This can be seen instantly in the car’s design: a purist yet highly emotional exterior and interior visualise the GP genes more radically than ever before. The MINI John Cooper Works GP follows on from the likewise limited-edition John Cooper Works GP small series of 2013 and 2006.
The flat front section with its wide track, large front apron, flared wheel arches and a rear wing visible even from the front instantly conveys uncompromising dynamic performance. Classic MINI icons such as the elliptical headlights and the hexagonal radiator grille ensure a clear-cut sense of identity and high recognition value. At the same time, characteristic John Cooper Works elements such as the hood scoop in the bonnet and the hexagonal honeycomb grille with GP logo in the radiator grille underscore the sporty perception of the front.
The side view of the MINI John Cooper Works GP reveals the sportiest MINI silhouette to date. The interplay between the narrowing window area and the rising shoulder line traces a wedge shape at the side that gives the impression of acceleration even when the car is stationary. Below this, voluminous surfaces form a powerful vehicle corpus. The large front apron and large roof spoiler give the side view maximum sporty flair as well as ensuring aerodynamic optimum performance. The exterior paint finish Racing Grey metallic alternates between light grey and blue-violet, creating a powerful sense of depth, while the roof and mirror caps are finished in Melting Silver. All typical chrome elements at the front, side and rear such as MINI logos, door handles, fuel filler cap, side scuttle and headlight surrounds are finished in high-gloss black in this small-scale series.
Deliberate MINImalism in terms of form and colour focuses on technology, further emphasised by coloured accentuations in high-gloss Chili Red and matt Rosso metallic. The use of lightweight materials such as carbon fibre optimises the power-to-weight ratio, while the highly optimised axle load distribution promises the hallmark MINI go-kart feeling. The absolute highlight in the side view are the attached wheel arch covers – so-called spats – which are made of carbon fibre. Elaborately hand-crafted recycled carbon fleece from the Landshut plant is used here. For the first time, the carbon fibre fabric is directly visible and showcased by means of black hexagon stitching. Meanwhile the numbering in the front spat shows the small-series production number. The 18” lightweight forged wheels in bi-colour design interpret the striking four-spoke theme of the MINI John Cooper Works GP in filigree style. It is the lightest 18” forged wheel ever to feature in the MINI, making a significant contribution to weight reduction.
The rear section echoes the distinctive front and side design. The expressive roof spoiler is not only a statement in sporty styling: its shape also ensures optimum downforce and fits in perfectly with the geometry. The same goes for the air diffusers and air ducting surfaces in the apron. Prominently placed at the centre of the lower rear area, the classic double tailpipe embodies the John Cooper Works DNA. The bright stainless steel double tailpipes are manufactured with the largest possible diameter and protrude powerfully and puristically from the diffuser.
The interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP combines purist sporty flair with powerful colour accentuations. The dark colour and material concept creates a reduced, sporty basic mood, with high-quality, deliberately coloured details at selected points. In the driver area, the new free-standing digital instrument cluster on the steering column puts the relevant information in the driver's field of vision as required by the situation at hand.
The latest production techniques such as 3D printing round off the special interior experience. A striking highlight from the driver's perspective are the aluminium shift paddles on the sports steering wheel – manufactured using 3D printing. They echo the hexagonal theme from the exterior in the form of filigree breakthroughs. The shift paddles are a prominent element in the interior of the MINI John Cooper Works GP in terms of both appearance and new improved haptics and are featured in this form for the first time in a MINI. Another new element is the 3D-printed steering wheel clasp and the individual decorative trim strip in the passenger area. Each decorative trim strip is unique and bears the vehicle’s limited-edition production number. Their GP-specific hexagonal structure echoes the surface structure of the shift paddles. In this way, MINI demonstrates a whole new dimension of how 3D printing can be integrated in the serial production process. The use of additive processes such as 3D printing not only raises customisation to a new level, it also enables entirely new forms of design style that were not previously possible using conventional tools.
