MONTH IN REVIEW
We had a very busy month in March - not only did we have an event almost every weekend but we were also working behind the scenes to finalise our first club magazine. We were overwhelmed with responses for names for our magazine but unfortunately there can only be one winner. Our winning name was suggested by multiple people and in the end it came down to the most creative response as to why the name should be chosen. Come along to our first birthday celebration to be one of the first to find out the name of our new magazine and to see it first!
Event-wise we kicked off our month with our Drive to Apollo Bay (Ft. E30s). We had some beautiful (and hot) weather for our drive along the Great Ocean Road, with those who could, making great use of their convertibles. Read more about our drive here.
Next on the calendar was our March Members Meeting at Shannons featuring a presentation on car manufacturing and assembly. It was a fantastic, informative night. Read more about it here.
On 9 and 10 March we were then off to the Island for Phillip Island Festival of Speed. This is always a fantastic event, certainly one not to miss if you love all things classics. We had some international visitors, Adam and Sally attend with us, read Adam's recap of the weekend here.
Always one of the most popular displays, is at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. We are only allowed to have a maximum of 20 cars and were oversubscribed! We had a fantastic display, with the cars ranging from Lawrence’s 700 right through to Walter’s new M5 Competition. We had a lot of interest and even gained a few new members. Even CAMS did a very nice write up on us on their website, which was great to read. The Australian F1 Grand Prix is one of the best F1 events to go to anywhere, there is so much to see both on track and around the precinct. Read about Igor and Steve's weekend here.
We finished the month down at Haunted Hills for Round 2 of the Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship, where we had a great turnout considering the weather. It was a drizzly, wet, it doesn't seem to matter when we go down there it rains! Regardless, everyone had a great day and lots of laps were had on four different layouts of the track. Keep an eye out, later in the year we have been invited to enter an inter-club championship at Haunted Hills, so when entries come out, I will let you know and we will put a DCM Team together to enter if we have the interest.
Our First Birthday Celebration!
12 months.. where did it go?
We are excited to be able to celebrate our first birthday with you in just a couple of weeks! Join us at The Vincent, Albert Park on 13 April 2019 to celebrate all that was in our first year.
We will also be presenting awards for the 2018 Drivers' Championship, the Cup Day Show & Shine, Member of the Year, the President's Award and Special Recognition Award.
We will also be launching our brand new magazine which has now been finalised and sent to print. If you entered the naming competition, make sure you attend to find out if you're the winner!
If you attend only one event this year, make sure it's this one! Details and registration here.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 360 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.
THE MONTH AHEAD
A slightly quieter month ahead for us in April:
26 May Go Karting at Auskarts Racing
For all our members who love a bit of an adrenaline fix, this event is the one for you!
BMW CLUBS AUSTRALIA NATIONALS
Every 2 years the BMW Clubs from all over Australia come together at the BMW Clubs Australia Nationals. It is a chance for Club Members from all the clubs to meet and share their love of their BMW’s with other people from all over the country. The BMWCA Nationals is held in a different location each time, with the last one in 2017 held in Brisbane.
NEWS | BLOG
BMW CLASSIC NEWSLETTER
The official BMW Clubs around the world are supported by BMW through its BMW Clubs and Community Management section of BMW Classic. Click here to subscribe to their newsletter.
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
Proudly supported by:
Every year March seems to be one of our busiest months and 2019 was no different!
We started the month with a run down the Great Ocean Road to Apollo Bay featuring E30s. We took one of my original E30s out for a run and had a great time, enjoying the trip down and back and really nice lunch at the Apollo Bay Hotel.
The March Members Meeting was a very interesting show and discussion about the BMW factory and production processes in general from our Secretary Lawrence, who spent 20 years as a Production Engineer and was a great turnout for an interesting night.
The display season is still in full swing, whilst the weather is still fine, and March sees two of our most popular display events. The first one is at the Phillip Island Classic, the largest historic race meeting in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a fantastic event where major sponsors Shannons invite Clubs to put on a display and offer pace car laps on Sunday as well. Both Saturday and Sunday we had a lot of cars join us, with all the banners and flags up you couldn’t miss us up on the hill. Even some of the drivers commenting that it was great to have the club there and so visible, supporting all the BMW’s on the track.
