Welcome to Summer!
I can’t believe we are nearly at the end of 2023. It's been such an eventful year.
On 7 November we held what would have been one of our biggest drive events ever, with over 80 registered and 50-55 cars attending. We met up at the clubrooms in Hastings, leaving in two groups. The first were all those doing the Cap Schanck Lighthouse tours, the second followed about 15 minutes behind, these members choosing not to do the tour. We all met up at Cape Schanck then toured on to lunch at T’Gallant Winery, where we had a delicious lunch and frivolities waiting for the Melbourne Cup to be run. We had so many there we had to have three sweeps for the Cup. Was a lot of fun and a great day out with a bunch of our wonderful members and friends. Thanks to Peter Williams’ drive instructions not one car or group got lost, even though we criss-crossed the Peninsula on some great driving roads.
We were blessed with the weather, as at 4am the heavens opened up and we in Hastings and on the Peninsula had a dreadful storm, but we woke to blue skies and sunshine in time for our drive and lunch.
If you have not been to Cape Schanck Lighthouse, it is well worth the drive and make sure you do the lighthouse tour as it was very informative. We were lucky to have one of our own members Phil Gleadhill take us all around the light house and I think we all learnt something from his very informative tour.
On 11 and 12 November we had cars on display at the Sandown Historics. Both days had great numbers, we went on Sunday and were a little luckier with the weather being not so windy and nice and warm and sunny. There were plenty of different cars from different clubs too, it's a great event and if you have never been to a Historic racing meet. I would advise you to go check them out at Phillip Island, Winton or Sandown. Thank you to all who turned up with their cars looking so nicely presented.
Sadly, our last Simulator Challenge needed to be cancelled due to a low attendance which was a shame as these nights were a lot of fun throughout the year. The championship was very close, and the winner will be announced at our presentation dinner next year.
17-19 November saw some of our members attend the last round of E30 Racing. Again, we were blessed with blue skies, maybe a little too hot for some of the old E30s who had some overheating issues but great racing right through the field. Out youngest and one of our oldest members in E30 racing were battling for the championship and I am still not sure if the final decision has been made with a count back but there was a draw for the year with young Royce Lyne and Brian Bourke coming equal first on 152 points. This is what you call good close racing. Thank you to our members who came up to watch and help out over the weekend, was great to see you all there supporting the E30 Racing Club and our members racing.
Jo and I took our caravan up with us and used it as an office over the weekend and with the aircon, drivers were able to cool off between races. Jo as Jo is, worked most of the weekend on 2024 events, so watch out for new emails for some great events coming up next year.
We were lucky this round as we didn’t have to tow any of our customers cars up, so a week before we realised we could make a slow trip up to Challenge Bathurst which was on the next weekend. This is a first for us as you know both Jo and I don’t do anything slowly! We are normally always on the run, but this came as a well need rest for us. After Winton we travelled to Lake Hume and set up camp for the night. Then took two days to get to Bathurst ready for five very busy days, three officiating and two running the DCM group of 55 cars.
21-26 November was Challenge Bathurst. This year we had a group of 55 BMWs which was a huge honour for our club. We had members from seven different BMW clubs from all around the country. There was a great range of cars too. What I am most proud of is the volunteers who gave up their time to help run this event. Jo of course who gave so much of her time before during and after this event. Without her we would not have been able to do this. We also had drivers give up their time before the event and volunteer on flag points on Thursday and Friday and partners join the flagging team on Saturday and Sunday to volunteer. BMWDCM had many volunteers who came up just to help. They selflessly gave up their time to help out running the event, but mainly help our team run this event. Thank you all for the time you put in to give the drivers the opportunity to have fun on the track. Jo and I are very passionate about volunteering and within our club we encourage members to join our events as much as they can. It is a great way to be involved in motorsport, and generally officials get treated pretty well. At this event officials received free camping, free breakfast lunch and dinner, shirts and hats and even hot laps on Sunday afternoon in a V8 Supercar.
For all who entered this year and are reading this message, if you are attending next year please bring along some volunteers because at the end of the day it is for your safety. The more volunteers we have out there the safer you will be.
I would like to congratulate the winners 1. Brenton Hammond from QLD, 2. Grant Bray from NSW and 3. David Bushby from Tasmania (who I believe will be a new DCM member in the new year)! Well done ato you all. Some of the other clubs took the regularity part of it more seriously that perhaps any of our members did and tried pretty hard to match their times. For most of our members the thrill of driving Bathurst was all that mattered. Maybe next year we will run an information night about what the regularity part of the event is all about and how to go about trying to win it.
