It’s hard to believe that 3 months have passed since the last time the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series thundered around a race circuit. The drivers, teams, crews and organisers have been going at it flat out during the off-season to get ready for what is gearing up to be an absolute thriller! They are one of the feature attractions at the Amtec Race Day, the first event of the EV Dynamics Inland Championship tour on 17 February at Midvaal Raceway.
The basic structure of the series has not changed drastically whereby competitors are divided into 5 classes according to lap times. This means in any of the classes, there is a complete mix of car and driver skill, making for some of the most entertaining racing around.
Heading up the Class T brigade will be 2016 Overall champion Julian Fameliaris (E36 328i Turbo), along with cousin Dino Fameliaris (E36 M3 Turbo) and a returning Jorge Estrela (E36 328i Turbo). Class A is empty for now until the normally aspirated big-bangers break out of Class B- it could even happen at the first round. Class B is the fullest it has ever been with crowd favourites and siblings Rick (E30 325is) and Paulo Loureiro (E36 M3) raring to go. Willie Erasmus (E46 M3) finds himself in a new, much faster car this year and will want to stamp his authority early on. He will have to keep tabs though on Andreas Meier (E36 M3), Shane Grobler (E36 M3 Turbo), Len-Henry Gobey (E36 M3), Craig Ball (E36 M3), Morne Visagie (E36 M3 Turbo) and newcomer David Coetzee (E36 328i Turbo) in the ex-Lorenzo Gualtieri monster.
As always, Class C promises extremely close battles in a very tight grouping of Antonie Marx (E46 M3), Jimmy Tsimenoglou (E36 M3), Mike Grobler (E39 M5), Oz Biagioni (E46 M3) and Trevor Long (E36 M3). All of these cars have received much attention during the break in what was the most hotly contested class in 2017 and it will likely have some new Class D recruits mid-season to set the tongues wagging.
The Class D brat pack however is going to be the bunch to watch. Jan Eversteyn (E36 328i) will for the first part of the year continue in his overall championship winning E36 328i until his new M3 is ready. 2017 runner up and 2016 class champion Troy Cochran (E46 325ti) has his eyes on the top spot and a second class championship, but both of them have their work cut out. Alan Hilligenn (E36 328i) had an unfortunate breakout in 2017 but he is back to prove he has what it takes to stay at the front. Morgan Long (E36 328i) returns with a bit more experience and Warren Dodd (E90 330i) will be making his comeback. Of great interest is the race debut of Jon Matos (E36 328i) who has great experience racing a two-wheeled BMW, Bernard De Gouveia (E36 328i) who serves duty as the club accountant, Matthew Wadeley (E36 328i) who has stepped up from the Time Trial Series as has Renier Smith (E36 M3) and finally, another Gualtieri- Salvi (E36 328i) who was a previous club chairman and will be piloting the 2013 championship winning car.
Racing starts at 09:30 and carries on right until 17:30 with some other top categories joining the event. Tickets are just R50 at the gate.
For any further information on the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series, please contact Michael Broom on firstname.lastname@example.org