Always one of the most popular displays, is at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. We are only allowed to have a maximum of 20 cars and it is always over subscribed! We had a fantastic display, with the cars ranging from Lawrence’s 700 (the car that saved BMW) right through to Walter’s new M5 Competition. We had a lot of interest and even gained a few new members. I must say thank you to Lawrence for being there each day to meet and chat to people that wandered by. Even CAMS did a very nice write up on us on their website, which was great to read. The Australian F1 Grand Prix is one of the best F1 events to go to anywhere, there is so much to see both on track and around the precinct, we are very fortunate to be able to show our cars off to people from all over the world, that come down to enjoy the GP.
We finished the month down at Haunted Hills, where we had a great turnout considering the weather. It was a drizzly, wet and at times windy day down in Gippsland for Round 2 of the Traction Tyres/Yokohama Drivers Championship. Seems it doesn’t matter when we go down there it rains! Regardless, everyone had a great day and lots of laps were had on four different layouts of the track. Keep an eye out, later in the year we have been invited to enter an inter-club championship at Haunted Hills, so when entries come out, I will let you know and we will put a DCM Team together to enter if we have the interest.
It is amazing to think, only a year ago we were jumping through hoops, crossing ts and dotting is on everything we needed to do to form a new Club. It was a huge job, getting approvals from BMW in Germany, from Clubs Australia and all the other Clubs here, but well worth it. When we look back on the last 12 months, what we have done as a Club, the events we have run (over 50 of them!), people we have met, it makes me very proud to see we did the right thing in forming a new Club. We are now at 360 members and on the verge of being the third largest BMW Club in Australia, an amazing achievement in only one year!
Thank you all for supporting us and coming on board and helping to make this the best BMW Club. I am very much looking forward to our Birthday Dinner in a couple of weeks. I hope lots of you will be there to help us celebrate!
Then it’s on to our second year and more of all the things you love. Check the calendar for all the upcoming events, including the BMW Clubs Australia Nationals over Easter.
Looking forward to seeing you at an event soon.
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 two BMW M6 GT3s finished in fifth and eighth positions in the “California 8 Hours”, the second of five races in the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Augusto Farfus (BRA), Martin Tomczyk (GER) and Chaz Mostert (AUS) from the BMW Team Schnitzer crossed the finishing line in Laguna Seca (USA) in fifth place after 326 laps. They had recorded the same result at the season-opener in Bathurst (AUS). The Walkenhorst Motorsport drivers Nick Catsburg (NED), Mikkel Jensen (DEN) and Christian Krognes (NOR) secured eighth place in Laguna Seca.
The two BMW M6 GT3s started the 8-hour race from sixth and seventh positions, in sunny but cool conditions. Jensen performed strongly in the opening stint in the #34 car, moving into third place directly from the start and then handing the BMW M6 GT3 over to Catsburg in fourth position. Tomczyk got held up in the tightly-packed midfield, which cost him some time.
The #42 BMW M6 GT3 continued to improve as the race progressed, staying just ahead of the #34 car at the halfway point. A drive-through penalty for Tomczyk after his collision with an Audi saw the two cars swap places for a while, but the BMW Team Schnitzer prevailed to finish in fifth place. Walkenhorst Motorsport also received a drive-through penalty for being under the minimum pit-stop time, which set the team back by several places. Victory was claimed by Ferrari with the #27 car.
In the GT4 class, Daren Jorgensen, Brett Strom and Jonathan Miller (all USA) secured second place in the BMW M4 GT4 from RHC Jorgensen/Strom by Strom Motorsport.
There will now be a longer break until the third race of the Intercontinental GT Challenge season. The 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL) is scheduled to take place on 27th/28th July.
Augusto Farfus (#42 BMW M6 GT3, BMW Team Schnitzer, 5th place):
“I think that fifth place was the very best that we could achieve. We did not have the best car for this circuit, but we got the best out of our package. This means that we are still in the running in the championship. Of course, we would like to get wins and podiums, but fundamentally it is about staying within striking distance of the leaders. We managed that today.”
