Well! What can we say about March? Other than, welcome to the new world we now live in. 2020 will go down in history as a year we will all remember and wished we weren’t there.
March started out pretty much like any other, a full calendar of fantastic events to look forward to, busy weeks and weekends ahead and business as usual…
The first event of the month started with a long loop around Geelong, from our meeting point at Lara, ending at a delicious lunch at 360Q in Queenscliff. Another of Peter Williams’ amazing drives through the countryside we would never know was there if we didn’t take the time to get off the highway. We were very lucky to have been given a new X3 M40i by Mornington BMW to test drive for the week and it proved a delightful car to drive, both on the freeways and through the back roads along the route. It has plenty of room, goes very well and is very comfortable, even on the uneven country roads we encountered.
Lunch was a relaxed affair with plenty of time to enjoy the meal, climb the tower for some photos and have a chat to our friends.
After Lunch we had a private tour of Fort Queenscliff. Amazingly, it is still an active defence base and so we were escorted around the grounds and buildings and told the history that is attached to everything there. We have driven past the fort so many times and said ‘we must go there one day’. I’m so glad we did, what an amazing place! Mornington BMW also gave us some M goodies to give away on the day, so out came the trusty barrel and quite a few members went away with some lovely gifts.
This was followed by our March Members Meeting, hosted by new sponsors, Melbourne BMW at their Southbank Dealership. Who’d have known that this night was the beginning of the end of life as we know it. With the cancelation of the Geneva Motor Show, due to the emerging Coronavirus pandemic, Melbourne BMW live streamed the BMW AG launch of the BMW Concept i4. Was very interesting to watch it in a BMW dealership and then enjoy looking at all the current and new models coming out, including the unveiling of the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. Melbourne BMW also gave us some lovely gifts to give away and again members went away with some new M gear.
The next weekend saw us down at Phillip Island for the Phillip Island Festival of Speed, one of the best Historic race meetings in the world. We set up on Friday and members joined us for two fantastic days of racing and socialising and displaying our cars in perfect weather. There were lots of cars on display on and off the track to look at and with around a dozen BMW’s racing in the Group A and C races, it was great cheering them on against the others. We had a great display of old and new cars, with Mornington BMW lending us a brand new M235i Gran Coupe and a new M3 CS, both of these cars had a lot of interest from car lovers and the public passing by. Thanks to the boys from Mornington BMW that came all the way down to talk to people about them and also for the gifts the gave us to again raffle off to members.
Who knew then Phillip Island would end up being the last race meeting to go ahead as the world started shutting down to try and control the COVID-19 pandemic?
One of our most loved display events each year is the display at the Melbourne F1 Grand Prix.
As usual we went in on Wednesday and set up a fantastic display together with E30 Racing. Melbourne BMW joined us with an M235i GT again and we were set for a wonderful weekend of F1, V8’s and other categories as well as everything that goes with such a world class event. Thursday went well with quite a few people coming for a chat and watching the fun on track and then Friday the wheels fell off the world!
The rest is history. The whole event was cancelled after one F1 team member testing positive for Coronavirus. Something that was on the news on the other side of the world had come to Melbourne!
Ever since that day the world has gone into meltdown to try and control this outbreak and now it is up to all of us to do our bit to try and help stop its spread. We have continued to monitor and adjust our lives and coming events in line with the ever changing warnings and conditions, and hope that this will soon be over.
Who would have thought, even a month ago, that we would be all trying to keep our distance from each other and stay home to isolate? We can only hope that everyone does their civic duty and helps control the spread as soon as possible so that we can get back to a normal life one day soon. I hope everyone is keeping in touch with their loved ones and looking after their own mental health too. Being cooped up and changing everything we do isn’t easy, but it is something we must do for now.
Hopefully one day soon we can get events back up and running and all get back to doing the things we all love. Our calendar is currently on hold with all events for March and April at least, cancelled or postponed. Even into May, we are starting to put events back, with our Second Birthday Celebration and Awards night postponed until we can get an idea of when we can be social again. However, the good news is that the second edition of our idrive magazine is still on track to be with you in May as planned, so look forward to receiving yours. It will be another amazing read, full of member stories and photos again, thanks to Jess and Leigh for their tireless work putting it all together. When Jo comes and asks you to write a story about an event or about your passion, it is great to see it come to life in such a wonderful keepsake.
Now we are in a holding pattern for face to face meetings, we will continue to keep engaged with our members as best we can. We will try a virtual meeting for our April Member Meeting and see how that goes. We will continue to keep you updated though a weekly email and posts on the facebook page and group.
For now, make sure you look after yourselves and your families and practice good hygiene and of course social distancing. Keep an eye on the government websites and news about what we have to do. Of course, if any of you are feeling like you need someone to talk to or are feeling alone, please pick up the phone and give us a call. We are here for all of you, our BMW family.
Together, we can get through this.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 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