Zagame’s facility for the repair of exotic and prestige cars is astonishing. It’s located in the enormous, former “The Age”, building near the airport. BMW Drivers Club Melbourne and clubMINI Victoria joined for a tour of the facility on 17 February, attended by about 40 people. In a hall running the length of the building is a state-of-the-art repair facility with multiple sealed paint cubicles, sealed restoration rooms, panel preparation area and a large assembly/disassembly area. Behind that is an enormous parts warehouse for Audi and other brands, and behind that again is storage for 500 cars undercover where predelivery detailing can be performed. We were also treated to a preview of their upstairs repair area for supercars, with yet more sealed repair and paint cubicles and two bays with simulated daylight to ensure precise colour matching. Zagame have recently added BMW to their approved repairer appointments.
After the tour, most of those present headed off on a convoy drive to Mitchelton winery near Seymour. We travelled via the enjoyable Wallan-Romsey road then had a brief stop in historic Lancefield. Our route then took us via Pyalong to Seymour, through part of the volcanic countryside of the area with stark, rocky outcrops on hilltops and ridges. The roads offered excellent scenery and good cruising, with some twistier sections for entertainment.
To call Mitchelton a winery is to greatly undersell it. The complex is on the banks of the Goulburn River and has a large cellar building, an administration complex, a two storey hotel, a café and the restaurant where we had a good, if overly slow, lunch. And it has its own 3-storey tower too, offering outstanding views of the river, the surrounding vineyard and the distant hills. Under the tower is a large gallery that was empty of people but full of large, expensive aboriginal artworks. Everyone seemed to enjoy the good company over lunch and most of us had a bit of a look around the complex before leaving. One couple even stayed in the hotel to make a relaxed long weekend of the trip. A simple drive home down the Hume wrapped up a very interesting and enjoyable day.
Peter Williams | Member #36BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
On Saturday we got up really early to go to Sandown. We left at about 7 o'clock. When we got there we said hi to all the boys and crida gave me a bump on my shoulder. I said hi to belly and Jo I said hi to Rachael and had a look at Rachael‘s E36 because I have one of them that dad and I are building together.
Everyone had a good look at dads knew paint job on his E30.
When Dad started driving he knew there was something wrong but he knew straight away what it was.
He started taking out the plugs out and seeing what ones were black, one of them was very black and we figured out it was the coil.
Later on in the day I had a parade lap in Rachael’s car Witch was really fun but there was a little green mini up front that was holding us all up. I could tell Rachael was a very good driver.
I hope Blake doesn’t mind but I snuck in and grabbed a few biscuits and Jo made me a beautiful egg and bacon roll and at that point I was really hungry.
Dad’s best time was 1 minute and 26 seconds and he reckons he could still pick up another second. Dad was so happy that he figured out what the problem was with the plugs and the coils and that the car didn’t break down. Everyone did grate and had great fun especially me.
Thankyou Belly, Jo and Rachael.
Royce Lyne | 11 years oldBMW Drivers Club Melbourne
It is the remarkable history, timelessly fascinating charm as well as products with unique and groundbreaking features that characterise the premium brand MINI. Even today, 60 years after introducing its very first model, the British car manufacturer continues to raise the bar in terms of driving fun, striking design and individuality. Across multiple generations the unrivaled go-cart feeling and space-optimizing interior continues to attract an ever-growing fanbase. In this, the year of its landmark anniversary, MINI reflects on six decades of inspiration and presents 50 design pieces in the characteristic style of the iconic brand.
Heritage meets zeitgeist – the textiles.
Inspired by MINI’s racing past, the MINI 60 Years Lifestyle Collection offers a brand new clothing range for women, men and children. The MINI Stripe T-Shirt features the iconic colour of British Green for women and Black for men. The T-Shirts’ linear stripes, which are broken up by offset edges, are featured in the trend colour Coral (introduced in the MINI Lifestyle Collection 2018-2020) as well as a vibrant Lemon hue. With the stylised classic Minis featured on the MINI Car Print T-Shirts and a laurel wreath motif on the MINI Vintage Logo T-Shirt (also available for kids), the Collection offers authentic symbols of driving fun – be it on the road or race track.
