KEEGAN HICKSON – 2022-2023

Round 6 – Legends of Speed at Hampton Downs

The final round of the BMWRDS was held at Hampton Downs. My last chance to show everyone what I can do in this car and with the opportunities I gave myself throughout the weekend I feel like I did just that. I’d like to say a massive thankyou to everyone on the BMWRDS committee for their ongoing commitment to the club and everyone behind the scenes that got me out on track each weekend and supported me for the whole season. I couldn’t have done it without you all.

Friday Practice 17/3/2023
Friday practice was a bad start to the weekend. After about 5 laps of my first practice session a radiator hose had let go cutting that season short. Once the car had cooled Brydon was straight in there to sort it out, putting the hose back on and getting me ready for the next session but unfortunately he found another problem with the car, the water pump wasn’t holding any water. After a quick phone call with P&S we found out that they had a water pump back at the shop so that was most likely my practice day gone. Luckily for me Joel Herbert had a spear water pump that he was kind enough to let me use. And once Brydon got it in the car we had one more session left so I made the most of it.

Saturday 18/3/2023
Saturday morning was qualifying and I managed to get P10. I was still struggling for straight line speed but I knew I could gain positions in the races, and that’s exactly what I did. Race one I managed to gain two positions finishing in P8.

Sunday 19/3/2023
On Sunday we didn’t have a race until about 11:30 and I knew the car had a massive
understeer so thanks to Matt Henney who helped us string up the car to try to make it better for the final two races. Race 2 I was starting on P8 and I was able to get up to P4 until the two TKR guys managed to pass me leaving me in P6 for the end of the race.
The final race of the season was reverse top eight and I was starting on P4. I was so excited to finally get a chance to finish at the top but unfortunately four cars can’t go round turn one at the same time and all of them get out unhurt. Unfortunately for me I was the one stuck in the middle and I got absolutely sandwiched, popping my front right tire and causing a lot of panel damage ending my final race on the first lap.

I am so grateful for the opportunity the BMWRDS Committee had given me. Even though the season didn’t go my way I was still able to benefit from it. I have secured a full time drive for next season that I am so excited about and with a good team behind me I can’t wait to show everyone what I can really do.

📸 Matt Smith





Round 4 – Super Sprint at Taupo

Round 4 of the BMW Race Driver Series was held at Taupo International Motorsport Park. This race meeting was live on Sky Sport and TV3, so I knew I had to make the most of it. Before I say how the weekend went, I’d like to thank everyone that made this weekend possible. Rae from the BMW Race Driver Series Committee, thank you for organising a new logbook for me as mine was damaged in the flood. Steve from LS Louey Signs and your work on getting the Dunlop E46 car looking brand new again was awesome, Peter from P&S Autocentre for putting in the hours to get the car race ready and everyone from the BMW Race Driver Series Committee for your ongoing support.

Friday Practice 10 February 2023

Nik from Action Motorsport really helped me prepare for this round, so I was excited to finally get out on track and see what I could do. The first run on Friday was my chance to see how the changes Peter made to the car really felt and it started off really well. The car did what I wanted, and I had never felt so confident in the car. The second run the car started to understeer quite badly and the final run of the day was the same, so we knew we had to change something to fix this. We tried different tyre pressures and adjusting the shocks but the biggest change was putting some newer rubber on, so with these changes we felt confident for qualifying the next morning.

Saturday 11 February 2023

10am Saturday morning was qualifying for the Dunlop E46 class. Qualifying for me wasn’t my best performance but the car felt as if it was better than Friday. So before the first race I studied my onboard footage to see where I could improve. My first race was at 3:17 and I was starting on P13. I had a lot of work to do throughout this race to get to where I felt I should have been. I had an awesome start and made up two places before the first corner then I made another place through the middle section, putting me into 10th place. About half way through the race the car started to understeer again, this let two cars catch up to me and let me see how much straight line speed my car is still lacking, with 4 laps to go we had an awesome battle to the end of the race. I managed to hold onto 10th place for race one.
Talking to Brydon from Hickson Motors, Nik and Peter after the race they came up with a way to maybe get rid of the understeer.

Sunday 12 February 2023

Sunday morning Brydon made the changes to the car and got the car ready for Race 2. Race 2 I started on P10. Again I had an awesome start and gained two places then on the same lap I lost them down the back straight. I stayed in P10 for the majority of the race with no one close behind me and no one close in front of me. Unfortunately one of the TKR cars in front of me had a DNF putting me up to 9th place. Starting 9th for the final race had me feeling confident and the changes Brydon had made to the car gave me even more confidence as the car in race two had no issues apart from the straight line speed. For the final race I had my best start of the weekend going from 9th to 5th before the second corner. I did have a bit of contact with another driver going into turn two, this caused some damage to my front right

corner. I stayed in 5th place for the first lap but something with the car didn’t feel right; it had no turn in. This made me believe that the wheel alignment was knocked out of place so I pushed on doing the best I could. Within 4 laps I had almost dropped to the rear of the field. I knew something really wasn’t right. Then on the first corner of the final lap it happened the front right tyre let go and I was forced to retire the car. Not the best way to end the round but I felt like I showed where I should be and what I can do.