The MINI John Cooper Works GP does not have a rear seat, as was the case in the predecessor models, with preference instead being given to achieving the lowest possible overall weight. The clear and tidy surfaces of the rear compartment also reflect a reduction to the essentials. The large “GP” lettering in the rear panel is achieved by the use of different grains and gives the interior a striking, novel accentuation. Behind the front seats, a red cross-brace generates a racing atmosphere.
Over more than 100 years of history at the BMW Group, there have been many events that have presented the business with exceptional challenges – much like the current situation. Lots of highs and some lows have been encountered on the pathway from the modest aero-engine factory to the status of leading premium manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Celebrating the occasion of its 100th Annual General Meeting, the BMW Group looks back to key moments in the development of the company and remembers how the associated difficulties were overcome.
Every crisis – and this also applies to the present – entails an opportunity to emerge with renewed strength. What powers are necessary to achieve this? A company with innovative strength that embraces change and is geared to the future. A company producing pioneering products with the courage to develop unique solutions and the indomitable will to compete with the best. Then you also need a highly motivated workforce that is always willing to go the extra mile. These capacities, abilities and skills have always empowered the company to overcome setbacks, surmount crises and master new challenges. The prism of history and key corporate indicators from more than 100 years show how crisis situations have repeatedly provided the launchpad for developing renewed strength and continuing the success story of the BMW Group.
During the First World War, the fledgling company was only manufacturing one product: the BMW Illa aeroengine. The 6-cylinder inline engine had the reputation of being the best aero-engine of its era. Its design principle was now transferred to the successor model – and the superiority of the technology was proven with a World Record. On 17 June 1919, an aircraft powered by the BMW IV aeroengine took a pilot to an altitude of 9 760 metres for the very first time. Never before had an aircraft flown so high. But after the end of the war, production of aero-engines was prohibited in Germany. New ideas had to be generated so that the expertise in building engines could continue to be applied productively. Consequently, BMW expanded its product range. Power units were marketed as the “Bayern-Motor” or “Bavaria Engine”, which in common with the aero-engines featured reliable and fuel-efficient operation. They were mounted primarily in boats, trucks and buses.
Reliability was also the chief hallmark of the “Bayern-Kleinmotor” (Bavaria Small Engine). The first Boxer engine from BMW was only supplied to other manufacturers. The main purchaser was Nuremberg-based company Victoria, which very successfully mounted the engine in its motorcycles. But when Victoria moved over to using an engine the company had developed in-house, BMW’s sales collapsed. In this situation, the company management made the daring move of taking a big leap forward. Chief Designer Max Friz was commissioned to develop a complete motorcycle. The BMW R 32 was presented at the German Motor Show in 1923. While other manufacturers were still focused on the geometry of bicycles, Friz had consistently designed the BMW R 32 around the engine. For the first time, a twin Boxer engine was mounted in the model with the cylinders arranged transverse to the direction of motion. When motorcycle manufacture started up again, BMW was transformed from an engine supplier into a vehicle manufacturer.
After the end of the war in 1945, BMW lost its production site in Eisenach since it was located in the Soviet occupation zone, and with loss of the location went the know-how necessary for automobile manufacture. At the same time, work began on dismantling the facilities in Munich, parts of which had been destroyed. Nevertheless, a start was made on a modest beginning with emergency production of pots and pans, fittings, agricultural implements and a handful of bicycles with lightweight alloy frames. Then the military authorities gave the green light to restart production of motor vehicles and the BMW R 24 was the first post-war motorcycle to be produced in Munich in 1948. The single-cylinder engine received an enthusiastic reception, becoming a symbol of entrepreneurial courage and signalling the launch of a new era of individual mobility. More than 12 000 machines were sold and the successor model BMW R 25 achieved almost double the number of motorcycles. And just one year later, another model powered by a Boxer engine followed in the form of the BMW R 51/2.
