Since the BMWDCM relatively easily got me hooked on doing club sprint events the natural progression seemed to be competing in real races.
I have enjoyed watching motor racing on TV for years but never seemed a realistic proposition for me to take up car racing given I am a keen Couta boat racing sailor and not enough time and resources to do much else.
However, I began to realise with the guidance of Bell Motorsport it might actually be possible to own and race my own car and this was an extremely exciting prospect!
As time went on Graeme Bell arranged for me to purchase a good E30 BMW and it was prepared and ready for club sprint days. It seemed straight forward to me that I simply needed to get my racing licence so I could race in the BMW E30 Racing category, even though I knew I needed to improve my ability to drive much faster.
In order to race, one needs a Motorsport Australia “Clubman Circuit Licence” and apart from doing application forms, a detailed medical examination, an online study course and pay various fees of varying magnitude, one also needs to do an “Observed Licence Test” (OLT).
Motorsport Australia runs a day event so people like me can get their racing licence and I booked in (more fees) for the Sandown OLT event. It turned out that in order to do the event my E30 needed to be unexpectedly upgraded to recent racing technical requirements (which is a story for another day) and I also needed to upgrade my wardrobe to a full racing outfit including flame retardant underwear!
Fortunately, my dream to go car racing easily outweighed the onerous part of the preparations and finally the day came to do the OLT at Sandown and what a fabulous day it turned out to be.
In short, it consisted of a panel of observers/evaluators that lectured us in classroom sessions followed by track outings (with them strategically observing around the track) followed by a critiquing session back in the classroom that could be uncomfortably incisive.
It turns out that the panel, which included Graeme Bell, were very high calibre racing car drivers that knew the Sandown track intimately. They had wonderful practical advice on how to drive the track much faster than I thought possible, which would be handy to keep up in the E30 races. As a harbinger the head evaluator told me he thought the E30 racing is of a very high standard.
We had an interesting mix of cars, including a $400,000 Mercedes GTR which spiced things up, and the evaluators seemed happy with our group and most of us passed including me. After being around the panel I got a sense of how good the racing fraternity can be and I was on a real high at the end of the day.
Rod Martin | Member #29
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
People will tell you that they own BMWs for “pure driving pleasure” but for many of us it really disguises a dirty secret. When we are not happily swooping along some twisty mountain road or carving up a tricky negative camber at a track day, we crave the dirty pleasure of washing, polishing and pampering our ultimate driving machines.
There is a lot to be said for the “mindfulness” of creating gleaming clean wheels and reflecting on reflections in the reflection of a beautifully polished BMW. We don’t care that people dismiss some of us as border-line obsessive compulsive.
As such, we were a very attentive audience for the car care gurus from Jay Leno’s Garage to spread their version of enlightenment on a hot and humid evening at the first BMWDCM meeting for February 2020. It did help that we had full bellies from some excellent pizzas and soft drinks served a little earlier.
The back story was that famous American car collector and former “late night” host, Jay Leno, wanted products to clean and maintain his enormous car collection. Just like any of us, after a few years, a collection of tried and proven products was assembled. In response to the repeated “What do you use to clean your cars?” question Jay Leno was eventually persuaded to package the whole lot up into a range of car care products with his name on it. The gurus emphasized that this is the ONLY automotive product that Jay Leno has actually permitted to use his name.
The sparkling clean wash bay at Shannons Classic Car Auctions provided a perfect stage for these masters of grime to demonstrate both the Jay Leno’s Garage products and a few tips and techniques needed to turn dirt into dazzle.
Having chosen President Graeme Bell’s BMW X5, fresh with grime from a return road trip to Bathurst, it was a “real life” test for the Jay Leno team.
They started out quietly by gently spraying their “Wheel Cleaner” product on each wheel. As we watched, the clear liquid magically turned the black brake-pad dust into an oozing purple sludge.
It was then time to bring out the big guns. Armed with a domestic-use Karcher pressure washer they started out by using the high-pressure nozzle to carefully wet down the whole car to blast away the “big chunks” of grime and generally soften the dried bugs and dirt. They also took the opportunity to wash off the purple sludge from the wheels to reveal shining alloys (albeit with a little gutter rash!)