Martin Tomczyk (#42 BMW M6 GT3, BMW Team Schnitzer, 5th place):
“I am very sorry about the collision with Markus Winkelhock. I was really close to him in the Corkscrew turn, then I lost some downthrust on the front axle and hit him in the rear end. This caused him to spin around. Things like that shouldn't happen, but they unfortunately do occur in motorsport. This incident was my fault and I have no complaints about the drive-through penalty. In general, it is very difficult to overtake on this circuit. Unfortunately, I lost a lot of ground early on. Our speed was very good later on, but the gap to the podium positions was already just too large in such a tight field.”
Chaz Mostert (#42 BMW M6 GT3, BMW Team Schnitzer, 5th place):
“That was my first time driving in Laguna Seca. Many thanks to BMW M Motorsport and the BMW Team Schnitzer for this fantastic opportunity. I think that fifth place is not such a bad result, all in all. I am already looking forward to the next chance to drive for BMW. I feel right at home in the BMW Team Schnitzer.”
Nick Catsburg (#34 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport, 8th place):
“I am not displeased with that. If you take the extremely slippery track and the heavy tyre wear into account, then eighth place is OK. Circuits that demand a lot from the tyres do not suit the BMW M6 GT3, so we knew that this would not be easy.”
Mikkel Jensen (#34 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport, 8th place):
“The circuit here in Laguna Seca is legendary. It is every racing driver’s dream to drive here one day and this dream has now come true for me. Unfortunately, the track is very slippery and we were not able to get the maximum level of grip. This does not suit our BMW M6 GT3, as it performs at its best when it can take plenty of grip and speed through the turns. That was not the case here.”
Christian Krognes (#34 BMW M6 GT3, Walkenhorst Motorsport, 8th place):
“We had the speed to compete with the leaders. However, the key thing was to take care of the tyres on a circuit that was very slippery. We tried to keep them alive for as long as possible.”
It doesn’t seem 5 minutes since I went on the launch drive for the then new F30 (6th generation) 3 Series and yet here I am, freshly returned from driving the 7th generation G20.
The 3 Series is still BMW’s bread and butter, a car it has to get right. So, have they?
Looking back at my notes from the F30 drive I see I was somewhat disappointed. I was not alone. The car seemed a bit disconnected and lacking the driver dynamic we so associate with BMWs until pushed. The M Sport version was better but still not quite there on feel.
In fairness, BMW have oscillated between dynamic, feelsome 3 Series cars best aimed at the enthusiast and somewhat more placid iterations which will suit the volume buying general public. It is a hard act to balance the competing needs, and what I see as a delight to drive others may find too nervous or edgy, and vice versa.
But I am glad to report that the mojo is back.
Hopping out of my daily drive (a 5th generation E90 320d) into the G20 330i MSport was like changing from of my favourite shirts to another. Instantly comfortable and at home, even though the dashboard has gone all digital and looks almost alien. Except, the fuel, speed, revs and temp left to right layout is still there (not present in the E90 sadly) dating back to the 1936 328. I’m not sure yet whether I like it, but I don’t dislike it.
I recently drove a 440i F33 (essentially 6th gen 3 series with a different name) convertible and whilst that was familiar enough, it drove like the rest of the F3x range, only perhaps more so being a convertible, remote and wafty.
The G20, however, felt much more like my E90 and E46 318i before it. There is a nice weight to the steering and a direct response from the car with instant feedback on what was going on at ground level. I felt I could place the car accurately and securely.
The ride was a revelation after complaints that the E90 and F30 were too jiggerly and harsh over broken surfaces. It was altogether smoother than either of those models but not soft or jouncy over bigger bumps. In Comfort mode the body control did seem a little lacking over just one section of unmade road with some sections partially washed away, but in Sport mode it was fine without being too rough. Corrugations along the dirt road section of the route were not only smooth but quiet. Impressive.
