September brought us some fantastic events and also 15 new members. Welcome to you all and thank you for joining the Ultimate Driving Club.
We started the month with what I thought would be our regular members meeting at Shannons, just a casual night to catch up with our friends and go over the upcoming events, but on arriving I found out this was far from a normal meeting! With over 70 members and guest speakers Jim and Steve Richards waiting inside to surprise me on my birthday. What a shock, I absolutely had no idea! Jo and everyone there did an amazing job of keeping this big secret until the end. I was welcomed with a chorus of Happy Birthdays and then pizza and cake which was very overwhelming.
After all the frivolity, we all preceded to the conference room and were delighted with Jim and Steve Richards just chatting about their respective careers in motorsport. I can say I was dumbfounded and very humbled by all the effort that had gone into this night and it was not just me who enjoyed it, as all who attended had a great night. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, what a way to spend my birthday, with so many of our wonderful friends!
We followed with another great turn out at Round 6 of our Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship at Sandown, and what a brilliant day that was with DCM Members filling a 1/3 of the field! We started with a dry track in the morning then the rain coming in later in the afternoon, which really made driving conditions challenging. But again, all walked away with massive smile on their faces and full tummies thanks to Jo and Phil Kolar, who always look after our guys with plenty of food, tea, coffee and snacks all day.
What can I say about our Coffee & Cars morning? The weather was looking a little temperamental, with clouds rolling by, but just after 8.30am cars of all marques just kept coming in and filling up the car park. I was overwhelmed at the support for this event. I would have to say we had over 100 cars on the day and the café staff were run off their feet, with members enjoying coffee and brunch inside, out of the cooler wind. It was awesome to see so many different cars and groups coming from all over to drop in, have a chat and look at the cars. Just what a Cars & Coffee meet should be!
Our last event for September was our social drive and go karting event, out at Stony Creek Go Karts and this was again brilliant. Those who were joining us on the drive met at Caldermeade BP and McDonalds for an early breakfast and then once we were all there, we set off on one of the most picturesque drives we have done for a while. The rolling hills through the Gurdies and Gippsland were just stunning, and the driving roads were amazing too, another great drive planned by our Drive Co-ordinator, Peter Williams, thank you Peter, you have excelled yet again.
Once we arrived at the go karting track, those that were driving signed in ready to have some amazing fun out on the track. We were split into two groups and went out in two different sessions. This was one of the most fun things we have all done, as the slightly heavier members struggled in these karts but once we got them going boy we had a ball.
Like a lot of people, both Jo and I are members of several clubs, not just BMWDCM and during the week, Jo got an email from VFT (Victorian Flag Marshalling Team) asking for help at the VMCI State Race Meeting at Phillip Island. We were intending to have a weekend off, but Jo said she would like to help out, so she replied OK, she would flag for them. Then on Thursday night we attended the VMCI (Vic Mini Club) meeting and Michael Holloway (President of VMCI) asked for more members to volunteer as officials over the weekend, due to the Grand Final and it falling over a long weekend and school holidays, they were also short of volunteers for the Saturday and Sunday to actually run the race meeting.
Jo quickly got on her phone during the meeting and sent out texts and emails asking all our officials and volunteers if they could help out over the weekend. Before the night was over, she had 6 respond with a yes and then managed to get close to 20 of our awesome DCM members commit to help over the Saturday and Sunday. Michael was very impressed and extremely happy.
We had members out on flag points, in pit lane and the paddock marshalling, helping as grid marshals and I got to control the event as the official starter. It was a very different view of the race meeting from up in the starter’s box for each race start, counting the laps and then waving the checkered flag for the end of every race.
What a great weekend! Both Jo and I were very proud of the great work all our members did to help out over the weekend. Thank you all who came and helped, you know who you are.
For anyone else who wants to get up close to motorsport, volunteering at these events can be very rewarding and you get to see all the action from up close. To become a CAMS General Official click here to find out more. You'll also need a Working With Children’s Check, which you can get here. Once you've done that, you will be ready to assist at any of our events and even some of the more prestigious events like the Super Cars and even Formula 1 if you want to.