The Jay Leno guys then switched to a “snow foam blower” head unit and filled it with about 1:5 mix of Jay leno Garage “Vehicle Wash” and normal water. Helpfully, the guys let us know that the adjustable Karcher unit they were using is about $30 at Bunning compared to nearly $80 for a similar unit elsewhere. Within about 90 seconds the car was covered in a blizzard of soapy suds. An interesting tip was that they left their “Microfiber Washing Mitts” on the windscreen so they could load them up with some suds at the same time.
It was then, on with the microfibre mitts and a quick rub-down of the whole car. No buckets need, just a bit of “elbow-grease” and a step-ladder to reach the middle of the roof.
A switch back to the high-pressure nozzle and the Karcher finished off the performance with a flurry of flying foam to reveal a sparklingly clean X5. Who would have guessed that it was actually white under all that dirt?
The Jay Leno team then set to work with “Matt Detailer” and “Tire Shine” to revive the grey plastic trim and frame the sparkling alloys in glossy black tyres.
As an encore, the Jay Leno team then used their waterless spray-on/wipe off “Eco Wash” to clean the grubby bonnet of their own tradie ute. Excellent for those who live in an apartment or other places with difficult access to a garden hose.
The crowd cheered. Well almost! After a warm round of applause, members huddled around to see who would win the raffle for some Jay Leno Product kits. Sadly, I didn’t.
I did get some very useful tips and hints from the evening and happily trotted off to Bunnings to invest $29.95 on a snow foam blower for my beloved Karcher.
Apart from some eager buyers on the night, BMWDCM members were provided with a discount code for ordering Jay Leno Garage products direct from the Australian website at jaylenosgarage.com.au.
By the way, their products smell great. Their interior cleaner captures “new car smell” perfectly and should be sold at the perfume counter at Myer. The other products range from a very authentic PK chewing gum smell through to a very tasty mint. Weird, but strangely good.
A big thank you, once again, to Shannons for the generous access to their fabulous showrooms … and car wash bay. Thanks also to the Jay Leno team who sweated through a hot and humid night to demonstrate their products and for generously sharing their expertise.
Ewen McConchie | Member #70
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
One of the many reasons I joined BMW Drivers Club Melbourne is for the opportunity to see some beautiful places right on our own doorstep, and the Pre Torquay Motor Show Cruise was another well organised, jam packed event that delivered what it promised.
We headed off from the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne to be in Geelong by 10.30am, where we caught up with other members of the club. It was great to see everyone, as we hadn’t seen each other much over the holiday break, and we also met some new faces.
The drive to Kennett River took us through the Otway Hills via Forrest and Skenes Creek, where we covered around 140km of beautiful rainforest and winding roads. High up in the hills, the scenery was magical, yet eerie at the same time, particularly where there were sections of heavy mist and enormous trees covering the road over, blocking out the sunlight. Then, all of a sudden, daylight, and the most amazing view of crystal clear water up ahead.
We stopped at Koala Café in Kennett River for a bite to eat, a cute little eatery tucked away on the side of the road, before heading off again.
From rainforest to ocean in one day, is the only way I can describe the next stage of the journey along the iconic Great Ocean Road. It was great to see a line of BMW’s following each other through kilometres of bending, winding roads, rocky mountains on one side and the bright blue water on the other.
The next stop was Lorne, where we met up with members of other car clubs to join the cruise to Torquay, where the Torquay Rotary Motor Show would be held the next day.
We ended the day there, where we all parted to prepare our cars for the following day.
Victoria is absolutely stunning and the BMWDCM, through their meticulously planned drives, and many other events, have given me the chance to thoroughly explore our beautiful state.
Samantha Ballis | Member #477
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Torquay Motor Show was a really great turn out with 12 BMW Drivers Club cars in a fantastic club display.
Everybody in the club had fun and I spent the day with my dad, Joel Robin, in his lowered blue E30.
