Event date: 14 June 2020
My son and I recently joined BMWDCM, and whilst this process was completed online and during COVID19, it didn’t take away the warm greeting we received from Graeme Bell at the workshop to sign off our car for club reg and the follow up call to welcome us to the club by Jo Mawson. Within weeks we engaged in a club meeting via Zoom, pursued Lawrence in a club social drive to Mt Macedon, met a bunch of friendly members and registered for the Sandown Driver Training and Come & Try Day.
Given that this was our first Sandown Driver Training and Come & Try Day, I was both excited and nervous, but rest assured our registration was followed by a prompt courtesy call from Jo giving us the full rundown of required paperwork and gear in preparation for Sandown. So I was still excited, but more nervous. Jo kept on our tail until we dotted all of the i's and crossed the t's, and she waived a bit of magic and all was in place and ready for Sandown!
One day before Sandown we detailed the cars, rechecked fluids, fuel, paper work, safety gear and put our cars to bed. Later that night the heavens open up and normally the sound of rain brings thoughts of tranquillity, but this night it brought thoughts of understeer, oversteer, missed the apex, overshot the corner, sand trap parking, social distancing, traction, safety car, etc.
The big day came - morning coffee 6.30am, rain has stopped, cars loaded with gear, outside was crisp, quiet and a fresh morning, something was missing - ah yes - the beautiful sound of the E90 M3 cold start – music to the ears (maybe not so much to the neighbours). We make a gentle exit from our home to Sandown track with M3 and Audi Quattro.
We made a pit stop at Sandown Caltex and checked our tyre pressures. The clouds were clearing with the sun breaking through, the day was looking good! On arrival we glance across the car park, BMW X3 Alpina towing an E9 CSL in full motorsport livery – the day just got a whole lot better!
The final leg over the Sandown Bridge to gate entry, we were greeted by volunteers, had our temperatures and paperwork checked, and we were reminded by officials of our COVID safe responsibilities. Next stop was registration, stick numbers on cars, get comfortable in our pit lane garage, have a chat to fellow drivers Ian, Simeon, Frans and Peter, all drivers stoped what they were doing to listen to the drivers briefing read out over the PA.
It was then time to get on the track - so I got my car up to temperature, familiarised myself with wearing a helmet, made a note of marshals, kept an eye out for fellow drivers - a squeeze of the brakes, punch of the throttle and let the sweet sound of the engine sing! An exhilarating adrenaline rush for the drivers on the day and similarly for the mechanics the day after…
We appreciate successful events don't just happen without all of the hard work behind the scenes! From a participants point of view, it was seamless, especially your patience and understanding for first timers like us and keeping everyone COVID safe. Nothing was too difficult, and all details were considered including the weather! An amazing day enjoyed by all of the participants.
Congratulations to the committee, officials and volunteers in delivering a successful event for the members and friends of BMWDCM.
Michael & Marcus Mimmo | Member #523
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne