Farewell to 2021 and Happy New Year to 2022! I hope the new year brings us all good health and good fortune.
I hope you are all enjoying a break from the craziness that has been the last 12 months and enjoying some family time again, or a trip away for some R&R, like Jo and I are.
December came upon us quicker than we were all expecting, and just like that it is gone, but it has left us with some very good news we will share with you at a very special member Zoom meeting in the second week of January. Keep an eye out for the event notice because it is really one you don't want to miss!
10 December was our first event for the month, which was a twilight drive leaving from Jay Leno Garage Car Products. Thank you to Nev and Evan for putting on a fantastic BBQ with all our members being well fed. It was great to be able to get to see all the products and also to test drive some on our cars, thanks again guys. We set off on our drive with Peter Williams at the helm, leading us on another fantastic drive through some roads I had forgotten were even there. One of my favourite parts was going down the Memorial Avenue which has trees dedicated to our fallen soldiers of WW1 and along the old Calder Highway. When I was a child mum used to pack us in the back of the station wagon and head off home to Mildura every chance we got. We must have driven up and down the old Calder hundreds of times. Ah, the memories… We ended at South Werribee beach which was another spot I had not known of and if it had been a warmer evening it would have been lovely to explore, but the winds were cool so we all huddled around our cars and chatted. It was great to see so many new members attending and some really amazing cars. Look out for more Twilight drives throughout summer.
On 12 December Jay Leno Garage Products invited us and many other car clubs to join them for a Cars and Coffee morning. This again was well attended with some great cars on show.
17 December was our live hook up with the BMW Club and Community Management Team, which was at a much more respectable 8pm, so more Australians could attend. This was not a disappointment and as per usual, we had a great tour of the facility and found out about some amazing things that will be happening in 2022. Be sure to watch out for these events as they are now going to be held at 8pm so we can all enjoy them.
We have opened EOI for AGP and we have had a massive response to this as per normal. As mentioned, this is just and expression of interest and not all cars registered will be able to be on display, as we only have 20 spots and we do want a wide range of cars and colours, to make it more interesting. Personally, I’d like to see more M cars too, to help celebrate 50 years of BMW’s M division in 2022.
Some of you may have noticed that Jo and I officiated at the Bathurst 1000 this year. Wow this was an amazing event and to be in the thick of things officiating was just awesome. As an official at Supercars events you get well looked after. At Bathurst we got free camping in the officials’ campground, which is in the middle of the track just behind the pit area, near where all the trucks park. Each official is given a guest ticket for the whole event, so even if you are wanting to officiate and your partner doesn't they can still attend and join in most of the fun. You are given breakfast, lunch and some nights dinner - food is no issue, if you come away from this event and you are hungry, I will be very surprised. On hot days you also get ice-creams and plenty of drinks. They cater for all dietary requirements as well. You are also given a very smart uniform. At Bathurst we all got two shirts, a warm jacket, a cap, a bucket hat, thermos flask, diary and much more. They really do appreciate all the hard work the officials do for them, and they look after you. I was a scrutineer which enabled me to go pretty much anywhere which was awesome. I looked after the GT cars and the Supercars. Jo had it tough and was in the Supercars office, which she said was hard, but someone had to do it (LOL). She was in the main office above pit straight with her own private balcony, aircon, full catering, you name it, and drivers popping in daily. We intend to do this and other Supercars events in 2022, Covid permitting, so if you think this would be a great way to watch the race, and it is, make sure you have your Motorsport Australia licence and Working with Children Check and look out for my emails letting you know when the registrations are open. We will be running a few officials training events through the year again, so keep an eye out for them.
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas with your family and friends. Our hearts go out to those who were not able to be with their loved ones, due to Covid restrictions or any other reason. I'd also like to extend our sincerest condolences to one of our members who lost his son just before Christmas.
Looking ahead to 2022 - as I mentioned, keep an eye on your emails for notification of our first Zoom event in the second week of January. It will be something very special.
On 16 January we are back into the full swing of things again, with Round 1 of our Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship at Phillip Island. Entries are open now, so get in quick to avoid missing out!
We are hoping to have a Coffee & Cars meeting at some stage in January, so keep an eye out for your email alerts.