I hope you all made it home safely and are now enjoying telling your loved ones your great stories of the weekend. Remember we would love you to share your tales so please email email@example.com with any articles and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org with your on and off track photos.
On the same weekend we also had a group displaying their cars at the Geelong Revival. We were lined up along Eastern Beach Road and the display looked great.
December is here and we have some fun events to finish off the year.
Also in December, is a non-Club event, which all of our members are invited and welcome to attend. 16 December is the Bell Motorsport Christmas BBQ at Hastings, be sure to join us and bring the family.
Jo has been working very hard to secure some great events for 2024 and the calendar is nearly full. Keep looking for updates as we get the events up on the website.
Sadly, Jo will be going back into hospital soon for spinal surgery, so don’t think she is ignoring you if she doesn’t answer the phone or reply to an email straight away. Knowing Jo, she will have her laptop with her and will do her best to keep in contact, but if it is not Jo you really need to talk to contact one of the others on our team.
On the topic of health, our drive co-ordinator and new club Secretary, Peter Williams, is nearly all mended and will be back behind the wheel in the new year. We are very pleased with his recovery.
As for all of our hard working committee, we will be taking a short but very well earned break over Christmas, so make sure you have your CPS papers signed and remember this can all be done via our email email@example.com all the information on how to do this is on our website. Don’t leave it till the last minute though, as we are all volunteers and all deserve a few days off over Christmas and New Year.
We'll have our driver training, come and try, motorkahana, hill climb and sprint dates up on the website soon. Check back over the next few weeks for all of the dates!
I told you Jo and I have been busy! There are more dates that will be released on our calendar very soon. With the heavy workload we have all had this year, these are all the events we have been able to get out so far, but believe me, there a lot more to come.
We are doing Tasmania again over the week prior to and over Melbourne Cup weekend. Watch out for the event notice as this will be different driving roads and area to our last trip down South.
We have formed a Nationals Committee for our 2025 Nationals, so you will soon be seeing updates regarding that. We have a logo which is yet to be approved by Munich but with Jo’s ideas and Fiona Cooper’s talents, it looks fantastic. We are all pleased with the results, which you will see this in the new year when we launch the Nationals 2025 website.
We are still looking for a webmaster to drive the Nationals website too, so if you or anyone you know can help, please let us know.
It is also getting close to getting the next idrive ready, and we need feature articles. Please send all your articles to firstname.lastname@example.org with photos for Jess to be able to use in next year’s magazine.
Remember this is your club and your ideas, help and articles are needed to keep this great club ticking along.
We are so close to Christmas now and I hope you all have a safe December in the build up to our festive season. I don’t know where this year has gone, so enjoy the last month of events for 2023.
Take care out there and I hope to see you at an event somewhere soon.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
PO 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
October came and went with a whirl, seems to be a thing lately!
1 October was our last Driver Training event at Broadford for the year and we were sold out, which was a great result. These events are not only great for new and upcoming drivers but also great for training new officials and this one was no exception with us have no less than 15 officials upskilling on the day. Fantastic weather, brilliant day out and a great way to end the driver Training season.
4 October was our drop in Donuts night, and as with all of these nights, we had a great turn out and all enjoyed the coffee, cars and donuts.
8 October a large group headed out for a great drive from Eildon-Jamison Mansfield and Yea. With great driving roads the group enjoyed some amazing drives to end up at lunch in Mansfield. After lunch the drive continued on a scenic drive home via Yea.
12 October was our Annual General Meeting, which was held at the German Club Tivoli. We always love coming here and the food and staff are always fabulous. Our 2022/23 Committee stood down and a new committee were elected for the next year. I am back as President, Jo is again our Vice President, Peter Williams is now our Secretary and Lawrence is taking on the role of Treasurer. Shaaron has been with us for 5 years and due to personal reasons has stood down from this role. I would personally like to thank Shaaron for all her work she has done over the past 5 years. Our new committee are committed to run our great club and take it forward into the future.
On 21 October Jo and I went off to WA for 5 days escape before the next few months of crazy busy events. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, but we managed to have 5 days off to enjoy the sights of Perth and Southwestern WA.
22 October was our second What Else is in Your Garage Coffee and Cars Day. Sadly, the weather was not that brilliant, but our members did not disappoint us and there was still a fantastic turn out of beautiful cars.
