Round 1 of the heritage touring cars was held at Phillip Island on the long weekend 9/10 March.
Fantastic weather, great cars and a huge crowd saw these fantastic heritage JPS BMW touring cars race all weekend.
It was also a very special weekend as it was the first time car 1 (our car) and car 2 (peter Sturgeon’s car from New Zealand) have raced together since Bathurst 1982, and to really top it off, it was also the first time ever we had car build number 1 (our car) build number 2 (Peters car) and build 3 (Adrian’s group A car) lined up together, and actually racing in the same race, very special moment in JPS BMW history.
It was our 5th meeting in the car as we only did one round last year due to major development works being organised at Peninsula BM.
This year will be another big year for Peninsula BM as the development will start and it will tricky trying to help everyone when all our stock will be stockpiled up ready for the move into the new location, so please be patient with us, but the finished development will be VERY EXCITING!!!
Our 5th race meeting was a success firstly because we finished, with nothing broken or damaged (unlike our old L34 Torana!!), and secondly because we ended up 4th group C.
The only real issue we had was a gearbox that would not shift between the gears easily, and it turned out the clutch adjustment changed as the engine got hot causing the clutch to not release correctly.
So after a minor adjustment we had gears again, but still no first gear as it would not engage at any speed or rev range (unless at idle and stopped moving), so it was a bit slow coming out of the slow speed tight corners, and we also had an issue with the gear selector detent springs, it was very hard to find the correct gear because there was very little spring pressure to help the shifter select gears.
This is original gearbox we bought of Micheal McMicheal and then blew it up on a dyno, and then had to rebuilt it, so now the box has to come out again and go to a different person who actually knows what he is doing with these very unique gearboxes, Ken Zinner.
Our new 4.1 diff ratio was perfect, we used 4th gear up the back straight and 5th gear on the front straight and actually got to use full revs.
Interesting that the diff oil temperature changed from a 3.9 at 110 degrees to now a 4.1 at 120 degrees..
We are still learning the car, and just now starting to find out why Jim Richards was so fast in it compared to the ford and Holden V8’s.
The V8’s are fast in a straight line, but the BMW is so good under brakes and cornering, that once we got the idea of its true capability’s we started overtaking cars on the outside of a corner and out braking them to gain a position, and I have to tell you, it felt amazing doing it!!!
We have just started playing with brake bias as we found out we had too much rear brake causing the car to skip/hop in the rear wheel under hard brakes, so as we get faster in the car, I’m sure we will be continually adjusting the bias.
Also, Pip Barker, who build the engine has told us the engine will comfortably rev to 8000 RPM, and this was the first time we have pushed the new engine to that rev range, and wow, he’s right, not only did it reach it, but it wanted to go past it…
Unfortunately Jim Richards weekend was cut short due to an overheating problem in Peters car, and eventually had to retire to save any further engine damage, we hear the car is now being sent back to New Zealand and the engine will be removed and sent back to Australia for Pip Barker (Kalaru automotive) to rebuild.
Also the first time we were able to show off our new A-frame picture board. Showing the JPS's history from the build stage till now. Like they say "a picture is worth a thousand words"