Flying the BMW flag at the 2019 FOM

Advert for the FOM 2019Race Report, 22nd August 2019 - 25th August 2019: The Festival of Motoring signals that spring has arrived in Johannesburg. This year, the motor-show was lucky with sunny and warm weather, and clear blue sky (it was perfect for the awesome aerobatic displays!).

The Festival of Motoring provides visitors the chance to see the manufacturers show off their latest models, exhibitors to show off their newest products, tech talks, and on-track rides at the famous Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. For the Evolution 2 Motorsport it’s always a chance to wake our client’s race cars from their slumber.

This year we had the opportunity of 4 days of potential testing for the Winfield BMW E23 745i Modified. The brief from the vehicle's owner, Paolo Cavalieri (of Pablo Clark Racing) was to get valuable, track time. The reason? Well, we can’t divulge any information at this stage.

The past couple of months, our head technician Wade and Ted Garstang (previously of Bilstein Shock Absorbers SA) have been working together to improve certain aspects of the Modified. Rewind to 1986 (more than 33 years ago), where a small race team in the Free State built races cars. They built the Modified in record time, and as always with Tony’s cars the car was successful. As to be expected the Modified is a beast (as were all the Wesbank Modified competitors) and Tony had big ‘cahuna’s to drive it. Google ‘Tony Viana BMW 745i Modified’ and you will see Tony hurtling down the old Kyalami start/ finish straight at 250km/h. So there was always room for improvement.

3 legends of BMW SA MotorsportThe car was out of the limelight during 2018, as it became an ‘Art Car’. During this period owner Paolo Cavalieri and guest driver Jaki Scheckter had identified elements that needed to be improved based on previous test sessions and races. Most importantly they wanted the handling, setup and the seating position improved. Wade and Ted worked many Saturday's beforehand strategizing and then implementing the required changes to the front suspension.

Wade and the Team have worked late nights before the Festival of Motoring to finish the Modified, as the Festival of Motoring provided the ideal opportunity to try out these changes and also if needed make changes in a slightly more relaxed environment (compared to a race weekend). We look back on a weekend where the Modified ran faultlessly for over 140 laps, and with all the changes Jaki improved his lap-times by 7 seconds! Mission accomplished for the vehicle, but plenty more work to be done.

To view a video of the vehicle on-track, click here

AutoTrader was running a ‘VIP’ competition over the weekend, where the prize was hot laps in the Ferrari F250 GTM SWB (in red now). The lucky winners were taxied around by the legendary Sarel van der Merwe (fondly known as SuperVan) and also Paolo Cavalieri.

Those that attended the show (and followed on social media) would have noticed that BMW only had 3 of their latest road vehicles taking people around on the track and no expo stand. So with 6 of our race car models we feel we were flying the BMW flag *wink wink*  To think that our little workshop has restored and maintains such iconic South African 'heroes', is something we are very proud of.

Beautiful picture by Chris Wall MediaOn display was the one & only Winfield Group 1 BMW E23 745i, the Winfield BMW E30 325i Shadowline, the beautiful replica BMW E9 CSL ‘Batmobile’ and the ex-Anthony Taylor BMW E46 330i Production Car. Those that attended the show on Thursday and Friday would have seen the iconic 'Batmobile' doing a few demos, but as mentioned above the main focus was for Jaki to test the 745i Modified and Paolo’s time was spent between his iTOO Classics and Pablo Clark Racing client commitments.

A special mention must go to our team, especially our Head Technician Wade who put in numerous hours during the day and after hours to make the necessary updates to the Modified BMW E23 745i; and our young mechanic Wickus for all his hard work in the build-up and at the event. Also a mention to all those suppliers who have helped us with all the projects over the years, and the support from BMW South Africa with attaining certain parts.

All in all it was another successful edition of the Festival of Motoring. Well done to the 2019 organizers.  The ‘children’ all returned in 1 piece – they have been cleaned and covered until the next event – hopefully it won't be to long until they can stretch their legs again. We will keep you posted.

To view some pictures from the weekend, click here

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