With Round 5 just one week away the car is at P&S Autocentre getting fixed and prepared for the my last ever chance to race at Pukekohe.

Again, a massive thanks to everyone making this season possible for me.

Photo Credit: Matt Smith as always has so many awesome photos of everyone in the BMW Race Driver Series


Round 3 – Waikato Challenge at Pukekohe

Round 3 of the BMWRDS was held at Pukekohe. This weekend was truly challenging from the weather being unpredictable to the lack of track time I got.
Friday 11/11/2022
Friday practice day was very challenging. The weather was wet to say the least, this was my first time to get some laps in at this track and I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately
I was a bit too eager to get out on track and hit the wall causing a bit of damage to the car.
Thinking back now I should’ve played it safe and stayed in the pits for the first run. But these are the things we learn as we go. After assessing the damage we decided to take the car back to P&S and get it fixed so we could race the rest of the weekend. Once we arrived at P&S Peter already had another two cars there he was fixing who had done similar things as me. Peter had organised the parts I needed before I even got to the shop. So all I needed to do was replace them. Luckily I had my uncle Brydon with me, we got stuck into the car fixing what needed to be done with the guidance from Peter. Once Brydon and I had replaced all the parts the car was ready for a wheel alignment, Peter got this done for us and we were ready for racing the next day. I can’t thank Brydon and Peter enough for the time and effort to get me back on track.
Saturday 12/11/2022
Saturday morning me and the team reassessed and got ready for qualifying. Qualifying was my first chance to get some laps in at puke, not the best circumstances but we pushed on and made the best of it. After qualifying we had some changes to be made to the car, we didn’t qualify all that well but we did what we needed. Thanks to Nik from Action motorsport we went over some data and camera footage to see where I could improve. Race one we started right at the back. I managed to make up two places on the start but lost them when my gear shifter popped out on me coming out of the hairpin. I pushed the shifter back in and managed to finish the race without gaining any positions from the start. This was immediately fixed once I got back into the pits thanks to P&S and Nick. P&S stayed late at the track and got the car ready for Sunday. They changed a few things to the car that I was struggling with.


Sunday 13/11/2022
Sunday morning was wet once again. But in my opinion this race was my best race of the weekend. Starting on P13 again I moved up two places on the start and I didnt stop there, lap two I gained another position. And after that I started to close the gap on the next guy ahead. Going into the final lap I had a 3 second gap to the car behind me and another 3 second gap to the car ahead of me, I took it easy on the last lap just trying to get the car to the finish line. I ended that race in P9. The final race of the weekend was dry again, starting p11 I made up another place on the start and held it until I made one mistake losing two places. I finished this race in P13 again but I managed to knock off 4 seconds from my qualifying time. And on weekends like this you really need to focus on the positives, so that’s what I did.


I’m really looking forward to the next round in Taupo as I can’t wait to show everyone what I can do. I’m hoping to get a few test days in before the Taupo race and learn the car a bit more and just fine tune everything. A massive thanks to Nik from Action motorsport for giving up his weekend to come and help me and Brydon from Hickson motors their help really got me through the weekend, thanks to Peter and Graham from P&S for the late nights spent on my car to get it race ready and ofc thanks to Dunlop Tyres and BMWRDS for the opportunity they have given me. I’d also like to thank everyone that races in the BMWRDS for all the help and offers of spare parts. It is such a great class to race in and the people really make it very much enjoyable.

Round 2 – OctoberFAST! at Manfeild

Round two of the BMWRDS was held at Manfeild. This was my first ever time driving this
track in a car. So on Friday I knew we had a lot of work to do to get up to speed.

Friday 21/10/2022

Friday test day was so important to me leading up to the weekend. It was my chance to learn
the track and get some more set time in the car. And with the help of other drivers I learnt the track pretty quickly. From starting the day I was 3 seconds off the pace to the end of the day I was only 1 second off. Throughout the day I was reviewing my gopro footage and talking to other drivers to try and get quicker, it all helped me and got me ready for qualifying the next morning.

Saturday 22/10/2022
On Saturday there was qualifying and one race. After watching my gopro footage the night
before I realised where I could make up some more time. Come qualifying I put these new
lines into action and managed to drop 4 tenths off my best practice time. This put me on P10
for race one. After qualifying we made some changes to the shocks to try and get the front
end of the car to grip up more as I was struggling with a bit of understeer. Going into race
one starting on P10 I lost power steering on the warm up lap. Off the line I had a really good
start and made up two positions. On lap 4 I dropped a wheel off the track and had a bit of a
moment. I lost my three positions because of this but I fought hard for the rest of the race
and made one place back finishing 10th for the first race.