We have a lot of events coming up to look out for:
There are lots more events coming up, make sure you check in on the events page on the website to see all the great events coming up for the end of 2019 and the start of 2020.
Any questions or want to get involved in motorsport drop me a line or drop in for a chat, our door is always open.
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 CouncilCAMS Affiliated Motorsport Club
The new BMW 3 Series range has once again raised the bar for sports performance in the premium mid-size segment with its superior powertrain and chassis technology. The latest-generation BMW 3 Series Sedan and BMW 3 Series Touring models are also built to excite with their new and extremely precise – yet still recognisably BMW – styling and their cutting-edge innovations in the areas of control/operation, driver assistance systems and connectivity. Indeed, their attractive design and advanced connectivity technology helped the sporty Sedan and dynamic, elegant Touring to secure a brace of wins in readers’ surveys recently conducted by the motoring magazines auto, motor und sport and Moove. The BMW 3 Series was judged to be the best new car design of the year, earning it the Autonis 2019 award. It also led the way in the Car Connectivity Award’s blue-riband discipline, claiming the title of best-connected car in the Connected Cars category.
BMW picked up three more accolades in this year’s edition of the Car Connectivity Award. In a poll of the magazines’ readers, the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, the Driving Assistant Professional package and the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System each took top spot in their respective categories. The winning systems already enhance driving pleasure, safety and comfort in several of the brand’s model ranges. The prizes were presented yesterday at an awards ceremony in Stuttgart.
The design of the new BMW 3 Series is a modern take on the sporting elegance for which BMW is renowned, and winning the Autonis 2019 delivers striking evidence of how much it appeals to popular taste; with 32.3 per cent of the votes, the new BMW 3 Series was the clear winner in its class. This was the 14th time a readers’ vote had decided the Autonis winners. More than 13,700 readers of auto, motor und sport took part in the latest poll and were asked to choose their favourites from 100 new models spanning ten vehicle classes.
The Car Connectivity Award is also put to a public vote, with over 12,000 readers of auto, motor und sport and Moove participating in its sixth edition. Standout systems and technologies from BMW in the areas of connectivity, navigation, driver assistance and audio attracted the most votes in four of the eleven categories. The new BMW 3 Series was victorious in the Connected Cars category, taking 35.7 per cent of the votes. The new BMW 3 Series Sedan was the brand’s first new model to be offered with the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant as an option. And the new BMW 3 Series range also offers an exceptional array of online-based functions for increasing comfort and convenience, safety and driving pleasure – from Real Time Traffic Information, On-Street Parking Information, hazard warning, BMW Online services, Remote Services and the BMW Digital Key to the seamless interaction between the car and the driver’s digital devices via BMW Connected.
The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant is part of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional system, which was judged to be the best new product in the “Navigation systems” category with 33.5 per cent of the votes. As well as connected navigation and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant, this equipment feature also includes the new BMW Operating System 7.0 – which comprises a fully digital screen grouping made up of the instrument cluster and Control Display, plus customisable graphics. It also enables multimodal operation via the touchscreen display, iDrive Controller, steering wheel buttons or voice and gesture control.
In the “Safety assistance systems” category, the Driving Assistant Professional package was crowned the readers’ favourite with 29.6 per cent of the votes. Its range of functions includes Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function, the Steering and lane control assistant, the Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, the Evasion Assistant, Cross Traffic Alert, road priority warning, wrong-way warning and the reversing assistant. The latest version of the Driving Assistant Professional now also features real-time 3D visualisation of the surrounding area using graphics in the instrument cluster, plus – depending on the model – the Lane Change Assistant. It therefore represents the state of the art in driving assistance systems and helps the BMW Group to pave the way for automated driving.
In the “Sound systems” category, the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System – available for the BMW 5 Series, BMW 6 Series, BMW 7 Series, BMW 8 Series, BMW X5, BMW X6 and BMW X7 – accounted for every second vote cast. Boasting a fully active ten-channel amplifier, dynamic equalizing, as many as 20 partly illuminated speakers and up to 1,508 watts of music power (depending on the model specified), the system delivers a beautifully precise and multifaceted acoustic experience whose pristine quality can be enjoyed from all seats in equal measure.
