City traffic is really its forte but sometimes the MINI simply has to get out and about. Enjoying some fresh air, shaking off the everyday blues – a day’s excursion or a weekend trip generally does the trick. In northern Germany, the MINI is usually drawn to the coast, a region where “moin” is generally the right greeting whatever the time of day. There’s almost always a refreshing breeze, and large numbers of wind turbines are making a significant contribution to the energy turnaround. In this landscape, the first all-electric model from the British premium brand is naturally enough a particularly good fit. And thanks to the latest battery-cell technology, there’s no impediment to taking the new MINI Cooper SE (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined electricity consumption: 16.8 – 14.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) on the short trip from the Hanseatic city of Hamburg to the island of Sylt in the North Sea.
In fact, with its range of between 235 and 270 kilometres, the new MINI Cooper SE is absolutely ideal for getting out of town, and enjoying local zero-emission driving fun through the surrounding countryside. Powered by its 135 kW/184 hp electric motor, the car only reaches its limit on fast-moving motorway stages at 150 km/h – an artificial limit established for reasons of efficiency. The energy required for this is provided by a high-voltage battery designed specifically for this model and with the latest cell technology delivering gross energy content of 32.6 kilowatt hours. It is made up of twelve modules arranged in a T-shaped configuration deep in the floor of the new MINI Cooper SE. The volume of the luggage compartment of between 211 and 731 litres is consequently just as big as in the conventionally powered MINI 3-door automobile.
The trip to Sylt, or “to the island”, as it is known by local people from Hamburg, can commence with fully charged battery and comfortably stowed weekend luggage. A journey of just under 200 kilometres takes you from the Hamburg city limits to the holiday island located at the top left-hand side of a map of Germany, although the all-electric MINI will not have to do the last leg of the journey under its own steam. In Niebüll, it is loaded onto the Sylt Shuttle run by German Rail. The train rattles to its destination on the single-track causeway along the Hindenburg Dam. The mud flats can be seen stretching for kilometres on end to the right and left, while the remaining kilowatt hours stored in the battery of the new MINI cooper SE can be saved for an introductory foray across the island.
Naturally, enough electricity is also available on Sylt. And contrary to a lot of other things, power is no more expensive than on the mainland. The most valuable commodity here is time. Every minute on Germany’s northernmost island deserves to be savoured. And the best way to enjoy that time is to embark on an excursion among the wonderful world of dunes. There are no electric sockets for miles and miles but the energy generated by the waves and the wind is a very real presence.
Anybody who wants to get to know Sylt needs to experience both sides of the island. There is the dune landscape with kilometre after kilometre of sandy beaches stretching from Hörnum in the south to the “Elbow” spit beyond List in the north. Then there is the side of the island bordering the mud flats with their lush green meadows, the fashionable Hanseatic town of Keitum and picturesque harbours like Munkmarsch. The busy streets of the island’s capital of Westerland, the stylish bars and traditional restaurants in Kampen, and the untouched natural world on the Morsum cliff are best explored on foot, while the MINI Cooper SE is connected to the power grid to have its batteries charged for the return journey. Three and a half hours connected to a wall box are sufficient for a full charge – but nobody wants to be in a hurry on Sylt. A conventional household electricity socket is also sufficient. And if you happen to be in a tearing hurry, the battery of the new MINI Cooper SE can be recharged to 80 percent at a quick-charging station with power of up to 50 kW in just 35 minutes.
Most visitors can never get enough of the fresh air on the North Sea. A diversion is therefore selected for the trip back home. From List, a ferry takes visitors back to the mainland. It makes a stop on the Danish island of Rømø. Insider information: A charging station has been installed on board the “Sylt Express” and this allows the MINI Cooper SE to recharge its high voltage battery with electricity right “to the brim”. The crossing lasts 40 minutes and is quite long enough. The additional charge of electricity is included in the price of the crossing.
Recharged with new vigour, the MINI Cooper SE rolls along the causeway that connects Rømø with the mainland and then travels south across the border between Denmark and Germany. The all-electric car is particularly economical in its GREEN+ drive mode. Additional range can be gained with the accelerator response optimised for efficiency and deactivated heating or air-conditioning. Just before the Dithmarscher Geest motorway parking layby, a wonderfully long right-hand bend on a slight ascent encourages a rather higher speed. Ultimately, the vehicle’s low centre of gravity means that the MINI Cooper SE hugs the road. Otherwise, it cruises along and on the descent from the bridge over the canal between the North Sea and the Baltic, the batteries can even undergo modest recuperation.
The car then continues its journey to the centre of Hamburg. A multicoloured sea of light along the Reeperbahn entertainment mile gives the impression that electricity is limitless. Conversely, it’s about time the MINI Cooper SE was recharged. Fortunately, the Hanseatic city has a relatively good supply of charging stations and it’s easy to find a parking space with a charging point, with a bit of luck near the harbour. You never know, maybe the driver would like to breathe in a bit more bracing sea air.