Accessories – from perfectly cool to absolutely covetable.
The MINI Colour Block Ice Tea Jug and the MINI Colour Block Ice Tea Mugs serve cool refreshments during the sultry summer season. The Jug as well as the Mugs are available in three colours: Black, Coral and Green. The MINI Beach Tennis Set, featuring bright coral balls, offers beachgoers of all ages fun in the sun. Passion across the generations: that’s what MINI and football have in common and that is the feeling the MINI Football drives home in style.
60 years on the road – the luggage.
The duffle bag in itself represents an absolute classic, even more so in form of the MINI Striped Duffle Bag. The contrasting pattern, which also makes an appearance on the MINI Striped Shopper and the trendy MINI Striped Belt Bag, highlights the bag’s retro appeal. Trolleys and other accessories perfectly round off the travel pieces in the new Collection.
60 years of play – the kids’ products.
Optimising space has long been one of the most striking characteristics of the MINI brand. The MINI Striped Toybox provides the children’s room with ample storage space for the little ones’ favourite games. In addition, a true toy legend gets the MINI 60 Years treatment: the MINI Striped Yo-Yo. As with the Toy Box and many other accessories of the line, it features the recognisable stripes, in this case concentrically merging into a circle. One of the Collection’s undisputed highlights is the MINI Bulldog 2.0. The cuddly canine is a trusty companion on big and small adventures. The MINI Striped Baby Gift Set, including five individually patterned pairs of socks and a striped hat, makes for a very special gift for new parents.
On Friday, 8 February 2019 BMW Drivers Club Melbourne were invited to attend the Victorian CAMS State Awards Dinner to receive our recognition certificate for becoming an Affiliated Club.
Graeme, Jo, Lawrence and Shaaron all dressed up for the evening, with Graeme accepting the certificate on the club's behalf.
"Four of us attended the night and we were lucky enough to be sitting on a table with multiple winners and what a great bunch they were.
After everyone was called to be seated, the award ceremony started quickly, and we were amongst some very worthy recipients. With drivers of all ages, to officials and clubs, all being presented with some type of award throughout the evening." - Jo Mawson
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913 Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695G BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International Council CAMS Affiliated Motorsport Club
The abbreviation GP in connection with MINI regularly sparks the interest of racing enthusiasts who are fans of the British premium brand. And since the name of Name John Cooper Works is always mentioned in the same breath, the immediate effect is a sense of excitement at the imminent prospect of a very special model. And this is now justified: next year the new MINI John Cooper Works GP will be taking roads all over the world by storm – along with the hearts and minds of a particularly performance-oriented target group. The new edition of the top athlete in the model range is powered by a 4-cylinder engine with an output of more than 220 kW/300 hp and featuring MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology, making it by far the fastest and most powerful MINI ever to be approved for use on the road. Its market launch will call for fast decisions, too: the new MINI John Cooper Works GP is to be produced in a limited edition of just 3 000.
Anyone who gets the chance to take a seat in one of these exclusive, extremely athletic cars can look forward to pure driving fun and uncompromising race feeling. This was the promise offered at the Frankfurt Motor Show back in September 2017 when the MINI John Cooper Works GP Concept with its powerfully emotional look was presented for the first time. Large front and rear aprons, a striking roof spoiler and the extensive use of lightweight materials left no doubt as to the sporty ambitions of the study.
Serial production development for the new MINI John Cooper Works GP is now entering its crucial phase – namely on the race track, where whole-vehicle testing is to be carried out in the course of the next few months. Drawing on tradition-steeped John Cooper Works expertise, the suspension developed specifically for this model will be precisely adapted to the exceptionally high output of the new engine. Rigorously defined aerodynamic properties and an optimised weight go together with the relevant drive and suspension technology to create an optimum all-in package for thrilling performance characteristics.
Focused application of motor racing technology and expertise lays the foundation for new records in the fight against the clock. The benchmark here is the top athlete of the last MINI generation. The Nürburgring-Nordschleife lap time achieved by the predecessor model of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP was 8:23 minutes– faster than many a sports car from the higher segments. In fact, MINI has quite a tradition of leaving supposedly superior competitors behind it. In the hands of Formula 1 designer John Cooper, the classic Mini itself matured to become a small but high-speed racing machine that regularly beat the big players at their own game – not least with its three outright victories at the Monte Carlo Rally.
The new MINI John Cooper Works GP is based on the principle of tapping into the sporting genes of the MINI to create a superior racing machine – in fact it embodies this notion in its most extreme form. Its predecessor was produced in a limited edition of 2 000 vehicles, as was the MINI Cooper S with John Cooper Works GP Kit which came out back in 2006. Both have since become much-coveted collector’s items. And the new model is already being eagerly anticipated by fans of the MINI and John Cooper Works brands.
“The fastest MINI in our brand history – which now goes back 60 years – is an expression of pure racing passion,” says Thomas Giuliani, Vice President Product and Launch Management. “We are well aware of the enormous fascination exercised by the MINI John Cooper Works GP, not just from the euphoric reactions to the concept vehicle but also from past experience: after all, every one of its predecessors was completely sold out even before the official market launch.”
New six-cylinder in-line engine with superlative performance. The most powerful straight-six petrol engine ever to see action in a BMW M car provides the muscle for stunning performance attributes. The newly developed high-revving unit with M TwinPower Turbo technology generates maximum output of 353 kW/480 hp from its 3.0-litre displacement, together with peak torque von 600 Nm (442 lb-ft). The version of the bi-turbo unit developed specially for the BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition raises the output figure by 22 kW/30 hp to 375 kW/510 hp.
Flawless distribution of power: M xDrive, Active M Differential. The new high-performance engine teams up with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic and uses the new M xDrive all-wheel-drive system, which made its debut in the BMW M5, to channel its power to the road. The M xDrive system has a rear-wheel bias and offers BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M owners two AWD driving modes. The centrally controlled interaction between M xDrive and the Active M Differential at the rear axle allows the all-wheel-drive system to split the engine’s power between the four wheels as required to deliver optimal traction, agility and directional stability. The BMW X3 M and BMW X4 M both sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.2 seconds, while their Competition variants hit 100 km/h (62 mph) from rest in just 4.1 seconds.
M-specific chassis technology provides sublime dynamics.
The combination of dynamism and precision for which BMW M cars are renowned is underpinned by model-specific body strengthening elements and sophisticated chassis technology tuned astutely to marshal the engine’s power. With three settings selectable at the touch of a button, the M-specific suspension’s electronically controlled dampers enable both excellent everyday comfort and extremely direct contact with the road, with low wheel and body movements. The bespoke kinematics and elastokinematics of the M-specific suspension – with its double-joint spring strut front axle and five-link rear axle – deliver precise wheel location and directional stability. Composed to also deliver precisely controllable on-limit handling, the chassis technology package rounds off with M-specific steering (including M Servotronic and variable ratio) and powerful M compound brakes. Among the other items on the standard specification list are 20-inch M light-alloy wheels.
Like the damper control systems and M xDrive modes, the engine and transmission characteristics and steering set-up can be adjusted at the touch of a button. The DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system allows controlled wheel slip in M Dynamic Mode and, needless to say, can also be switched off. Plus, the content shown in the optional Head-Up Display can be specified via the iDrive menu. The driver can store two overall set-up options – configured as desired from the above parameters – in the iDrive menu and select them as and when required using the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
Signature M design elements for the exterior and interior.