Our day started bright and early, on a beautiful Sunday morning. Kristen was beaming with excitement to start the day (this was her second club drive and she knew what to expect).
We set off to meet the rest of the crew at Caldermede BP. Much to our delight, the first car that caught our eyes was Lawrence's mint "estoril blue" E46 M3.
Immediately, we were made welcome by Graeme and Jo.
After a coffee and a nice catch up with a mix of new and familiar faces, we each got into our cars for the drive, and what a drive it was! To have a community around you that is equally passionate about cars is such an thrilling feeling. The sound of different engines erupts around us as we carve our way through the 'twisties' to our destination.
A little after an hour later, we had arrived at Stony Creek Go-Karts. As we clambered out of our cars, excitement started to build. Before us was an 800m track, with a total of 15 karts.
We split the group in half, and raced for most of the day. On each team's break, we had the luxury of a snack and lunch bar. It was a great opportunity for the club to get together and exchange conversation with each other. Both Kris and I have always felt so welcomed, and this drive was no exception. Jo has never forgot any of our names, and continues to be a wonderful host.
This was a day to remember, and we couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces as we drove home.
Another great club experience, and it won't be the last.
Al Gonzales | Member #303
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team and the newly developed endurance version of the BMW S 1000 RR enjoyed a successful debut in the FIM Endurance World Championship (FIM EWC). At the Bol d’Or at Le Castellet (FRA), rider trio Kenny Foray (FRA), Ilya Mikhalchik (UKR) and Julian Puffe (GER) battled for the podium down to the wire. After 311 laps, they crossed the finish line in fourth place, just four seconds behind the top three. Team ERC Endurance, with riders Mathieu Gines, Julien Da Costa and Louis Rossi (all FRA), secured a BMW podium. The BMW customer team claimed third place overall with the previous version of the RR which is already known in the FIM EWC.
The 83rd edition of the Bol d’Or kicked off the 2019/20 FIM EWC season, which the newly formed BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team is contesting as a works team for the first time with the new RR. The development of the endurance version of the motorcycle for the FIM EWC started just a few months ago. This year’s Bol d’Or had to be stopped between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. due to extremely bad weather with rain and storms, meaning that the actual race duration was just around twelve hours instead of 24.
The BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team caused a stir with the new RR early on. On Thursday, Mikhalchik set an interim new lap record for the FIM EWC at Le Castellet on Thursday, with a time of 1:53.669 minutes. The qualifying sessions, in which reserve rider Bastien Mackels (BEL) was also in action, ended on Friday with a terrific fourth place on the grid for the #37 RR.
When the race was interrupted on Saturday evening the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team was in seventh place. The #37 RR then restarted the race on Sunday morning from that position. In drying conditions, Foray, Mikhalchik and Puffe soon moved up into the top three, and the #37 was even in second place for a long time. However, a technical problem arose in the final phase which prevented closing rider Mikhalchik from defending the almost-certain podium. Just a few minutes before the chequered flag, Gines on the #6 RR, who also set a new race lap record at the Bol d’Or, overtook Mikhalchik to move into third place. The Ukrainian ended up crossing the finish line in fourth place, just four seconds behind Gines.
The Tecmas BMW GMC team also finished the Bol d’Or in the top ten. Camille Hedelin, Alexis Masbou and David Perret (all FRA) finished in ninth place with the #9 RR. 15th place overall and fifth place in the Superstock class went to the GERT56 by GS YUASA team with Stefan Kerschbaumer (AUT), Lucy Glöckner (GER) and Pepijn Bijsterbosch (NED).
Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director: “It was a turbulent opening race with a very good result. There has never been a Bol d‘Or like it. On one hand, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team faced an additional challenge since we did not to find a good rain set-up for the chassis and electronics in the run-up. Ilya also had his first ever experience of Dunlop rain tyres in the race. In this respect, the interruption suited us. On the other hand, as a totally new project it might have benefitted us that the team and bike weren’t subjected to the usual pressures of a full 24-hour distance. But overall, it has to be said that with our speed, the pit stops, the team performance and also in terms of fuel consumption, we were on track. That shows that we have developed a super basis in the short time available. Yes, we were gifted a few places by the problems the top teams experienced, but that’s all part of 24-hour races. Toward the end of the race, we struggled with a minor technical problem which cost us the podium by four seconds. It would have been amazing, but to come away with a fourth place is still remarkable. Congratulations to our customer team ERC, who overtook us eight minutes before the end of the race, thereby securing the spot on the podium.”