But don’t think this was a corner carving drive with tyres screeching, it was rather more sedate than that. So what it is like as one approaches the limit I can’t say. But the point is it felt like fun at safe and moderate speeds, and that is probably more important.
Although, it did not feel as quick as it clearly is. The stats show it gives my E46 M3 a run for its money in a straight line, but it did not feel that quick even though the speedo begged to differ. We opened the (optional) sun roof for more aural feedback but there wasn’t any really. I would have loved a loud button, even if it was only louder inside. There’s a beautiful engine note in there trying to get out I’m sure. But I may not want the loud button pressed all the time – on the freeway for example when a bit of peace and quiet on a long trip is preferred.
So, it drives well, and looks good in my book. There are a few touches which make me scratch my head – the crease where a “air blade” vent should be just behind the front wheel but isn’t. The extra trim to repeat the Hofmeister kink immediately behind the rear door. Not sure I would want to clean the fake air intake grilles around the front, but they look nice when someone else cleans them. The “shark nose” effect of the grille works for me. Overall, a progression from E90 through F30 and concluding at G20 looking a bit tauter at each step.
The boot is huge, although the side mesh pockets may be annoying as the mesh can not be taken down as far as I can see. There does not appear to be a way to pop the floor mat up and hide things underneath, such as umbrellas, shopping bags etc, a pity.
Of more concern, there is no spare wheel yet the tyres are not run flat in every case.
The rear seat has plenty of leg room, as it should with the inevitable stretch of wheelbase. Even with the sunroof the headroom in the back was just enough for my overly long body thanks to the roof being sculptured behind the sun roof cassette. The rear passengers can now control their own air con etc settings, neat.
Talking of the sun roof, it has a concertina cover along the sides reducing wind noise.
But back to the driving seat where the buttons around the iDrive controller seem to keep growing, adding the electric park brake and hill hold controls plus the Start/Stop button off the dash, but this time it seems thought out and intentional. The cover in front of the gear selector looks better too, moving out of the way at a touch to reveal two generous cup holders (there are bottle holders in the door pockets), a 12 volt power socket (used to be a cigarette lighter socket) and a USB socket with a non slip platform which doubles a wireless phone charger if your phone does this.
The trio of buttons for the safety systems now have a proper place and the pull down lidded cubby to the right of the steering column returns.
The direction indicator stalk is of the mechanical kind, as per the F30 and the E46 and before rather than the soft touch used on the E90 which I greatly prefer. Likewise the windscreen wiper stalk which has to be moved to position 1 for Auto, thus preventing a manual flick wipe in auto mode, rather than the E90 push button for Auto I prefer.
But there is loads of neat tech, including active cruise control with lane keeping which will regulate speed, distance to car in front and steer between lane markings. Great in traffic but a bit over the top on the freeway.
Being a day time drive I can not report on the lights, but I am sure they are at least as good as the amazing lights fitted to the F33 440i.
But the “lane departure warning” signal has been moved from the inner edge of the door mirror housing of the F3x to the far end of the mirror glass, which I’m not so keen on.
Although the only offerings at launch are 330i and 320d there will be other engine options to follow, including a plug in hybrid – the fuel filler flap has provision already.
Overall, a big sigh of relief that this is a return to the 3 Series we love and a cracking car.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
N.B: Cover photo via BMW Press Club.
Camouflaged pre-series vehicles of the third-generation BMW 1 Series are currently still undergoing extensive test drives at the BMW proving ground in Miramas, Southern France. The facility’s diverse handling tracks offer the optimal conditions for refining agility and dynamics of the new BMW 1 Series. This was preceded by five years of intensive development work and the change to the modern BMW front-wheel drive architecture.
A genuine BMW with an individual character.
The new BMW 1 Series will set new standards in the premium compact class in terms of driving dynamics, whilst also offering significantly more space inside. With a cutting edge suspension set-up, innovative technologies and the integration of all driving dynamics-related components and control systems, the BMW 1 Series achieves greater agility both with the new front-wheel drive and BMW xDrive intelligent four-wheel drive. “Our customers will directly feel the fast and precise responsiveness that provides for an optimised driving experience. The BMW 1 Series will be a genuine BMW with an individual character,” says Peter Langen, head of Driving Dynamics at the BMW Group.