By 1954, the annual production at the Munich plant had risen to 30 000 motorcycles. But soon after that the market underwent a change. The motorcycle lost out in terms of image and prestige to the automobile. Within the space of just three years, the sales figures came down to 5 400 BMW motorcycles. Nevertheless, the company steadfastly continued with motorcycle production. Traditional business from government agencies continued to be a mainstay of the business in times of crisis. BMW motorcycles were especially successful with the police service because of their reliability and smooth-running characteristics – not only in Germany but also in many other countries. Equipping police patrols often paved the way for entry into new markets. Persistence ended up paying off. New models and the relocation of BMW Motorrad production to Berlin in 1969 presaged a new chapter of success. The newly developed /5 Series was consistently designed as a sports racing machine and lent pioneering momentum to the motorcycle sector. As a sports and leisure machine, the motorcycle experienced a comeback and BMW was ideally positioned with its new models to emerge stronger from the motorcycle crisis.
At the end of the 1950s, BMW was on the edge of financial collapse. Sales problems in the automobile and motorcycle business had put the company in serious difficulties. At the Annual General Meeting in December 1959, the sale of the company to Daimler Benz AG appeared to be already a foregone conclusion. However, it failed with a last-minute reprieve as a result of committed small shareholders putting up spirited resistance to the restructuring plan that was part of the takeover. The shareholders’ principal criticism was that the BMW brand and its workforce had been valued much too low in the restructuring concept. BMW remained independent but the basis for economic recovery was only laid a year later with a new restructuring plan developed under the aegis of major shareholder Herbert Quandt. His plan was based on the independence of BMW AG, new structures and new models. The new BMW 700 small car steered the company back on the road to success and the real breakthrough ultimately came with the BMW 1500, the first model in the “New Class”.
Society’s attitude to the automobile underwent a change after the oil crisis in 1973 with its speed limit of 100 km/h and the car ban on Sundays. Big cars with large engines fell out of favour along with powerful sports cars. However, the management at BMW set about getting through the lean period and coming out stronger at the other end. Pioneering investments highlighted the countercyclical strategy. In Munich, the new Group Headquarters building known as the “Four-Cylinder” and the BMW Museum were opened. And in Dingolfing a new production plant started up operations in November 1973. The vehicle development engineers responded quickly and presented the BMW 1502 and the BMW 518 as two fuel-efficient entry-level models in 1974. When the oil crisis petered out in spring of 1975, demand started to take off again. BMW was in an ideal position for the upturn with new models, expanded production capacities and optimised sales structures. This was already confirmed during the first quarter of 1975. BMW had smashed the previous record from 1973 by around 50 percent with 78 000 new vehicles registered. Two models posted particularly good sales: the BMW 1502 and the BMW 518.
During the 1970s and 1980s, BMW developed into one of the fastest-growing automobile manufacturers in the world with a broadly-based model range and a steadily increasing number of employees in the workforce. The acquisition of British automotive manufacturer Rover Group on 31 January 1994 was intended to significantly expand the range of automobiles on offer. However, the development opportunities were overestimated when the purchase was made. The company underwent restructuring to form the BMW Group and after six years the British subsidiary was sold. Only the MINI brand remained with the BMW Group. The modern MINI presented in 2001 generated a revolution in the small-car segment – emulating the launch of its classic predecessor. The new MINI embarked on an extraordinary success story with premium quality and modern safety, combined with driving fun and individual style. Furthermore, the BMW Group succeeded in securing the name rights for the Rolls-Royce marque. Since 2003, the BMW Group has therefore been present in the blue-riband luxury class. A new plant had previously been built for production of the new Rolls-Royce Phantom at Goodwood in the United Kingdom.
From autumn 2008, a global crisis in the financial markets rocked not only the banking sector but also numerous other sectors. As a consequence of this, automobile sales in the most important markets underwent a significant fall. Government stimulus packages were initiated in order to re-launch demand and most importantly to support the purchase of particularly efficient models. While huge efforts were made worldwide to secure the future of the automobile business, the BMW Group ran a covert project which was to completely redefine the concept of individual mobility. With this aim in mind, the BMW Group had already launched project i in autumn 2017. The objective was to develop an all-electric automobile for use in metropolitan urban areas and in parallel to design a complete ecosystem for local zero-emission driving. The BMW i3 was presented in autumn 2013 – and this was accompanied by a host of concepts, packages and services for innovative materials, an environmentally benign production process and a charging infrastructure which transformed electromobility into an experience full of comfort and marked by driving fun.