On 25 October a group of members headed out for our first Twilight drive for the end of the year. After a great drive the group enjoyed some food and laughs.
On 26-28 October E30 racing attended the last round of the Victorian State Race Series at Calder Park. So good to see so many of our members there and even to have members join us as spectators. I have raced at this track many years ago and it brought back some fantastic memories. What a great weekend and what a great venue this will be once a few more upgrades are done.
I can’t believe we are in November now and only a few more weeks and we will be winding up for the year and what a year it has been.
7 November is our Melbourne Cup Drive. We are leaving from the Club Rooms in Hastings hopefully by 9.45am to enable 3 groups to get through the Light House tour. Followed by some more great driving roads to end at T’Gallants for a casual lunch then a Melbourne Cup sweep over tea and coffee. This event is closed now.
11/12 November is Sandown Historic Car Display. Join us with discounted entry to enjoy some fabulous historic racing.
14 November is our last Simulator Challenge. Come along to see who this year’s Simulator Champion will be. It is very close with only a few points between first and third. there are still spots left so make sure you register to be part of all the fun, come along as a spectator too.
We're off to Challenge Bathurst on 25-26 November, which will be a brilliant event. There are 55 members joining us from 6 BMW Clubs from all over Australia to enjoy this thrilling event. We are also lucky to have over 20 members joining us as volunteers to help run the event. Jo and I will arrive very early and help out with the sprint sessions and then once our lot are all cleared through scrutiny, we will be managing our group.
26 October is Geelong Revival which sadly conflicts with Challenge Bathurst, but Lawrence will be heading this event, and we are sure to have a brilliant display as per normal. This is a great event to attend as a displayer or just come and enjoy the great event this always is.
We will be launching the Nationals 2025 website very soon and before we can do that, we are needing a logo!
Working with BMW AG we have strict criteria on all our logos, and this must fit their guidelines. 2025 is also 50 years of the 3 series so we are thinking maybe something to link the two together?
We ask all members to get their creative heads on and see what you can come up with. Get them to us as soon as you can so the committee can pick the best and most appropriate logo and announce the best design in the December newsletter. If you would like to help us with this contact myself or Jo regarding the criteria we have to work with.
We will also be forming a Nationals Committee in November, if you think you will be interested in helping with this event, please contact Jo, on email@example.com, who has already gotten things off to a great start and let her know what availability you will be able to offer, be it before or during the event.
Our Nationals are planned for Anzac Weekend 2025 which falls over the Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday. Anzac Day being on the Friday.
Mark these dates in your diary, book your holiday leave and make sure you are there to enjoy our Nationals event.
From our Welfare team, some of you may have noticed Peter Williams missing from our drive events. This is due to him having a tumble and breaking a bone or possibly a few bones in his hand and not being able to drive for some time. Lawarence and Shaaron have led a drive and Jo and I will be at the helm at the next two but rest assured Peter is mending well and will be back as soon as he can.
We wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to having him back up front again.
We still have limited stock of our summer shirts for sale. Go to our store to place your orders for when we get some more sunny weather.
Our UHF Radios kits are selling well, and these are a really great purchase. Maybe a good idea for Christmas if you are stuck for idea. They come with pretty much everything you need for communicating on our drive days. Go to our store to pick up one now.
Bell Motorsport (that’s Jo and I) will be having our Christmas BBQ on the 17th December at the Hastings yard. Feel free to drop in and join us from 10 am. It is a casual day with soft drinks and sausage sizzle. Bring the kids and enjoy the company. Jo promises not to be carted off in an Ambulance this year!
Jo and I were lucky to be invited to the 100 years of Motorrad celebration by Melbourne/Ringwood and Doncaster BMW. This was at a really cool venue which Jo is in communications with for us to hold a twilight/daytime cars and food event at. This will be at the beginning of the year to hopefully enjoy some of our great weather.
CPS renewals are going well with the electronic system, if you don’t know how to do it, go to our CPS page on our website and read the instructions.
Remember this is a very busy time of year and your committee are all volunteers who try to have some home/life balance. If you are wanting to put your car on CPS or needing your renewals signed, please do not leave it to the last minute as we may not be able to help at short notice. We are here for you, but we will need a little notice. Call us before heading down.
If you are reading this now and have a vehicle on CPS make sure you have not let it run out. It is your responsibility to ensure your membership is up to date and your renewals are signed and paid.
