What a start to the Year, with a group of BMWDCM members making the annual pilgrimage to Bathurst for the 12 Hour to start a very busy month.
Some of our members camped, while others took the option of booking into the more comfortable 12-hour package, with nice Motel Accommodation in town and all the trimmings in the Bathurst Club on top of the pits for the 4 days, which we chose to do.
It was an amazing weekend with private tours of BMW Walkenhorst pit garage, race control, podium tours, grid walks on the race morning and helicopter rides around the track while the cars were out, well worth the money!
We love this event as we also get to meet up with our fellow club members from other states. We had a lovely catch up dinner with them all on Friday night. It was great to see people from all over the country coming together to enjoy a meal and chat about all things from the race, to club life in general.
If you can, I really recommend coming to this event. It is a fantastic race as well as being a great social meet up. Put it in your calendar for next year!
The following weekend, we had a fantastic turn out for the Torquay drive on the Saturday and then the Torquay Motor Show display on the Sunday, with some amazing cars turning out. We love these two day events as we can really relax and enjoy the company of our fellow members on Saturday night and makes it an easier start on Sunday morning.
Our first members meeting for 2020 was then held at Shannons showrooms with Jay Leno Garage Advanced Vehicle Care attending, giving us a very detailed demonstration on cleaning and preparing our cars. We have been very lucky to have them come on board as valued sponsors of the club for 2020. Two of our lucky members walked away with some great cleaning products from our lucky barrel draw. We were even luckier to have the guys from Jay Leno’s clean our car and I must say, she is still looking great after all the treatments to the wheels, tyres and trims.
The third weekend for February saw a few members doing their OLT (Observed Licence Test) at Sandown to get their racing licence. Then quite a few members raced in the first round of E30 Racing. The weather was all over the place, very hot and humid on Friday turning to a downpour, then a wet Saturday and finally a sunny Sunday. The racing was good with lots of close racing and fun had by all. Round 2 of the E30 Racing Championship is at Winton on 27-29 March if you are up that way and want to stop in for a look.
Our first round of the 2020 Yokohama/Traction Tyres Drivers Championship at Sandown on 22 February turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day, with over 120 cars entered. Thank you to all the BMWDCM members who came along and helped with volunteering as officials, it would not run as smoothly if it wasn’t for you guys. Many members also posted personal best times and having lots of track time. Round 2 of the Yokohama/Traction Tyres Drivers Championship will be at Winton on 19 April. Keep an eye out for entries to come out and come up and have some fun with us up there.
You never know what might turn up at club sprints - some interesting cars come along, like an exceptional historic ALFA Periscopio, which is going to be doing some laps of the AGP circuit in March having a shakedown, having just arrived from Italy.
Jess has been very busy putting the second edition of idrive magazine together and we have been very fortunate to get some fantastic new sponsors this year. Thank you and welcome aboard! Thank you to all that are or have written stories for edition 2. If you have promised something please get it to Jess as soon as possible, as the deadline is fast approaching. We can’t wait to see edition 2, the first edition was such an amazing magazine, I still pick it up and read back through our first year and look at what a wonderful club we have all built. I don’t know how we will fit the last 12 months into one magazine though. It has again been an amazing year.
Jo has been working hard on getting some great events out there too, so be sure to keep checking on the events calendar so that you don’t miss out on something fun. We have such a variety of events, everything from casual club nights, informal cars & coffee meets, drives, weekends away, car Shows and displays, sprints, racing, driver training, something to suit everyone and all with a fantastic group of friendly, welcoming people with a shared passion.
March will be fun filled with our drive to Fort Queenscliff on Sunday 1 March. Our Members Meeting at Melbourne BMW on 3 March will be very interesting, checking out some of the new models and welcoming Melbourne BMW as a new Club Sponsor for 2020. Philip Island Festival of Speed is on 7 - 9 March is another fantastic event, there will be around 12 BMWs racing in the Group A and C categories, catch up with friends and relax on the hill. There is also the Australian Grand Prix Display on 11-15 March. It's a great way to be a part of the 25th anniversary of Melbourne Grand Prix. We have some very special cars on display this year, so if you do get to the Grand Prix, make sure you came and say hello and check out what is on show.