The small car only needs a modest footprint to park, it buzzes quietly along the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and in the permanently neon-soaked hotel and casino landscape it only needs precisely the amount of electricity that is necessary for the driving fun that is so typical of the marque.
This is a city with a magic glow where replicas of the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Egyptian pyramids and Venetian canals form backdrops for spectacular hotel and casino buildings. Elvis doubles welcome you on every street corner, and Las Vegas itself can easily take on an otherworldly aspect owing to its location in the middle of the Nevada Desert. The fact is that the imitations of famous sights on Las Vegas Boulevard – familiar to everybody simply as the “Strip” – attract more tourists every year than each of the originals. And there have always been illusionists in the show arenas like David Copperfield, Siegfried & Roy or Hans Klok, who hold a magic attraction for public audiences. In the casino and entertainment metropolis, everything is larger than life and more spectacular than anywhere else. This also applies in the street. Where super-long stretch limousines, exclusive sports cars and pick-ups with muscular engines meld into everyday experiences, only a truly awesome automobile is capable of generating the wow factor. For example, an all-electric small car from the United Kingdom. And it’s a fact: In Las Vegas, the new MINI Cooper SE (combined fuel consumption: 0.0 l/100 km; combined electricity consumption: 16.8 – 14.8 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 0 g/km) is a truly exotic machine with high emotional appeal.
Anybody buzzing down the “Strip” in the MINI Electric while generating zero local emissions turns heads in astonishment and gets lots of thumbs-ups. The city’s most famous boulevard is almost seven kilometres long and charts its course from north to south. Lines of hotels with sonorous names like “Venetian”, “Mirage”, “Flamingo”, “Caesars Palace”, “Bellagio”, “MGM Grand”, “New York, New York” or “Luxor” lead the way to the equally famous welcome sign with the immortal words “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” to offer yet another photo opportunity. When cruising down the “Strip”, the fabulous MINI Cooper SE amazes passers-by with snappy but almost soundless bursts of acceleration. The journey from one traffic light to the next represents an ideal opportunity to make use of the two-stage brake energy recovery. Depending on the volume of traffic, each of the two toggle settings has its own distinctive appeal. If you toggle to strong recuperation, the MINI Electric is aggressively decelerated as soon as the driver releases the accelerator pedal. This mode channels a particularly large amount of energy back into the high-voltage battery. In the other mode, the car rolls to a stop at a leisurely pace and with reduced braking action.
When night falls in Las Vegas, the facades, advertising hoardings, direction signs and floodlights form a multicoloured, flashing and dazzling ocean of neon tubes and LED modules. However, the city council of Las Vegas is doing all it can to reduce the consumption of resources. All public buildings now generate their electricity from renewable sources. And charging stations for electric vehicles are easy to find. The MINI Electric recharges its batteries so as to be ready for the outing on the coming day.
“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, is a famous saying among visitors that promises discretion. But in the era of social-media livestream, it’s pretty much impossible to stop the occasional embarrassing fact being leaked to the outside world. More and more tourists are also keen to explore the attractions in the environs of the city. Just 30 kilometres away from the “Strip”, Red Rock Canyon at sunrise presents a wonderful play of colours on the shimmering rock formations clothed in a red glow.
Soon afterwards it gets really hot. If there happened to be some shadow somewhere on the desert roads, the thermometer would be indicating around 50 degrees Celsius there. Under the burning sun, the temperature is even higher. Any mobile phone battery will soon run out of juice when subjected to these conditions. By contrast, the high-voltage battery of the new MINI Cooper SE remains “cool”. The range is between 235 and 270 kilometres with a fully-charged battery, and it only comes down very gradually. This is made possible by an extremely effective all-in cooling system for the interior and the high-voltage battery. Thanks to highly efficient heat-pump technology, the cooling system runs like a dream into the bargain. It also permits pre-conditioning of the interior. After going hiking at Red Rock Canyon, the driver of the MINI Electric is in for a truly enviable treat because a refreshingly pre-cooled car awaits the driver’s return. The remote app for MINI Connected even allows the pre-conditioning to be activated remotely – provided the all-important smartphone has not lost its charge in the heat.