Peter and Jo will be putting their heads together to map out some great drives for 2024. Jo already has a lot of great events planned for us to look forward to, but, as always, if you have an idea for an event or go somewhere cool and you think it would be great to take the club to, don’t keep it a secret! Let us know and we will follow up on it or help you get it off the ground.
We have five Driver Training events tentatively booked for 2024! We are still waiting for the motorsport calendars to be finalised, so we can confirm them, but next year looks like a great year with some amazing on track events planned.
We have sent out our sponsorship proposals for 2024 and so far, we have had some very positive results from both new and existing Club sponsors. One new sponsor took up our new Driver Training Pack, so we will be able to offer some cheaper rounds to enable more people the opportunity of getting out on track. If you own or are a part of a business that might like to sponsor the club or advertise in our excellent magazine, idrive, don’t hesitate to ask for our sponsorship proposal pack.
If you are interested in sponsoring the club, please contact Jo on firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to chat with you. We are glad to already have some of our previous sponsors committing for 2024.
Victory for BMW M Team WRT and the BMW M4 GT3 at the Indianapolis 8 Hour, the fourth and penultimate race of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) season. BMW works drivers Philipp Eng (AUT), Sheldon van der Linde (RSA), and Dries Vanthoor (BEL) secured a triumph at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway (USA) with a 53 second margin. With this third consecutive IGTC win following the Kyalami 9 Hour (RSA) in February and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) in July, BMW defended its lead in the manufacturer's standings ahead of Mercedes. Eng remains second in the driver's championship but closed the gap on the top spot. BMW M Motorsport will compete in the season finale in Abu Dhabi (UAE) in December, contending for titles in both categories.
The #30 BMW M4 GT3 started from fourth position, but Eng managed to take the lead in the first corner. The BMW M Team WRT trio temporarily lost the lead when they received a drive-through penalty for exceeding the maximum stint duration. However, with excellent speed – the BMW M4 GT3s tyre wear was reduced significantly by cooler temperatures on race day – Eng staged a comeback from fourth to second place. Leading the race with a little over two hours remaining was the #31 BMW M4 GT3 with the WRT trio of Augusto Farfus (BRA), Maxime Martin and Charles Weerts (both BEL). However, Farfus collided with another car while attempting to overtake a lapped opponent, damaging the front suspension of his car. BMW M Team WRT managed to repair the damage but lost more than ten laps in the process. Nevertheless, the joy of the team's first victory in the USA clearly overshadowed the setback.
North American BMW M Motorsport teams BimmerWorld and ST Racing also competed in Indianapolis but faced their fair share of issues. Samantha Tan (CAN), BMW works driver Neil Verhagen and Jake Walker (both USA) finished in 12th place, while Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and Chandler Hull (all USA) retired from the race shortly before the end.
The ‘Gulf 12 Hours’, the IGTC season finale, will take place on 9th/10th December in Abu Dhabi.
Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): “Congratulations to BMW M Team WRT and our BMW M works drivers Philipp Eng, Sheldon van der Linde and Dries Vanthoor on their victory at the Indianapolis 8 Hour! This marks the third consecutive win for the BMW M4 GT3 in the Intercontinental GT Challenge following the double victory at Kyalami and the triumph at the 24h Spa-Francorchamps. This once again highlights the global strength of our GT3 car. It's a pity that the sister car had to retire while leading due to a collision because it was also performing exceptionally well until that point. Thanks to all drivers, team members and BMW M Motorsport staff for their efforts! This includes the North American teams of BimmerWorld and ST Racing, who gave good performances despite their misfortunes in the race. Now, we focus on the upcoming tasks, including the season finale of the Intercontinental GT Challenge in Abu Dhabi in December.”
Vincent Vosse (Team Principal, BMW M Team WRT): “It's a great feeling to win a race in the USA for the first time with BMW M Team WRT. We had two very strong cars, and it was a big help that tyre wear was low on this track and in these temperatures. That gave us an advantage over our competitors. The setback is the retirement of our second car because we were on course for a double victory, but such mistakes happen. We're racing at the highest level and take corresponding risks. That's racing. Now, let's see what we can achieve in the title fight in Abu Dhabi.”
Philipp Eng (#30 BMW M4 GT3, 1st place): “Hats off to the fantastic performance of our team. They truly deserve this victory. Yesterday, they worked on the car for a long time, and today, everyone did a perfect job. I managed to keep the driver's championship title fight open. Now it all comes down to the showdown in Abu Dhabi.”
