Unit G21 2A Victoria
Avenue Castle Hill
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The BEMW Rally Team Results
2009 Winners: AMSAG Open Rally Championship 2008 AASA 2WD Modern Rally Champions 2008 AMSAG Modern 2WD Championship 2nd Outright 2007 Forster Great Lakes Rally 2WD Outright Champions 2006 2WD(over 2 Litre) Class NSW State Rally Champions
Pipe King Cowra Shire Rally Another great result for the BEMW Rally Team!
Photo: Dave Watson of Pitlane Photos.
The BEMW Rally Team has returned after another successful race at Cowra last weekend. Despite several ‘notable incidents’, both car and team performed strongly to secure an impressive result of 3rd Outright Open (/1st RWD).
Only two weeks prior to the race, it appeared funding issues would keep BEMW out of the Pipe King Cowra Shire Rally. However, with the generous support of John Mills from Kumho Motorsport Tyres – who supplied 4 new tyres for the race – and some other local support the team made it to the event to contest their place as reigning champions.
The competitive stages mainly took place on shire roads, which are known for their firmer surface and more open, flowing style. Along with this comes the promise of more speed – something that became evident as the BEMW team posted averages speeds of more than 130 km/h in four of the stages.
True to form, the car ran very reliably. The only minor issue was the passenger side window not shutting completely, meaning the car subsequently filled with dust. This forced Mark to remove his glasses, which found their way onto the floor where they interfered with his feet. Approaching a corner at 170 km/h, Mark was unable to react in time and sent the car into a slide across the long grass, narrowly missing a fence. His analysis of the situation afterwards was typically dry:
‘We weren’t going too fast, the corner was just the wrong angle.’
Stage C4 | Bonnie Braes - Spin!
Stage C4 | Bonnie Braes - Spin from another angle!
Another near-catastrophe occurred when the team was confronted with a reckless local driving the wrong way up one of the closed rally roads during a competitive stage. Coming over a rise at almost 170km/h in their BMW, Mark and Matt were confronted with an old Daihatsu Charade doing approximately 50km/h in the opposite direction. Concerned for the safety of the drivers following him (and for the driver in the offending vehicle), Mark slowed down and radioed an alert to race control. Fortunately, no incidents occurred despite the man stubbornly continuing on his way up the road all the way to the starting point, although the team lost a significant amount of time as a result.
Servicing wasn't difficult on this rally, on account of the smooth roads.
Finally, a spin on Stage 7 saw the BMW shoot backwards into the scrub after loose gravel on the corner failed to provide the expected grip. Once again, there were no injuries to car or drivers so the BMW continued on its way having lost just over 10 seconds of time. Interestingly, this was approximately the margin between the 3rd placed BEMW team and the 2nd placed team, while the event winners finished with a 19-second lead.
Stage C7 | Pine Hill - Spin!
Other than the above incidents, the car and team performed strongly on the day on what were fast – if less technical – roads. Testimony to the speed of the event, the BEMW car managed and average speed of 162km/h on Stage 10!
Tyre Selection In an exercise that displays the importance of tyre selection, the team experimented with different compounds during the day. The BEMW 325i started event wearing old (though hardly worn) Kumho R800 soft compound on the rear and the new Kumho R800 soft on the front. This decision was due to the cold temperature of less than 6° C, and Mark felt that the soft compound on the rear would work better than the medium compound at the these temperatures. This tyre combination was employed for the first five stages, where the team was an average of 1.8 sec/km slower than the winning car of Kari Dirckx (although this does not factor in the spin on Stage 4 or the impeding car mentioned above). At the lunch break, new Kumho R900 medium compounds were fitted to the rear, with the following results: Stage C6 - equal 2nd fastest, C7 - 8th fastest with spin, C8 - 3rd fastest, C9 - 2nd fastest and C10 - 3rd fastest. With R900 medium compound tyres, the BEMW car was an average of only 0.52 sec/km slower than Kari Dirckx! It seems that the R900s would have been a better choice from the start. Many thanks again to John Mills of Kumho Motorsport Tyres for providing the new, superior rubber.
The team would also like to make a special mention of the people of Greenethorpe Primary School (boasting 23 students) who put on a spectacular lunch for all the teams... they certainly could have taught Cowra Services Club a little about catering!
We also appreciate the kind loan of the Morrisey Services (www.morrisey.net.au) van from Russell Bishop – this ensured the team’s load of fuel, tyres, parts, tools and luggage all made it to Cowra and back safely.
Of course, the team once again thanks all the volunteers and firies who made the event possible. Mark was able to reward one young volunteer firefighter with a top-speed ride down one of the stages at 180km/h(!), all of which he recorded on his mobile phone and has promised to upload to the team’s Facebook page (BEMW Rally Team) for your viewing pleasure. Be sure to check the page for others news and videos of the day’s action.
Anyone interested can view some video footage of the BEMW Rally team in action on Youtube - just search for 'BEMW Rally Team' or check out the website at www.bemwrally.com.
Once again Mark, Matt and the BEMW Rally Team would like to thank the businesses that support the team and ask that where possible you support them. You can click on their names to link to their websites: