MONTH IN REVIEW
Happy New Year!
We hope you had fantastic Christmas and are enjoying the holiday (if you're lucky enough to have one!), and most importantly staying safe with all the bushfires around.
2019 was a fantastic year for us. We have run over 80 events with over 50% membership participation which is just fantastic!
Moving on to December, we started the month with our annual multi-club weekend which took us to NSW for a 2 night stay in Merimbula. It was fantastic to see so many Vic, NSW and ACT members attend.
Next up was our movie night, which was originally supposed to be at the Dromana Drive-In. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to change the location to the Karingal Cinema. Ford v Ferrari was an awesome film with something for everyone - tears, laughter, heartache and great cars. We definitely recommend seeing it, if you haven't already!
Our last members meeting of the year was held at Strike Bowling in Glen Waverley. It was a really great way to finish off the year with some varied bowling styles, all members seemed to have a great time and most walked away with some prizes in the raffle!
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 427 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.
THE MONTH AHEAD
As we move into a new year, we're starting with a quieter month in January:
Friday, 31 January - Monday, 3 February
Bathurst 12 Hour
It's time for our annual trip to the Bathurst 12 Hour!
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
NEWS | BLOG
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:
Welcome to my last Report for the year and what a year 2019 was! I could bore you with the stats but in short, we have run over 80 events this year, with over 50%-member participation. By that I mean that around 50% of our membership have been to at least one event in 2019, many of you a lot more than that. This is amazing, as to us it means we are doing the right thing in the way of events. Most clubs like ours would be lucky to run at 20% member participation and we are very happy that you keep coming and supporting the club we have all built together. We are still growing, with nearly 430 members in our less than 2 years and new members coming along all the time, quite a lot from recommendation of existing members or looking at how great our events are and wanting to be a part of the our club. Thank you all for making it such a great club to be a part of and also welcome to all of those of you that have joined us to make it even better in 2020.
December started with a our annual Multi Club Weekend away, which took us into NSW with a 2-night stay in Merimbula. It was great to see so many Vic, NSW and ACT members and also young ones on the long weekend too.
This is an event we plan on doing each year with varied destinations and the date may vary slightly, but it will be at the end of the year so keep a look out for this weekend. We always include great driving roads, great exploring, fabulous food and accommodation. Thank you again to Peter Williams for the amazing driving routes and Jo who always manages to get it right with accommodation and venues for meals, etc.
Our movie night in December was supposed to be at the Drive In, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we all met up at Village Cinemas at Karingal to watch Ford v Ferrari. This was an awesome film with something in it for everyone - tears, laughter, heartache, great cars and fantastic driving and just another different type of event to add to the list. We may be a car club, but we are a very social bunch and it’s nice to do some different events, sometimes not in our cars.
Our last Members Meeting of the year was held at Strike Bowling in Glen Waverly and this was a really great way to finish off the year with some pretty varied styles, but all members had an absolute ball. Again, just a fun social night out with a great bunch of friends. In amongst the bowling fun we had our Christmas raffles too. I am pretty sure nearly everyone who attended came away with some great treats, thanks to Ross from Celebrations in Clarinda.
As I am writing this the weather is searing hot, with wild northly winds and a storm on the way, so I urge you all to take care this holiday season and stay safe and not only drive carefully on the roads but also be mindful of the weather. We do live in a beautiful country but one that has extremes we need to live with, and with summer time and the lack of rain everywhere it brings the threat of fires and extreme heat. So please have a great holiday if you are off somewhere but stay safe and made sure you have the Vic Emergency App on your phone.
Look out for our events calendar for 2020. It will be updated and added to over the next week or so, as we finalise what will be a huge year, beginning with our yearly trip to Mount Panorama to support the BMW teams at the Bathurst 12 Hour. With some great drive events and not to forget our Yokohama/Traction Tyres Drivers Championship in 2020 which will be at some really mind-blowing tracks and an unprecedented number of events to suit everyone!
Take care and I wish you all a very safe and Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you at an event in 2020.