The BMWDCM always makes dad and I feel welcome, laugh and enjoy a fantastic day out, with likeminded club members. The Torquay show itself had plenty of different varieties of cars as well, which was an eye opener for both dad and me.
The best part of the show for me, was seeing all the different BMW’s over the years in the BMWDCM display, from the 700 to the 840i and the Z4 on display.
Zavier Robin | (11 years old, son of Joel Robin) Member #41
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Every year Motorsport Australia hold an award night for the Victorian State awards for the previous year.
On Friday, 7 February Graeme Bell, Shaaryn Glynn, Lawrence Glynn and I, attended this years' awards. Not because we had anything to accept but to be there as representatives of our Club, as we are a Motorsport Australia Affiliated Club and also Motorsport Australia officials.
It was a brilliant night with clubs from all over Victoria represented. It was great to see officials and drivers being presenting with awards for their year of service or achievements in 2019. It was also nice to see that our friends at AROCA received an award for 50 years of being a club.
There was a wide age range of drivers, from young achievement awards going to drivers who would be as young as 16, to older vintage drivers in their late 70’s.
We all thoroughly enjoyed the night and it is wonderful to be able to socialise with our fellow officials and other club representatives away from the racetrack.
We are all looking forward to 2020 awards night, which will be held next year in February 2021.
Jo Mawson | Member #2
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
Bathurst is a special place for petrolheads, and the first sight of the letters MOUNT PANORAMA (on the side of the mountain, similar to the Hollywood sign) as you approach the track always gets me excited about the weekend ahead. We packed many great experiences into the weekend: a podium tour, helicopter ride, tour of the BMW Walkenhorst pit area, dinner with the interstate BMW clubs and walking the grid before the race start.
On Saturday afternoon, Lawrence and I had a surprisingly open conversation in the pits with some Bentley mechanics about their troubles. It turns out that their chattiness was because they thought (based on the shirts we were wearing) that we were mechanics for the BMW team!
Sadly, it was a weekend of bad luck for Chaz Mostert and the rest of the BMW Walkenhorst team, who eventually retired due to damage from a collision. Nonetheless it was a very entertaining race, and we were wined and dined throughout. I took some walks to watch parts of the race from various places around the circuit, but with 40+ degree temperatures it was great to return to the air-conditioned comfort of the corporate marquee.
To finish off the day, we bumped into the drivers of the BMW M4 GT4, who were celebrating finishing first in the GT4 class.
Thanks to Jo and Graeme for organising a great trip.
Simon de Lisle | Member #430
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
FINALLY, thanks to BMWDCM, I have experienced the Mecca of Australian Motorsport, the Bathurst 12-hour Enduro GT Race!
Having grown up in the 70s and 80s, in the heyday of production car racing, luckily our household had it on tele every year.
Aussies could go out and buy the winning car on the Monday after the race. How awesome were those muscle cars?
The current GT pro class race cars, are absolute beasts on the track and make for some exciting racing and viewing. Thanks to Jo and team E30, we had some exclusive access to the BMW M6 in their pits and pre-race on the grid at 5.30am Sunday morning. We also got to check out the race control tower, a podium tour and another first for me, a helicopter ride around the track, during the race.
The corporate package with airconditioned marque, TV coverage, race simulators and nonstop food and drinks, is the way to go, when the temp outside is 42c.
Unfortunately, the M6 hit a roo and had to retire some time after, after radiator and overheating issues.
A special thanks to Graeme and Jo for getting me up to Bathurst and looking after us like a family.
Mel Sedmak | Member #319
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
MONTH IN REVIEW
Unfortunately we start 2020 with the sadness of not just Victoria, but all around Australia. We hope that you are all safe and well and if you have been impacted, please do reach out for help.
January was a quiet month, with many of us taking a well-earned break. Our friends at Mercedes-Benz Club Victoria organised an impromptu event at Mercedes-Benz Waverley in support of the bushfires which some of our members attended. It was fantastic to see that over $6,000 was raised on the day.