We would love to see you at all these events and any others that pop up. Of course, if you have an idea for an event, give Jo a call and she can either help you to organise it or it may give us an idea for something later in the year. We're always open to suggestions!
A special note for a couple of events we have coming up - to help in the recovery from the devastating Bush Fires this year, we are planning a Bush Fire Recovery Run up to Bright in April over Anzac Day long weekend to try and inject some much needed funds into communities affected by the fires this year. Please come along if you can, even for a day if you can’t make the whole weekend. One of our favourites is also coming up, the Good Friday Appeal Display at Birrarung Marr. All are welcome to both of these events. These are very dear to our hearts and we would love to include all brands of cars not just BMW and the more money we can raise for these two special events the better.
Don’t forget our Second Birthday Celebration night is on 2 May. We would love you all to come and have some fun and celebrate with us, check the event on our website, there is accommodation at the venue too so you can have a great evening and then relax for the night too.
As always, keep an eye on the emails and Facebook group and check the event calendar from time to time, as we do add events and get invited to different things all the time. Sometimes we just post about them on the Facebook group. The Facebook group is also a great place to sell cars or items that are BMW or club related too.
I hope you have enjoyed some of the events already and if not, I hope to see you at an event soon. Take care and drive safe.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695GBMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International CouncilMotorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
22 February 2020
New year, new season.
New Yellow Speed coilovers.
New Whiteline 24mm sway bar.
New Sachs M30 clutch.
New custom exhaust.
New EBC Orange Stuff pads.
New slotted front rotors.
Second hand LSD.
New thermo fan and Davies Craig thermo fan switch.
New Tech I rear spoiler.
New magnetic numbers.
Lug to stud conversion.
Looking forward to seeing if I can get through a whole day with the car still running strong at the end at Sandown on Saturday.
Session 1 down and blown power steering line. ☹️
Lucky for me, extremely helpful and nice folks at Enzed Dandenong getting me out of a tight spot, should be back on the track by lunchtime fingers crossed.
Massive shout out to Frans for helping me with some power steering fluid and parts while I was out trying to get the high pressure power steering line remade at Enzed in Dandenong.
Huge thanks to the guys at Enzed in Dandenong for getting me out trouble and back on the track, made the whole process so easy, can't recommend the service and quality of parts from these guys highly enough.
Thanks Jo and Graeme for being great hosts and club reps. Car made it home just fine, only issue to sort out is a front left indicator not working.
Shane McKenzie | Member #118
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
With the XRide suit, BMW Motorrad demonstrates how maximum comfort can be combined with comprehensive protection and a stylish, sporty look. The close fit and striking design make for an exciting look. The XRide Pro men's jacket, which is limited to 1,500 pieces, is also a real eye-catcher.
All elements of the XRide are characterised by great freedom of movement. This is achieved by body-hugging and effective protection as well as a strap technology specially designed for the XRide. Here the areas requiring protection have been wrapped with an elastic fabric tape to provide support. This ensures greater flexibility and at the same time improves the fit of the protectors without neglecting wearing comfort. The suit offers great freedom of movement, especially in zones such as the arms, shoulders and knees thanks to accordion stretch and ergonomic pleats in the form of specially positioned leather cut-outs, achieving the ideal balance between safety and dynamics. Smartly designed details provide the required functionality.
The leather of the jacket is lined with elastic and abrasion-resistant polyamide at the shoulders and arms as part of the Ergonomic Concept. The shoulders are fitted with close-fitting NP3 protectors, the elbows, hips and knees are protected with NP2 protectors and the back is shielded by NP-Pro long protectors. Cowhide leather inserts, which offer further protection, are located in possible fall zones and on the inside of the trousers. Reflectors on the upper arms, the front of the jacket, the knees and the lower leg area ensure good visibility in traffic.
With four front pockets, one of which is waterproof, one back pocket and two inside pockets, the jacket provides enough storage space for the odds and ends of motorcycling life. The AirVent system at the front with double zipper and the 3D spacer fabric at the back ensure perfect air conditioning in all weather conditions. An additional zipper at the leg bottoms provide further comfort. The trousers have a total of three pockets, one of which is an inside secret pocket.