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 appeal of the current model range and the progressive character of the latest technological innovations by BMW were also confirmed in the course of 2019 by a large number of coveted awards. The Munich premium brand's track record includes national and international awards, which are based both on public surveys and on the judgement of experts. The new BMW 3 Series, which was able to collect numerous titles immediately after its market launch, is one of the most frequently chosen prizewinners.
The wide range of award-winning models and technologies is also striking. The list of winners includes the outstandingly sporty BMW M automobiles as well as models with electrified drive. In addition to the new edition of the compact BMW 1 Series, the BMW 5 Series, the BMW X models and the luxury sports cars of the BMW 8 Series were among the winners in various competitions. Further renowned awards were presented to BMW for innovations in the areas of driver assistance systems, operation and networking. At the J.D Power Awards, prizes for "Highest Quality" went to the BMW 2 Series and the BMW X4.
BMW M automobiles won seven categories of the "sport auto Award". The Swiss "Auto Illustrierte" also awarded BMW M GmbH the title of "Best of the Brands" in its competitive environment. The BMW M2 Competition (fuel consumption combined: 10.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 227 g/km) ranked among the “10 Best Cars” of the year for the experts of the US “Car and Driver” magazine. BMW's leading position as a supplier of vehicles with electrified drive systems was also confirmed by its excellent performance in several competitions. The drive system of the BMW i8 Coupé won the internationally renowned "Engine of the Year Award” (fuel consumption combined: 1.8 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.0 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 42 g/km*) and the BMW i8 Roadster (combined fuel consumption: 2.0 l/100 km; combined power consumption: 14.5 kWh/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 46 g/km) won the award in the “Hybrid Drive” category. This is the fifth time in a row that their drive has won an award at this competition. The two hybrid sports cars also took second place in the "Plug-in Hybrid Sedans/Sports Cars" category of the "e-mobility Award" presented by the car journal "Auto Zeitung".
In Great Britain, BMW won the "DrivingElectric Awards" twice: the BMW 330e Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 1.9 - 1.6 l/100 km; power consumption combined: 15.4 - 14.8 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined 43 – 37 g/km) won the ”Best Medium Plug-in Hybrid Car” category. The BMW X5 xDrive45e (fuel consumption combined: 2.0 - 1.7 l/100 km; power consumption combined: 23.5 - 20.3 kWh/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 47 - 39 g/km) won in the "Best Premium Plug-in Hybrid Car" category. The plug-in hybrid luxury sedans of the BMW 7 Series were named "Green Executive Car of the Year" in the readers' poll of the British "Professional Driver Magazine".
The new BMW 3 Series got off to an outstanding start not only thanks to its successful market launch, but also with top positions in numerous national and international competitions. In Germany, the new sports saloon immediately won the "Auto Trophy" in the "Middle Class" category awarded by the "Auto Zeitung" and the "Design Trophy" on top of that. The new BMW 3 Series was also honoured with the "autonis" trophy issued by the car magazine "auto, motor und sport" as the "best design innovation of the year".
Its inner values were equally awarded: the new BMW 3 Series won the "best networked car of the year" award in the top category of the "Car Connectivity Award", also presented by "auto, motor und sport". The driving dynamics of the new BMW 3 Series led to two class victories in the readers' choice of the magazine "sport auto". In their respective competition categories, the new BMW 330i Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 6.1 – 5.8 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 139 –132 g/km*) and the new BMW 330i Touring (combined fuel consumption: 6.4 – 6.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 146 – 136 g/km*) and the new BMW M340i xDrive Sedan (combined fuel consumption: 7.4 – 7.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 168 – 160 g/km*) and the new BMW M340i xDrive Touring (combined fuel consumption: 7.6 – 7.2 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 172 – 163 g/km) received the “sportiest cars of the year” award.
In Great Britain, the specialist magazines "What Car?" and "Auto Express" unanimously named the new BMW 3 Series "Executive Car of the Year" and “Compact Executive Car of the Year”. The “Carbuyer” magazine awarded it the title of “Best Compact Executive Car” and “Business Car” named it the “Best Premium Car”. In addition, the British comparison portal "carwow" declared the latest generation of the mid-range model "Car of the Year". In Asia the new BMW 3 Series was honoured as well. It was named “Premium Car of the year” at the ”Indian Car of the Year” and the "Automotive Researchers' and Journalists' Conference of Japan" awarded it the title "Import Car of the Year".