As you read this, a group of our members are enjoying the first official event on our 2020 calendar, the Bathurst 12 Hour.
MEMBERSHIP UPDATE: 430 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
Here's what we've got planned in February:
Saturday, 8 FebruaryPre-Torquay Motor Show CruiseCome for a drive off the highway through the Otway hills to the iconic Great Ocean Road at Skenes Creek and then drive along part of the more interesting section of the road to Lorne where we will join the inaugural Torquay Motor Show Cruise to Torquay.
Tuesday, 11 February
February Members Meeting ft. Jay Leno's Garage Car Products
Our February Members Meeting will be a casual night, so we can all catch up and see what we've all been up to over the holiday season. We'll also share the club's plans for 2020 and featuring a demonstration of Jay Leno's Garage Car Products. You may even be able to win some products to take home!
Saturday, 22 February
2020 Yokohama/Traction Tyres Drivers Championship | Round 1
Round 1 of our 2020 championship will be kicking off on 22 February at Sandown Raceway. Be sure to enter fast to avoid missing out!
Keep an eye on our calendar for events coming up, we’re always adding something new.
For free admission, please ensure that you register before 21 March.
CLUB PERMIT SCHEME NOTICE
It is important that if you have a vehicle on club plates your membership be kept up to date.
If you haven't renewed your membership your club permit will be invalid, regarless of whether your club permit is still in date and you've signed your logbook.
If your membership is not current and you find yourself pulled over by police, you can be fined as your car is considered unregistered.
You can find more information regarding the club permit scheme here.
MOTORSPORT VOLUNTEERS WANTED
Have you ever wanted to be close to the action on track but not quite in the action?
We are looking for volunteers to assist at the following track days:
Please get in contact with Jo Mawson to discuss how you can get involved.
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:
Creative Custom Cars
Happy new year!
We start 2020 with the sadness of all the bushfires that have devastated our country. We hope that all our members are safe and well and if you are impacted by these events don’t be backward in asking for help, as there are a lot of us doing what we can to help where we can. Even if it’s a chat and a shoulder to lean on, we are always there at the end of the phone or the door is always open.
Club wise, January has been very quiet, due to us all taking a well-earned break, but our friends at Mercedes Benz Club Victoria did organise and invite us to an impromptu event at Waverley Mercedes Benz in support of the bushfires throughout Australia.
It was lovely to see many of our members turn up to support this event, and boy what a huge fund-raising event it turned out to be. Raising close to $6,000 on the day, with the possibility of more donations to come in afterwards. The funds raised went to a much deserving CFA branch in the bushfire area.
We have organised a weekend in April to help inject funds back into the communities so be sure to check it out and come along to support those communities.
This weekend we've got our first official event for the year - the Bathurst 12 Hour. There are a number of members in attendance, with some camping and others staying in hotels. We're also going to be catching up with members from the NSW, ACT and Qld BMW Clubs. It's always great to meet up over a meal at the end of the day and also walk around to track and chat to other BMW fans all around the mountain.
We have some great events on the 2020 calendar - our Drivers Championship and Driver Training dates are also in the calendar. Our drivers championship is set to be pretty exciting with a trip to Tailem Bend with The BMW Drivers Club of South Australia and we're off to Bathurst for the annual Challenge Bathurst weekend. It is an expensive event to enter, but hey, how else can you get to drive around one of the best racetracks in the world at real speed?
Keep a look out on our events page for new and exciting events and I look forward to seeing you at an event soon.
Graeme Bell | President
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc.
P.O. Box 81, TYABB, VICTORIA. 3913
Incorporated in Victoria #A0102695GBMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc is a member of: BMW Clubs Australia and the BMW Clubs International CouncilMotorsport Australia Affiliated Motorsport Club
John Edwards (USA), Jesse Krohn (FIN), Augusto Farfus (BRA) and Chaz Mostert (AUS) took victory in the GTLM class at the wheel of the #24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE at ‘Daytona International Speedway’. The #25 car finished fifth. At the head of the field, the BMW works drivers thrilled GT fans with magnificent overtaking manoeuvres to finish ahead of two Porsche cars in second and third place.