Transfer of technology from the BMW i3.
On the new BMW 1 Series, BMW has utilized all of the experience gained over recent years with BMW Group front-wheel drive models. A crucial element for the car’s exceptionally high agility is ARB technology (actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation) known from the BMW i3s, which is now celebrating its debut in a vehicle with a combustion engine. This transfer of technology from the BMW i brand to the core brand BMW improves traction decisively, while facilitating significantly more sensitive and faster control.
ARB technology, which is standard on the BMW 1 Series, features a slip control system positioned directly in the engine control unit instead of in the control unit for the DSC function (Dynamic Stability Control). Without long signal paths, information is passed on three times faster, with the regulation speed perceived by the driver actually being up to ten times faster. In close coordination with the DSC function, actuator contiguous wheel slip limitation significantly reduces the power understeer usually experienced with front-wheel drive vehicles, but without control intervention to stabilise lateral dynamics. BMW Performance Control (yaw moment distribution) also comes as standard and additionally increases agility of the BMW 1 Series through dynamic brake intervention. Moreover, torsional stiffness of the body structure is enhanced by the targeted use of additional struts such as a standard rear-end “boomerang strut”. “Through this extensive integration of all driving dynamics-related aspects as well as the new, innovative traction control feature, we are creating a completely novel driving experience,” says Holger Stauch, BMW 1 Series project manager.
The most powerful BMW Group 4-cylinder engine for the new top-of-the-range model.
A newly developed 4-cylinder engine stands out prominently within the drive portfolio of the new BMW 1 Series. The BMW M135i xDrive (combined fuel consumption: 7,1-6,8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 162-155 g/km)* features the most powerful 4-cylinder engine from the BMW Group with a 2-litre capacity and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The power unit delivers 225 kW (306 hp), ensuring extremely dynamic handling properties through individual technical solutions such as a reinforced crank drive, new pistons and cod rods, a larger exhaust turbocharger as well as optimised fuel injection valves.
More interior space.
The BMW 1 Series has taken a major leap forward in terms of interior spaciousness. Thanks to the new front-wheel drive architecture with transverse engines and a low centre tunnel, noticeably more space is now available than in the predecessor model, especially on the back seats. For example, legroom for rear-seat passengers has increased by 33 millimetres and headroom at the back by 19 millimetres. Access to the rear compartment is now easier and luggage compartment capacity has increased by 20 litres to 380 litres. Thus, the new BMW 1 Series combines outstanding handling characteristics with significantly improved spaciousness.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe sets new accents in individuality, aesthetics and emotion in the premium compact segment. It combines an emotive design with sportiness and the latest innovations in operation and connectivity technology. Therefore, the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe offers the ideal prerequisites to attract new target groups to hallmark BMW driving pleasure. BMW already offers a unique range of compact models for various different requirements and target groups that is unmatched within the competitive environment. The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will once again create fresh impulses in this class. It builds on the latest BMW front-wheel drive architecture and shares a multitude of technological developments with the new BMW 1 Series, which will also be presented during the course of 2019.
The BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe has been conceived as a global offering that constitutes an attractive enrichment, especially for markets in which car buyers show a strong affinity for notchbacks. As an exclusive alternative to the classic saloon, the four-door coupe addresses all target groups that prefer a sophisticated design and a self-assured look in the compact segment as well.
BMW i is preparing to launch the next generation of solely electrically powered models. Three of the brand’s electric models are currently going through a key phase of their series development process at the BMW Group’s winter test centre in Arjeplog, Sweden. Together with the BMW iX3 already due to go on sale next year, the BMW i4 and the BMW iNEXT, being brought to market in 2021, are also completing an intensive test programme. Within the framework of comprehensive vehicle testing, their drive and suspension components are being put to the test under extreme weather and road conditions. The testing area situated at the edge of the Arctic Circle provides the ideal requirements for this purpose. On the icy surfaces of frozen lakes, on snow and in the bitter cold, the electric motors, the high-voltage batteries and the power electronics of BMW eDrive technology as well as the suspension control systems are demonstrating their high level of performance and reliability.