The BMW 5 Series was also able to add further successes to its collection of titles in the course of 2019. In the "auto, motor und sport" vote for the "Best Cars", it secured class victory in the "Upper Middle Class" category. In the race for the "Auto Trophy", the BMW 5 Series was also victorious in its vehicle class. In addition, the editors of the car magazine "Auto Test" also placed the BMW 530d Sedan (fuel consumption combined: 5.1 – 5.0 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 135 – 131 g/km) in the top position in their ranking of all models tested in the course of the year. The British magazines "Auto Express" and "Carbuyer" voted the BMW 5 Series "Car of the Year" in its vehicle segment and "Best Large Executive Car" respectively. The title "Executive Estate Car of the Year" awarded by "Professional Driver Magazine" went to the BMW 5 Series Touring.
BMW won a double victory at the "Golden Steering Wheel 2019" ceremony. The new BMW 1 Series prevailed in the "Compact Class". The new BMW 8 Series was awarded the title "Most Beautiful New Model of the Year" in the "Auto Bild" and "Bild am Sonntag" competitions. The BMW 8 Series Coupé, the BMW 8 Series Convertible and the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé in the luxury sports car segment also made a big impact in Spain. This was reflected in a double success in the "Motor Awards 2019" competition of the online portal "coches.net". The new BMW 8 Series was named both "Best Car" and "Best Sports Car” here.
In 2019 BMW once again added to the brand typical driving pleasure with the market launch of further innovations in the areas of driver assistance systems, operation and networking. Numerous awards underline the brand's leading position, which has been strengthened by recent progress. The most important innovation in the field of vehicle operation is the BMW Operating System 7.0, which also includes the Intelligent Personal Assistant. The innovative language assistant was awarded the "Tech Award" by the British comparison portal "carwow" as the most important technology innovation of the year in automobiles.
Four titles went to BMW in the competition for the "Car Connectivity Award". The reader survey of the car journals "auto, motor und sport" and "Moove" showed that, in addition to the overall victory for the BMW 3 Series as the "best networked car", the BMW Live Cockpit Professional was a clear success in the "Navigation Systems” category. Readers chose the Driving Assistant Professional as their favourite in the "Safety Assistance Systems" category. The Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System was also voted the best innovation in the "Sound Systems" category.
BMW i Andretti Motorsport and the BMW iFE.20 got off to a successful start in Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship with their victory in Diriyah (KSA) in November. Alexander Sims (GBR) heads into the new year and the next race in Santiago (CHI) at the top of the driver’s standings, but the BMW iFE.20 is already an asset for BMW i Motorsport away from the track as well. Its flax cooling shaft emphasises its great importance as a tech lab for the BMW Group, being the first BMW race car fielded by a works team with parts made out of renewable textile fibres – making it a pioneer for series production.
“The flax cooling shaft that we use in the BMW iFE.20 is further proof of the hugely important role of BMW i Motorsport as a tech lab for the BMW Group,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “We are consistently using Formula E as an innovative platform for series development – in this instance for testing flax in extreme weather conditions. What’s particularly remarkable is the fact that in some areas this renewable material even has advantages over materials established in racing, such as carbon. Our ambition is to always use the best suited material for each part.”
Compared with carbon, flax has greater absorption and greater impact resistance, which can be advantageous on the street circuits with their bumps and crash barriers, on which Formula E takes place. The same is true of contact with other cars during races.
The BMW iFE.20 is the first works BMW racing car in which the material is used. However, the expansion of this concept to include other BMW Motorsport race cars is currently already in the development phase.
As an e-mobility pioneer, the BMW Group has reached another electromobility milestone and already delivered half a million electrified cars to customers worldwide. Sebastian Mackensen, BMW Group Senior Vice President Market Germany, handed over the keys to a very special BMW 330e* to its future owner at BMW Welt today.