The outsert jacket with integrated storm hood in the collar and the outsert trousers with long side zippers make putting the rider equipment on an easy affair. Both feature a small pack size, close fit and excellent durability thanks to abrasion-resistant print in stressed areas.
With its white cowhide inserts on the arms, the limited XRide Pro men's jacket is a very special highlight in the rider equipment range. The leather is lined with elastic textile material and thus ensures greater flexibility in these areas. The eye-catching shoulder protectors made of a plastic-steel combination with BMW Motorrad branding make for additional visual highlights.
The XRide suit is available for men in sizes 46 to 66, 98 to 118 and 24 to 32, for women in sizes 34 to 48. The XRide Pro jacket is available for men in sizes 46 to 60.
How will we be moving around in a few years’ time? What will the city of tomorrow look like, and how will we live there? Answers to these questions usually include buzzwords such as “autonomous driving”, “e-mobility” and “smart city”. But these terms often leave even adults with a puzzled look on their faces. In the modernized Junior Campus at BMW Welt, young visitors can now learn, through play, exactly what lies behind these phrases. BMW Welt is offering the first opportunities to fully explore the newly designed rooms as part of the opening celebrations on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8. On Sunday, there will be some familiar faces from the world of children’s entertainment and education on hand: Can Masuroglu, the presenter of his own educational series on KIKA, and author Benjamin Hadrigan will be looking at the future of learning in afternoon lectures and discussions.
Smart cities and autonomous vehicles are still visions of the future, but today’s children will be living at a time when these hotly debated issues will have become part of their everyday lives. At the newly opened Junior Campus at BMW Welt, they can take their first look at the world of tomorrow. Innovative projection technology, a variety of interactive elements and modern multimedia content offer young visitors a multi-sensory experience.
The ultra-modern Junior Campus is divided into two sections. The first room presents exciting visions. This is where children can get creative themselves on the “Future Creator”, for example. On a monitor, they can design cars, aircraft or rail vehicles and project them with a click onto a screen where their newly created modes of transport move through the “Future City”.
The next room looks at the question of “what do I expect in the future?” There, for example, young visitors can discover futuristic materials, such as a state-of-the-art robotic skin, and they can find out about future careers.
The basement is open almost all day, closed only twice each day for the “Creative Workshop”. This will look in greater depth at the topics presented in the Junior Campus. Bookings are taken for three different versions: children aged five and six, children between the ages of seven and 13, and entire families can delve into the world of tomorrow. The established programming workshops and a “Future Challenge” for adults are also offered. The rooms on the second floor have been modernized for this purpose.
On March 7 and 8, the modernized Junior Campus will be ready for the first tour starting at 10 am. A varied program for the whole family is offered throughout the weekend. With 3D pens, young artists can create their own sculptures, and budding architects can help construct an entire “Future City” with Lego bricks.
Exciting talks and discussions will take place on Sunday afternoon. Benjamin Hadrigan, author of a book on how to learn with Snapchat, Instagram and WhatsApp, will give a presentation at 1 pm. At 2 pm, he will discuss “learning in the future” together with KIKA presenter Can Masuroglu. Young visitors will then have the opportunity to get to know their educational heroes in person. From 3.30 pm, Can Masurogluwill help create future vehicles in the Junior Campus.
14 February 2020
Yeah me again.. Seriously bitten by this motorsport bug and Jo Mawson has asked me to write about my Motorsport Australia (CAMS new name), OLT experience (Observed Licence Test).
Creeping up on joining a racing series and this is a big step forward. Well, as usual, sleep was hard to come by due to my excitement and all the heel and toe and start practice (at the lights right?) to make sure the day was as good as it could be for me. A day off work to go to the track is just tops.
Preparation is the key in most things that are important and for this day - it was no different.
With my first race suit, fireproof under garments, balaclava, socks and HANS from Revolution Racegear organised with a check over of the car by Graeme Bell at Bell Motorsport and I was as ready as ever. Quick revision of flags and I felt pretty good to go. I didn't realise that it was a Vic State Championship practice day as well, so I was a little shocked but excited to see so much fast metal on trailers as I got to Sandown. Thought it was just us!