After a cold and wet start to the day it was great to be part of our club display at this years 2019 Historic Sandown event. Meeting up beforehand with the club gave enough time to say hello and admire each other's BMWs, excellent turn out of cars and friendly people!
We then moved onto the grounds to a great spot trackside, perfect to see and hear all the action on the main straight and show off our pride and joy.
As the rain cleared on and off the track the action really revved up, the sounds, sights and smell's didn't disappoint! Everything from roaring V8's, Open wheelers, Touring cars, Sports sedans, Mighty Mini's, Turbo's and Rotary's and more!
A very friendly atmosphere all round with access to all sorts of interesting and exotic cars and the people involved with them made for many great chats around the pits and open area's throughout the day.
To see and hear many of these 'old racers' in action and being part of our club display made for an intoxicating day, I would highly recommend checking out this event or any other BMWDCM events for that matter....and to top it off my BMW took out a class trophy for best on display!
A big thankyou to Graeme Bell for his hard work in challenging weather, and for organising our club display and making BMWDCM presence known!
Kevin Glen | Member #223
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The Sandown historics event was a lot of fun.
We had a great view of the races at the BMW display area and especially of the pits, this was all visible from the leathers of my own car. We could see and listen to all of the old race cars that entered the track before the race which was great.
A lot of cars were on display at the event, and most importantly a great range of BMW’s from old to new. I loved spending time with other BMW enthusiasts and seeing all the people come together for a common passion. I got to know some more of our members and got some great tips and information about my E36, which was really helpful and fun to learn.
I am excited for the next Sprint day, when I can get my car on to the track and unleash some pure BMW horsepower.
Thanks for the invite to put my car on display, I was very proud, and we had a great day.
Tom Fry | Member #349
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
If you have ever watched the Tour de France on TV (or in France!) and seen the stream of cyclists making their way along streets lined with cheering folk with banners and signs making a jolly spectacle, then you have a bit of an idea what the Bay to Birdwood is like.
In place of cyclists there were 1748 classic cars built between 1956 and 1986. Unlike the Tour de France the event is not timed or competitive in any way. But otherwise, the atmosphere is very much the same. A lot of fun.
As the name of the event infers, it starts at a Bay, Holdfast Bay to be precise but you may recognise the general area better as Glenelg a little south-west of Adelaide, and finishes at Birdwood in the Adelaide Hills where the National Motor Museum is. The drive route includes some closed roads, some café strips, some interesting climbs and a surprisingly large number of spectators.
And hats off to the organisers. This is a seriously big event which runs like clockwork.
There are four entry classes, Concours, Preservation, Special Interest and General. Concours and Preservation are judged, the rest are not. I elected to put the 700 in the Preservation class, not because I thought it might win but because that got us into one of the first groups away and one of the best parking spots when we reached the Museum.
I’ve done this before and learnt (with my E21 JPS two years ago)!
The Special Interest group is for models selected by the organisers because they have significant anniversaries. This year this included over 120 Minis celebrating 60 years of Mini and about 15 Haflingers (amazing 4x4s a mere 3.5 m long with a 643cc air cooled flat twin which can traverse just about any terrain you can think of – if they get stick 4 guys can just pick them up!).
The start point is at Barrat Reserve at West Beach, and each entry class has a designated area but the order within each area is simply arrival order. With 1748 cars to marshal attempting anything else would be madness. Each car has an entry number and class letter to be placed on the left headlamp or left side of the screen so the marshals know where to send you. Simple and effective.
Gates open at 6am, first cars away at 8:30am with any late comers directed around the reserve so as to not clash with outgoing traffic. A pair of commentators keep up with the flow of cars as best they can, not every car gets a mention. We were on the road at about 8:40 but the last of the starters would still be there at 10. That’s an average of 20 cars a minute so not as slow as it sounds.
Waved and cheered on by the crowds we set off on the hour or so drive in amongst a group of Minis and Haflingers with an SA Club member Alvin in his Isetta further up the road but not yet in sight. A string of traffic lights broke the groups up but we quickly reformed once past the city.
Some of the spectators clearly make quite a thing out of, there were BBQs, a huge open fire in a large drum with a spit over the top cooking what looked like a very large pig, deck chairs, people sitting on tailgates, flags, support groups for particular marques, some cars worthy of being in the cavalcade, children, the lot. And all happy.
Absolutely brilliant atmosphere. We were smiling the whole way and giving the Mins a run for their money up the hills.
We got within sight of the Isetta at one point but a red light slowed us done and after that we did not see it again until it reached the Museum – he’d stopped for fuel half way because he ran out on his last outing meant no longer trusted his fuel consumption calculations. I had offered to tow him if the hills proved too much – which was a possibility as, without wishing to be rude, he almost doubled the weight of the car simply by stepping in!
Once at the Museum we parked up in the reserved area, right by the Museum buildings, put our chairs under the eaves meaning we had shaded seating all day within easy reach of the food vans etc and the main displays. The judges came and did their thing. No prize for us but Alvin won Concours so we could share the joy.
