The BEMW Rally Web Update
Valley Rally - April 22nd 2006
Downloads page to see the videos
(including in-car footage)
from the event.
The BEMW Rally Car - full noise and squatting under the power at the
►After much anticipation, the British & European Motor Works BMW 325i
made its debut at Round One of the NSW State Rally Championship at Taree
on April 22nd.
was completed with less than 24 hours remaining before it lined up for
its maiden event. In fact, the engine was run in on the journey from the
workshop to the team’s overnight accommodation in Forster - Mark’s only
complaint from the 250km trip being that the ‘sump-guard made a rattling
noise’. Most would agree that this is a fairly minor complaint
considering the enormous number of modifications the car underwent over
the last twelve months…
Mark Callinan - Driver (left) Matt Wilson - Co-driver (right).
BEMW team car, Leigh Gotch’s Subaru WRX STi, was also completed on the
day prior to the event. Gotch had only acquired the vehicle earlier in
the week after upgrading from his non-STi WRX, and needed to perform
several minor, but fiddly modifications in preparation for the race.
Leigh Gotch- Driver (left) David Green - Co-driver (right).
Above: Back in the service area - the crew jump into action on
WRX getting a quick check after the first competitive stage.
Mark chooses the side with the steering wheel and pedals.
Above right: Mark analyses the data downloaded from the rally car
on his laptop, showing the car's performance via the Haltech ECU and
Sam and Mark finish the car with a couple of labels for the Haltech
No lack of horsepower!
A rare glimpse of Leigh and Greeny as they shoot past in the
crew of 25 people also made the journey north for the two BEMW cars make
their debut. Sam co-ordinated the logistics for the customers, friends,
family and technicians who were there, with all enjoying fantastic
corporate hospitality and most proudly displaying BEMW team colours. In
fact, before the race even began, the BEMW camp was attracting attention
with it’s entourage of BMWs, Range Rovers, and Land Rovers… and of
course, the glistening black-and-white BMW centrepiece.
Mark & Matt's
smiles speak volumes for the day's rally.
it’s a shame that the day’s championship points couldn’t be decided by
appearances alone, because the BEMW car would have won hands-down before
it began the first transport stage. The crowd at the driver’s briefing
showed more interest in the new BMW contender than any other vehicle –
it seemed that the combination of European heritage, stunning custom
paint, and a symphony of angry mechanical tones was irresistible to
onlookers. But appearances don’t count for everything, so with no prior
seeding the cars were placed in 34th (Gotch STi) and 37th
(Callinan 325i) in a field of 42 competitors. And with both drivers in
unfamiliar vehicles, expectations of performance were mixed. However,
both cars and teams performed exceptionally throughout the day, and it
wasn’t long before they shot up through the rankings.
Squatting at the rear under almost 700nm of torque.
sublime guidance of ex-WRC navigator David Green, Gotch lifted his
position to 16th overall, despite ‘getting intimate with the
scenery’ on two separate occasions during the last two stages. With only
one spotlight remaining for the last stage, Gotch and Green did
exceptionally well to bring the car home in a competitive placing.
As predicted by Mark, set up correctly, the E30 had sublime
handling in rally car form
– well-balanced, responsive and predictable.
the BEMW 325i continued to turn heads – and thrill ears with its awesome
acoustics. With Callinan driving and Matt Wilson debuting as Navigator,
the pair quickly developed a cohesive partnership, keeping the car out
of the scenery and on the gravel throughout the 10 stages on their way
to a highly impressive 2nd in class – and a 19th
outright placing. And that’s against all-wheel-drive turbos. The car ran
faultlessly throughout the day, needing only a couple of minor
adjustments during servicing (like fixing a squeaking clutch pedal at
the first service…). Driver and navigator both described the car as
performing exceptionally, despite having what appeared to be ‘too much
power’ - the wheels were still spinning even as it changed into fourth
gear! Truly impressive engineering. When Mark was asked if there was
anything he would change in the car for the next race meet, our trusty
mechanic replied, ‘Yeah – the oil.’
Above: Dusty, but without a scratch, the BMW arrived home to the
service area after the last stage. The car performed flawlessly all day
Many thanks go to Penrite Oils for ensuring the cars ran as smoothly as
possible on the day and Kumho tyres for helping to keep the cars right
and last, but not least, to the crew that made it all possible on the
day. Thanks guys!
Above: Boasting fresh
Sydney Wide European Auto decals, the
BEMW Rally Car is prepared for the next run at Bega on 10th June.
As a result of a great run in the Manning Valley Rally and a very
positive response to the BEMW Rally Car, we have just had Sydney Wide
join the team as a sponsor. We thank them for their contributions and
look forward to carrying their name with pride for the duration of the
State Rally Championship. ◄
you are interested in joining the team to watch the next event, please
contact us. Click
here for the rally schedule
(our events are highlighted in blue).
to see the videos
(including in-car footage)
from the event.
an eye out for the feature article on the BEMW Rally Car in the upcoming
issue of RallySport Magazine!
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by ::: The Other Dimension