I made my way to OLT scrutineering. There were no issues there as Eric (the clear coat vanishing, platinum green series one E30 coupe) with his historic registration sails through. I was told that due to no roll cage (coming) don't wear the HANS device as you can't duck your head in a roll over or impact on the roof. Makes sense but I would have thought it was more likely to hit a wall at turn 1 or 4 or Dandenong Road so a Hans would be good then, right?
Anyway, in for a brief of the day ahead and then out to the track. Helmet on, gloves on, and I'm in my happy place.
Out for a 15 minute session with others doing the same thing and in for another brief with the 6 or so observers telling you what they noticed you doing and how to improve.
Another practice and debrief.
Hopefully you've listened and then implemented the recommendations from the prior debrief. They like it when you do that.
Last session was after lunch. A real start with lights from a grid! My first. Really happy with how mine went with a couple of fast cars (Formula Ford, XD Falcon V8 ex TC Masters) missing the start and Eric and I sailing by. Soon overtaken by them at the first corner but a nice feeling for 15 seconds or so!
There was to be another session but the heavens opened and it would have been entertaining for all except those of us out there.
A last minute chat with Chris Bell as I drove past the E30 guys and girls to the marshalling area (my heroes) was extremely well appreciated "take it really easy out there and stay off the curbs, it is really wet". I felt sorry for the Formula Ford driver as it would have felt like standing under Niagra falls in the marshalling area.
Back in for a chat, flags quiz, an understanding of who's who at a race meet, complete the questionnaire and told we'd passed!
Such a cool feeling to know I now have a licence to race but also importantly, a licence to learn.
Now to get Eric up to scratch and cause havoc (joking) at the back of the E30 series grid with our trusty M10 4 pot. Eric, me and the M10 are becoming a great little team. Learning to drive a slow car fast is the best advice I reckon so when Eric eventually gets his M20B25 and G260, with a 3.91 diff, I'm not that guy with all the gear and no idea. Just a fair bit of the gear and a hint of an idea!
Thanks to Graeme Bell and Jo Mawson for getting me sorted for this, and for the advice and encouragement. The journey is as much fun as the destination.
An E30 series start, from the back!
Darryl O'Neill | Member #52
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
15-16 February 2020
Doing the BMWDCM Sprint events the natural progression for me was to be competing in real races.
I have enjoyed watching motor racing on TV but never seemed realistic for me to take up car racing. However, I began to realise with the guidance of Bell Motorsport it might actually be possible to own and race my own car which was an extremely exciting prospect!
Graeme Bell sourced a good E30 BMW and made it ready for Club Sprint days. He also sourced and restored a lightweight, reasonably priced, trailer for me which is terrific.
What I didn’t realise is that in order to race the car it must be scrutineered by both the E30 Racing Club and by Motorsport Australia.
My roll cage is certified but Motorsport Australia now wants gussets welded onto the joints which were both difficult and time consuming to do. The E30 Racing Club also wanted work done.
The list of requirements was time consuming and Bell Motorsport (and my wallet) were under pressure to get the items (including racing apparel) resolved before Round 1 at Sandown.
I found this surprisingly stressful as I was now committed to getting on the track for Round 1 but I guess Graeme must be used to going through these dramas and it all worked out ok.
Friday, the day before Round 1, was the Observed Licence Test (OLT) and a really good day plus I got a racing licence.
Saturday morning got to the track and realised had left the crucial vehicle Logbook at home.
No time to drive home and faced with righteous Officials, my first day racing was looking tenuous. Race days are way more stringent than more user friendly sprint days! Thankfully, Jo Mawson again came to the rescue and helped sort out a solution so I could attend qualifying.
Qualifying in the wet was good, the windscreen didn’t fog up and the car handled well. After qualifying I realised my fastest lap time was 16 seconds slower than the fastest lap set by the lead car! 16 seconds in one lap is an eternity!
Race 1 - also in the wet, I decided I’d better push harder or my dream of racing would become less rosy. A good driving experience, albeit with Rookie errors, I was still 15 secs slower than the fastest lap. I know from yacht racing never give up no matter what so I stayed positive.