The latest chapter of the BMW Group electrification strategy will be heralded by a Sports Activity Vehicle. Starting next year, the BMW iX3 will already feature the fifth generation of BMW eDrive technology for the first time. An exceptionally powerful electric motor and a high-voltage storage unit featuring state-of-the-art battery cell technology facilitate purely electric driving pleasure in a new dimension. With a range of over 400 kilometres* and the possibility to use DC charging stations with a capacity of 150 kW to charge its battery, the first all-electric SAV is ideally suitable for day-to-day use and long-distance travel. The BMW iX3 will be the first model produced for the entire global market by the BMW Brilliance Automotive Joint Venture at the Chinese production location in Shenyang.
The BMW i4 delivers locally emission-free driving pleasure combined with outstanding sportiness. The four-door coupe positioned in the premium midrange segment combines a dynamic design with inspiring performance and a high level of ride comfort. Fifth-generation BMW eDrive technology featured by the BMW i4 facilitates a range of over 600 kilometres*. Moreover, the electric motor’s spontaneous power development can be utilised above all to achieve a dynamic driving experience. The BMW i4 sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in a mere 4 seconds and reaches a top speed of over 200 km/h. The BMW i4 will be produced at the BMW Munich plant starting 2021.
With the proportions and dimensions of a luxury Sports Activity Vehicle, a fifth-generation electric drive unit and systems for highly automated driving, the BMW iNEXT embodies the future of driving pleasure in a particularly comprehensive way. As the BMW Group’s future modular construction system, it combines the latest innovations in the areas of design, automated driving, connectivity, electrification and services (D+ACES) defined by the NUMBER ONE > NEXT corporate strategy. BMW eDrive ensures a range exceeding 600 kilometres*. Furthermore, the car is equipped with the latest connectivity features and designed for Level 3 automated driving. The BMW Group’s new technology flagship will be produced at the BMW Dingolfing plant as from 2021.
It doesn’t seem five minutes since I went on the launch drive for the then new F30 (sixth generation) 3 Series and yet here I am, freshly returned from driving the seventh generation G20.
Looking back at my notes from the F30 drive, I see I was somewhat disappointed. And I was not alone. The car seemed a bit disconnected and lacking the driver dynamic we so associate with BMWs until pushed. The MSport version was better but still not quite there on feel.
In fairness, BMW have oscillated between dynamic, feelsome 3 Series cars best aimed at the enthusiast and somewhat more placid iterations which will suit the volume buying general public. It is a hard act to balance the competing needs, and what I see as a delight to drive others may find too nervous or edgy. And vice versa.
Hopping out of my daily drive (a fifth generation E90 320d) into the G20 330i MSport was like changing from of my favourite shirts to another. Instantly comfortable and at home, even though the dashboard has gone all digital and looks almost alien. Except, the fuel, speed, revs and temp left to right layout is still there (not present in the E90 sadly) dating back to the 1936 328. I’m not sure yet whether I like it, but I don’t dislike it.
I recently drove a 440i F33 (essentially sixth generation 3 Series with a different name) convertible and whilst that was familiar enough, it drove like the rest of the F3x range, only perhaps more so being a convertible. Remote and wafty.
The boot is huge, although the side mesh pockets may be annoying as the mesh can not be taken down as far as I can see. And there does not appear to be a way to pop the floor mat up and hide things underneath, such as umbrellas, shopping bags etc. Pity.
The rear seat has plenty of leg room, as it should with the inevitable stretch of wheelbase. Even with the sunroof the headroom in the back was just enough for my overly long body thanks to the roof being sculptured behind the sun roof cassette. The rear passengers can now control their own air con etc settings. Neat.
But back to the driving seat where the buttons around the iDrive controller seem to keep growing, adding the electric park brake and hill hold controls plus the Start/Stop button off the dash. But this time it seems thought out and intentional. The cover in front of the gear selector looks better too, moving out of the way at a touch to reveal two generous cup holders (there are bottle holders in the door pockets), a 12 volt power socket (used to be a cigarette lighter socket) and a USB socket with a non slip platform which doubles a wireless phone charger if your phone does this.
