The BEMW Rally Web Update No.
The Bega Rally -
June 11th 2006
Downloads page to see the videos
(including in-car footage)
from the event.
The BEMW Rally Car - sporting sponsor logos and um, wet dirt.
►The British & European Motor Works BMW 325i
had its second run at Round 2 of the NSW State Rally Championship at
Bega on June 11.
early hours of Saturday morning (read: 3am!), the BEMW convoy began its
journey south through Goulbourn and on to Bega for Round 2 of the NSW
State Rally Championship. A field of over 100 cars turned up for the
combined event, with vehicles coming from NSW, ACT, and Victoria to
compete. Scrutineering took place in Bega town centre before the team
set up headquarters in nearby Tathra.
The BEMW Rally Crew - Mark & Matt in the office.
The BEMW WRX Rally Crew - Leigh & David, last minute checks.
afternoon provided a rare opportunity for testing on some forest roads,
so Mark took several of his service crew for a run in the car. The
short, steep track provided plenty of scope for everyone to experience
the vehicle’s capabilities first-hand, and all returned with sizable
grins on their faces, thoroughly impressed
and begging for more.
As the sun
set in the west on Saturday afternoon, the rain came in from the east
and became constant throughout the night, delivering a very slippery
surface for the following day’s racing. Much speculation about track
conditions and safety concerns early Sunday morning proved to be wasted,
as organisers pledged to continue with the race.
the start saw a welcome compatriot/competitor in the form of another E30
BMW 325i. However, the first two stages saw the BEMW 325i make
significant ground on its opponent, being nearly 5 minutes quicker over
the 1st 3 stages.
The BEMW Rally Car - hooting through that corner.
Mark & Matt doing what they love.
slippery roads proved extremely challenging for all competitors, with
some choosing to withdraw rather than take their chances in the mud and
drizzling rain. But both BEMW cars performed strongly throughout the
Fortunately not much to be done at service on the BM - car ran
The WRX getting some checks at service - it also ran incredibly
the weather eventually forced the organisers to cancel the final four
stages and shorten the fifth stage by seven kilometres. This fourth
stage proved particularly slippery, with most cars opting for a crawling
pace to simply ensure that they completed the event. A sound strategy,
but the three cars sitting in the scrub that the BEMW team passed would
suggest that it wasn’t quite enough. Leigh Gotch & David Green in the
WRX were holding down an impressive 3rd position in Group N
until a spin on this stage cost them approx. 10 seconds. Final analysis
of the results showed that they were relegated from 3rd to 4th
in class by just 4 seconds.
Gotch & Greenie on the last special stage of the day.
BEMW cars made a solid start to the day, Leigh & David in the WRX
powered on to an impressive 31st outright placing (in a field
of 106 starters), while the 325i suffered a broken diff 3.5km from the
finish of the last stage. Mark had made some changes to the rear
suspension as well as going to narrower tyres & a softer compound,
resulting in a lot more traction from the rear wheels compared to when
the car first ran at Taree. Unfortunately this meant the diff soon
reached its limits and let go. Mark had been using the smaller E30 diff
because of the available 4.45:1 ratio. The car is now fitted with the
larger (stronger), 4.10:1 E30 diff. Despite an accompanying mechanical
cacophony, the car was still able to be limped to the completion of the
stage. Unfortunately the organisers of the event have misplaced the time
cards from the last 2 stages for the 325i and the final results for Mark
and Matt have not been resolved.
Those narrower Kumhos on the BEMW Rally Car really improved
Callinan/Wilson partnership in the 325i performed solidly throughout the
5 stages, BEMW team honours of the weekend certainly went to the Gotch
and Green camp with the WRX STI finishing just 4 seconds off third place
in its category.
A sweet corner, Mark throws the car sideways nicely for a smooth
the greatest victory of the weekend was not on the track, with Leigh
using Sunday night’s team meeting to propose to his entirely
unsuspecting girlfriend. A very surprised, but delighted Amy gave a
teary 'yes', and the champagne flowed from the winner’s podium (read: balcony) for the rest of the night. We wish them every success,
and look forward to seeing the bubbly come out for the BEMW team again
in the future… although next time for different reasons.
Leigh down on one knee, Amy over the moon.
for the weekend are due to the dedicated crew of people who gave their
time so generously to come and support the team. Most notably BEMW would
like to thank Vince, our team’s head mechanic, for bringing his service
truck and wealth of expertise to the event once again. BEMW would also
like to thank its sponsors, Sydney Wide European Autos, Penrite Oil
Company, Bathurst Truck Tyre Centre, The Australian Wool Network and
Kuhmo Tyres for their support. ◄
you are interested in joining the team to watch one of the rally events, please
to see the videos
(including in-car footage)
from the event.
BEMW Rally Car has a feature article on it in the current issue of
RallySport Magazine! Check it out in any good newsagency... or
here to see the article.
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BEMW Rally Update (Taree), click
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