"Half a million vehicles is the best proof: Our broad range of electrified vehicles is meeting exact customer needs. Now, we are stepping up the pace significantly: We aim to have one million electrified vehicles on the roads within two years. This is our contribution towards effective climate protection," said Oliver Zipse, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
Next year, the BMW X3 will become the first BMW Group vehicle available with four different drive train variants: efficient diesel, petrol, plug-in hybrid and pure electric. The biggest market for the pure electric BMW iX3* is China, where it will also be produced for the global market.The BMW iX3* will be the first to benefit from the ground-breaking fifth generation of our highly efficient BMW electric drive trains, which provide a new balance between range and battery size. The key lies in making the drive train substantially more efficient. Our technology flagship, the BMW iNEXT – which will also be available from 2021 – will combine electromobility with highly automated driving. The fully electric BMW iNEXT will be produced on the same assembly line in Dingolfing as vehicles with combustion engines and plug-in hybrids.This will be followed in 2021 by the BMW i4, a pure electric Gran Coupé in the premium mid-size segment with strong emotional appeal. The BMW i4 will be produced at the main plant in Munich.
Thanks to its role as a visionary technology flagship and continuing sales success since its launch in 2013, the BMW i3 has acquired the status of an icon. The BMW Group will continue to further develop this vehicle and currently plans to extend production until 2024. Since late this year, the BMW Group’s electrified model line-up has also been joined by a further pure electric vehicle, the MINI Electric*. The more than 90,000 registered prospects indicate the high level of customer interest in the first pure electric MINI.
With 12 electrified vehicles currently, the BMW Group is one of the world's leading providers of electric mobility. The company has been the market leader for electrified vehicles in Germany since 2016 and also occupies a leading position in Europe and worldwide. The company has formulated clear goals for sales of electrified vehicles for the years ahead: A quarter of all vehicles sold in Europe should be electrified by 2021. This should reach a third by 2025 and half in 2030.
“We already offer an electrified drive train variant for most of our model line-up – from MINI to the BMW 7 Series. Our customers get to choose: Not just their preferred model, but also the drive train that suits them best,” explained Pieter Nota, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Customer, Brands and Sales. “This is the diversity our customers want and that can best meet their individual mobility needs.”
The BMW Group model line-up offers highly efficient combustion engines as well as modern plug-in hybrids and pure electric drive trains. This “Power of Choice” enables the company to meet customers’ varied needs and wants in different regions of the world. Depending on the drive train chosen, all current and future models deliver brand-specific driving pleasure. No matter which type of drive train the customer decides on: They can always expect a high level of efficiency and lower CO2 emissions from the BMW Group.
A customer from Munich was in for a surprise when he came to collect his new vehicle. As part of a special and exclusive handover, the customer received the keys to his new BMW 330e* from Sebastian Mackensen, Senior Vice President Market Germany: The car in question was the BMW Group's 500,000th electrified vehicle. “For me, the BMW 330e – the plug-in hybrid 3 Series – combines the best of both worlds: For the most part, I can drive emission-free – especially in the city – but, on longer trips, I still have the flexible range of a combustion engine,” explained the car’s new owner, Florian Merk.
Sebastian Mackensen added: “I am very happy to celebrate the delivery of our 500,000th electrified vehicle here at BMW Welt. No one sells more electrified vehicles in Germany than we do. There are already about 60,000 electrified BMW and MINI models on German roads today. And in 2020 we will continue to launch additional models.”
Thanks to its years of e-mobility experience, the BMW Group has acquired extensive and sound knowledge in this area. This provides the basis for the company to develop eDrive technology in-house, including the engine, power electronics and also the battery as well as the battery cells. This ensures BMW and MINI electrified vehicles still deliver brand-typical driving characteristics.
Thanks to the generous support of Geelong BMW, who organised to get us two cars from BMW Australia for Geelong Revival, I had the privilege of driving an X4M Competition and a M3 CS over the weekend – admittedly not for very long.
Both are very fine cars and I’d take either of them if they were a prize in a raffle. But if I had to put down my own hard earned cash, I’d take the M3 CS – it just more my sort of car and I understand that not everyone would agree (Jo Mawson being one!).