Another popular excursion takes visitors to the Hoover Dam located around 50 kilometres to the south-east of Las Vegas. The Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge takes Highway 93 across the Colorado River and the canyon it has carved out of the rocks, providing a fascinating view of the monumental dam across the valley. It blocks the river to Lake Mead and supplies Las Vegas with drinking water. 17 turbines also harness the power of the water to generate electricity. Powerful electromagnetic waves occur near the dam as a side effect of the zero-emission energy generation. These waves encourage the development engineers of the BMW Group to divert to the Hoover Dam on their test drives through Death Valley with prototypes of new models, in order to put the ruggedness of the electronic vehicle systems through its paces. Tests like this have significantly improved the electromagnetic shielding over recent decades. As a consequence, the onboard electronics of the MINI Cooper SE remain distinctly unimpressed during the trip over the dam, while the occupants are once again unable to take their eyes off this man-made spectacle.
Event date: 5 May 2020
I live in Foster, South Gippsland and find it difficult to attend meetings because of the tyranny of distance. Thus the Zoom meeting was a real highlight for me, engaging with other members and feeling truly a part of the Club.
The guest speaker was Alan from Creative Custom Cars. He was amazing! Having the ability to view a lot of his projects was very special.
When the pandemic has passed I wonder if it would be possible to put the physical meetings on Zoom, as well. I feel this would encourage more participation in the meetings.
Thanks for the efforts everyone puts in to make the Club a real goer.
David Brook | Member #357
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
You can view the recording of the meeting here.
The pleasure of driving can be experienced not only with BMW vehicles, but also with new products from the BMW Lifestyle collections. Every spring, innovative new products are added to the collections. The focus of all BMW collection items is on striking design and first-class, durable quality.
BMW COLLECTION. Simplicity that is full of ideas.
The core of the collections is the classic BMW COLLECTION. The design concept is modern, functional and urban – always based on the well-known BMW vehicle design. Minimalist, timeless products provide more freedom in everyday life thanks to smart functions.
The range is supplemented by lifestyle articles such as the BMW Logo T-shirt for women with a large BMW logo for fans of the brand. Strong, harmonious colours underline a modern, self-confident style. In addition to subtly elegant shades such as sand and midnight navy, the trend colour orange ensures an expressive look.
The highlights of the collection include the BMW Soft Down Jacket for men and women and the BMW Chronograph with BMW kidney design. BMW is also introducing innovations in lifestyle accessories. In addition to the popular BMW Thermal Mug for hot drinks, the BMW Lunch Cup Thermal for muesli etc. as well as for hot meals is perfect for everyday work and leisure.
The BMW COLLECTION is complemented by accessories and lifestyle products created in cooperation with first-class premium brands. Among other things, the long-standing cooperation MONTBLANC FOR BMW uses BMW design for exquisite writing instruments, luggage and the finest leather goods (Made in Italy). This year, the products of this cooperation feature the embossed MONTBLANC FOR BMW pattern and royal blue jacquard lining.
New products of the cooperation include the Montblanc for BMW Backpack, which is made of Italian leather with an embossed pocket. The generous compartments inside offer enough space for various utensils as well as a laptop.
The new Montblanc for BMW Liquod Pouch made of PVC with details made of Italian leather is also a smart addition to the existing luggage of the MONTBLANC FOR BMW cooperation.
Other products from cooperations are the Kartell for BMW RIDEON (available in EU) and the high-quality Horizn Studios for BMW Boadcase and Trolley.