Sunday Race 2 in the dry, and I was determined to have more faith in the car and drive the fast corners quicker. More rookie errors and the humiliation of being lapped by the lead cars! The silver lining was this time “only” 10 seconds slower than the fastest lap by the front runner.
Race 3 and my goal was not to be lapped and not be last. Probably because the race was shorter, thankfully I was not lapped, and I was third last, not last (one car broke down). “Only” 9 seconds slower than the fastest lap this time but still disappointing and sobering to realise how much improvement I have to make before I am racing with the other cars.
But, everyone, including me, had just safely completed a memorable Round 1 as part of the BMW Drivers Cup so a good outcome for all.
More on the upside, the E30 Racing Club members are a really nice, high standard bunch and helpful. It was enjoyable as there were kids and families around and several friendly BMWDCM members included. Graeme, Jo and Chris were especially supportive and it underscored how much they like the motor racing scene and want to help new people like me be part of it and I look forward to future rounds.
Rod Martin | Member #29
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
With a comprehensive expansion of its range of plug-in hybrid models, premium automobile manufacturer BMW continues to consistently pursue its electrification offensive. At the 2020 Geneva International Motor Show, BMW presents four new plug-in hybrid models for the premium mid-range. The additional model variants of the BMW 3 Series will offer highly efficient driving pleasure from summer 2020 onwards.
Electrification of the drive portfolio is one of the future mobility fields defined by the BMW Group in its corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT. Innovations in the areas of D-ACES (Design, Autonomous, Connected, Electrified and Services/Shared) are to establish the conditions for sustainable growth in the global automotive markets. As a pioneer in the field of e-mobility, the BMW Group has already delivered half a million electrically powered vehicles worldwide. A total of 145 815 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles of the BMW and MINI brands were sold in 2019. With a market share of more than 7 per cent worldwide and more than 14 per cent in Europe, the company leads the worldwide ranking of established premium providers of vehicles that are purely electrically powered or run on plug-in hybrid systems. In Germany, the BMW Group is the clear market leader in the segment of electrically powered automobiles with a share of 24 per cent (source: IHS Markit New Registrations 2019 Report 17.01.2020).
By the end of 2021, the BMW Group aims to have more than one million vehicles with electrified drive systems on the road. A quarter of the vehicles sold by the BMW Group in Europe will be electrified by 2021: this share will increase to a third by 2025 and to half by 2030. The BMW Group plans to expand its range to include 25 electrified models by 2023, more than half of which will run on electric power alone. Production of the all-electric BMW iX3 will begin before the end of 2020, followed by the BMW i4 and BMW iNEXT the following year.
With the market launch of the BMW iX3, the successful Sports Activity Vehicle becomes the first model of the brand to be available with efficient petrol and diesel engines as well as a plug-in hybrid system and purely electric drive. Its strategic “Power of Choice” approach enables the BMW Group to meet the individual mobility needs of its customers all over the world. A broad spectrum of drive technologies provides a selection of models tailored to a wide range of legal conditions and individual requirements.
The diversity of the drive portfolio is growing in the BMW 3 Series, too. The new additions to the range of plug-in hybrid models presented for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show 2020 enable customers to align their desire for sustainable mobility even more precisely with their personal needs and preferences. In future, touring models with electric drive will be available for the first time. The Geneva Motor Show sees the debut of the new BMW 330e Touring (combined fuel consumption: from 1.7 l/100 km; combined power consumption: from 15.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: from 39 g/km, provisional figures*) and the new BMW 330e xDrive Touring (combined fuel consumption: from 2.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: from 17.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: from 46 g/km, provisional figures*). The interplay of plug-in hybrid technology and intelligent all-wheel drive can also be experienced in the new BMW 330e xDrive Sedan (combined fuel consumption: from 1.8 l/100 km; combined power consumption: from 16.7 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: from 42 g/km, provisional figure) .
The Geneva Motor Show 2020 will also be the venue for the world premiere of two further models in the BMW 3 Series. The new BMW M340d xDrive Sedan (combined fuel consumption: 5.7 – 5.3 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 149 – 139 g/km*) and the new BMW M340d xDrive Touring (combined fuel consumption: 5.8 – 5.4 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 153 – 143 g/km) feature an in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine with an output of 250 kW/340 hp and a mild hybrid system featuring a 48-volt starter generator. The sales launch of the two new BMW M automobiles and the three additional plug-in hybrid models means that the number of engine variants available in the BMW 3 Series will increase to four petrol engines, four diesel engines and one plug-in hybrid drive.
Following the successful market launch of the new BMW 330e Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 1.7 – 1.6 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 15.0 – 14.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 38 – 36 g/km), the diversity in the range of plug-in hybrid models in this series will be significantly expanded from summer 2020 onwards.. In the four future models with electrified drive, latest-generation eDrive technology increases not just efficiency but also hallmark brand driving pleasure. The electric range of the plug-in hybrid models in the BMW 3 Series reaches a maximum of between 55 and 68 kilometres.
The intelligently controlled interaction of a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor integrated in the 8-speed Steptronic transmission produces a system output of 185 kW/252 hp in the BMW 330e Touring, BMW 330e xDrive Sedan and BMW 330e xDrive Touring. Under especially high loads, this can be increased by an additional 30 kW/40 hp to up to 215 kW/292 hp for up to 10 seconds by means of the standard XtraBoost. The maximum system torque is 420 Nm. The agility and sporty flair of the driving experience is highlighted by a specific drive sound tuning, a direct yet precise accelerator pedal curve and a specific shift programme as part of the 8-speed Steptronic transmission that includes brake downshifts.
The sporty characteristics and high efficiency of the plug-in hybrid drive are combined with the superior versatility of intelligent all-wheel drive in the BMW 330e xDrive Sedan and BMW 330e xDrive Touring models. It distributes the power of both engine and electric motor between the front and rear wheels via an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch as required at all times. In this way, BMW xDrive ensures maximum traction and driving stability in all road and weather conditions. In addition, the fully variable power distribution promotes agility in sporty driving. The combination of BMW eDrive and BMW xDrive is geared in particular to the requirements of driving on snow, in mountainous regions and off-road.
The launch of two Touring models with plug-in hybrid system takes into account the requirements of those customers who appreciate not only hallmark brand driving pleasure and ground-breaking efficiency but also extended functionality. In their versatile interior, the electrified Touring models offer exactly the same level of interior comfort on five seats as the conventionally powered model variants. Meanwhile the luggage compartment volume is only slightly limited due to the space-saving arrangement of the high-voltage battery under the rear seat. By folding down the backrest with a standard split of 40 : 20 : 40, storage space can be extended from 410 to up to 1 420 litres.
In November 2019 BMW Group announced a partnership with Hans Zimmer for the development of visionary sounds under the brand name of BMW IconicSounds Electric. As composer and curator he contributes his expertise to various projects for sound creation for electrified BMW vehicles worldwide. As of July 2020 the Start/Stop sound co-created by Hans Zimmer and BMW Sound Designer Renzo Vitale will be rolled out to all BMW Plug-In Hybrids.
Inspiring driving dynamics and impressive efficiency characterise the two other new additions to the BMW 3 Series model range – also due to see their world premiere at the 2020 Geneva Motor Show. The unmistakable characteristics of the new BMW M340d xDrive Sedan and the new BMW M340d xDrive Touring derive primarily from a 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder diesel engine and mild hybrid technology with a 48-volt starter generator. The newly developed diesel drive with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology delivers a peak output of 250 kW/340 hp and a maximum torque of 700 Nm. Its impressive pulling power is complemented with particularly spontaneous power delivery: this is taken care of by an electrical overboost that is generated by the 48-volt starter generator. The resulting additional output of 8 kW/11 hp supports power delivery in dynamic driving situations. In addition, the starter generator also supports the combustion engine during continuous driving. This allows the diesel engine to run as much as possible in an efficiency-optimised load range so as to reduce consumption peaks.
The powerful drive of the new BMW M automobiles is combined with an 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, model-specific suspension technology and intelligent all-wheel drive. An M sports suspension including variable sports steering and an M sports brake system come as standard, as does the M sports differential. In addition, M specific exterior features with optimised aerodynamic properties contribute to the dynamic and superior driving characteristics. The BMW M340d xDrive Sedan takes 4.6 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h, while the new BMW M340d xDrive Touring completes the sprint from a standing start to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Spirited driving characteristics and a cockpit design geared towards intense driving pleasure guarantee a thrilling performance experience.
Since the BMWDCM relatively easily got me hooked on doing club sprint events the natural progression seemed to be competing in real races.
I have enjoyed watching motor racing on TV for years but never seemed a realistic proposition for me to take up car racing given I am a keen Couta boat racing sailor and not enough time and resources to do much else.
However, I began to realise with the guidance of Bell Motorsport it might actually be possible to own and race my own car and this was an extremely exciting prospect!
As time went on Graeme Bell arranged for me to purchase a good E30 BMW and it was prepared and ready for club sprint days. It seemed straight forward to me that I simply needed to get my racing licence so I could race in the BMW E30 Racing category, even though I knew I needed to improve my ability to drive much faster.
In order to race, one needs a Motorsport Australia “Clubman Circuit Licence” and apart from doing application forms, a detailed medical examination, an online study course and pay various fees of varying magnitude, one also needs to do an “Observed Licence Test” (OLT).
Motorsport Australia runs a day event so people like me can get their racing licence and I booked in (more fees) for the Sandown OLT event. It turned out that in order to do the event my E30 needed to be unexpectedly upgraded to recent racing technical requirements (which is a story for another day) and I also needed to upgrade my wardrobe to a full racing outfit including flame retardant underwear!
Fortunately, my dream to go car racing easily outweighed the onerous part of the preparations and finally the day came to do the OLT at Sandown and what a fabulous day it turned out to be.
In short, it consisted of a panel of observers/evaluators that lectured us in classroom sessions followed by track outings (with them strategically observing around the track) followed by a critiquing session back in the classroom that could be uncomfortably incisive.
It turns out that the panel, which included Graeme Bell, were very high calibre racing car drivers that knew the Sandown track intimately. They had wonderful practical advice on how to drive the track much faster than I thought possible, which would be handy to keep up in the E30 races. As a harbinger the head evaluator told me he thought the E30 racing is of a very high standard.
We had an interesting mix of cars, including a $400,000 Mercedes GTR which spiced things up, and the evaluators seemed happy with our group and most of us passed including me. After being around the panel I got a sense of how good the racing fraternity can be and I was on a real high at the end of the day.
People will tell you that they own BMWs for “pure driving pleasure” but for many of us it really disguises a dirty secret. When we are not happily swooping along some twisty mountain road or carving up a tricky negative camber at a track day, we crave the dirty pleasure of washing, polishing and pampering our ultimate driving machines.
There is a lot to be said for the “mindfulness” of creating gleaming clean wheels and reflecting on reflections in the reflection of a beautifully polished BMW. We don’t care that people dismiss some of us as border-line obsessive compulsive.
As such, we were a very attentive audience for the car care gurus from Jay Leno’s Garage to spread their version of enlightenment on a hot and humid evening at the first BMWDCM meeting for February 2020. It did help that we had full bellies from some excellent pizzas and soft drinks served a little earlier.
The back story was that famous American car collector and former “late night” host, Jay Leno, wanted products to clean and maintain his enormous car collection. Just like any of us, after a few years, a collection of tried and proven products was assembled. In response to the repeated “What do you use to clean your cars?” question Jay Leno was eventually persuaded to package the whole lot up into a range of car care products with his name on it. The gurus emphasized that this is the ONLY automotive product that Jay Leno has actually permitted to use his name.
The sparkling clean wash bay at Shannons Classic Car Auctions provided a perfect stage for these masters of grime to demonstrate both the Jay Leno’s Garage products and a few tips and techniques needed to turn dirt into dazzle.
Having chosen President Graeme Bell’s BMW X5, fresh with grime from a return road trip to Bathurst, it was a “real life” test for the Jay Leno team.