So, I’ll start with the M3 CS.
I like the look of the F80/F82 cars. Muscular and purposeful. In my personal view a distinct improvement on the rather bland E90/92 M cars. I’m not sure I would want the Frozen deep blue finish – I’m told the Frozen finish is easy to clean and it proved to be so when the seagulls repeatedly left their mark on the cars whilst on display at the waterfront – as I think it could quickly start to look like a neglected old car. But whilst new I concede it has a certain presence.
Opening the door reveals the first of the many weight saving features which are part of the CS pack- no keyless entry. I was a bit taken aback by this as I was standing right next to the rear door which has roller sun blinds!
Weight is down and power up with the suspension enhanced – must be good.
But the interior looks gorgeous, with sculptured seats and M-tricolour edged seat belts with CS etched into the dash. And it gets even better once seated.
The seats are firm supportive and very snug, instantly reminding me of the Recaro seats in my ’81 E21 323 JPS. I did not have the chance to drive for more than about 30 minutes at a time but I’m sure they will be comfortable on a long drive.
Oddly, given the weight saving ethos, there is full electric adjustment and memory for both seats and external mirrors. Given the strong family design theme still running from the ‘60s to today, getting a suitable setting was quick and easy. And now it felt very much like my ’05 E46 M3 – a theme I’ll be coming back to.
Leather trim on the upper dash, splashes of carbon fibre and an Alcantara trimmed steering wheel of what I think ideal thickness (some reviewers say too thick) but no centre arm rest and only single zone climate control (weight again). Odd, but lovely.
Press the (keyless) start button and a delightful burble erupts at the back with a meaningful hum at idle which cries “ready for action”. Snick the now classic M gear knob across to the right (yes- dual clutch transmission) and the gearbox defaults to auto mode. I’m sure that can be changed but I did not work my way through the thick owner’s manual which nearly filled the glove box. I was happy to see how well it worked as an auto.
I will freely admit that my M3’s SMG gearbox is a woeful auto but the M3 CS’s DCT works perfectly. At any time one can flick a paddle and assume temporary manual control just as with a paddle equipped “slush box” system. There is no creep at idle but nor is there any jerk when a touch of throttle is applied. Parking is a breeze and a creep mode can be induced if really required. This is all an improvement, minor in the most part, from the DCT implementation in the E90/92.
Once on the move the whole car feels alive and responsive. The steering has a wonderful weight and feel. I can not say what would happen when the car is stretched as I did not get to drive it out of town. But it gave me every indication that is was ready to party and was going to be good at it!
I’d say the F80 is more race suit and the E90 M3 more business suit. But a tastefully tailored race suit you could wear to work.
Switching to fully manual transmission control the gear changes are instant, smooth and delightfully executed. It will change up readily in a way my E46’s SMG just won’t. This is such a step forward I’m saddened that BMW are going to discontinue the DCT in favour of the “conventional” torque converter autos.
I liked it a lot. A real lot.
With a few more kays under my belt I really appreciated just how far suspension design and tuning has come in the last 18 years or so. The ride is surprising smooth and quiet, and yet those who know far better than I testify that this car corners flatly and with tremendous grip. It is astonishing how this can be achieved.
Oddly, despite all the M1 button presets for the ultimate personal choice of the many selectable parameters such a throttle response, suspension stiffness, steering weight, I get the impression that this is not a dual character car in the way that many “hot” cars are. It seems it will seamlessly move from comfy cruiser in a city traffic jam to an all out racer on a nice twisty road or possibly even race track.
In a word, brilliant.
So, what of the brightly coloured X4M.
For a start, I like the colour better, and I like the overall shape. The front end styling is sharp and dramatic with lots of nice black details. If one is going to have a SUV, sorry, SAV, at least have a curvy one. Yes, I know the idea of a coupe 4x4 type vehicle seems to contradict its very reason for existence, but the loss of functionality is minor compared to the improvement in styling – in my eyes at least.
