E30 Racing Inc.
Photographs by Ribbit Photography
Thanks to everyone who attended Round 2 at Winton, we had a great grid of cars, so thanks to everyone who signed up - and special thanks to all who chipped in to keep the numbers up:
Jeremy Payne had a mechanical issue after practice - thanks to all who helped out with parts and labour to undertake substantial repairs to get him on the grid for Race 1. A brilliant team effort.
Rod Martin sadly wasn't able to make it up for the event - thanks to everyone who made the arrangements for Anton Bergman to step in and steer the car beautifully, enjoying some great battles throughout the weekend.
An unfortunate spin for Paul Shiff left the #54 Red Rocket with substantial front right damage - after a late night of driving and labour, the car was on the grid again for Race 2 the following morning.
This team spirit and camaraderie in the paddock is what grass roots motorsport, and E30 Racing in particular, is all about.
In addition to the great racing and cooperation in the paddock, we also enjoyed a great team BBQ on Saturday night; thanks to the Bell Motorsport team for hosting, and new member Dean Coutts for your contribution.
Many thanks to our Round Sponsor, BMW Drivers Club Melbourne, whose contribution ensured we could stream our events live on Blend Line TV - visit their website to catch the action if you missed it!
It was great to welcome Coutts to the grid in the red #11, as well as welcoming back Payne, Chris Bell, Simon Shiff, and especially Jess Bell following her accident at Sandown - thanks to Sean Bell for the use of the 2014-16 championship-winning car.
With the returning 2019 champ Payne stuck in the pits with the #43 Avis car undergoing repairs, it was the 2018 BMW Driver's Cup champion Chris Bell in the #29 Bell Motorsport / BMWDCM machine who took pole, on his first E30 Racing event since sealing that crown.
The orange #22 of Jory was speedy from day one, and joined Chris Bell on the front row, with Simon Shiff, in the stunning #55 Red Rocket Racing car, starting the weekend brilliantly with a scorching lap for P3, making up for missing Round 1 at Sandown.
After a brief downpour that had everyone scrambling to check tyre pressures, we got underway on wet but drying track, with a dry racing line developing throughout the race, making overtaking difficult... but not for Jeremy Payne, starting from the rear after being unable to qualify.
Alex Jory set the pace, and Brian Bourke got past Chris Bell into P2. While Payne made his way through the field, Bourke began closing the gap on Jory. Meanwhile, Bergman got to grips beautifully with Rod Martin's #40 car as well as the changing conditions.
Bourke caught up with Jory, but an unfortunate tangle left the door open for Chris Bell to sweep through to take the win, with Payne coming home in P2 - a great effort - while Bourke recovered to take P3.
While hassling the debutant Coutts, a spin and collision for Paul Shiff at turn 12 left him stranded in the infield, while the #7 of Plant limped away to DNF after making contact with the spinning Shiff.
Having carved through the field in Race 1, Payne was on a roll, and took a commanding win, his first of the season. Chris Bell had another strong finish, coming home P2, ahead of Bergman, who battled brilliantly with veterans Bourke and Bowles, who finished in that order. Jory lost positions at the start (future note to self - you can't start a race in third gear), and battled through the midfield to take P6.
Mike Bailey had an engine issue just before the race, so couldn't make the start, and thus missed out on some great dicing further down the order. Simon Leach finished P7, ahead of Harry Walker, Simon Shiff, Jess Bell, Plant, Paul Shiff, Coutts, and Darryl O'Neill.
Payne led from the front ahead of Chris Bell, but Jory was on a mission to recover some round points, so Chris Bell relinquished P2 so the orange #22 could give chase.
Outside the podium places, Bowles stayed ahead of a brilliant exchange between Bourke and Bergman, with the #27 Transrock car of Bourke finishing on top after several laps of entertaining racing.
Further back, the Simons found themselves battling for position, and got too close at turn 12, with light contact spinning Leach in front of the chasing pack. Thankfully, no major damage resulted, and the cars of Plant, Walker, Jess Bell and Bailey safely made their way past to record solid midfield finishes.
A great end to the weekend, with all cars finishing Race 3, lots of smiles in the garage, and everyone keen to hit the track again at Phillip Island in May.
Full Results and Championship Standings are now published on our website.
Stay tuned for entry details for Round 3 of the 2021 Garagistic BMW Driver's Cup, let's get another solid grid together!
E30 Racing Inc.