M-specific design features optimise the supply of cooling air for the BMW X3 M, BMW X4 M and Competition models, as well as their aerodynamics. Inside the cars, the electrically adjustable sports seats, Vernasca leather upholstery, M-specific cockpit, M leather steering wheel and M gearshift selector lever create a sporty and luxurious ambience.
The BMW X3 M Competition and BMW X4 M Competition bring further exclusive accents to the exterior, in the form of High-gloss Black for the BMW kidney grille surround, exterior mirror caps and M gills, and the rear spoiler of the Sports Activity Coupe. Their standard equipment also includes 21-inch M light-alloy wheels in polished Black and an M Sport exhaust system. The expressive aura of the interior, meanwhile, is enhanced by M Sport seats with extended Merino leather upholstery, model-specific door sill plates and a model nameplate on the centre console. Options for the Competition models include special bi-colour leather upholstery variants with Alcantara applications.
The optional M Carbon exterior package (expected to be available from August 2019), which features design elements in carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the front air intakes, the air blades in the front apron, the rear diffuser and the exterior mirror caps, adds further individual flourishes. On the BMW X4 M and BMW X4 M Competition, these elements are joined by a CFRP rear spoiler.
Among the items fitted as standard in the BMW X3 M, BMW X4 M and Competition models are LED headlights, the hi-fi speaker system and the ConnectedDrive navigation package including the Navigation system Professional. The options list for the BMW X3 and BMW X4 provides further scope for individualisation and includes cutting-edge driver assistance systems and the digital services from BMW Connected and BMW ConnectedDrive.
It was an early start for all of us going to the Torquay Motor Show. We saw some great cars turn up for the drive to Torquay Foreshore to be part of the annual display.
The event was organised by the Rotary Club and I must say they were very organised.
We had a great position and all our cars looked great with windscreen banners and number plate decal.
If you have never attended this event, I encourage you to come in future. This is not just a great car display, but a lovely part of the state and it was great to walk around and meet new people.
Judging went well with some amazing cars winning their classes. I would like to thank everyone involved in the organising of this event for such a wonderful job on the day.
Jo Mawson | Member #2BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
“Congratulations, Erik Johansson,” said BMW Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “He follows in the footsteps of our current works driver and former Junior, Joel Eriksson, as the second Swede to be accepted onto the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme. Erik came through our reshaped selection procedure against the other impressive candidates. I am particularly pleased that we managed to successfully stage a shoot-out like that in our race simulator. I would now like to welcome Erik to the BMW Motorsport family and look forward to seeing him on the track in the BMW M6 GT3 soon.”
As well as Johansson, who was introduced to endurance racing in 2016 in the BMW M235i Racing Cup, Benjamin Lessennes (BEL) and two current BMW Customer Racing drivers, Aaron Seton (AUS) and Ben Tuck (GBR), were given the opportunity to drive on a virtual racetrack. The quartet simulated practice sessions, qualifying and a long run. Supported by a team of BMW Motorsport engineers, the focus was on driver feedback and data analysis, as well as lap times. Each driver had several sessions in which to familiarise themselves with the simulator and the circuit. Johansson ultimately made the best impression and secured his place on the 2019 BMW Motorsport Junior Programme.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me. At the moment, I really don’t know what to say,” said Johansson, who, having won titles in single-seater racing series, made his first appearance on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER) as a BMW Customer Racing driver in a Securtal Sorg Rennsport BMW M235i Racing. It was there last year that he attracted attention with a number of impressive performances in a GT3 car. “I am really looking forward to driving the BMW M6 GT3 in the coming months, getting to know the other BMW works drivers, and being a part of the BMW Motorsport family.”
The first two days of the selection process saw 16 promising young drivers from all over the world stake their claim to a place on the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme. For the first time, these also included a number of candidates who had earned their opportunity through their performances with BMW Customer Racing teams. The jury consisted of Dirk Adorf (GER), long-term mentor of the BMW Motorsport Juniors, and Philipp Eng (AUT), himself a former BMW Motorsport Junior who made the step up to works driver, with both getting to know the participants in intense discussions.