It’s a bit of a step up into the X4M. Literally if not figuratively. I think I would find that tiresome but it’s a feature of the genre. But once behind the wheel it all looks and feels very BMW and, oh, so just right. The feeling is far more car like than I had expected and it has a nice commanding feel. The driver’s seat is supportive but not overly snug with plenty of provision for those with a wider beam.
The instruments, general dash layout and M-style gear lever action leave you in no doubt that this is an M-Car, and the exhaust burble on start up confirms this to be so. But otherwise it is a completely “normal” drive unless you active some of the sporty settings and spice things up. There is no doubt that it is smooth and powerful, but I did not feel the same level of “special” that I did in the M3 CS. On the move its composure and lack of excessive lean and wallow belie its height and weight. I’m pretty sure that on just about any piece of road you could name it would give the M3 CS something to worry about and still be comfortable.
One thing which I noticed very quickly is the shallow rear window, a by-product of that sloping roof line. Rear seat headroom is not overly compromised but I spent a bit of time trying to adjust the interior mirror before realising that it is the window which needed adjustment! A rear view camera does a wonderful job when reversing but the letter-box view took some getting used to on the road. Thankfully the large door mirrors give a superb rearward view.
And there is no getting away from the huge cargo space and commanding view.
If you like a SUV style vehicle, and you like a fast rewarding drive, this has got to be a good possibility for you.
Both cars attracted a lot of attention at the Geelong Revival and we are greatly indebted to Phil Curran and his staff at Geelong BMW for arranging to get these from BMW Australia and cleaning them etc ready for us to pick up. And thanks to BMW Australia for making them available to us.
Lawrene Glynn | Member #3
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
An enthusiastic bunch of members, family, and friends attended the December Members meeting at Strike Bowling in Glen Waverly on 10 December. A fun evening of laughs, thrills, and spills was had by all.
We put on our fancy bowling shoes, headed up to the lanes and were grouped into three teams each with our own lane. Food and beverages were consumed as the games commenced. There were plenty of strikes and spares going around, as the competitive nature of participants shone through. To offset this, there were quite a few gutter balls thrown as well, as we were all trying to get into a rhythm. Some of us seemed to have issues with our footing, with a couple of bowlers tripping and hitting the deck while running up to bowl. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported, and more than likely provided a bit of humour to the spectators.
With the exception of a couple of bowlers, most scores were within a handful of points of each other, and competition was tight. Heading into the second game it was fairly close between teams one and two, with the third team only part way though their first game. Teams continued to bowl neck and neck for the remainder, with the big winner being 10 pin bowling at the end of the night.
After the games were finished, Jo got the barrel out and did the final members draw for the year. Plenty of lucky winners, with bottles of BMWDCM wine being awarded as prizes to most, and a couple of gift bags with extra goodies included to big prize winners. Looking forward to cracking open my bottle of Cab Sav over the holiday season.
After a fun night bowling with new and old friends, we ditched the stylish footwear for our own shoes, and headed off into the night. Here’s to more fun events with this great bunch of people in the 2020.
Greg Dickson | Member #211
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Day 1: 29 November
The morning of Friday, 29 November, saw Canberra shrouded in a smoke haze from the Tallaganda bushfire as we prepared to drive to Merimbula to rendezvous with members from the NSW BMW Drivers Club and the BMW Drivers Club of Melbourne. The smoke haze persisted all the way to the town of Bemboka, at the foot of the Brown Mountain. Coffee and a mini custard tart from the Bemboka Pie shop replenished us before we turned-off the Snowy Mountains Highway and drove via the Mogilla (gorilla) Road to Candelo, thence to the Princess Highway and down to our Merimbula accommodation at the Sapphire Valley Caravan Park.
Driving the Mogilla Road was a new experience for us. It is a well surfaced road which offers the opportunity to not only enjoy the drive but to also take in the local undulating scenery. Unfortunately, the landscape was mainly brown from the drought rather than the usual lush green of the Bega Valley. Our thoughts were with the farmers and we hoped they’d soon receive the much needed rain. The road from Candelo to the Princess Highway wasn’t as enjoyable as there were many potholes and road works being undertaken. Once we reached the Princess Highway it was an uneventful run to Merimbula and to our accommodation.
Later in the afternoon other drive participants started to arrive and we were able to reconnect with friends we hadn’t seen since last year’s run. Our motel-style accommodation was very comfortable and the room was clean with good facilities. The staff were friendly and a little taken aback from the sight of 12 BMWs at their Park. The grounds of the Park were very peaceful with the local kangaroos lounging around nearby.
Dinner was at the Merimbula RSL Club who put on a fine repast. The dinner afforded us the opportunity to regale each other with our adventures driving to Merimbula and to meet the other participants. It was an early night as the long Day 2 beckoned.
Day 2: 30 November
We were rolling from the Park by 9am as we had a 500km round trip ahead of us. The day was clear and cool, which made a change from the smoky, warmth and humidity of the previous day. Perfect weather conditions for a long drive and excellent turbo weather for those of us with air-to-air intercoolers.
From Merimbula the convoy of 12 BMWs drove to Bombala where we stopped at the Cosmo Café for coffee. The road to Bombala provided a bit of everything – undulations, hairpin bends, open sections and sweeping bends. Even my navigator thought it was a great section of road.
From Bombala, we split into two groups for the drive to the Marlo Hotel for lunch. One group of eight cars went via the Bonang Highway and the remaining four, including us, cruised down the Monaro Highway to Cann River, then the Princess Highway through Orbost to the Marlo Hotel. I particularly liked the section of road from Orbost to Marlo.
As we headed towards Cann River, the brownish, open landscape around Bombala gave way to wooded and green. It also started to rain, heavily in some parts. While I would have preferred it dry for better driving, it was pleasing to see rain. The road was well surfaced and perfectly suited to cruising. There were few cars or caravans to impede our progress.
The rain continued all the way to Marlo, with a light drizzle upon our arrival at the Hotel. As the temperature was about 15 degrees, the Hotel was warm and inviting, while we awaited the arrival of the other group. We could have easily settled in for the afternoon, but the return journey awaited us. The Hotel overlooks the mouth of the Snowy River and the Pacific Ocean beyond. Unfortunately, the rain prevented us sitting on the outside deck, which would have been perfect for lunch. However, the sizable dining room was comfortable and well patronised. The quality and variety of food was impressive and I think everyone was well satisfied with their lunch.
We departed the Hotel in the continuing drizzle of rain. With the 12 cars now reunited, we followed the coast to Cape Coran, then via the Princess Highway to Cann River where we stopped briefly while some of us took fuel. From Cann River we cruised up the Monaro Highway, eventually turning off the Highway on to Imlay Road, which took us to Eden and then to Merimbula. Imlay Road provided something of interest for everybody and is well worth exploring. We also left the wet weather behind.
Once back at the Caravan Park, it was a quick change for dinner, which was at Doci’s Italian Restuarant. Another superb meal, washed down by a few bottles of wine, accompanied by excellent conversation. The walk back to our accommodation, in the cool Merimbula air, was pleasant and reminded me how tired I think most of us were. At least we could have a little sleep-in as Sunday’s departure wasn’t until 10am.
Day 3: 1 December
The first day of summer dawned clear and a little warmer. The plan was to drive to Bemboka via Candelo and then to Cooma for lunch at the Cooma Hotel. Some of our party were very excited at the prospect of stopping at Candelo to check out the local markets. Unfortunately, Candelo was packed by people attending the markets and parking spaces were at a premium. As we were on the clock in terms of needing to be at Cooma for lunch, it was decided to push on to Bemboka for a coffee break. The chatter over our radios from the disappointed marketeers subsided after several kilometres! Fortunately they were able to indulge their shopping addiction at Bemboka. Someone even found a top hat for next year’s Melbourne Cup!
Again, the Mogilla Road proved an entertaining drive and we invaded the Bemboka Pie shop for coffee, and in my case, another mini custard tart.
The drive up the Brown Mountain was slow due to the amount of traffic, although we were able to pick-up pace once we cleared Nimmitabel when the road opened up.
Cooma was cool, but the Hotel was warm and inviting. The Hotel offered a comprehensive menu with sizable portions. Needless to say, I don’t think anyone left hungry.