I have no idea how many people there were there, but it was a huge and happy crowd and about half of those I spoke to had not driven a car up. So, maybe 2000+ as some cars elect to not stop at the Museum. And some people never get out of the general class car parks – there is so much to see.
Entry to the Museum is free and, as the exhibits rotate regularly, I enjoyed looking around inside as well as out.
It is a long trip to Adelaide but it is well worth the effort. And, yes, we did take the 700 on a trailer, housing it and the trailer overnight in the workshops of a fellow 700 owner (Thanks Mario).
Usually the Bay to Birdwood alternates between pre 1956 vehicles and 1956 – 1986. However, next year will be the 40th anniversary of the event and the plan is for there to be 800 antique, veteran and vintage vehicles, 800 1956 – 1980 vehicles, 100 1980 – 1990 vehicles and 50 special interest vehicles. Entries are expected open in mid January – so it’s well worth a thought.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The new BMW 3 Series range has taken on a more sporting flavour than ever before, as the presence of two top-class athletes at the sharp end of the line-up clearly illustrates. From November 2019, the BMW M340i xDrive Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 7.4 – 7.0 l/100 km [38.2 – 40.4 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 168 – 160 g/km) will be joined in the range by the BMW M340i xDrive Touring (fuel consumption combined: 7.6 – 7.2 l/100 km [37.2 – 39.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 172 – 163 g/km). Powertrain and chassis technology developed with race track expertise from BMW M GmbH, distinctive design cues, exclusive standard specification and a cockpit created for the enjoyment of driving pleasure at its most intense treat those on board to a performance experience head and shoulders above anything else in the midsize premium segment. From November 2019, the Sedan and Touring models will also be available in BMW M340i First Edition guise. Limited to 340 units in each case, the First Edition will include particularly enticing design and equipment features.
The new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and BMW M340i xDrive Touring represent a highly concentrated distillation of the sporting essence that enshrines the 3 Series as the definitive BMW and has set it apart from the competition for over 40 years. The original BMW 3 Series made its mark at launch in 1975 with its strikingly agile handling qualities. And the Touring model – which took to the stage for the first time with the arrival of the second-generation “3” – combined its trailblazing versatility with signature BMW dynamics. Powerful engines (most notably of the six-cylinder in-line variety), consistently upgraded chassis technology and the all-wheel-drive system first introduced on the 3 Series have been serving up a matchless driving experience ever since.
In the model’s latest incarnation, BMW M adds extra depth to the dynamic potency at hand. A 275 kW/374 hp straight-six unit with M TwinPower Turbo technology, an M Sport differential, M Sport suspension including variable sport steering and M Sport brakes, plus bespoke M exterior features with optimised aerodynamic properties form a flawlessly composed overall package designed to maximise performance. The new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan powers from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.4 seconds, the new BMW M340i xDrive Touring in 4.5 seconds. This makes both models half a second quicker than the range-topping variants of the outgoing 3 Series.
Exceptional power: six-cylinder in-line engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology develops 275 kW/374 hp.
The six-cylinder in-line engine developed exclusively for the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and BMW M340i xDrive Touring stands out with its instantaneous power delivery and appetite for revs, combined with the smoothness for which BMW engines are renowned and unrivalled levels of efficiency for its output class. The 3.0-litre power unit features an aluminium crankcase with a closed-deck construction and a likewise alloy cylinder head. Weight-minimised pistons and con rods and a crankshaft made from forged steel increase internal engine efficiency. Frictional losses are reduced through a process known as ‘form honing’ for the cylinder bores in the crankcase and by means of their wire-arc sprayed steel coating.
The new straight-six generates 275 kW/374 hp, an increase of 35 kW/48 hp on the engine powering the previous range-topping models, while peak torque is up by 50 Nm (37 lb-ft) to 500 Nm (369 lb-ft). Its M TwinPower Turbo technology includes a twin-scroll turbocharger with indirect charge air cooling integrated into the intake system, latest-generation High Precision Injection direct petrol injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing for the intake and exhaust sides. Integrating the turbocharging system into the cast-steel manifold results in a remarkably compact design and, at the same time, means the exhaust flow only has to travel a short distance, allowing charge pressure to develop rapidly from low revs. The turbine’s responsiveness is further enhanced by a reduction in the mass moment of inertia of some 25 per cent. And a wide-opening, electrically controlled wastegate helps to keep emissions down. The maximum operating pressure of the direct injection system, with its cantilevered injectors, has been increased from 200 to 350 bar. This optimises fuel metering and minimises the engine’s emissions.
M Technic Package with optimised cooling system available as an option for the BMW M340i xDrive Sedan.
The highly efficient cooling system in the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and BMW M340i xDrive Touring keeps the engine, transmission and brakes at their ideal operating temperature not only in everyday driving, but also when the cars are pushed to their sporting extremes. It comprises a high-temperature and a low-temperature circuit, plus indirect charge air cooling. A split-cooling valve makes it possible to temporarily shut off crankcase cooling, thereby optimising warm-up behaviour. Also available as an option for the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan is the M Technic Package, which adds two remote coolant radiators to meet the particularly high demands placed on temperature management at the outer limits of sporty driving – especially in high ambient temperatures.
