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The BEMW Rally Web Update (No.3)

Giro d'Inverno Rally 4-5th August 2006

Go to the Downloads page to see the  videos (including in-car footage) from the event.

Above:  What a machine! The 325i BEMW Rally Car.

On Friday 4th August, the BEMW team headed south to Canberra for the Giro D’Inverno rally. Faced with the prospect of a third consecutive rally in adverse weather, the team was excited to see the clouds break just north of Goulbourn to reveal a weekend of perfect conditions...

Above: Mark and Matt strapped in, ready and raring to go rallying.

Above: Leigh and Dave getting ready

Friday night began with a series of 14‘challenging’ stages covering 205 competitive kilometres with a field of 62 cars. Both cars in the BEMW team, as well as numerous other competitors, almost ended the event on the first corner of the first night when they narrowly missed a log hidden on the far side of a crest. The video footage also shows the BMW ‘going mogul jumping’ (as described by Mark) on the third stage. Talk around the service park– from all teams– focused on the poor track conditions and ‘questionable’ roadbook notes. The tracks were also punctuated by large rocks and obstacles. Such conditions took their toll on many cars, but the BEMW team managed to complete the night stages with no other notable incidents. The BMW 325i was started as car 33 but had managed to lift this to 28th position by the end of the night; the BEMW WRX started as car 13 but dropped back in the field to 20th position by Friday night’s close.

Above: Grip to match the grunt - the Beemer on tarmac this time.

Saturday morning began on Brindabella Rd, with the BEMW team enjoying the opportunity to test their cars on a tarmac stage for the first time. The attached videos give some idea of the speed that these cars were able to carry on the sealed roads. Gotch & Green screamed to an excellent result of 5th fastest for the stage. This was indicative of the pace that the boys in the WRX would set for the rest of the day, resulting in them climbing from their 28th position of the previous night to an impressive 7th by the end of the day

Above: Back to real rally territory - Ripping it up BEMW style.

Above: The Beemer, mid-service, sporting the lovely logo of Penrite

Above: The WRX, in for a standard service too... this time, that is!

Much anticipation preceded the boys’ attempt at the twenty-four kilometre ‘Mineshaft’ stage. Those readers familiar with rallying will no doubt know the famous ‘up and over’ mineshaft track… for the rest the derivation of the name is obvious when you watch the footage. Lee and Greeny in the WRX came over the crest at a cracking pace, nearly getting airborne but maintaining control and powering on to finish the stage in impressive time, despite damaging the rear tyre in the stage. Mark and Matt in the 325i, however, had broken the R/H engine mount earlier in the stage. Associated complications with the steering meant they had to complete the stage at a reduced pace. Three more stages, two transport and one competitive, had to be completed before the car was able to return to service.

Above: The Mineshaft. Yeeeeehhhhhhaaaaaaaarrrrrr......!

 Competing one stage ahead of the BMW, the WRX pulled in to service after Stage 9 sporting a damaged R/H rear suspension arm (the result of the back of the car sliding a tad too wide on a left-hand bend, dropping the right rear wheel into a large rut on the edge of the road). Kudos to Vince, our Head Mechanic, who was able to heat and straighten the bar and release the car well within service time.

Above:  Vince miraculously re-welds the engine mount helped by Chris, Jarod and Jerry. Some of our service crew at their most brilliant.

Shortly afterwards, the BEMW 325i arrived at the service park with its cracked engine mounts. Once more, our service crew jumped into action. Mik’s willingness to get down and dirty underneath the car & Vince’s superlative skills with the welder were employed to weld the engine mount and have the car back in the field with only two minutes to spare before time penalties would have forced the BMW team’s retirement. Both BEMW cars were repaired and continued to perform strongly throughout the day.

Above: Front wheels indicating direction of travel, the rest of the car sideways!

Above: Leigh and Dave really rocketed through this corner.

Above: Lean and mean - power on!

Overall results were an impressive 7th and 16th outright for the WRX and BMW respectively. This equated to a Category win (Group N) for Gotch and Greeny in the WRX and 3rd in class (P4) for the BMW boys Mark and Matt. However, the 325i’s performance over the weekend is probably best revealed in the following stats: fastest in class 3 out of 14 stages, 2nd fastest in 1, 3rd fastest in 3… with the cracked engine mounts affecting two of the other stages. The WRX boys finished outright 5th fastest on two stages and 6th place on 4 stages. Well done team!

Thanks go to our chef extraordinaire Samantha, filling in for Kevin and ensuring that the team was well fed and able to focus on the tasks at hand. Together with the service crew, the remaining supporters and ‘ancillary staff’ also deserve a big thanks for their part in what was an excellent result and an exciting weekend.

Above: 'Sunny-side-up', just like the rally cars please, Sam.

To the BEMW Rally Team: our Sponsors (Sydney Wide European Autos, Penrite Oils, Chicane/Oakley, Advantage Tyres, Kumho, Australian Wool Network and The Other Dimension) and our phenomenal Service Crew,
You all yet again kept us out there on the track and racing to the limits.
A sincere thank you!

Bay Stages Rally – Bateman’s Bay 16/9/06
National Capital Rally – Canberra 25/11/06

Previous Rally Updates:
Update 1: Manning Valley - click here
Update 2: Bega - click here

If you are interested in joining the team to watch the next event, please contact us.

Go to the Downloads page to see the  NEW VIDEOS (including in-car footage) from the event!

If you have received this page as an email, and do not wish to receive any further BEMW Rally Team Updates, please send us an email by clicking here.

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