Sheldon van der Linde (#30 BMW M4 GT3, 1st place): “I'm thrilled to win this race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on my very first attempt! We realised early this weekend that we had a good car here, and the team did a fantastic job. What a moment to kiss the 'Bricks'!”
Dries Vanthoor (#30 BMW M4 GT3, 1st place): “What a great victory! Thanks to BMW M Motorsport, the team and my fellow drivers! After the mistake with the stint time, which we paid for with a drive-through penalty, we didn't give up, fought hard, and were rewarded in the end.
Augusto Farfus (#31 BMW M4 GT3, 17th place): “The collision was my fault. I decided to make the move and overtake the lapped car in front of me on the inside. I went too deep into the corner and hit the Ferrari that was still in front of me and the car I intended to overtake. It's extremely unfortunate because we had the race under control at that point. Unfortunately, it was very difficult to overtake lapped cars in general. When you have to fight to get past them, such mistakes can unfortunately happen. I'm sorry for the team and my fellow drivers.“
It is great to see spring here and some lovely driving weather with us again.
Sorry the report is a couple of days late, we’ve been so busy with events, the end of the month slipped by without us noticing.
Our first event for September was the Shannons Insurance Simulator Challenge which was an exciting event with the run to the end very close and could be anyone’s win.
On 9 September we had our first drive for the month being a mid-week drive. It was another great drive by Peter and all who attended had a great time heading around the roads of the Yarra Valley to Healesville.
On 14 September we had Supercars at Sandown. So many of our members attended as officials, which was great to see. Some were trying out new roles for the first time too! The weather was amazing and I know I had a ball scrutineering.
20 September was our Berwick mid-week drive leaving from Berwick BMW which is always good to support some of our sponsors. Great driving conditions and everyone enjoyed lunch at the historic Thorpdale Travellers Rest Hotel.
1 October was our last come and Try day for 2023. We had lots of new members attend. It was also great to see some different cars out there too. Thanks again, as always, to our friends from VFT (Victorian Flagmarshalling Team) for keeping all our drivers safe on track. We had a few new officials on the day too, which is so good and also lots of parents with their junior drivers teaching them safe driving skills.
On 3 October Jo and I headed up to Bathurst to officiate for the week at the 1000. Jo will be in the Supercars Corporate office and I will be doing scrutineering for the week. I will be looking after Supercars again, and I am sure it will be a great week. It was a little bit wet on Wednesday but the rest of the week is looking dry and cool which will suit all up here. It's really nice to see so many of our members filling different officiating roles too.
4 October was also our Drop in donut night in Geelong. This is always a fun night with lots of different cars attending.
Looking ahead and on 8 October while many of us will be watching the great race, some will be on another one of Peter's great drives through Eildon-Jamison-Mansfield-Yea. There will be some amazing driving roads to enjoy, so not too late to join if you aren’t glued to your tv!
12 October is our AGM at German Club Tivoli. We would love you to attend and have your say. If you cannot come please forward your proxy vote to email@example.com to ensure we have a quorum and the AGM and new committee can be sworn in. If you are wanting to attend for dinner at 6.30pm make sure you book through the Tivoli Club and use BMWDCM as your booking reference.
On 22 October we have our ‘What else do you have in your garage’ coffee morning. We know that there are also some amazing cars out there being hidden away from us in peoples’ garages and man/lady caves and this is the perfect opportunity to show us what you have. Bikes are welcome too.
25 October is the last club event for the month, with a Geelong Area Mid Week Twilight Drive ending at Mount Moriac Hotel for dinner.
On 27-29 October E30 racing will be out at Calder Park for their first race meeting there in many years. This should be an exciting race meeting and I know it’s been too long now since cars have raced on this Iconic track and I for one am very excited to be going out there. Not sure if I will race yet but this is a strong possibility. So if you’d like to come and support our members and E30 Racing, put it in your calendar.
Other dates to make note of:
The club is going really well, and I am so proud that each month we still get a stream of new members joining. Welcome to all of our recent new members and thank you for joining us. It is a credit to our team of volunteers that events are run well, and members are having great experiences with others and enjoying the wonderful atmosphere we have at all our events. Social media is also a great way of sharing our club with the world and we have had a lot of new members from social media as well.
We still have a few of our discount merchandise left if there's something you're looking for. Head on over to the online store and place your order.
It is scary that the year is quickly coming to an end and Jo has half of 2024 already planned for us.
Watch your emails for new and exciting events, which come out to you every week. Now that the better weather and longer days are here, we will be doing our twilight drives and, of course, lots of car show type events coming too.