Standard M Sport exhaust system generates emotionally rich soundtrack.
The new six-cylinder in-line engine delivers its prodigious power to a highly distinctive backing track afforded even greater resonance by the standard M Sport exhaust system. The flap-controlled system hits a particularly rich and thrilling note when SPORT or SPORT+ mode is engaged using the Driving Experience Control switch. The sound accompanying the burgeoning swell of engine power creates a spine-tingling acoustic experience for the occupants of the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and BMW M340i xDrive Touring. The dual-branch, twin-tailpipe exhaust system incorporates two petrol particulate filters, enabling the BMW M duo to satisfy the stipulations of the Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard.
Eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, intelligent all-wheel drive and M Sport differential as standard.
The new straight-six power unit teams up as standard with the latest-generation eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, standout features of which include an optimised hydraulic control system, low converter slip, effective damping of rotational irregularities and extremely sporty gear shifts. The ratio spacing is perfectly attuned to the engine’s performance characteristics, and so lends itself to pulsating bursts of speed, while enhancing both driving comfort and efficiency. The selector lever and standard shift paddles on the steering wheel can both be used to assume manual control of the gear selection process. There is also a Launch Control function for accelerating off the line with maximum dynamic intent.
The intelligent all-wheel-drive system in the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and BMW M340i xDrive Touring enables fully variable distribution of drive power between the front and rear wheels using an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case. BMW xDrive works in tandem with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and reacts to changes in the driving situation with great precision and in a fraction of a second, maximising traction, agility and handling stability in all weather and road surface conditions, and when the cars’ sporting capabilities are put to the test. The system’s rear-biased setup helps to produce the driving experience expected of an M car, and is especially pronounced with the Driving Experience Control switch set to SPORT or SPORT+ mode. The strategic apportioning of even more power to the rear wheels increases agility when turning into corners, in particular.
The new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and new BMW M340i xDrive Touring are also equipped with the M Sport differential as standard. The electronically controlled, fully variable locking function in the rear differential brings about an appreciable improvement in traction and cornering prowess and also boosts directional stability and agility. The locking effect generated by an electric motor limits speed equalisation between the inside and outside rear wheel when cornering, allowing the driver to power out of bends with extraordinary dynamic verve. Governed by the DSC system, the locking function for the rear differential also improves traction and power transmission when driving on road surfaces with differing levels of grip for the left and right rear wheels by preventing a wheel from spinning when it is struggling for purchase. Together with BMW xDrive all-wheel drive, this ensures power is channelled onto the road to maximum agility- and dynamism-enhancing effect.
M Sport suspension and variable sport steering.
The chassis technology developed for the new BMW 3 Series range has all the tools to deliver extremely sporty handling characteristics. With their minimised weight and maximised rigidity, the components of the double-joint spring strut front axle and five-link rear axle sharpen cornering dynamics and steering precision, as do the wide tracks and optimum wheel camber settings. The M Sport suspension included as standard on the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and new BMW M340i xDrive Touring lowers their ride height by ten millimetres, and features M-specific elastokinematic properties and lift-related dampers. The damper control configuration making its debut in the new BMW 3 Series reduces body movement perceptibly when smoothing out vibrations caused by bumpy road surfaces and dynamic cornering. The result is sporty, authoritative handling. This setup adds extra hydraulic damping on rebound at the front axle and a compression-limiting system at the rear. It is continuously variable and adjusts the damper firmness progressively according to changing spring travel.
Customers also have the option of Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers. These dampers respond adaptively to road surface conditions and driving style in order to eliminate undesired body movement. To this end, the compression and rebound stages are both adjusted continuously and independently of one another. This enables finely metered spring and damping responses, supplying the driver with only relevant information about the road surface. Damping characteristics can be adjusted via the Driving Experience Control switch. SPORT and SPORT+ modes optimise the cars’ ability to provide dynamic handling, creating a noticeable contrast to the more comfort-oriented damper responses in COMFORT and ECO PRO modes.
Variable sport steering is another element of the M Sport suspension and Adaptive M suspension packages. Combining Servotronic speed-sensitive power assistance with a variable ratio that adjusts to changes in the steering angle, it helps to give the cars superb straightline poise while also lending itself to effortless low-speed turning and manoeuvring. The variable sport steering’s sharp, precise response enhances agility on turn-in, too.
M Sport brakes and M light-alloy wheels with mixed-size tyres.
Outstanding stopping power is delivered by the likewise standard M Sport brakes, whose extremely sporty setup is headlined by short pedal travel and a distinct pressure point. This braking system features a particularly direct pedal ratio together with a special hydraulic configuration comprising four-piston fixed callipers and 348-millimetre discs at the front wheels and single-piston floating callipers with 345-millimetre discs at the rear. The blue-painted callipers bear the M logo. When specified with the optional M Technic Package, the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan comes equipped with bespoke M Sport brakes, whose four-piston fixed callipers at the front wheels exert their stopping power on larger 374-millimetre discs.
