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.
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