Werner Daemen, Team Manager BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team: “The conditions really were difficult. It was the first time that we competed here, and I honestly never dared believe that we would be up there at the front. It was clear that we only had problems with the rain. Second place would have been possible, but we had a minor technical problem in the final hour of the race, which is why, unfortunately, we only finished in fourth place, with a deficit of four seconds on the podium. I’m happy about what we achieved, but I’m also slightly disappointed that more wasn’t possible. But, we are a new team and this race makes us optimistic looking to the future.”
Kenny Foray: “It’s a new team, a new bike, and given these circumstances our result is really good. We only just missed out on the podium because we had a technical problem in the closing stage. That’s why I’m a little bit disappointed. Everyone in the team did a fantastic job and they deserved the podium. But that’s all part of endurance racing and we will continue to grow.”
Julian Puffe: “The team worked night and day over the past few weeks to be competitive here, and with fourth place we achieved a great result. My two team-mates did an amazing job, and it’s a fantastic result for our debut in the FIM EWC. Obviously, we would have liked to finish on the podium, especially when it was so close. But on the whole, we can be very pleased.”
Ilya Mikhalchik: “I’m really happy that we finished the race. I didn’t expect that we would even have been fighting for the podium! It’s a brand-new bike, so we were aware that we might experience a technical problem over such a long race distance. We saw here how strong the bike is and how well the team works. It was really unfortunate that there was a problem in the end. That’s why my pace slowed down. But overall I am happy that we were able to get so close to the podium.”
Bastien Mackels: “It was a real pleasure to join the team because the atmosphere is really unbelievable. It is one of the best teams I’ve ridden with so far. The BMW S 1000 RR is easy to ride and competitive. It’s a great project and I am convinced that the time will come and the team will fight for the win.”
Mathieu Gines (Team ERC Endurance): “I’m over the moon. The bike was really good and the team did a perfect job. My team-mates were brilliant, and I also gave it my all. It was so much fun. Thanks to Team ERC Endurance and to BMW – I hope that I can compete in many more races with them.”
Let’s be honest, the driver and co-driver were super keyed up and extremely excited when they got into their electric 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) in Căpățânenii Ungureni, an idyllic little village in Romania. The three-door automobile emits a characteristically synthetic murmur to signal the readiness of its systems and the invisible T-shaped rechargeable battery located in the floor of the car permits a range of “250 kilometres” according to the charge level indicator. Really? Here, on the steepest ascent to a pass in Romania? Eccentric English automobile maniac Jeremy Clarkson from England calls the Transfăgărăşan “the best road in the world” in the cult automobile series “Top Gear” – and overcomes the difference in altitude of more than 1400 metres with a maximum gradient of 8.6 percent in a powerful super sports car. But now the electric cult small car is following in the tracks of the gang from Top Gear – does it have what it takes?
Absolutely! The Transfăgărăşan mountain road in Romania that winds through the Transylvanian Alps for 90 kilometres is just the job for the battery-powered MINI Cooper SE – just presented to a public audience at the IAA Frankfurt 2019. The fact is that electric cars and high-altitude mountains are a perfect fit, like mountains and valleys. The perfect road-holding of the MINI Cooper SE combines with an almost ideal weight distribution of 54:46, and its low centre of gravity thanks to the underfloor rechargeable batteries transforms the battle of the curves on innumerable spectacular hairpin bends into a veritable pleasure garden.
Furthermore, the electric motor provides ultimate traction by applying its 135 kW/184 hp directly to the road through the front wheels thanks to the automatic transmission and model-specific torque of 270 Nm. This is already obvious to the crew immediately after the first few curves. And it becomes even more evident as time goes on. The Transfăgărăşan road unfolds second by second, becoming wilder and ever more dramatic. The car hurtles over viaducts and through tunnels, hurries past waterfalls and jagged scree-covered slopes.