BMW Team RLL tasted victory at Daytona in 2019. Back then, Farfus gave an impressive final stint to clinch first place at the Florida endurance classic. This time, it was Krohn who took the wheel for the last stint of the race. He overtook the leading #911 Porsche with 46 minutes of the race remaining. Shortly thereafter, he came in for his final pit stop, following which he successfully defended his lead to the finish. Krohn also set the fastest lap of the race with a time of 1:42.168 minutes.
This latest triumph sees BMW Motorsport add another chapter to its success story at Daytona where BMW first won at the ‘World Center of Racing’ back in 1976 with the BMW 3.0 CSL. The BMW M3 GTR then took class wins in 1997 and 1998. Daytona prototypes with BMW engines crossed the finish line in first place in 2011 and 2013. This was the fourth GTLM victory in the IMSA series for the BMW M8 GTE.
Connor De Phillippi (USA), Bruno Spengler (CAN), Philipp Eng (AUT) and Colton Herta (USA), who alternated at the wheel of the #25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, were unfortunate. Their car ran over debris which damaged an oil line in the early stages of the race. That necessitated a long stop for repairs which saw the quartet drop well down the field. As a result, fifth place was the best the #25 car could achieve.
In the GTD class, the Turner Motorsport team was challenging for a top result at the season-opener in the #96 BMW M6 GT3. BMW works driver Jens Klingmann (GER), Bill Auberlen, Robby Foley and Dillon Machavern (all USA) finished sixth after 763 laps.
For Dan Harper (GBR), Neil Verhagen (USA) and Max Hesse (GER) – the members of the new BMW Junior Team – the victory for the BMW M8 GTE was the icing on the cake at the end of an eventful weekend. The three Juniors were involved in the processes within BMW Team RLL and gained valuable experience behind the scenes. This included a visit to Radio Le Mans, as well as the honour of waving the start flag for the BMW Endurance Challenge, Friday’s opening round of this season’s IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge.
The next round of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship takes place on 21stMarch 2020 at Sebring (USA).
Klaus Fröhlich (Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Development): “That was an extremely exciting race. The final hours were particularly tense, with the lead changing hands many times. Today’s victory for BMW Team RLL at the Daytona 24-hour race ranks very highly in many regards. It was the result of excellent teamwork between the team, drivers and our engineers. The operative excellence of BMW Team RLL was remarkable. 24 hours without a single mistake, under great pressure throughout the entire race. Compliments to everyone. The same goes for our quartet of drivers, who gave a perfect performance. Last but not least, our BMW M8 GTE once again demonstrated its winning genes at the scene of last year’s triumph. In doing so, it underlined the fact that this car is one of the top GT cars out there right now. The BMW M8 GTE showed no signs of weakness in this 24-hour sprint. It was among the leaders all race and led for more kilometres than anyone else. And all that against extremely strong opposition. We certainly put on a display of great motor racing for the fans and spectators. That was a strong start to the year for BMW Motorsport, including in other categories. Congratulations to all involved. Long may it continue.”
Jens Marquardt (BMW Group Motorsport Director): “Two Daytona wins in a row for the BMW M8 GTE. That is a sensational effort from BMW Team RLL, the drivers and our engineers at BMW Motorsport in Munich. It is hard to compare the two triumphs. In 2019, we only led for one lap and took advantage of our late opportunity to take victory in the rain. This year, we were among the front-runners from the opening lap. We led for longer than any other GTLM car. The race was defined by the fantastic battle between our #24 car and the two Porsches. We witnessed hard but fair racing. That is how it should be. Congratulations to John Edwards, Jesse Krohn, Chaz Mostert and Augusto Farfus on their victory, as well as the entire team in the background. Had the #25 car not needed to come in early for repairs after debris from another car damaged an oil line, then Connor De Phillippi, Bruno Spengler, Colton Herta and Philipp Eng would definitely have been good for a top result too. We certainly head into the rest of the IMSA season with plenty of momentum now.”
