaded spot to the next! Our guide, David Saxton, was a true expert on the district and its history, with many fascinating facts and stories from the early days of what was once one of Victoria's most important towns. His interest in archaeology and his infectious enthusiasm suggested an identification as "Australia's Francis Pryor", although his impressive beard perhaps pointed more towards Mick Aston (Time Team cast members, for those unaware of that great English TV series)!
The driving segment of the day then commenced, with a slightly reduced complement of eight cars, displaying a range of ages, sizes and number of doors/roofs. Our first stop on Pete Williams's well-designed route was the small historic town of Yackandandah, which proudly possesses a Williams Street. There was a variety of shops, galleries and eating places on offer but unfortunately the renowned Sluga Gallery was closed for the day. Perhaps just as well for our wallets! One "old wares" shop at the end of the street had a large range of small vintage car models of the Corgi/Matchbox type. The writer was tempted by a folded tin Shell service station with two levels to display such cars, but apart from the price ($275) the perennial question of "where will we put it?" raised its ugly head and this beauty remained in its cabinet.
After lunch we headed for Mt Beauty and Bright via a "twisty" drive. The scenery in this part of the State is stunning and the clear air revealed it in all its glory. Traffic was light. The group spent some time comparing outside temperatures according to our respective cars' instrument displays. No matter the detailed variances there was no doubting the overall picture; it was "hot, damned hot". Before we reached Mt Beauty there was some reshuffling of the convoy order, allowing for various degrees of enthusiasm for the seriously twisty and highly entertaining climb from that town to the Tawonga Gap. Most of the group stopped at Sullivans Lookout to admire the splendid view, although a couple of cars/crews missed that tricky turn-off. We regrouped at the next lookout for the equally delightful run down the hill to Bright.
Bright was heaving! Parking spots were hard to find and both streets and footpaths were very busy. Victorians were clearly heeding our Premier's exhortation to get out and help the regional towns by visiting and spending money. Bright was hard hit by the bushfires a year ago and by the covid-enforced closure of the ski season so it was great to see it so well supported. Jo and Graeme collected the meat for the forthcoming barbecue but, since we had become separated by this stage, I can offer no further report of activity in Bright.
The venue for our barbecue dinner had been changed from Lake Buffalo to Lake Sambell but this was a very picturesque alternative. Who is Sam Bell, by the way, and is he related to Graeme Bell? Our own Mr Bell did sterling work with the tongs and served up a vast quantity of sausages and rissoles. I'm not sure who organised the salads/plates/cups/cutlery etc but I suspect Jo and Shaaron put in their usual hard work to ensure a very enjoyable evening. The food went down well, accompanied by the (responsible) consumption of wine and beer, and by the pleasure of conversation.
In summary, a great day!
David Francis | Member #243
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Day four rolled around very quickly...as did the rain. We can't complain after three days of continuous sunshine – and truth be known it actually came as a bit of a relief.
We were out the door very early to drive the Beechworth Gorge circuit. Unfortunately it was quite foggy and as a result we missed out on what we were told is usually a great view. We did manage however to capture some fast cascading waterfalls which I assume were increased in volume due to the rains..so lucky us! After our drive we moved on to drier premises, the Court House. This is a building dating back to 1858 where it was in continuous service for 131 years and bore witness to many convictions, many of which would be thought in today's times and as one noted as "demented". People were convicted for crimes that were minor and brought upon from no more than extremely sad and poor circumstances of the times. We believe that the gold rush days of Australia may have been good for some but for others it was more about heartbreak than fortune as many of these stories support. One lady in particular was sentenced to jail leaving her two infant children being sent to the local asylum to spend their formulative years because, I can only guess, they had nowhere else to go.
From Court we went, as you do, to Jail (the Old Beechworth Gaol that is). In bygone times you had to pay for your crimes with your time...now we have to pay to spend our time there. I'd much prefer to pay for the experience anyway.
The Old Beechworth Gaol is a fascinating building opened in 1864 and was still in operation up until its closure only in 2004. I was in the area in the 1980s and remember the prisoners tending the gardens. The gaol has been left in a condition as it was when closed which makes it even more fascinating and I can tell you that there hadn't been much modernisation on the building up until its closure. This is not a place you would want to spend any of your time in if you can help it as I'm sure the infamous Ned Kelly who spent some time here before being transported to the Old Melbourne Goal where he was hanged for his crimes felt the same way. His mother Ellen Kelly also spent time in this gaol for the attempted murder of a police Constable Fitzpatrick who supposedly tried to kiss her 14 year old daughter...some would say "justified" she on the other hand said "I should have done a better job". I say supposedly because both sides of the incident were not without sin of lying. There were a few modern day infamous people too such as Carl Williams that spent some time in this establishment. Well worth a visit if in the area.