Keep an eye on the website, there are always new things being added to the store or calendar and keep your profile up to date too.
As always, take care out there and drive safely and I look forward to seeing you at an event somewhere soon.
Event date: 20 September 2023
Thorpdale, here we come. 10 cars, their owners and passengers met at Berwick BMW for coffee and cake on 20th September prior to setting off through the rolling hills of West Gippsland on another of Pete’s world-renowned BMW Club drives. Why else would we be BMW Club of the Year [worldwide in 2023, if it wasn’t for our drives.
There weather was looming as inclement but fortunately, that’s how it stayed, we had no rain.
The lush hills and valleys of Gippsland passed us by as we headed down the Monash Freeway via Pakenham, Drouin, Poowong, Korrumburra, Mirboo North to Thorpdale for lunch. Tail end Charlie lost the plot and was happy for 9 cars to be in the group instead of 10, as my navigator let me down and we got separated from the group. Tail End Charlie apparently has a care factor of zero as he was somewhat surprised when I eventually appeared in his rear-view mirror. All, is almost forgiven!
An enjoyable lunch was partaken at the Thorpdale Travellers’ Rest Pub before we made our own ways home.
If you’re free during the week, see you at the next mid-week drive. And even if you’re not, you can always take a sickie..
Graham Thomas | Member #534BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 9 September 2023
At about 9.30am we arrived at the back of Sophia’s in Croydon on a cold yet lovely spring day with promising glimpses of blue sky.
After a short impromptu chat and show and tell about our cars we were gathered together by Peter to discuss the plans for the mornings drive. Everyone was organised with us all having our radios and once we were briefed the 18 or so cars were split into two groups.
I was placed in group two and we let the first group have a 10 minute head start! Just before we started the clouds separated to get bigger patches of blue and we were on our way.
There were a few little hiccups at the start with cars getting separated by red lights we eventually all joined up together just before getting into being surrounded by magnificent green acreage.
The tight winding roads made for a spectacular and exhilarating drive with chitter chatter on the UHF radio about favourite wineries and restaurants that we passed.
The pleasant chitter chatter continued to the point where we were all together at a turning point and we couldn’t get a word in to advise our lead car that we were all together, so we had to beep our horn to get a move on!
With a couple of breaks to stretch our legs we continued through the ever-green undulating hills near Healesville and wound in and out of roads that I’d driven past heaps of times but never ventured down. On one break I was asked if I was the one with the AK47 for an exhaust, which made my day. Popping and crackling all the way in my 440i was just pure joy.
After what felt like a very quick 2 hours the journey ended at the Beechworth Bakery and whilst my family and I had to dart off to another event many of the BMW club members stayed to have a bite to eat.
What a great selector of roads our Peter is, the drive was truly fantastic and a very enjoyable day.
Luke Devlin | Member #738
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 19 July 2023
On the 9th of July we joined the BMW drivers club on a drive to Rhyll for the annual Xmas in July function.
I started planning the outfits for myself and my husband as soon as we booked. I found a fantastic T-shirt for hubby with a very cool looking Santa with tattoos and attitude, I wore a glow in the dark dress with very bright Xmas pictures of candy canes, snowmen, stars etc, and an Elf hat to top it all off.
Then I moved on to decorating the car, an E30 convertible (not ideal for the conditions on the day but still lots of fun). I started with big red velvet bows which I hung off the head rests, tinsel and lights for the back parcel shelf and a Santa decal in the side window (looked like we were escorting Santa to lunch). Then I moved to the exterior of the car, elf legs hung out of the boot and magnetic ‘lights’ which were on the back and sides of the car to finish the decorating.
The trip started at Caldermeade on a very wet and cold Sunday morning, we travelled the beautiful Gippsland, occasionally getting a little off track but we always regroup quickly with lots of information over the UHF radio. It was a fun drive with a few windies through the countryside till we arrived at Kilcunda then on to the chocolate factory in Phillip island, we were all dressed up creating quite a stir with the children especially Mr and Mrs Claus!
Next stop was Rhyll for a beautiful Xmas lunch. I was lucky enough to score a prize in the raffle I could choose between a box of chocolates or an umbrella, the umbrella seemed very fitting for the day and extremely useful. After lunch we had a parade for best dressed in different categories with the staff deciding the winners. After a quick check from the children at my table that my Elf ears were on correctly I joined the women’s category and much to my surprise I won! I got to take home delicious chocolates from the chocolate factory for my brightly coloured Xmas dress.