The new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and BMW M340i xDrive Touring ride as standard on bespoke 18-inch M light-alloy wheels shod with mixed-size tyres measuring 225/45 R 18 at the front and 255/40 R 18 at the rear. Likewise model-specific 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in three designs can be found on the options list along with 19-inch BMW Individual light-alloy wheels, again with mixed-size tyres. The high-performance tyres available as an option for the 19-inch M light-alloy wheels enable highly effective transmission of longitudinal and lateral forces.
M-specific design features with optimised aerodynamic properties, top-class standard specification.
The new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and new BMW M340i xDrive Touring waste no time in showcasing their superior performance qualities with a number of standalone, M-specific design features. The front apron, side skirts and rear end have all been crafted to optimise supply of cooling air and the cars’ aerodynamic properties. The bespoke design elements also include the mesh-design BMW kidney grille and trapezoidal exhaust tailpipes. The new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan also sports a body-coloured M rear spoiler. BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim and the Cerium Grey metallic finish for the exterior mirror caps, the air intake trim in the front bumper, the surface of the BMW kidney grille mesh and its surround, the tailpipes and the model badge all add to the exclusive look.
M-specific design and equipment features inside both models help to focus the occupants’ attention on the dynamic driving experience laid on for them. Standard appointments include sports seats for the driver and front passenger upholstered in an M-specific combination of Sensatec and Alcantara with contrast quilting in Blue, an M leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons and shift paddles, a BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite, M pedals, M-specific floor mats and interior trim strips in Aluminium Tetragon with accent strips in Pearl-effect Chrome. ‘M340i’ lettering appears in the digital instrument cluster and also adorns the front door sill plates.
As well as their bespoke powertrain and chassis technology and model-specific exterior and interior design features, the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan and BMW M340i xDrive Touring are also equipped as standard with three-zone automatic climate control (including separate control of the temperature and ventilation settings both for the driver and front passenger side and the rear passenger compartment), ambient lighting, extended storage and an automatically dimming rear-view mirror. Other items on the standard equipment roster for the high-performance siblings include Park Distance Control with sensors at the front and rear, BMW Live Cockpit Plus complete with navigation system and an 8.8-inch Control Display, and the Connected Package Plus including Real Time Traffic Information, Remote Services, Concierge Services and Apple CarPlay preparation.
Taking pole position: the BMW M340i First Edition.
An exclusive special-edition version of the two range-topping models will also be offered from the launch of the new BMW M340i xDrive Touring in November 2019. The BMW M340i First Edition will be available in both Sedan and Touring guise and offered in selected markets – including Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, the Middle East, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. The limited run of 340 units of each model version will come with a selection of exceptionally attractive design and equipment features.
The BMW Individual paint finish in Frozen Dark Grey metallic, BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim with extended features and 19-inch M light-alloy wheels mark the Edition models out clearly as the pinnacle of sportiness and exclusivity. Moving inside, BMW Individual Merino full leather trim in an exclusive Fjord Blue/Silverstone bi-colour variant, a leather-covered BMW Individual instrument panel and M seat belts create an inimitable cabin ambience. BMW Individual interior trim elements in High-gloss Aluminium weave and with “M340i First Edition 1/340” badging add the finishing touches.
No sleep in this Sunday, we all wake up nice and early, giving our cars a once over to look their best before heading off and meeting around the corner of the Melbourne Exhibition Building. As a few of chatted, Lawrence Glynn arrives in his sleek JPS black and gold E21 3 Series Coupe.
As well organised as this club is, we are presented with a line up sequence and a statement for each car model to be placed on our windscreens once in place for display.
Once inside, parked under the trees in a line pointing our cars noses slightly towards other car marques, Lawrence present us with a club windscreen banners and euro style number plate covers, making us look more united as a well presented club.
As the later part of the morning set in, we all took the opportunity to explore other marques of cars involved in ‘Club Sandwich’ (External displays) as well as appreciating the classics on display inside the Exhibition buildings.
Throughout the day, there were always several club members not far from our line up, more than happy to discuss with admirers some history on each car (some of this information we learnt from each other that very morning in our casual discussions).
The sun was our friend throughout the day, with the smell of the food vans and coffee and Bathurst being broadcasted on the big-screen in a beer garden, the day was a pleasant day out for us all.
As the shadows slowly made their way east, the day was coming to an end. Lucky for us, we were the last to be placed on show, therefore, we were the first to leave. Shaking hands of known, and for the first-time-meeting other, members, we all said goodbye and headed our separate ways home.
Paul Holliday | Member #296
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Wow. Just wow. What a great weekend at Winton with the Bell Motorsport team for the Alfa 12 hour.
I could hardly sleep Wednesday night as Thursday was an early start to pick up a car trailer, load up the car and head up the Hume to Winton. Sorry to my neighbours for the 5am clunking and ratcheting the car into the trailer. Next time I’ll just drive the nearly race car to the track!