It was time to say our goodbyes. Our Victorian friends headed to Corryong for the night, while the Sydney group headed home via Canberra. After two excellent, but tiring days, I was pleased I only had the relatively short drive to Canberra.
I would like to thank all the organisers for another excellent outing. Everything went off without a hitch. I would especially like to thank Peter for mapping out the wonderful driving roads. But as he modestly says, he had nothing to do with building them.
We look forward to next year’s adventure.
Ian & Jenny Cartwright
BMW Car Club Canberra
Early last month, I received an emailed from a member asking if I could set up and event to see the Ford v Ferrari movie. I spoke to the committee and we all decided this might be a nice end of year event.
On looking around we found that it was showing at the Dromana Drive In, and what better way to watch a car movie, with a car club but at a drive in, in our cars.
We had lots of interest but unfortunately, only a few days before the event I had a message from a member who had been told by another club he was associated with that the session time had been changed from 9pm to 11.30pm. On confirming this with the Drive In, I realised that this was not going to work with all who had registered as some had children coming as well.
A quick call around and with Jess helping me send out an email to all who had registered, we managed to keep the same night, but change the venue to Village Cinemas Karingal Hub.
We had a nice group attend and all were pretty excited. I knew only a little about the history of this battle, so I was quite in the dark about it all. I had heard of Carrol Shelby but not of Ken Miles, so the story was really new to me and I loved every bit of it.
From the friendships made, to the corny fight scenes, to the amazing setting up of the car, until race day.
I wont say too much more as I know there are a few out there that say it is not exactly true to what happened but it is a Hollywood movie about racing and you just have to love the way they have put this together and the likeness to the original characters, the casting was brilliant.
If you haven’t seen it, I would recommend you go if you are at anyway interested in racing, as this is a great film, with laughter, anger, disappointment and tears. A must see.
Thank you for all who came and my apologies for those who did want to see it at the drive in, I will try to arrange another night early next year, if we can find a movie worth watching.
Jo Mawson | Member #2 & Vice President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The customer racing range of products in the BMW M Motorsport programme is getting a new top-of-the-range model. From the 2022 season, privateers and privateer teams around the world will have the opportunity to do battle for wins and titles in a GT3 model based on the next generation of the BMW M4. The BMW M4 GT3 will be the new top vehicle in the customer racing offering.
The race car has been in development for several months and will undergo intensive testing next year. The BMW M4 GT3 will succeed the BMW M6 GT3, which has been in action around the world since 2016 and has brought home wins at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps (BEL), the FIA GT World Cup in Macau (CHN) and in numerous international race series.
The production model BMW M4, which forms the base for the BMW M4 GT3, is powered by a six-cylinder engine with BMW M TwinPower Turbo Technology that achieves more than 500 hp. The engine and chassis of the road vehicle are the perfect basis for the development of the GT3 racing version. With this goal in mind, the BMW M engineers built an engine – the S58 – that boasts impressive engine characteristics and explosive power delivery, the motorsport genes of which can also be experienced away from the racetrack at any time.
“With our new GT3 project, we are emphasising the significance of BMW M Customer Racing. It is a central pillar of our motorsport programme,” said BMW Group Motorsport Director Jens Marquardt. “With the introduction of the new GT3 regulations for 2022, the BMW M4 is the perfect base. The core product from our colleagues at BMW M is yet again just great. Without wanting to give too much away, the BMW M4 GT3 will be a real highlight in terms of optics and technology. The term ‘icon’ is definitely appropriate here. We want to play a major role in international GT racing with the BMW M4 GT3, as its predecessor did at its victories at the 24-hour races in Spa-Francorchamps, at Macau and in many other race series around the world. Development is already at full speed. The rollout is planned for the second half of 2020.”
Markus Flasch, CEO of BMW M GmbH, said: “It is only logical that future top models in customer racing will be based on the next generation of the BMW M4. We will already be setting new standards in terms of sporting performance in production, which is why it makes sense to present the new GT3 sports car on this platform as well.”
While the 2020 season will be one of development and testing, regular tests in race conditions are planned for 2021.
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