They started out quietly by gently spraying their “Wheel Cleaner” product on each wheel. As we watched, the clear liquid magically turned the black brake-pad dust into an oozing purple sludge.
It was then time to bring out the big guns. Armed with a domestic-use Karcher pressure washer they started out by using the high-pressure nozzle to carefully wet down the whole car to blast away the “big chunks” of grime and generally soften the dried bugs and dirt. They also took the opportunity to wash off the purple sludge from the wheels to reveal shining alloys (albeit with a little gutter rash!)
The Jay Leno guys then switched to a “snow foam blower” head unit and filled it with about 1:5 mix of Jay leno Garage “Vehicle Wash” and normal water. Helpfully, the guys let us know that the adjustable Karcher unit they were using is about $30 at Bunning compared to nearly $80 for a similar unit elsewhere. Within about 90 seconds the car was covered in a blizzard of soapy suds. An interesting tip was that they left their “Microfiber Washing Mitts” on the windscreen so they could load them up with some suds at the same time.
It was then, on with the microfibre mitts and a quick rub-down of the whole car. No buckets need, just a bit of “elbow-grease” and a step-ladder to reach the middle of the roof.
A switch back to the high-pressure nozzle and the Karcher finished off the performance with a flurry of flying foam to reveal a sparklingly clean X5. Who would have guessed that it was actually white under all that dirt?
The Jay Leno team then set to work with “Matt Detailer” and “Tire Shine” to revive the grey plastic trim and frame the sparkling alloys in glossy black tyres.
As an encore, the Jay Leno team then used their waterless spray-on/wipe off “Eco Wash” to clean the grubby bonnet of their own tradie ute. Excellent for those who live in an apartment or other places with difficult access to a garden hose.
The crowd cheered. Well almost! After a warm round of applause, members huddled around to see who would win the raffle for some Jay Leno Product kits. Sadly, I didn’t.
I did get some very useful tips and hints from the evening and happily trotted off to Bunnings to invest $29.95 on a snow foam blower for my beloved Karcher.
Apart from some eager buyers on the night, BMWDCM members were provided with a discount code for ordering Jay Leno Garage products direct from the Australian website at jaylenosgarage.com.au.
By the way, their products smell great. Their interior cleaner captures “new car smell” perfectly and should be sold at the perfume counter at Myer. The other products range from a very authentic PK chewing gum smell through to a very tasty mint. Weird, but strangely good.
A big thank you, once again, to Shannons for the generous access to their fabulous showrooms … and car wash bay. Thanks also to the Jay Leno team who sweated through a hot and humid night to demonstrate their products and for generously sharing their expertise.
Ewen McConchie | Member #70
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
One of the many reasons I joined BMW Drivers Club Melbourne is for the opportunity to see some beautiful places right on our own doorstep, and the Pre Torquay Motor Show Cruise was another well organised, jam packed event that delivered what it promised.
We headed off from the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne to be in Geelong by 10.30am, where we caught up with other members of the club. It was great to see everyone, as we hadn’t seen each other much over the holiday break, and we also met some new faces.
The drive to Kennett River took us through the Otway Hills via Forrest and Skenes Creek, where we covered around 140km of beautiful rainforest and winding roads. High up in the hills, the scenery was magical, yet eerie at the same time, particularly where there were sections of heavy mist and enormous trees covering the road over, blocking out the sunlight. Then, all of a sudden, daylight, and the most amazing view of crystal clear water up ahead.
We stopped at Koala Café in Kennett River for a bite to eat, a cute little eatery tucked away on the side of the road, before heading off again.
From rainforest to ocean in one day, is the only way I can describe the next stage of the journey along the iconic Great Ocean Road. It was great to see a line of BMW’s following each other through kilometres of bending, winding roads, rocky mountains on one side and the bright blue water on the other.
The next stop was Lorne, where we met up with members of other car clubs to join the cruise to Torquay, where the Torquay Rotary Motor Show would be held the next day.
We ended the day there, where we all parted to prepare our cars for the following day.
Victoria is absolutely stunning and the BMWDCM, through their meticulously planned drives, and many other events, have given me the chance to thoroughly explore our beautiful state.
Samantha Ballis | Member #477
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
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