Tim Dawson 2017-2018


Hampton Downs – Round 6

Qualy – Car felt good and was easy to drive. Put a decent lap in early on which apparently I was sitting in 4th with not long to go in the session. Couple of guys put good laps together before the red flag came out. Qualified 7th.

Race 1 – Got off to a very average start…too much wheel spin off the line. Got swamped into turn 1 and over the course of the next couple of laps I drifted back to 12th. Finally got into a groove once the pack settled down and managed to claw my way back to 10th.

Race 2 – Starting out of 21st (front of the last group of reverse grid) once again I got off to an average start. Dropped back towards the back of the pack as we caught up to the drivers in the first two groups. Picked up a few spots towards the end of the race, however only managed to finish in 23rd.

In hindsight I probably needed to be more aggressive in the first few laps of the race.

Race 3 – Started 21st and got into a groove early on and picked up a few early spots. Couple of laps to go, Seb sprung a leak and spun on the sweeper. A few cars went left and I went right which turned out to be the right way through. Unfortunately a few cars ended up with some panel damage (nothing too serious by the looks of things and plenty of time to fix before the enduro or the start of next season). Finished 14th under red flag.

Big congrats to Royce for winning his first E30 title, very well deserved.

Congrats to Jackson and Phil for getting second and third. Congrats to Arran for taking out the Rookie title. And congrats to all those who took part in the series.

Huge thanks to everyone who has made the Scholarship possible. BMW RDS, BMW Car Club, P&S Autocentre, Toyo Tires, Racer Products, Koni.

A very special thanks to the volunteers who make the motor racing events possible. You are the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes making our weekends so enjoyable.

I have had an absolute blast, met a great group of people and learnt plenty about motor racing.

If you’ve ever fancied yourself as a bit of a petrol head/racer but have never given it a try, I urge you to get in touch with the BMW RDS or get in touch with myself to get the run down on the series. The series is well suited regardless of age or experience.

The competition and level of driving within the series is very impressive and also a great step from karts to tin tops….and most likely cheaper!

See you next season in my own 318i!!!

Photo Credit: Matt Smith


Friday (practice) – Graham from P&S Autocentre helped tune and set the car up before giving me a few tips and letting me loose. As the day wore on and the heat continued to rise my times started to improve. Times were starting to look promising by the end of the day.

Saturday (Qualy) – After switching the front tyres over after Friday’s practice I developed a bit of understeer, especially coming over the top onto the front straight. Managed to get an ok lap together but it was far from what the car was capable of. Qualified 8th.

Race 1 – Got off the line well and managed to avoid Pete stuck on the front of the grid. Through turn 1, 2 and 3 I managed to sneak past a car or two and got a great run onto the back straight and pass another car. The next couple of laps I snuck up into 4th place and had a great battle with Gerald before Jackson weaselled his way past. Coming out of the hairpin on the last lap Gerald’s car threw a belt off allowing me to finish in 4th.

Sunday (race 2 reverse grid) – Wow, what didn’t happen in this race. First lap the second group got held forever, there was an incident at turn one and a couple of cars found themselves in the grass, Ian lost a wheel at the hairpin in front of me and there were a couple of yellow flags. Had a great battle with Anthony Munns for the most part, I made a few silly errors however I Started 20th, finished 9th.

Race 3 – Got off to a decent start and tucked in behind Nik. I took a bit of a back seat for the first few laps while Royce and Nik went at it. Midway through the race Royce got a decent run and managed to get past Nik, so I decided I would have a crack into turn 5 and 6. Unfortunately Nik’s smart driving and my poor race craft let me down and opened the door for Jackson to get past. Later on in the race I had a moment into Castrol which opened the door for Arran to get past. Started 3rd finished 5th.

Great racing and a great weekend. Big thanks to everyone involved, BMW race driver series, P&S Autocentre for giving me a fast car, competitors and sponsors. Last round at Hampton Downs in a few weeks!

Photo Credit: Steve Ritchie

Round 4 – Taupo – Tim Dawson

Qualifying – Qualifying went reasonably well, I was still having trouble with a couple of corners however, I was consistently getting quicker on a track that was slowly becoming damp. