Photo: Paul Holliday
Event date: 4 July 2020
Our thanks to BMW Drivers Club Melbourne for the mammoth task in arranging and managing a Motorsport event in Victoria under Covid-19 regulations. Well done team. I do have an understanding of the challenge to make this happen in the Victorian Coronavirus world. We escaped before your Captain Dan locked you away.
21 of our club Supersprint Drivers enjoyed Winton on a wonderful, mostly sunny with no wind, Victorian winter's day. You could not have arranged that better.
We have celebrated our defence of our win of the inaugural Cross Border Challenge last year even though this year it was by the smallest possible margin. I think next year we may host the Cross border challenge at Wakefield Park. What do you think?
In our group, Josh Davis and Richard Wodhams covered the most laps with 33. Our overall fastest was Ed Kreamer in his 4 wheel drive. NSW fastest BMW was Justin Bisset with Justin Lowery not too far behind. New comers this year, Ashleigh Sherry and Bram Williams went well with Bram, sharing his father's car, going faster!
All the results are published on https://www.bmwclubnsw.asn.au/motorsport-results.
Bob Williams | Motorsport Director
BMW Drivers Club New South Wales
After a long drive from Sydney on the Friday and a delicious pub dinner in the evening I slept well. I woke in Benalla to a chilly 4degrees but my excitement and anticipation for the day ahead was encouragement enough to help me leave my toasty motel room and venture across the road to Macca’s for coffee and a hash brown.
First, I packed my car, which takes next to no time for three reasons:
- A Z4M convertible boot doesn’t leave much to the imagination.
- Other competitors will likely have and be happy to share tools that I may have forgotten such as cable ties and side cutters (which I promise to pack next time).
- My car is fabulously reliable and has never (touch wood) skipped a beat at a track day, so I travel light.
Upon arrival at the entry gate everyone had to have their temperature checked. I was informed that I had the lowest temperature recorded so far, even with heated seats and five layers on, I was freezing. Lawrence kindly instructed me on where to park and I still managed to go the wrong way.
My initial thoughts about Winton Raceway were around the convenience of the fuel stop, the fancy garages and the temperature. As I prepared for the day, I reflected on the lowdown I received from various friends on Winton and its intricacies: what gears I would likely need for which corner, the bump on the main straight and knowing when to hit the brakes, what speeds I will get up to, but all I could really focus on was checking out the ‘tree’ and not crashing into it.
After being called out on the loudspeaker a couple of times (sorry Jo), I grabbed my wristband and was able to do some sighting laps and tree spotting. The track was quite wet and perhaps I had an advantage with street tyres, but it was definitely an adjustment after many track days with semis. The sighting laps were a useful introduction for Winton first timers which I would definitely recommend.
The following sessions were full of many learnings and mistakes like ‘Oops I’m in the wrong gear… again.’ I developed a love/hate relationship with the back section of the track (before the tree). I didn’t feel like two hands were enough to sufficiently steer and change gear. I’d get one corner sorted and stuff up the next, but that’s all part of the fun.
The day flew by and the sun decided to come out for the last session. I’d been progressively lowering my tyre pressures all day, but I decided to drop them by a further 4psi and it made a noticeable difference to the handling, far less understeer and it increased the number of good laps I was getting out of the tyres. This session for me was the most exhilarating. My nerves were gone, I felt relaxed and my car was sounding divine. To end the day on a good note, I knocked 5 seconds off my PB set in one of the earlier sessions (phew!).
All competitors, the wonderful organisers and volunteers all appeared to have an equally as rewarding day. NSW had a strong turnout at 20 participants, to name a few, Josh Davis in his E36 M3, Randall in his Porsche 911 and Jordan McLachlan in the E30 and Bob Williams and his son Bran who returned from the track after 20 years of hibernation, they shared the 123d. The cup was presented to Vice President Ian McLachlan and victory was declared to NSW by only half a point.
Will I attend more track days at Winton? Absolutely, it may well be my new favourite track.
How would I describe Winton in one word? Tricky.
What would I do differently next time? I’d bring cable ties and side cutters.
Ash Sherry | Member
BMW Drivers Club New South Wales