The day ended with a flat battery from leaving our headlights on, but its handy belonging to a drivers club we were jump started and, on our way, home in no time with big smiles and talk of what event we’ll be attending next.
Wendy and Darren Alexander | Member #1023
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
With Phillip Island on our doorstep step it is often our Go To location on a sunny weekend, who doesn't like the smell of sea air and the feel of soft sand underfoot, then of course the chance to take out your pride and joy from the stable to stretch it's legs.
The South Gippsland Hwy gets us their in less than 50 minutes or if it's a more leisurely drive we seek we hit the Princes Hwy into Drouin then on thru towards Poowong and Korumburra, taking in some seriously rolling green countryside, excellent road testing territory for car enthusiasts and their rides.
Sunday, 9th September was a bonus run to the Island as we joined the club for the Christmas in July lunch at the Foreshore Restaurant in Rhyll, another favourite of ours.
It was great opportunity to catch up with many familiar faces and their extended families enjoying some early Christmas festivity whilst feasting on the delicious 3 course menu. Some, not us, really put in an effort, adding a little magic and colour to the occassion dressing in their best Christmas wraps.
Next year, we promise.
Mr & Mrs S.
Richard and Bev Sherman | Member #843 and #852
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 8 August 2023
Our club together with The BMW Motrorcycle Club of Victoria recently organised a visit to the new Ringwood BMW Dealership and it was a thrilling experience for all members from both clubs. As we walked into the dealership we were immediately greeted by the sleek and stylish BMW models showcased on the showroom floor.
The dealership staff welcomed us warmly offering their expertise and knowledge about the different BMW models. They provided us with a brief overview of the BMW brand and its commitment to luxury performance and innovative technology. The club members were excited to learn about the various features and advancements that make BMW cars and bikes stand out in the market place.
As we explored the showroom and service area, our attention was immediately drawn to a beautiful E21 in for service, great to see a classic like this at a dealership, not sure who it belongs to but it was just stunning. This behind-the-scenes tour of the service area we witnessed the meticulous care given to each BMW vehicle. We learned about the rigorous testing procedures and attention to detail that goes into ensuring the quality of every vehicle that leaves the dealership.
The powerful design and sporty aesthetics of the new generation M cars in particular, captivated our imaginations leaving us dreaming of the exhilarating experience of driving these high-performance machines. We also experienced a tour of the new R & K Series Motorad offerings on the upper level of the dealership. We were told it is apparently the largest BMW Motorad showroom in Australia, certainly tempted me to get on a bike again (hope the wife does not read this).
The dealership staff didn't just limit our experience to the showroom. They arranged drinks and light snacks during the visit, the donuts were sensational, I had to stop myself eating too many.
In addition to the M series we also got the opportunity to discover the elegant luxury of the BMW 7 Series. Its plush interior cutting-edge technology and attention to detail left us in awe. The advanced driver-assistance systems showcased the high level of safety and convenience BMW prioritizes for its drivers.
Throughout our visit the dealership staff patiently answered our questions and shared insights on BMW's commitment to sustainable mobility. They highlighted the brand's efforts to incorporate electric and hybrid vehicles into their lineup emphasizing their dedication to reducing emissions while maintaining performance standards.
Our club members left the BMW dealership feeling inspired and fascinated by the experience. The visit not only allowed us to indulge in our passion for cars but also deepened our understanding of BMW's craftsmanship and dedication to innovation.
Overall our visit to the Ringwood BMW dealership was a memorable adventure that brought us closer to the unparalleled engineering and design of BMW vehicles. We left with a newfound appreciation for the brand's commitment to luxury performance and cutting-edge technology.
John Ritsell | Member #812
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Event date: 24 June 2023
The day starts a little nervously. I roll slowly down the entrance and then wait. Will I be embarrassingly slow? Will I be too fast and end up 'mowing the lawn' after coming off at a tight corner?
Beginners and pros are given track briefings, and a run through of flag colours and safety protocols. More reassuringly, beginners do their first laps with a coach in the passenger seat. When I say coach I don't mean nanny. Far from it, with plenty of encouragement and advice, with the aim of teaching how to move swiftly (fast) down the straights, with enough breaking time for the corner. And it's not simply speed and brakes. Some corners should be taken tight, others out wide so as to set your line up for the next corner.