26 January is our Australia Day drive and lunch to Marysville. There will be prizes handed out for best Australiana car and people. Join in the fun of the day.
The last Friday night of the month will again be an online event with the BCCM Team in Munich, which will be one not to miss. Put this in your diary and log on at 8pm to hear from BMW Classic in Munich. They will have some very good news for us, so we encourage you all to log in.
30 January is German Auto Show at Sandown Red Hill area. We really need some officials to attend on the day. If you are interested, you can register to be an official here.
If you are wanting to display your vehicle there is still time to get your entries in. It doesn’t need to be a car, nor a BMW, as long as it is a German vehicle of some description. Don't forget, this is a car show, not a concours or show and shine, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just wash it and come along and join in the fun and make this a fantastic event to kick off the year. This is going to be a huge event with plenty of trade stands and food vendors. If you are wanting accommodation, be sure to give the Park Royal Monash a call and let them know you are attending this event and you are a member of BMWDCM and they will look after you. We are staying there for a couple of nights this is a great new venue very close to Sandown.
We will also be having our big reveal of our new club trailer at this event. Some of you may have seen it at the Christmas Show & Shine, but it will be unrecognisable now with its new wrap.
We have also booked in some Driver Training and Come & Try Days for the year ahead. If you're interested in finding out what all of the motorsport fuss is about, these days are perfect.
In March we also have the return of the BMW Clubs Australia Nationals, hosted by BMW Car Club Canberra. We have already got a large number of members attending. If you haven't yet registered, we recommend you do so as soon as possible. Many of us are staying at the QT, but it is up to you of course where you want to stay. We will also be doing a drive up for those who want to do a more scenic drive and then there will be others who will be towing and/or will just do the quickest route up. This is going to be a great event and there is something on everyday which will suite you all.
We have also released an expression of interest for a first aid course which will be funded by a grant which we have already received. There will be limited spots and preference will be given to officials of the club. The date and venue will be confirmed early in the new year once the calendar is final.
I would like to also take this opportunity thank Shannon Cooper and his family for their ongoing support of our Welfare team. You may not know but our Welfare team have been doing some great work with some of our members who have been in need. I am very proud of this group of people, keep up the great work.
We have applied for more Government grants to assist us with making our Come & Try days more affordable for those who would like to attend. Thank you also to Makulu Vehicle Storage for coming back on board with a scholarship grant for 1 person per Come & Try day. This will pay for the winning member's entry and day licence. You will need to provide your own vehicle and safety gear for the track. If you'd like to apply, keep an eye on the entry forms for the Come & Try events.
I would like to thank all our sponsors and advertisers for their support in 2021 and those who have renewed for 2022. Your support of our club is greatly appreciated. To our members, make sure you mention you are a BMWDCM member if you use any of our sponsors so they see the value in advertising with us.
In 2022 we are hoping to re-visit some of the events which were cancelled due to Covid, such as whale watching in Port Fairy and the Tassie trip. Look out for emails and keep a check on our calendar throughout the year for updates on these.
Our online store is always open and remember if you are wanting a radio, mic, or antenna before a drive event, be sure to pre order and we will make sure we bring them with us on the day fully charged. The same goes for any merchandise orders, we can deliver them at any event as long as you let us know which event you are wanting to pick them up from. Postage is also available at an extra cost.
There is limited stock of the Steven Richards BMW GT3 M6, so if you are wanting one, don’t leave your order too long or we will be sold out. Once all stock is gone, they will not be replaced.
Looking back at 2021, I am very proud of our club and how we still managed to hold events and interact with all our members either in person or via zoom. Our membership also reached 650. Considering we have only been up and running for not quite 4 years, this is just astonishing. Well done to you all and thank you for your ongoing support.
Looking ahead to 2022, we are all praying will be a much better year but I am not too sure with the ever-growing Covid numbers. Rest assured we will do our best to keep you entertained and engaged with the fantastic events you love, working with the ever-changing covid safe environment we are now living in.
On behalf of myself and my very hard-working committee, I would like to wish you all a very safe and Happy New Year and we look forward to seeing you all out and about in the new year. Remember we are a proud BMW Club, but we also love to see your other cars too, so when applicable bring out your other pride and joys too.
Drive safe and I look forward to seeing you in 2022.
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