After the first 30 kilometres of road with scenic panoramas and thrilling dynamic driving, it’s time for a break. Not for the MINI – but for the crew! They take a detour from the smooth road surface into a quaint mountain village. This is where the tracks become typically Eastern European and virtually impassable – undoubtedly a problem for some cars designed in Western Europe but all cool for the MINI Cooper SE. In spite of the battery units, the car is only 145 kilograms heavier than a MINI Cooper S, thanks to the significantly lower weight of an electric motor by comparison with a petrol power plant.
Are the cows along the side of the road likely to be impressed? This is an area where horse-drawn carts are still common and superannuated tractors make fast cornering into a slalom artform. Such a performance is indeed a rarity in this region – and the four-legged spectators stare after the MINI with an inquiring curiosity.
In one hairpin bend, the MINI Cooper SE passes a flock of sheep within stroking distance. The engine purrs so quietly that you can hear the baas of the woolly sheep. Any worries that one of them will suddenly bump into the SE’s yellow front trim? No chance, the outstanding manoeuvrability and the braking assistant are absolutely trustworthy. If one of the animals happens to become bold as brass, we are at the ready – human and machine in rare harmony.
There are plenty of parking spaces in the car park by the barrage wall of the Vidraru Dam, and the scenery presents an invitation to chill out. The crew gets a picnic basket out of the boot – just as spacious as its petrol relatives with capacity of between 235 and 731 litres (when the back seats are folded down) – and produces some memorable photos capturing the mountain panorama with mist rising up – in fact of course made up of clouds. Not for nothing is the Transfăgărăşan called the “road in the clouds”.
Shortly before the top of the pass at an altitude of 2042 metres, the outside thermometer of the MINI Cooper SE shows a temperature of just a few degrees above zero – a good reason for care or to drive slowly? Not likely, there’s no risk at all, even if you floor the accelerator. The actuator-operated wheel-slip limiter reliably prevents the front of the car from swerving if the drive wheels start spinning.
Inside the poorly lit Bâlea Tunnel, it’s gloomier than Dracula’s coffin but the daylight LED headlamps of the MINI Cooper SE banish any ghosts and dark thoughts. After crossing over the pass, spectacular downhill slopes mean that recuperation is so robust that the battery is almost fully charged by the time they reach the valley. This is because most of the electricity used for the ascents can be recuperated on the descent. The driver is able to decide how much is recuperated because the driver can toggle a button in overrun mode with two settings to define the strength of recuperation and hence the effect of the brakes during recuperation – an innovative feature that is typical and exclusively MINI.
When the MINI Cooper SE reaches the romantic city of Sibiu, formerly Hermannstadt, it’s time to turn back after more than 90 kilometres of challenging journey up hill and down dale. The battery isn’t even half empty and after it has been fully charged, the crew sets out on the return trip to enjoy lots of driving fun. One thing has become obvious to the team in the car. A trip over this distance was easy peasy for the MINI Cooper SE. Other return trips easily within its range would include Hamburg-Travemünde (81 km), Munich-Chiemsee (87 km) and Frankfurt-Heidelberg (90 km). It could also accommodate popular tours like Hamburg-Warnemünde (192 km), Cologne-Frankfurt (190 km), Stuttgart-Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance (206 km), Munich-Passau (192 km) or Berlin-Dresden (192 km) in one go.
Another very successful outing with the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne “Coffee & Cars” held at Albert Park Sunday the 15th of September.
Even though the weather was threatening there was a fantastic turn up of vehicles and of course, lots of interesting people to talk to and passionate discussions about their vehicles.
This was another first for Warren and I, as we have only been in the club 12 months and are amazed at how well these outings are organised and patronised, which says a lot for the committee who run them. It was also great to catch up with other members who we have met on other outings and also to meet members who are new to the club like us.
I also have to say the coffee and breakfasts at the Carousel Café were amazing and a great way to sit and chat with other members.