“It was a great experience for me to be part of this selection process,” said Eng. “It was great fun getting to know the guys over the three days, and accompanying them through the shoot-out. Erik ultimately won because he is very quick, clever and mature for his age. That is very important for a successful racing driver.”
The Formula Medicine experts, under the guidance of Dr. Riccardo Ceccarelli, put the young drivers through a programme of physical and mental tests. The candidates’ appearances in front of the camera and on social networks were also evaluated. Adorf and Eng considered all these aspects when selecting the four candidates who were given the opportunity to prove themselves in the BMW Motorsport simulator on day three.
The simulator was developed by BMW Motorsport and designed from the beginning to be multi-functional. It can be used to simulate all BMW race cars. Work in the simulator plays a crucial role in both the development of the cars and in pre-race preparations. Shortly before the juniors’ shoot-out, the BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers used the simulator to prepare for the coming Formula E race in Mexico City (MEX). That meant the young drivers also used the realistic reproduction of the BMW iFE.18 cockpit for their drives.
“I think the package we put together for the candidates, consisting of various performance tests, individual discussions and, for the first time, the simulator drives, worked very well,” said Adorf. “I am particularly pleased that we had so many young BMW Customer Racing drivers – current as well as former –, three of whom made it into the top-four. Their extremely high standard is proof that our decision to bring the BMW Motorsport Junior Programme significantly closer to BMW Customer Racing was spot on. Congratulations to our winner, Erik Johansson, who proved to be the strongest candidate and impressed us with his speed and his professional approach.”
This season’s Italian GT Championship, in which Johansson will compete in the BMW M6 GT3, kicks off on 5th April at Monza (ITA).
Saturday, 8 February a group of BMWDCM members met at Lorbeks to start our drive to Geelong Motor Museum.
Before leaving, we all had a chance to check out all the exotic cars currently on sale at Lorbeks and chat with the staff. They were very excited to host us for the morning and gave us a warm send off with photos and videos of us all departing in our lovely shining BMWs.
It wasn’t long before we arrived at the Geelong Motoring Museum. We were all impressed with the collection of old and new cars on display. This is a small establishment which is run by volunteers, so if you are ever down that way, please pop in and have a look around.
Once we had finished looking through the museum, we all headed off to a local café for coffee and cake. We were lucky to have the café owners stayed open for our group.
Some members departed after afternoon tea, and others continued on to Torquay to stay overnight before the car display on Sunday at Torquay Motor Show.
Those who remained caught up for dinner at the Torquay pub. We had a really fun night, great food and a wonderful time to chat to new and old friends.
I have travelled to The Mountain lots of times over the years.
First, as a teenager, watching my heroes battling each other in different makes and classes of cars, in the Group C and then Group A days. That was the real Bathurst. You could go and buy a car, put in a cage and go racing. Real cars, anyone could buy one. Then came the V8 years, gone were the real cars, you had to be a factory backed team or very rich to go racing now and that lost its appeal for me.
When I got into racing my E30, it was like the old days of the Group A cars, they were a car anyone could build and go racing, so I did. I joined Improved Production and later started the E30 Racing Club so enthusiasts like me could race our cars at tracks our heroes did. Including at Bathurst!
I raced my E30 at Bathurst for a couple of years and it was a dream come true. To race there like Brocky and Jim that I had watched when I was young. It was a life-long dream achieved.
Then came the 24 Hour for a couple of years, followed by the 12 Hour we have now. Cars you can actually buy, different manufacturers, teams from all over the world, racing at Bathurst again!