The trio of buttons for the safety systems now have a proper place and the pull down lidded cubby to the right of the steering column returns. Yeh!
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
BMW consistently continues to pursue the brand’s current model offensive whilst developing an innovative vehicle concept for the premium compact segment. During the annual results press conference, BMW AG CEO Harald Krüger will announce the presentation of the first BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe. With the sporty and elegant four-door coupe, the premium automobile manufacturer is adding to its range in the compact segment a particularly designoriented model for modern, urban target groups. The concept of a four-door coupe, already successful in higher vehicle classes, will in future combine a dynamic charisma and an expressive design with a high degree of everyday suitability also in the premium compact segment. The first BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe will make its word debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2019, with the worldwide market launch beginning in the spring of 2020.
Well, I think its official - Melbourne is in drought. A quick Google search confirms what we all knew, that we haven’t had any decent rainfall for over 3 months.
If the realisation of the big dry hadn’t already hit home, it certainly did at the picturesque Albert Park race track, for the running of the 2019 Rolex Formula 1 Grand Prix.
I, like many hopefuls, was luckily enough to have one of my cars chosen to represent the BMWDCM in our display at the Grand Prix Circuit. The number of clubs represented this year was reduced from previous years but there were still hundreds of cars on show, with Marques and models from all over the world, suiting all manner of different tastes.
We were positioned on the grounds of the Albert Park golf course. If it wasn’t for the pristine putting greens sprinkled around the site (all thoroughly fenced off to avoid damage to the perfect green grass by the throng of Grand Prix spectators) you wouldn’t have guessed that we were parked on one of the fairways. The distinct lack of moisture was painfully apparent, with dead grass and fine dust our nemesis for the four day event.
Of course, we weren’t the only car people battling with the issue of dust. Spare a thought for the new car salespeople, who had their work cut out for them, constantly dusting of the fine new (and very expensive, mostly) beauties on show, including McLaren, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Porsche. Personally, my heart skipped a beat at the Aston Martin stand where I renewed my love affair with a DBS Superleggera, resplendent in Gun Metal Grey. Luckily for me, and my bank balance, the Minister for War and Finance (AKA “the wife”) said no.
Undeterred, the event was a huge success with massive crowds attending on all days, even Thursday and Friday, which last year was much quieter. Media reports have quoted the event attracted its highest attendance figures since 2005.
Even people who don’t have an interest in cars could enjoy the experience that an F1 event has to offer, with so much to see and do, with massive choices of food and beverage vendors, (although HEINEKEN was the drink of choice, being one of F1’s major sponsors). Music and other entertainment was constantly on offer, and who couldn’t help but be in awe of the F/A-18 Fighter Jet as it roared overhead.
Our Club had 20 road cars lined up in history order with informative signs for all to read and delight the masses. My White E34 M5 was strategically placed next to its Great-Grandson, a new F90 M5 Competition Pack, also in crisp White. I had a lot of people speak to me, many saying the same thing – that they once owned an E34, and they all said that they would have their old car back in a heartbeat, such is the love and adoration of this (now 30 year old) model.
But, there was a race that had to be run and won. I, like most others I am sure, was hoping for great things from Daniel Riccardo, in this new season with a new team. But, his race start was less than ideal, with one of the few bits of green grass causing big problems only seconds into the race. The guy really could do with a bit of luck, something that seems to constantly elude him. I am certain that race officials will need to do something about that now infamous tuft of grass that surely cost him dearly.
Although the race was relatively uneventful and Valterie Bottas drove to what seemed like an effortless victory, it capped off yet another great weekend, and a fantastic event by our BMWDCM organisers.
Thanks must go, yet again, to Lawrence, Jo, Graeme, and anyone else I have neglected to mention, for organising such a wonderful event. I had a great time, and look forward enthusiastically to the next one.
Steve Garth | Member #40BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
In case you missed it, the Australian F1 grand Prix was on again last weekend.