The design of the BMW M COLLECTION reflects the strong combination of high-performance technologies and experienced craftsmanship, which is also a decisive factor in the design of the BMW M vehicle models. A strong colour scheme, modern and high-quality materials, innovative textile features and the BMW M branding characterise the collection. The red is based on the Toronto red vehicle colour and underlines the sporty designs of the BMW M COLLECTION. The colour of the golden BMW M brake calliper in combination with classic black creates a dynamic and high-quality look.
The highlights of the new collection include the reversible BMW M Jacket for women, the BMW M Sweatjacket for men with an intelligent ‘watch window’ and the BMW M Boardcase in gold.
The BMW M MOTORSPORT COLLECTION features a modern, sporty design based on the legendary look of BMW motorsport. The unmistakable BMW M stripes in combination with black and white prominently present the new BMW M motorsport brand identity. The self-confident branding in combination with colour blocking and cool, graphic elements gives the collection its modern, avant-garde character.
New highlight products in 2020 complete the collection with the BMW M Motorsport Puma Leadcat Shoes, a sporty slip-on shoe for both men and women for the gym, at the swimming pool or simply at home.
The BMW M Motorsport Watch, a three-hand watch with silicone strap in the distinctive BMW M motorsport design, rounds off the look for all motorsports fans.
The BMW BIKES are always developed in cooperation with Designworks and interpret the pleasure of driving in cycling in a very special way.
The high-quality 3T for BMW Gravelbikes in two elegant colours from the cooperation with the Italian brand 3T are new for BMW BIKES. These aerodynamically designed bikes are impressive thanks to their first-class technical features and state-of-the-art racing components. The 3T FOR BMW Gravelbikes are available in EU and US.
BMW KIDS COLLECTION. Great BMW driving fun for the little ones.
The dream of owning a BMW is now becoming even more real for the smallest BMW fans with the BMW KIDS COLLECTION. The popular BMW BABYRACER III is getting an electric boost. The new BMW M8 GTE Rideon and the BMW i8 Rideon ensure active driving pleasure. Genuine BMW engine sounds, lighting effects and opening doors transform children’s rooms and gardens into a racetrack. With the integrated MP3 interface for playing music and audio files, the little ones don’t have to miss out.
The BMW Lifestyle collections are now available at selected BMW dealerships.
MONTH IN REVIEW
Welcome to our second month of isolation. Today also marks the second anniversary of our launch night!
There is an air of optimism and hope for a gradual release from restrictions in the coming weeks and months now and the committee has been working hard behind the scenes getting things ready for a return to physical events instead of the virtual and remote things we have been doing the last month or so.
We did hold our first virtual members meeting in April, which appeared to be successful with a number of members attending. It was certainly nice to see some familar faces!
If you require assistance from Jo or Graeme during this time, please no longer phone the Bell Motorsport phone number (03 5979 1599) and instead phone Jo on 0412 661 900.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 455 MEMBERS
Welcome to 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.
Our May Members Meeting will be held virtually on Tuesday, 5 May at 7.30pm, with a virtual tour of club sponsor, Creative Custom Cars.
Unfortunately we can't give too many details on other upcoming events right now. Be sure to keep an eye on our calendar for when we can resume events.
MOTORSPORT AUSTRALIA LICENCE UPDATE
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Motorsport Australia Board has approved changes to the expiration of certain licence types.
In addition, all licence holders will also be given the opportunity to utilise a buy one, get one free Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships General Admission ticket for the round of their choice in 2020 or 2021.
To see what this means for your licence, click here.
CLUB PERMIT RENEWALS
VicRoads are still processing renewals at their offices, however wait times are now much longer than normal and you must adhere to social distancing measures. Please instead consider posting your renewal to VicRoads. You can pay by cheque or VicRoads have advised that you can use this credit card form.
If you are yet to receive a signature from us for your renewal, we request that you post them to us for the time being.
To be as fast and efficient as possible we recommend to sign your renewal, attach your payment and post it to us with a stamped envelope addressed to VicRoads inside. We will then sign on behalf of the club and post it straight to VicRoads for you.