Bobby Rahal (Team Principal BMW Team RLL): “Whoever thought we were just lucky to win last year were shown otherwise today. That was a battle for 24 hours. The drivers did a fantastic job, and the same goes for the crew. We did not make any mistakes. I feel sorry for the guys in the #25 car, as they would also have finished further up the field without the incident. On the whole, I am delighted for my team and BMW Motorsport. Congratulations to Porsche and Corvette, who were good from the word go with their new cars. We are simply very happy today.”
John Edwards (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, 1stplace): “I am very rarely speechless – but that is the case today. I had every faith in Jesse bringing it home at the end. And he did it. It was a really hard fight, as always in the GTLM class. The many battles were extremely tiring, particularly during my triple stint. This is definitely the biggest success of my career. I’m overjoyed."
Jesse Krohn (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, 1stplace): “What a race! It feels absolutely incredible. This is my third year in the GTLM class – and my first victory. We have come so close so often, and now we have actually done it here at Daytona. The team was awesome. Thank you very much to BMW Motorsport and RLL for trusting me to take the final stint of the race. Every single person did a mega job. I cannot believe that we are on the very top step of the podium.”
Augusto Farfus (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, 1stplace): “I am speechless. That was the best 24-hour race I have driven in my whole life. It was extremely fast, extremely close, and you could not afford to make any mistakes. We drove a perfect race: team, strategy, drivers, mechanics. The car worked well throughout the entire race. You don’t get through the full 24 hours like that very often. To win this race twice in a row is exceptional.”
Chaz Mostert (#24 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, 1stplace): “Incredible! This is my biggest win since Bathurst 2014. My world-class team-mates carried me through this race. Thank you very much to BMW Motorsport and RLL for allowing me to be involved. In 2019, the other car won. Back then, I could not imagine how it must feel for those guys. Now it was me stood on the top step of the podium. That is something very special.”
Connor De Phillippi (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, 5thplace): “Two wins in a row, that is fantastic for the team. I may not have won the race, but I am still delighted for the guys. John and Jesse were often unlucky in recent years, which makes it all the nicer that they won today. It is obviously also great for Chaz and Augusto. Personally, I would have liked a better result. However, we win and lose as a team. Today, we won together. Now it is time to win at Sebring.”
Bruno Spengler (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE, 5thplace): “We were really unlucky in this race. Even early on in the race we were 13 laps off the pace and with no chance of making much progress through the field. However, the car was superb and the whole team did a fantastic job. I am very happy for the crew and my team-mates that we won with the #24 car. The guys deserve that. Congratulations on a great performance."
Philipp Eng (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “I am overjoyed for the guys in the #24 car. The win is absolutely deserved. I am pleased for all the drivers, who are all great guys. We are good friends. One team, one goal – that’s not just an empty phrase. I am really pleased for them. What happened to our car is a shame. However, these things happen. We’ll go again next time."
Colton Herta (#25 MOTUL BMW M8 GTE): “I am obviously disappointed for our car, but I am pleased for the team. Everyone was flawless all weekend. We dropped well back early on in the race, but had good pace after that. I am delighted for my team-mates, who really deserved this victory.”
Evan from Jay Lenos's Garage Australia here, we are very excited to be a sponsor of the club for 2020.
Most of you would know of Jay and his collection of cars, but you might not know he has developed a range of advanced vehicle care products that are now available in Australia.
The range was developed by Jay and industry-leading professionals for over ten years in his garage, as products he was using didn't stand up to the demand and rigor of such a wide range of vehicles.
This is the first time Jay has ever put his name to a brand, as he has very high standards, the product has to be good.
We have created a discount code for members 'BMWDCM' which will give you 15% off all products in our online store and we'll post them to your door.
Click here to head to our website to view the range, you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.
Thanks and we look forward to meeting you all at club events throughout 2020!
Evan Gale | Jay Leno's Garage Australia
© 2020 BMW Drivers Club Melbourne Inc. All Rights Reserved.