Sunday 23/10/2022

Sunday morning we got to the track early and made some more changes to the car. We
adjusted the shocks again and the ride height a little in hopes it will get rid of the understeer.
Peter from P&S and my uncle from Hickson Motors made the changes and did it just in time
for the first race of the day. Starting the second race on P9 and having the power steering
fixed, I was ready for the race start. Getting off the line I had a mega start and made up
another two places but made a driver error on the first corner and lost them. Staying with the
field for the first half of the race I dropped my lap time by another 2 tenths but the car then
started to lose top end speed. We had this problem throughout the weekend but it wasn’t
bad enough to make a difference until now. I lost my tow and dropped back from the field,
managing to hold onto tenth until the end of the race. In the pits Brydon my uncle had some
ideas to make the car a little faster. He got to work and got the car ready for the last race of
the weekend. For the last race it was reverse top 8 and I was starting P9 again. During this
race I was in a three way battle, but as the car got hotter it got slower and I dropped off the
battle finishing 10th for the last race. I knew I could’ve done better but that’s racing.
Talking to Peter after the meeting we came up with some ideas to make the car faster and
he was happy to do them before the next round at Pukekohe.

With the changes Peter makes to the car I’m excited to get some better results and prove myself at the next round. A big thanks to Peter and Graham from P&S, Dunlop Tyres, BMWRDS and Brydon from Hickson Motors for making this weekend possible.

Round 1 – Icebreaker at Hampton Downs

First off I’d like to say how grateful I am to receive this opportunity, and a massive thanks to
everyone that made it possible for me. I look forward to the rest of the season. Here’s how
my first meeting went in the new Dunlop E46 car.

Friday Practice 23/9/2022
Friday practice was at Hampton Downs and it was my first time driving the car. With having
very little experience driving saloon cars I knew I had to make the most of practice. Starting
the day off I just wanted to get used to the new car and see how it performed. My first two
sessions were okay but I had gained confidence in the car, and I was keen to start pushing
it. . With the help of Peter and Graham from P&S my lap times progressively dropped
throughout the day, and I was about mid field for pace. I was happy with how the day went. I
had help from a lot of people and everyone from BMWRDS were very welcoming. I felt ready
for qualifying the next morning.

Saturday 24/9/2022
Qualifying on Saturday morning went really well, I qualified P12 and I was ready for the first
race. In the first race there was a mix up with the grid and I started on P14. I knew I just had
to hustle my way through on the start. By the time we got to the first corner I had already
made up four places and throughout the race I was on the tail of 9th place. With only three
laps to go I made a lunge into 9th place on turn one, and held him off for the rest of the race.
Finishing in the top 10 was my goal for this meeting and to finish 9th was the best way to
start the meeting. Race two I started on P9, I didn’t make any positions on the start but I was
up with the front running boys. On lap 5 my car started to fuel surge and I was just coasting
from turn one to turn two. This allowed 10th place to catch up to me and pass me like i was
standing still but i managed to hold onto 10th place for the rest of the race.

Sunday 25/9/2022
On Sunday there was only one race for the day. I knew I had to make this race count, to be
able to finish in the top ten for this meeting. Starting the race on P9 again. I was a lot more
aggressive on the start and I had made up one position. By the time I got to turn two the cars
in front of me had a massive crash. I managed to avoid all the carnage and got the car
through it without a scratch but the crash had resulted in a red flag. Sitting on the front
straight waiting for all the damaged cars to be cleaned up I realised I was sitting in 3rd.
Unfortunately the race was restarted and i didn’t get to keep my position. Starting on P9
again. I was in a battle for the hole of lap one. By the end of lap one my power steering gave
in and stopped working so this made the rest of the race a struggle for me. I still managed to
pass a couple more cars and made my way up to 6th. This was an awesome end to my first
meeting. I finished this meeting 5th on points over all. So I can’t be happier for my first

Manfeild is the next race meeting on the 22-23 of October can’t wait to get some more seat
time in the awesome Dunlop E46 and hopefully move up in the points.

2022 Scholarship Day

17 applicants started the day, however there can only be one winner.

Congratulations to Keegan Hickson for his outstanding efforts throughout today; our 2022-2023 BMW Race Driver Series Scholarship winner.

Second place goes to Nathan Anderson, and third place to James Corban.

Congratulations to you all.
A huge thank you to our supporters of such a great day:
Mike Eady, Ray Williams and Marty Irvine for their tuition. John Mulrennan and Marty Irvine for the generosity in lending their cars for the cause.

Dunlop Tyres NZ for their support of the Scholarship Car and Dunlop E30 and E46 classes.
Racetech NZ for the safety gear to keep our driver safe.
And of course all the wonderful volunteers who gave up a huge amount of time and gave an immense amount of effort in getting today off the ground.
Bring on the new season!