We would like to remind you that you do have three months after the expiry date to pay your renewal, but you can’t drive it once it expires, just like normal registration.
If you have any questions about your renewal please call or email us. If you are not comfortable providing your credit card details or don’t have a cheque book, give us a call and we will see what we can do to help you.
For more details on club permits, including where you can send your renewal for signing, please visit our Club Permits page on the website.
NEWS & BLOG
President | Graeme Bell 0407 186 296
Vice President | Jo Mawson 0412 661 900
Secretary | Lawrence Glynn 0414 563 290
Treasurer | Shaaron Glynn
Proudly supported by:
All Residential/All Commercial
Creative Custom Cars
Welcome to our second month of isolation. It's great to see everyone is doing the right thing and helping to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. There is an air of optimism and hope for a gradual release from restrictions in the coming weeks and months now and the committee has been working hard behind the scenes getting things ready for a return to physical events instead of the virtual and remote things we have been doing the last month or so.
We have also welcomed 12 new members this month - we look forward to welcoming you properly at an event soon!
For now, though, we are still working in isolation. After the success of our April virtual members meeting, our May Members Meeting will be another virtual one, with club sponsor, Alan How at Creative Custom Cars. Alan will give us a live video tour of the Creative Custom Cars workshop to show us the interesting projects they have in at the moment. Creative Custom Cars do some fantastic work restoring cars, so it will be good to check out what they are working on at the moment.
Of course, not much has happened this month, with the restrictions in place, but we have tried to keep you informed and connected and continue to do all we can to help members out with anything they need and entertained with some of the Facebook activities. We're always looking for more things to share with members so if you have something interesting to show us, let us know.
We have been talking to Winton, Sandown, Broadford and Motorsport Australia about likely timing of a return to motorsport activities and we are hopeful that our 14 June booking at Sandown will proceed as planned. Both Sandown and Motorsport Australia are keen to get club level track events happening again and if restrictions ease enough to allow us to run the event, we will do everything we can to run the day for you. Keep an eye on your emails and the website and Facebook group for news about that as the date approaches.
Same goes for all the other events we have planned or will be rescheduling. We will put up the events that suit whatever restrictions remain and hopefully we can get back to some normality as soon as possible. I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to just getting out in the countryside for a drive as much as I am looking forward to getting back to a track.
There has been a lot of talk about the new COVIDSafe app released by the Federal Government. We do recommend that you download it and follow its directions to track who you come into contact with. It does not track where you go or when, it just tracks and saves who you come into contact with via bluetooth and enables health officials to contact them, or you, in the event someone in your circle contracts the virus. It may become a condition of coming to events that you have the app installed, so please do your research, see there is nothing to fear from having it and get on board. It will help us all get back to normal quicker than if we don’t use it.
For now, though, make sure you look after yourselves and your families, practice good hygiene and of course physical distancing. Keep an eye on the Government websites and news about what we have to do. Of course, if any of you are feeling like you need someone to talk to or are feeling alone, please pick up the phone and give us a call. We are here for all of you, our BMW family.
Together, we are getting through this and we will be seeing you 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 CouncilMotorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695GBMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International CouncilMotorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
Good morning members,
It was a very different ANZAC Day this year, I hope you all took a moment to reflect on those that gave so much so that we can enjoy the life we do. Jo and I were up at dawn to watch the sunrise from our driveway and say thanks to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Lest We Forget.
We are now into our second month of restrictions on events and it is very good to see Australians are doing their bit to stem the spread of the pandemic that has changed the world as we know it. It's very encouraging to hear talk of easing the limitations on what we can do and hopefully in the coming weeks and months we can start getting back to some form of normality. It will be a long slow road back, but it's nice to receive some good news.
This past week I have been talking to the tracks and Motorsport Australia about bookings we still have at Sandown, Winton and Broadford in June and July. With the talk now turning to emerging from shut down and a slow return to normal activities, we will be preparing for these events to proceed. If we are allowed to gather and run track events, we will be ready to go ahead. All of our bookings are still available to us should restrictions ease and allow us to run them. Both Winton and Sandown are keen to help us return to the track as soon as we are able to. So keep an eye on your emails and keep the dates in your calendar.