Car unloaded at Winton, a few quick laps and off to work Thursday arvo. Winton in their scheduling wisdom had a bike race on the track on the Friday before the 12 hour so Thursday was the test day. So now we share a race track with cyclists. Good grief.
Nominated times sorted, “Daz I reckon you’re quicker than that” says team manager Graeme Bell. “Nah, no way, it’s a 318i M10 with carpet and the pax seat still in. Even the radio and front speakers are still in, 2:02 is about right I reckon.”
This event is a regularity event where when you drive within 1 second of your nominated time but no faster, you get bonus laps. So I needed to hit 2:02.000 to 2:02.999 to get the bonus laps for our team.
Long story short, I hit it 16 times over the weekend but went faster 14 times (they deduct a lap) so gave the team a whole 2 laps bonus. I've got a bit to learn - at least it wasn’t negative though!
Out of 37 teams we finished 18th with Stuart Clarke, Walter Buehler and Rod Martin contributing brilliantly.
The exciting thing was to see our other team take out second. They were good, but we knew that anyway!
Of course, nothing happens without some amazing volunteers so thanks to Jo Mawson, Graeme Bell, Angelo & Sam Carideo, Jacqui Kertes, Simon de Lisle and Dan Forrest and Anton Bergman for the pit wall timing, food, drink and encouragement.
Hopefully I get to do this again and improve on 2019.
Darryl O'Neill | Member #52
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
There are countless tasks involved in keeping two cars racing around a track for 12 hours. Fuel, tyre pressures, drinks, safety equipment, paperwork, driver briefings, scrutineering checks, monitoring lap times, using pit boards to pass on the lap times to the drivers, accommodation, car trailers, and running repairs to the cars, to name but a few. Jo and Graeme are gurus in bringing all of these elements together, but it still requires many hands to make it happen. So when I signed up as a helper for the BMWDCM teams at the Winton 12 Hour, I had no idea what tasks would be involved, but it was sure to be action packed.
My first task was to help with the signing in the 250-odd drivers following Saturday morning’s driver briefing. Licences were checked, signatures were obtained and then the drivers were given the wristbands needed to go racing for the day.
The track was very wet from the night before, but likely to dry out through the day. This caused much chin-scratching in the pits trying to figure out what to nominate as the target time for each driver.
I would never have guessed that the race start would see a few of us on the starting grid to do a push-start, but that’s how the race started for Team #2. With the racing underway, obtaining the lap times from the official timing screen was critical. So that we didn’t go cross-eyed from staring at the scrolling numbers, a few of us took turns at either watching for our cars to cross the finish line, reading the times from the screen and announcing the times on CB radio so that Anton could work his magic with the lap times board. As the afternoon rolled on, we got into a rhythm of tracking the lap times, with much excitement in the pits whenever a lap time resulted in bonus points.
Day two saw us pick up where we left off, and with bonus points rolling in frequently it was a great atmosphere in the our garage. With two teams operating out of the same garage, the big challenge was to not lose focus on the car still on track whenever there was a flurry of activity in the pits, such as when one car entered the pits and passed the baton over to the next car.
In the afternoon, I was assigned to be one of the pit lane marshalls. The goal of this task is to avoid any pit crew members getting run over by cars travelling down pit lane, and I am pleased to report that this was successful. I barely saw any of the BMWDCM cars during this time, as the well-oiled machine was busy scoring points rather than squandering time in the pits. On the other hand, it was quite amusing to see several other teams making frantic pit stops to change drivers in the final 10 minutes of a 12 hour race!
With a podium finish for one of the teams, the awards ceremony was the icing on the cake. I am very proud to have played a part and had a great time throughout the weekend.
Simon De Lisle | Member #430
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
What will the city of the future look like? How will we live there and move around? Questions like these and many others will be discussed at the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt. Starting on 18 October 2019, it will become a permanent meeting place and dialogue platform for those interested and the doers of tomorrow. Inside the entirely newly established Future Forum, visitors to the BMW Welt will gain an insight into ideas, concepts and technologies that will define urban life of the future. With the aid of augmented reality elements, the BMW Group will be presenting, among other things, its vision of the mobility of tomorrow. However, the idea of the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt thrives above all on dialogue and mutual shaping of the future. In addition to the permanent exhibition, exciting live formats are planned in which experts and visionaries from various different sectors and disciplines take visitors on a fascinating journey into the city of tomorrow.
Captivating design, progressive connectivity: a double success for the new BMW 3 Series.
The future is already being shaped today. Many scientist, developers and business enterprises already have an idea how future mobility and infrastructure concepts could look and are working on their implementation. The ideas and concepts being shown during the opening of the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt provide an outlook on the future, but not completely finalised because they change with time. They are constantly further developed and supplemented. At BMW Welt, visitors to the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt can now participate in diverse and fascinating visions for shaping everyday life, the workplace, communication and mobility in tomorrow’s cities.