We stayed at the Golden Heritage Accommodation – which we can highly recommend if you intend to visit the area. It is really clean and fresh and the owners are very welcoming and accommodating.
In staying with the theme of criminals it may be appropriate now to pass on some insights from the hotel owner as to the light fingers of guests past...not all heists were accomplished at the Golden Heritage might I add and in fact the main incredulous light fingering was undertaken at the Melbourne Ibis that the owners opened many years ago. The story goes that a group of overseas visitors booked enough rooms to have almost an entire floor. After their departure, when cleaning the rooms, it was discovered that each room had a curtain missing and the one remaining curtain was drawn across the length of the window to cover the theft. The owners calculated that they had got away with 4 sets of curtains. Did they get charged for the curtains? That I'm afraid I cannot answer. Another story: however, I do like to view this more as a tip on "How to acquire new pillows" (as done by guests at hotels more regularly than you would think). Step 1: bring your old bed pillow from home to the hotel you are a guest of (this is a must), Step 2: remove hotel's pillow case from lovely new firm pillow; Step 3: place your old pillow in the hotel's pillow case and leave on the hotel bed; Step 3: Take home what we hope to be a newer version of what you've left behind. Now, of course if you have more than one pillow you would like to exchange then just repeat those instructions. Pretty clever huh? If you're feeling more brave then you could do what one brazen guest in Tasmania did, take the whole King-sized bed from the hotel room...yep, that's right, the whole bed! They believe that the "guest" must have taken the bed down the fire escape (escape being the operative word) in order to accomplish this feat. I'm not sure in this instance that they actually brought their Queen-sized bed from home as a replacement as the thoughtful pillow thieves do – and I think to not do so seems rude don't you? Not to mention more obvious that something in the room is missing. The element of surprise is always priceless.
Anyway, back to our trip and this is where it ended – outside the Gaol. We bade farewell to our new made friends as this was our introduction to a weekend away with the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne and we will be back for more. We had so much fun and it was so well organised that we could not fault one aspect of our trip. People are so friendly and welcoming – it made a 'good' trip 'great'!
Paul wanted me to add something about the driving!!! All I can say is he had a smile on his face for the entire trip so the BMWDCM are doing something right.
Paul Carrington & Angela Muser | Member #623
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 13 January 2021
Those of us with teenage children of learner driver age know very well that we can call out for our kids at the top of our lungs and quite suddenly they are deaf. But the slightest jangle of keys and their sonar type hearing ability springs in to action and we are met by our child, L plates and log book in hand, with "Are we going out? Can I drive?".
This is the case with our 19 year old, Stephanie. By all intents and purposes she should already be licensed and driving solo but with her former school some distance from home, our limited time, followed by lockdowns, there was not much scope for driving practice. So Stephanie has had her learner's permit for just over 12 months and had just over five hours driving experience, most of which was confined to the car park at the university, and some very slow and quiet driving around where we live.
The opportunity to take part in the BMWDCM Mornington Peninsula drive came up and Stephanie volunteered to drive. With nothing to lose (apart from our minds) we agreed to her request to drive and Stephanie was to drive the trusty 118i. The rest of the family also took part in other cars, an M140i Finale and my eldest daughter with a MINI from her place of work. The 125i stayed home this time.
Driving at speeds greater than she was used to, driving in a group, watching out for the car in front and behind, hair pin bends, narrow country roads, unfamiliar territory, varying speed limits, negotiating a map and directions, it was quite tense and stressful at times, but Steph took it all in her stride and coped amazingly well with everything that was thrown at her. Once we reached the destination meeting point at Seawinds, Stephanie was still enthused to drive and chose to drive home too!
Apart from being a thoroughly enjoyable event and drive, it was tremendous practice and experience for Steph and the other learner drivers we saw taking part on the day.
Our grateful thanks to the Committee for organising this event and making us all feel so welcome.
A few words from Stephanie: "The drive to Arthur's Seat was a challenging one, especially for me as I only had 5 hours driving experience at the time. The sharp turns and fast (legal) speeds were a little scary at first, but by the end of the drive I felt more confident and more capable of driving. The whole experience was a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me. Although I was very scared at first, the drive gave me a lot of confidence and belief in myself that I can drive in all sorts of conditions. Thank you to the club organisers."