My kids had been going up and camping on the Mountain for a few years like I did when I was their age, but life and work had prevented me from going. Last year, however, Jo and I decided to go and watch and support our friend and fellow DCM member Steve Richards and his SRM Team racing the M6 GT3. We decided that if we were going to go, we would do it in comfort and so went with a company that does packages. It was awesome! Whilst there in 2018 we met a lot of club members from clubs all over the country and thought it would be a great event to do as a club.
So, this year, with the new club up and running, we decided to make it an event and invite members to come with us. A few took up the offer and we had a fantastic time! The package we do includes accommodation, 4 days entry to the event, corporate parking right at the gate, the best corporate hospitality suite, on top of the pit building, air conditioned, all you can eat and drink all day…perfect. Also included is a dinner on Friday night with a special guest. This year we were very lucky to have the eventual winner of the 12 Hour, Matty Campbell, as our special guest. He is a lovely young guy and it was great to sit and chat with him and wish him well. We might not have wanted him to beat the BMW teams, but if a BMW didn’t win, it was good he did.
We all really enjoyed the whole weekend. It is the best race weekend to go and be a part of, the teams and drivers are great and very welcoming and accessible, the racing is fantastic and of course the company we shared the weekend with was great too. You won’t find a better event to go to, it is both social and a car lover’s dream and recommend it to everyone.
So, if you like the idea of coming next year keep an eye out for it to come onto the calendar for 2020.
Graeme Bell | Member #1
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Thursday morning, we set off early to do the 9-hour drive to Bathurst.
Getting there just after 3pm, we checked into the Bathurst Apartments, unpacked our bags and rested up until the others arrived. We then all went out for a lovely dinner at the local club.
Friday morning was exciting. Driving up to the track I had goose bumps, it is just an amazing sight. We were welcomed into the 12-hour club and were greeted with food and drinks, which basically continued none stop until Sunday after the race.
We went out exploring and bought some merchandise and then settled in to enjoy the racing thorough out the day.
On Friday night we were lucky to have dinner with young Matty Campbell, who if you didn’t watch the race, was the winner. He was a very lovely young man and I am sure will go places in motorsport.
Saturday and Sunday were amazing with us meeting so many drivers, being able to get their autographs and just stand and chat with them.
The race was one of the best races I have watched for a long while with about 6 different teams being very close to winning in the end. I loved every minute of it.
I will be going back again next year and if you haven’t been before, I highly recommend you look into coming with the club next year.
Through the cold grey half light that exists just before dawn the criss-cross strakes of 40 or so pairs of headlamps made a dazzling pattern which mixed with the thunderous roar of the V8 powered cars and the slightly shriller tones of the rest to form an exciting assault on the senses as the field roared over the start/finish line for 12 hours of racing. Seen from above on the outdoor balcony of the 12 Hour Club atop the pit complex it was impossible to understand how any of the drivers could see where they were going with so much dazzle and glare. But apparently driving in the dark “is the same as driving in the day but with less daylight”!
Five in the morning may seem an unsociable hour to be at such an event but in reality everyone seemed to be very sociable and relaxed – surprisingly so down in the team garages and pits where, even as the tensions rose with last minute preparations, it was possible to grab a quick word here and there.
“Our team” (2 BMW M6 GT3) were pinning their hopes on opportunistic safety cars and not letting the more fuel efficient Porsche cars get a pit stop ahead. Unlike the teams we had the luxury of a superb breakfast with plenty of food and drink all day served in air conditioned comfort with large TV screens and a second screen of full timing data to keep us informed, with the option to stand on the balcony or watch from almost anywhere we preferred.
As the temperatures rose and the drivers understandably wilted we remained comfortable and thoroughly entertained, using the timing data to play team strategist during the tension building closing 3 hours as our prospective fortunes waxed and waned.
A nail biter of a last hour saw a well deserved victory for the wrong team, Porsche – leaving the other 5 teams to contemplate their long list of reasons why they should have won!
If you are going to spend 12 hours doing something, try to do it in style and comfort – as we did.
Lawrence Glynn | Member #3BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
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