We are now looking forward to upcoming events such as the Geelong Revival in November. It should be another fabulous long weekend.
Margaret Fairweather | Member #348
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Click an image below to enlarge.
BMW Group Classic has choreographed its appearance at the Goodwood Revival 2019 as a journey through time back to the year 1959. The occasion for this jubilee is the 60th anniversary of the MINI brand and a gala celebration in the parkland of Goodwood House in Southern England from 13 to 15 September. Since 1998, the estate of the Earl of March in West Sussex has been the annual showplace for a stylishly spectacular event celebrating historic motor sport. Racers from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s along with celebrity drivers recall the fast laps on the Goodwood Racing Circuit at the sporting competitions that took place regularly in this setting between 1948 and 1966. In keeping with the historic vehicles and the authentically styled ambience, many of the visitors contribute to the classic atmosphere of this event by wearing outfits in the style of the period.
The year in which the classic Mini made its debut and the Swinging Sixties that followed are the focus of a wealth of attractions away from the race track. A number of feature films are being screened in the revival cinema at the venue. A highlight is “The Italian Job” from 1969 in which three Mini Coopers starred alongside Michael Caine playing the main parts in a sensational gold robbery involving a car chase through Turin.
Homage is also paid to the classic Mini as a screen hero in the halls of the “March Motor Works”. The documentary “The Incredible Seven” is being shown within the portals of a picture palace from the 1960s. The British Motor Corporation (BMC) commissioned the film in 1961 and it presents the story behind the creation of the classic Mini. Footage of test drives with early prototypes, conversations with the creator of the classic Mini, Alec Issigonis, images of the public debut of the revolutionary small car and driving reports by journalists give an insight into the initial years of an automobile that became a rolling legend over the many decades of its development, with faithful fans all over the world. The title of the film refers to one of the two official model designations under which the classic Mini was launched on the marketplace in 1959. It rolled off the assembly line in virtually the same guise as the Austin Seven and the Morris Mini-Minor. The Mini owed its doppelganger identity to the varied repertoire of brands marketed by BMC.
Visitors can also go back in time 60 years in the other rooms of the “March Motor Works”. BMW Group Classic is staging its presentation of historic vehicles in the style of a stand at the International Motor Show in 1959 and the model range of that era is showcased there. Two examples of the BMW 700 coupé, a BMW 600 and a BMW Isetta with “Lufthansa” livery, embody the automobile spirit in the years of the economic miracle. The taxi version of a BMW 501 is presented in front of the building. Two models of the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud additionally provide luxurious grandeur and British flair. The models BMW R 69 S, BMW R 50 S and BMW R 27 represent the motorcycle range from BMW in 1959. Furthermore, the spectacle of a BMW 3/15 PS takes onlookers 30 years further back down memory lane. The history of BMW as an automobile manufacturer began with this model 90 years ago.
The “Revival Festival” is another perennial element in the firmament of BMW Group Classic at Goodwood. Visitors can enjoy Bavarian specialities in a historic festival tent and experience a hint of Oktoberfest atmosphere in the British Isles.
Last year, Australian racing rider Troy Corser succeeded in achieving a historic success for BMW Motorrad Classic together with Herbert Schwab. The duo won the overall standings in the race for the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy on a supercharged BMW R 57 Compressor for the first time at the Goodwood Revival. For his title defence race, two-time Superbike World Champion Corser has selected a BMW R50 Kaczor. This version of the BMW R 50 is characterised by increased power and reduced weight. Ferdinand Kaczor was a designer who subsequently became a BMW engineer and he achieved some spectacular successes on many race tracks in the 1960s.
British racing rider Maria Costello is battling for the coveted trophy astride a second motor-sport legend on two wheels. She is riding a BMW RS 54. The machine was presented in 1954 and it was the first motorcycle designed specifically for racing by the BMW brand. Even today, the motorcycle’s powerful Boxer engine driven by a vertical shaft ensures that the BMW RS 54 can achieve an impressive performance on any race track.