With its futuristic architecture and more than three million visitors each year, BMW Welt offers right now the ideal platform for experiencing and shaping the future together. “With the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt, we as pioneers on the way to the future of mobility wish to actively participate in the dialogue about sustainable solutions for the automobile and beyond. To this end, the Forum will immediately serve as a permanent platform to draw a concrete picture of future developments together with experts and visionaries,” says Jens Thiemer, Senior Vice President Customer & Brand BMW. The FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt takes visitors on a virtual journey into the city of the future, thereby offering inspiration for thought. The challenges we are faced with, but above all the solutions for shaping the “city of the future” are examined more closely and discussed.
Experts invite visitors to join in inspiring talks and panel discussions.
Apart from the visitor experience, the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt offers all developers and visionaries a space for discussion as well as a platform for an inspiring exchange of ideas with each other and with the public. Exciting keynotes and panel discussions on future issues going beyond the subject of mobility offer new perspectives and promote the exchange of information whilst enriching the exhibition format. Moreover, the BMW Group invites all “future shapers” to create their own event formats within the framework of the FUTURE FORUM by BMW Welt in order to present their visions and concepts to a wide public. The Future Forum by BMW Welt is meant to inspire and actively promote a dialogue on all issues dealing with the future true to the motto: Explore the future. Get inspired. Join the conversation.
Thousands of exhibits in the Berlin Wall Museum on Friedrichstrasse, Berlin, commemorate the history of the once divided city, the tightly controlled border between East and West and the people who sought their way to freedom against all odds. On the upper floor near the window, which overlooks Checkpoint Charlie, there is the smallest escape car ever used: a BMW Isetta. Klaus-Günter Jacobi (79) regularly accompanies visitors through the museum as a tourist guide. What only few people are aware of: Jacobi does not only know all about many escape attempts, but that it was his idea to hide a person inside the tiny bubble car and to cross the border with the unnoticed passenger. This is how his best friend managed to escape from East to West Berlin. 30 years after the fall of the Berlin wall, BMW recounts the tale of Klaus-Günter Jacobi, his friend Manfred Koster and the mini-car, which helped nine people escape the GDR. This story is the plot of the movie “The Small Escape”, which will premiere on 2 October 2019 as a TV spot, on Youtube and on other social media channels of the BMW Group.
The elaborately produced blockbuster-style movie takes the audience back to the year 1964. Jacobi’s family had already left the East of the city in 1958, three years before the construction of the Berlin wall. When his old friend Manfred Koster asked him to help him escape from the GDR, he came up with a bold plan. His BMW Isetta was to serve as the escape car. The moto-coupé measuring only 2.30 meters in length and 1.40 meters in width would arouse little suspicion with the border soldiers, or so he hoped. And even today it stills seems virtually impossible to hide a person inside a BMW Isetta. The bubble car is already a very tight fit for two people on the seats directly behind the front door. The hiding place for his friend was built behind the seat bench directly next to the engine. Car mechanic Jacobi carried out the conversion in his former training workshop in Berlin-Reinickendorf. He cut an opening into the trim behind the seat bench, shifted the shelf upwards and removed the spare wheel, heating and air filter. He also exchanged the 13-litre fuel tank for a 2-litre canister to make space for the hidden passenger.
“The Small Escape” shows how the BMW Isetta was turned into an escape car and how the risky border crossing played out. The thrilling history lesson was produced by director Alex Feil, camera man Khaled Mohtaseb and set designer Erwin Prieb in Hollywood blockbuster style. The props, costumes, vehicles and street sets were created in Budapest to stage a faithful 1960s Berlin setting. A checkpoint complete with wall and border strip was recreated resulting in an oppressive atmosphere which continues to grow throughout the course of the film to then culminate in a happy end. “Since their invention, automobiles have brought freedom and self-determination to humankind. Cars bring people together. This is something one should always also keep in mind in the current debate. The movie emphasises this. The moving escape story with the BMW Isetta can also be seen as a symbol of the invaluable value cars and individual mobility can have. It’s all about freedom, independence and dreams. Our movie recognises the drive and courage of the people who made this successful escape possible”, says Jens Thiemer, Head of BMW Brand Management.
On 23 May 1964, shortly before the border crossing closed on midnight, the BMW Isetta converted by Klaus-Günter Jacobi, rolled underneath the opened barrier. Shortly after crossing, he freed his friend Manfred from his hiding place behind the seat bench and took him in his arms delirious with joy. This was the only time Jacobi’s BMW Isetta was used as an escape car, but his achievement was to inspire imitators. Eight further GDR citizens managed to escape to the West over the following years in a similarly converted BMW Isetta. Today this car is on display in the Berlin Wall Museum. The movie “The Small Escape” will also be a permanent exhibit of the permanent exhibition on spectacular escape attempts.
The movie „The Small Escape“ can be watched on the BMW Youtube and other channels. The detailed story of Klaus-Günter Jacob, his BMW Isetta and the spectacular escape of his friend across the internal German border is told on www.bmw.com.
On Monday 23 September, I looked at my calendar and realised we had a complete weekend off coming up. WOOHOO! This was short lived when I turned on my computer to see that VFT (Victorian Flag Marshalling Team) needed helpers for the VMCI State Round at Philip Island, due to the Grand Final and it being a long weekend, they were short on flag marshals. A quick chat to Graeme and we decided that we will put our hands up and help.