Through the rest of April and into May we will keep updating events as we are able to. Hopefully, we will be able to start running some drive events and other meetings soon too. It will all depend on what we can do under the Government restrictions and what we feel is safe to do.
This weekend we were going to go to Bright to try and inject some funds back into communities affected by the Bushfires. As soon as restrictions ease and we are safe to travel again, we will reschedule the weekend away. They still need our help and we are keen to get up there and help as soon as we can.
Keep well everyone, soon enough we will be able to get out and drive our cars again. There is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. For now, stay home, stay safe and get your car ready to go!
Roberto Ravaglia (ITA), Johnny Cecotto (VEN), Steve Soper (GBR), Eric van de Poele (BEL), Harald Grohs (GER) were some of the biggest names in touring car racing in the 80s. They sat behind the wheel of the legendary BMW M3 E30 in the golden age of the DTM, picking up countless wins and titles with the car and securing the drivers their permanent spots in the BMW Motorsport history. It is, however, definitely the car that deserves pole position in the ancestral portrait gallery. Even now, just the sight of the design of the BMW M3 E30 and the unrivalled sound of its engine is enough to make the heart of every BMW Motorsport fan leap, be it at a BMW Group Classic event, or when the car is in action as a race taxi in the DTM support programme.
Just wonderful memories at a time in which no real-life motorsport is possible? Not at all, since thanks to BMW Group România and Racing League România, the BMW M3 E30 DTM is making an impressive comeback in sim racing at the moment. The extremely popular virtual race series is currently in its fifth season in Romania. It is supported by BMW Group România as Title Partner. They stream all the events live on the BMW Romania Facebook page, and the events are also shown on TV and attract tens of thousands viewers more each weekend.
“We don’t see ourselves as a sponsor in this project, but as a real partner with the goal of growing together and giving the championship a platform with high visibility and interaction,” said Andreea Ciglenean, Marketing Manager, BMW Group România. “When we entered into discussions with Racing League România, we had no idea that this season would be taking place at a time in which no real-life racing is possible. Now our project is a perfect example of how you can act safely and stay at home without having to miss out on racing altogether. That is an important aspect at the moment, and the BMW M3 E30 DTM is the perfect car for our race series.”
A total of 30 cars line up on the starting grid in each race, but these days more than 150 sim racers take part in qualifying for these events, including Romanian tennis ace Florin Mergea, former ATP doubles top-ten player and now a passionate sim racer. The platform for the Racing League România is the popular racing simulation Assetto Corsa.
“The Racing League România has been organising events for the sim racing community for over a decade now, but as real-life racing is no longer possible, virtual races are a hot topic in Romania,” said Alexandru Siclovan, promoter of Racing League România. “We are proud that we are able to provide a suitable media product that with its emotive commentary and interaction brings the best of both worlds together, a professional storyline like in real-life racing, and the breath of fresh air of a younger target audience into the mix.”
Every bit as legendary as the BMW M3 E30 DTM are the racetracks on which the Racing League România holds its virtual events. The last two race weekends took place on the virtual versions of the Norisring (GER) and the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER). The season got underway on 15th March and comprises ten stops, each with two 30-minute races. Other tracks on the race calendar include the Virginia International Raceway (USA), Circuit Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), Circuit Park Zandvoort (NED), Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit (RSA) and the Brands Hatch GP Circuit (GBR) for the season finale being held on 17th May.
There is still plenty of opportunity for real fans of the BMW M3 E30 DTM to reminisce and relive the emotions of the glorious history of the car during this difficult time. It is definitely worth watching the upcoming races of the Racing League România.
Unfortunately the Australian Grand Prix didn't happen this year. However, we had already set up a fantastic display in Automotive Avenue.
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne 2019 Australian Grand Prix Display in pictures by Paul Holliday
© 2020 BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc. All Rights Reserved.