The BMW Group is focusing on the next electromobility milestone: “By the end of 2021, we aim to have a total of one million electrified vehicles on the roads,” stated Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt on Tuesday. “We are already right at the forefront of electromobility. No manufacturer has delivered more electrified cars to customers in Germany so far this year than the BMW Group. In Norway, three out of every four new BMW Group vehicles sold have an electrified drive train."
Looking ahead to the next decade, Zipse expects electromobility to develop at different rates around the world – due to the differences in infrastructure, customer driving profiles and political frameworks. According to BMW Group forecasts, customer demand should ensure that over 50 percent of new vehicle registrations in China’s premium segment will be pure battery-electric vehicles (BEV) in 2030. The figure for Europe will be only about half that number. The US, the world's second largest vehicle market, will be at about the same level as Europe.
“The BMW Group is a global company. We will be able to offer our customers all relevant drive technologies: our conventional engines with benchmark efficiency, battery-electric drive trains, plug-in hybrids and, in the future, hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles,” Zipse continued. “This puts us in a very strong strategic position to tackle the challenges of future mobility and climate change."
Hydrogen fuel cell technology could be a real solution, especially for long distances. The BMW Group expects demand for this technology to increase in the second half of the next decade and will be launching a test fleet of fuel cell vehicles in 2022. The company will present the BMW i Hydrogen NEXT development vehicle at this year’s IAA.
Zipse confirmed the plan announced in June to significantly increase the tempo of its electromobility expansion: The 25 electrified models previously announced for 2025 will now be available two years earlier, in 2023. More than half of these 25 models will be fully electric. The basis for this is provided by flexible vehicle architectures for fully-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and models with combustion engines, as well as a highly flexible production system. As a result, the company is able to respond quickly to local market demand.
Electromobility can make a key contribution to climate protection. The BMW Group believes the customer will play a decisive role in this – because technology can only have a real impact if customers want it and use it.
“We aim to reduce emissions significantly. To realise this, we must concentrate on areas where we can achieve the greatest impact. We are therefore focusing on the question: Which drive trains, technologies and services will our customers want in the future? And how can we achieve the best outcome for climate protection? One thing is clear: We are committed to the Paris Climate Agreement."
Sustainability begins for the BMW Group right at the very beginning of the value chain. A good example of this is the BMW iX3, which will be released onto the market with a fifthgeneration e-drive system in 2020: The e-drive is manufactured without rare earths, and the cobalt for its battery cells is sourced directly from mines in Australia and Morocco. In addition, the electricity needed for production is mostly covered by renewable energy sources.
Since joining the club I have driven Sandown a few times, and after each time making an idiot of myself feel I must control the “red mist” enough to drive the lines one is supposed to follow intelligently (lol) without defying the laws of physics trying to get wonderful lap times.
This time I was determined to go slow and steady following the correct corner lines and then get enough knowledge to let the car off the leash a bit for some quick lap times.
Getting ready for Sunday at Sandown and downloaded the various forms to printout and noticed that the BMWDCM had as many entries as the event organizers, the Alfa Romeo Owners Club.
Then it became apparent the reason was a group, mostly Southern BM supporters, have joined BMWDCM. This group of passionate BM owners pour a lot of money into their late model performance cars to make many of them world class in kit and a pleasure to see.
I then noticed with trepidation that these M4 Competitions et al were in the same group as some of our club E30s (including mine) and the speed differential was going to be crazy.
Anyway, I figured the strategy would be to stay over on the side of the track and let them whizz by safely, and besides Graeme wouldn’t let anything too crazy be run.
The slow and steady bit went ok for me.
Then came the rain and luckily Graeme had prompted me to get new Yokohama A050 tyres for the event as the old ones are bald. With a very wet track and good tyres it was stick to the correct lines going safely and steadily, but it was very satisfying as I felt I did that part really well and didn’t let the red mist even get close to my brain bucket.
As always getting together as a club is really good and speaking of which it was an unexpected pleasure to see Daryl O’Neill there with a new track car. Again Graeme, Jo and Chris and the supporting members make these events so good and thanks to all of you for making the day a special experience.
With more coaching from Graeme and Chris and more practice I hope to soon have the skills to let this great little E30 off the leash!