Enough of the backgrounding. This is no country jaunt. As soon as you finish one corner, get ready for the next, and the one after that. The corners are relentless, requiring constant attention, an increased heartbeat and occasional panting. With increasing confidence, the corners and the straight become thrilling and rousing. The focus is intense and absorbing. My times were average but the thrills were extreme. Fun, fear, and exhilaration wrapped into one day.
Flat out fast is not the only way increase your skills. Due to the 'no overtaking on corners' rule, beginners wanting to dip their toes in the water (put rubber on the track) can do so safely. 'Come and have fun' days are for everyone, including soccer mums and dads in a Kia. Kids also welcome.
Remember the coaches? They get you started and for the more keen, pro lessons are available for later in the day. Pick you own pace, learn more about your car, and be guaranteed a great high. Advice I received changed entirely the way I read corners.
One more thing. We're a friendly bunch and welcome company. Come on your own or bring the tribe. I found the day addictive and look forward to another day at Broadford. Thanks to all the volunteers who make this possible.
John Shreeve | Member #579
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The preparation of the BMW M Hybrid V8 for its entry into the FIA World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC) in 2024 continued this week with three days of testing at Spa-Francorchamps (BEL). The BMW M Team WRT gained further valuable insights on its home track from Wednesday to Friday. Simultaneously, BMW M Motorsport tested the BMW M4 GT3 EVO, the improved successor to the current BMW M4 GT3. This upgraded version of the vehicle will compete from the 2025 season onwards.
In total, eight BMW M works drivers shared the testing duties with both vehicles. Robin Frijns (NED), Maxime Martin (BEL), René Rast (GER), Marco Wittmann (GER), and Nick Yelloly (GBR) were behind the wheel of the BMW M Hybrid V8. Particularly Yelloly, as regular driver, and Wittmann, who participated at Daytona and Sebring (both USA), brought their experience from the race outings of the LMDh prototype in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship 2023. Augusto Farfus (BRA), Jens Klingmann (GER) and Bruno Spengler (CAN) shared duties testing the BMW M4 GT3 EVO.
The efforts of the BMW M Team WRT with the carbon-black BMW M Hybrid V8 focused on optimising systems and performance. Like most drivers, the Belgian team is still at the stage of getting acquainted with and understanding the intricacies of the complex vehicle.
The BMW M4 GT3 EVO starts its testing phase early. BMW M Motorsport will utilise the remainder of the 2023 season and the entirety of the 2024 season for intensive work on refining the already highly successful BMW M4 GT3. Emphasis will be on expanding vehicle functionalities, enhancing component reliability, improving handling for the teams, and further enhancing drivability.
Andreas Roos (Head of BMW M Motorsport): "Our testing work with the BMW M Hybrid V8 for the WEC entry continues to make very good progress. We are right on schedule. It's clear that having the vehicle in both race action in the IMSA series and testing here in Europe is a benefit. The dual pool of experiences benefits all sides, BMW M Team WRT as well as BMW M Team RLL and our BMW M Motorsport engineers. The fact that we had Marco Wittmann and Nick Yelloly testing the LMDh car here at Spa-Francorchamps, drivers who are already very familiar with the BMW M Hybrid V8 from their race experiences in North America, underscores this valuable synergy. In the GT3 segment, we are already looking ahead. We started very early with the EVO version of the BMW M4 GT3 and we're intentionally taking the time to improve our already highly successful model for the 2025 season. All with the aim of celebrating more years of victories and titles for our drivers and teams, both in the LMDh and GT3 categories."
Vincent Vosse (Team Principal BMW M Team WRT): “The three test days have gone very well. Once again, we've learned a lot, which continues to push us forward in preparation for the WEC season in 2024. At the moment, it's crucial to accumulate as much mileage as possible and to do our homework with the car as well as with the team. It's working well.”
Robin Frijns (BMW M works driver): “As I have only recently become a part of this fantastic project, I am still in the process of comprehending the BMW M Hybrid V8 in all its complexity. I am learning with each lap. However, things have gone very well here at Spa-Francorchamps, and we have made significant progress with the car. I am looking forward to the upcoming tests.”
Bruno Spengler (BMW M works driver): “I am thrilled to be involved in the development of the BMW M4 GT3 EVO right from the beginning. I have always enjoyed this aspect, also during my DTM days. The EVO represents progress in many areas compared to the current BMW M4 GT3. Drivability is a crucial factor, as well as tyre durability over longer distances. We definitely see improvements in this regard. Here at Spa-Francorchamps, we drove the BMW M4 GT3 EVO in wet conditions for the first time, and the car is proving to be a true all-rounder.”
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