Thursday night we went to the VMCI (Victorian Mini Club Inc) members meeting and they also mentioned that they were desperately short of officials for the weekend. Out came my phone and I sent approximately 50 messages out to our member and officials asking for help, at very short notice.
Before the meeting had finished, I managed to get 6 accept and by Friday morning I had close to 20 of our wonderful members giving up their long weekend to help. I am very proud of them all for their hard work and dedication on the day and this made life so much easier for the senior officials, to run this brilliant race meeting.
To become a CAMS official, all you need to do is go onto the CAMS web page and complete the General Officials application, which will take you approximately 20 minutes to complete, then go to the Working with Children’s Check web page and fill that in and then you are ready to start helping out at any race meeting. These applications do not cost you anything but time, as we are a Not-for-Profit organisation, it all comes free.
There are a lot of people out there that love motorsport and it is as simple as the above to get up close and personal to all the action. I currently hold a Bronze CAMS official license in pretty much all areas, except scrutineering and am waiting to be assessed for my Silver Upgrade, which will possibly take close to 12 months to complete.
I started volunteering because of our involvement in motorsport and wanted to give back to the officials who stand out in all conditions, so that my extended family can do the thing they love, RACE. I get so much enjoyment out of knowing that I am a small cog in the large wheel that make these events happen.
Even if you are a competitor, it is also important for you guys to step on the other side to just see what it is we do, learn the fundamentals of officiating and you never know you might just have as much fun as we do out there. Without officials, you guys cannot compete. There are days when you are not racing, check what race meetings are on and see if you can help out too.
One of the big bonuses of being a CAMS official is you can also volunteer at the Supercars and the F1 and you can’t get any closer than we are to all the action.
If you love motorsport or have a loved one who competes in motorsport, think about becoming an CAMS official and helping your club, other clubs and all the members who enjoy getting out on the track continue to do so.
If I can help anyone to become a CAMS General official, please do not hesitate to give me a call on 0412 661 900 and I will be only too happy to assist.
Jo Mawson | Member #2
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
MONTH IN REVIEW
Just like that, Winter is gone and we're well on our way into Spring. We wouldn't mind some of that warmer weather to appear now!
We started our September with a member's meeting with a twist at Shannons Insurance. It was our President's birthday, so as a surprise we organised for a celebration with Steve and Jim Richards. Graeme had absolutely no idea of what had been planned for him. A big thank you to Steve, Jim and all the members who came to celebrate!
Next up was round 6 of the 2019 Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship at Sandown. Member Rod Martin had a fantastic time learning the ability of his E30 in both the wet and the dry.
We then had our Coffee & Cars morning at Albert Park. Luckily, the bad weather that was hanging around stayed away long enough for our members to have an enjoyable morning at the Carousel Cafe.
Our month then finished with the a drive and Go-Karting at Stony Creek. We started with a beautiful morning at Caldermeade BP where Peter Williams led us to Stony Creek Go-Karts for a fun afternoon.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 413 MEMBERS
Welcome to all our new members, we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!
Don't forget to catch up with this month's update from our President, Graeme Bell here.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
In October our monthly meeting will be an Oktoberfest themed event at the Tivoli German Club on Tuesday, 8 October followed by our first Annual General Meeting (AGM).
At the AGM, as is the usual custom, all committee positions will be declared vacant and committee members elected or re-elected for the next 12 months.
Members will have received by now call for nominations for committee positions and the notice of AGM.
THE MONTH AHEAD
Here's our plans for October:
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
12 November November Members Meeting at Zagame Body ShopJoin us for an exclusive tour of the brand new Bespoke Auto Body Shop.
17 November Castlemaine - Maldon Steam Train DriveEnjoy a drive along the back roads to the Victorian Goldfields, a trip in First Class on a heritage steam train and some time in the first 'notable town' in Victoria - Maldon.
23-24 November Geelong RevivalTwo days of BMW displays, this year in prime position close to the pits and all the action! Saturday we are celebrating the 8 with an 8 Fest Display and Sunday we are celebrating the E30. Bring any car, any day, or both!
29 November - 2 December Multi Club Weekend, BMWDCM, BMWDCNSW & BMWCCCJoin us for another fabulous weekend with our NSW and Canberra neighbours. The weekend will be based in beautiful Merimbula with plenty of scenic, sweeping drives. Click the event link for the full itinerary.
NEWS | BLOG
Note regarding Shannons Insurance
For those of us who are insured with Shannons Insurance, they have released some important information regarding insurance coverage when you're on track. Please ensure you familiarise yourself with this document if you plan on taking your car on track and are insured by Shannons.
Have an interesting story about you or how you came to own your BMW? How about a story about a restoration or a build of your car? It could be anything!
Email us because we'd love to read it and share it with our members.
Members are welcome to submit their business to be shared on the Member Services page on our website. We are all about supporting those who support us, so if you would like your business listed, email us with your details and we'll add you to the page!
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
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