Rod Martin | Member #29
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
What a huge surprise tonight was. Well, for me anyway! Here I was thinking it was just going to be a quiet night at Shannons, chatting about upcoming stuff... how wrong I was.
The scheming that has gone on over months, now I find out, is quite amazing.
It was awesome to have two of the legends of Australian Motorsport, not to mention BMW Motorsport in Australia, come along to both surprise me on my birthday and to have an informal chat with members at our monthly meeting tonight.
Thank you Steve and Jim Richards for coming out tonight and the huge number of Members that came along to have some dinner, birthday cake and listen to the ever interesting exploits of Steve and Jim.
Anyone that knows me, knows I’m not one for making a fuss about myself, I do what I love and it makes me happy that so many of you enjoy what we do too. But to have a room packed with so many of you that I call friends, really does make me feel so special. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. It really made my day today.
Of course there is one who always goes out of her way for others and the Club and I never thank her enough. My darling Jo, you really do spoil me. Another amazing night for me and the Club.
Thank you all that came and enjoyed the night, the birthday wishes and gifts, I am very humbled.
Graeme Bell | Member #1
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
As many of you know, I organise most of the events. When looking at what I could do for the September members meeting, I noticed it fell on Graeme's birthday. So, I put my thinking cap on and thought I might see if Steve or Jim Richards were available on the night to be guest speakers (both Graeme’s idols).
Before checking with either of them, I had a call from David Ebeling, a club member, asking if we could possibly do something special for Graeme, maybe a birthday party or similar.. Great minds must think alike. David wanted to thank Graeme for all his hard work and dedication with putting our club together.
I told him of my initial plans and he thought that was great. After checking with the other committee members, they also agreed that to have a surprise birthday for Graeme and possibly guest speakers would be fantastic.
Next step was to contact both Jim and Steve, with fingers crossed, to see if they were available on the night. First call was Steve and he was delighted to come along. The next call was Jim and he too was free - so jackpot, we had them both!
Now how to advertise this event without Graeme finding out? With a few emails to Jess, we worked out a good way to promote the event, with me setting up a fake event to keep him in the dark and Jess sending out an email to all the members, letting them know what the real event was about.
Pretty much straight after the email was sent the registrations started rolling in.
We are very lucky to have a fantastic relationship with Shannons and they agreed to host the event in their board room and also provide supper for the evening.
I can tell you that keeping a surprise of this size from Graeme has been very hard and somehow we managed it. I had a couple of calls from both Jim and Steve Richards through the day and I thought we might have blown our cover but my skilful story telling convinced him that nothing was really happening.
Shaaron and Lawrence had also organised a cake and a card and were also in on the whole surprise.
Trying to get Graeme there late this time was proving hard as he packed up work early as he didn’t want to rush. Lucky for me Scott Muir needed a lift to the meeting and was stuck at Southland, so Graeme went off to get him, which allowed me to get there before hand and get organised.
The door to the lunchroom opened and in walked Graeme and Scott and he was stunned. He stood there for a moment and then we all sung happy birthday, the smile on his face was gold. He didn’t event see Steve and Jim!
Presents were given and pizzas and birthday cake eaten then shortly after, we all went into the board room to be entertained by both Steve and Jim with a night of story telling and laughter. Both of these men are champions of Australian legends and everyone there were very excited to listen to what they had to say.
Jim started by explaining how he got into racing and his very early days of wearing no race shoes at all and just a t-shirt and track pants, very little safety back in those day. Then it was back and forth between father and son, which was just very special to be part of. Their stories had real heart and soul and some of them were even a little curly.
The night rounded off at approximately 9.30pm and members all had a little one on one time with both Jim and Steve and they were so open and welcoming to everyone.
Graeme was very humbled by everyone coming out for the night to enjoy what was another fabulous member’s meeting, with nearly 70 members in total attending.
Driving home I asked if Graeme had any clue to what I had been planning and he did say he was a little confused as to what the meeting was going to be about, as he had not seen any emails regarding the night, NO, he didn’t, as Jess and I made sure he was excluded from the email chain...
I would like to thank everyone who helped me with this event and everyone who came, without you all it would not have been a success.
Jo Mawson | Member #2
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
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