23 June 2010
ROAD-LEGAL BMW M3 CLAIMS ENDURANCE RACE CHAMPIONSHIP
BMW Driving Trainer Mike Eady and team-mate Kevin Bell have successfully driven their 2009 model BMW M3 V8 to victory in the North Island Endurance Series Championship, taking the title ahead of competitors driving larger and more powerful cars.
Their championship win was all the more remarkable considering their BMW M3 is road legal - and even has a Warrant of Fitness to prove it.
"We can literally drive our BMW M3 to the track, race for up to six hours in a competitive environment and then motor home at the end of the event," said Mike Eady.
"It's testament to the race-bred heritage and ongoing refinement of driving dynamics inherent in BMW models which enable us to win in a vehicle very similar to one which can be bought off the shop floor."
The race car retains almost all of the original equipment as found in a BMW M3, right down to the factory-fitted dashboard including in-car entertainment, air-conditioning and Sat-Nav systems.
The most obvious difference in the number 99 BMW is the removal of passenger seats, but any weight reduction is more than offset by the addition of a safety roll-cage.
"The standard fitment rear-demister certainly came in handy at various times during the three-race series, especially during the extremely wet conditions encountered during the last race in Taupo," said Mr Eady.
"Perhaps the most impressive part of the package though was the car's stopping ability, provided courtesy of standard BMW M3 brakes. They delivered simply amazing performance with no evidence of fade and they kept going hour after hour."
The on-board computer monitored the team's progress and came up with some interesting statistics. The team completed 105 laps of the 3.3km long Taupo circuit in the shortened 3 hour 45 minute race, with a top speed of 226km/h on the wet track.
The car will soon be on display at BMW New Zealand Head Office and preparations are underway to feature it at BMW dealers around the country. It will also make an appearance at the Speed Show in Aucklnd during July.
Motoring enthusiasts are able to book the ultimate driver training day with Mike Eady, who is one of only ten BMW accredited senior instructors worldwide.
The course aims to imporve both conidence and ability and more information is available by contacting BMW driver training on 0508 BMW DRIVE (0508 269 374).
Mike Eady and Kevin Bell's North Island Endurance Series campaign was sponsored by BMW New Zealand, Castrol, Profreight International and EuroCorp.