Michael Stuart | Member #626
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
BMW M GmbH is expanding its ranks of ultra-sporty CS models with the introduction of the BMW M5 CS (fuel consumption, combined: 11.3 – 11.1 l/100 km [25.0 – 25.5 mpg imp] correspond to NEDC; 11,3 - 10,9 l/100 km correspond to WLTP, CO2 emissions, combined: 258 – 253 g/km correspond to NEDC, 257 – 248 g/km correspond to WLTP). The limited-run, exclusive special-edition model treats four people to an extraordinary driving experience and blends standout performance attributes with an exclusive and luxurious appearance.
The 4.4-litre V8 engine with 467 kW/635 hp makes the BMW M5 CS the most powerful car in the history of BMW M. Standard features include the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which also offers a 2WD mode for pure rear-wheel drive.
Rigorously applied lightweight design enables a weight saving of some 70 kilograms over the BMW M5 Competition (fuel consumption, combined: 11.3 – 11.1 l/100 km [26.7 – 26.9 mpg imp] correspond to NEDC; 11,3 -10,9 l/100 km correspond to WLTP; CO2 emissions, combined: 259 – 254 g/km correspond to NEDC; 259 – 249 g/km correspond to WLTP). With retuned bearing springs at the front and rear axle and further refined damper control, the chassis has been adapted to the lower vehicle weight and the increased performance potential of the standard mixed-size Pirelli P Zero Corsa track tyres (front: 275/35 R 20, rear: 285/35 R 20).
The BMW M5 CS sprints from 0 – 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 3.0 seconds, and from 0 – 200 km/h (124 mph) in 10.3 seconds. Top speed is an electronically governed 305 km/h (189 mph).
The exceptional driving experience on board the BMW M5 CS can be enjoyed by four people – the driver and front passenger in M Carbon seats and two other passengers in the individual rear seats. The black Merino leather covers (fine-grain for the front seats) also feature eye-catching contrasting panels and decorative stitching in Mugello Red. The integral head restraints – with illuminated M5 logos for the front seats – display an outline of the legendary Nürburgring circuit.
The centre marker perforation with red background on the M Alcantara steering wheel is a classical racing car touch; the gearshift paddles are made from carbon fibre and the steering wheel spokes have Black Chrome trim.
A fixed lightweight cover on the centre console replaces the usual armrest with opening lid. Its black Merino leather is complemented by red double stitching. The colour red is used again for the “CS” badging on the instrument panel and between the bucket-style seats in the rear.
The BMW kidney grille surround on the BMW M5 CS, the “M5 CS” badges on the kidney grille, the M gills on the front wings and the boot lid are finished in the bold colour shade Gold Bronze, as are the 20‑inch M forged wheels in Y-spoke design (front: 9.5 J x 20, rear: 10.5 J x 20). The door sill finishers come with illuminated “M5 CS” badges.
The L-shaped light tubes of the BMW Laser headlights illuminate yellow instead of white when low beam, high beam or the Welcome Light is switched on, bringing successful GT racing cars to mind.
The bonnet, front splitter, exterior mirror caps, rear spoiler, rear diffuser, M Power engine compartment cover and intake silencer are made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). Some elements feature exposed carbon fibre.
Standard specification for the M5 CS includes its stainless-steel sports exhaust system with four unadorned tailpipes and the M Carbon ceramic brakes, whose callipers are painted in Red as standard or Gold as an option.
Available alongside the Brands Hatch Grey metallic paint shade are the exclusive BMW Individual matt paint finishes Frozen Brands Hatch Grey metallic and Frozen Deep Green metallic.
The market launch of the new BMW M5 CS will get underway in spring 2021; in Germany it will be priced at 180,400 euros.
The fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures are determined according to the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 in the version applicable. The figures refer to a vehicle with basic configuration in Germany. The range shown considers the different sizes of the selected wheels/tyres and the selected items of optional equipment, and may vary during configuration.
The values are based on the new WLTP test cycle and are translated back into NEDC-equivalent values in order to ensure comparability between the vehicles. With respect to these vehicles, for vehicle-related taxes or other duties based (at least inter alia) on CO2 emissions, the CO2 values may differ from the values stated here (depending on national legislation).
Further information on official fuel consumption figures and specific CO2 emission values of new passenger cars is included in the following guideline: 'Leitfaden über den Kraftstoffverbrauch, die CO2 Emissionen und den Stromverbrauch neuer Personenkraftwagen' (Guide to the fuel economy, CO2 emissions and electric power consumption of new passenger cars), which can be obtained free of charge from all dealerships, from Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH (DAT), Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, 73760 Ostfildern-Scharnhausen and at https://www.dat.de/co2/.
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