Characterised by traffic snarls due to blocked roads surrounding Albert Park circuit and seas of the Ferrari faithful (ok not only Ferrari, but they stand out with their oversized flags), this yearly spectacle also tantalises with the sounds of exotic machinery howling away beyond the Albert Park treeline.
As you can tell, it was my first time attending.
I was given the opportunity thanks to the club display organised by the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne. Having the car onsite to store a picnic hamper and some camping chairs prompted a family outing to the F1 on Saturday. My car mad five year old insisted on watching each race as it came on, but the downtime in between races prompted us to walk around Albert Park and see what the GP has on offer.
Having watched the Formula 4, Supercars and the Carrera Cup, it was time for the Formula 1 practice session.
The anticipation was overwhelming. Sure, the cars don’t sound like they used to, the echoing high pitched wail of a redlining 8 cylinder screamer replaced with a more subdued and almost dignified bellow and whistle from a turbocharged mill.
Having returned to our vantage point at the entry of turn 9, I was awestruck by the sheer speed of entry, massive braking and effortless turn in these technological marvels exhibited. Sure I’ve watched F1 on TV previously, but that doesn’t do justice to actually experiencing them in person. What’s more, this was only a practice session. I wanted more.
Come race day Sunday, we got in nice and early. Walking past the stares on envious fans waiting for the gates to open, we set up our viewing spot on the hill between turns 9 and 10. The record breaking crowds of the previous day were a distant memory, as Albert Park was just waking up.
Suddenly, the influx of fans, indicating the gates were open, arrived in droves, looking to score that perfect spot. Looks like our hill was a poorly kept secret, as it was the first to fill up.
The racing action started early, meaning we stayed in our spot for the entire day, only leaving to grab a bite to eat and an occasional cheeky Heineken.
The fans kept pouring in, and it slowly became apparent that our spot was the new temporary residence of the Dutch cheer squad, resplendent in orange, matching nicely with their sunburnt arms and face, cheering on young Max.
First was the classic racecar parade lap, book ended by a seemingly frustrated ex Group C Porsche, with the demonstration lap speed being just above idle speed, and a plucky little Fiat 500 racer practically at race pace.
Following outstanding close racing sessions by the Australian GT, Carrera Cup, Supercars and Formula 4, it was time for the main event.
Heralded by flying demonstrations by a very skilled and somewhat unhinged pilot in a F17 jet, the pre-race fanfare was the perfect excuse to grab some lunch and a refreshing beverage (or two). We worked our way back through the crowd to our viewing spot, fending off envious stares at our plates of heaped Brazilian barbecue.
Just in time, the F1s were out on their parade lap, darting nervously to warm their tyres for clean getaway when the flag finally drops.
So this was it; the hype and fanfare of the weekend leading up this very moment.
The stage was set, and the cars were off. Almost immediately there was a collective gasp and sigh as the crowd favourite Danny Ricciardo ripped off pieces of his car in an overly enthusiastic start. He went off to retire early, much to the disappointment of local fans.
However, we had a new crowd favourite; Max Verstappen, who had worked his way up to third spot. The atmosphere was intoxicating, this was real racing fan action, something you’d unlikely find in the ultra-exclusive lounges and cocktail parties overlooking the main straight.
We had enjoyed every minute.
We had shared snacks and yarns with our neighbours, celebrated with the Dutch cheer squad and experienced the emotional roller coaster that is a Formula 1 Grand Prix race.
This level of excitement can only be experienced in the thick of the action, surrounded by passionate F1 fans, enjoying the best weather Melbourne had on offer. In fact, I’d say we were having more fun than some of the drivers.
Big thanks to Jo, Graeme and Lawrence, together with everyone who helped organised and make this weekend possible.
When the circus comes to town again next year, you can bet I’ll be there.
Igor Kay | Member #151
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
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The BMW Group operates a global sales and licensing business for its combustion engines, electric batteries and vehicle platforms as part of its dealings with clients inside and outside the car industry.
Both the development and production of engines belong to the core competencies of BMW Group and have characterized the German company since it was founded in 1916.
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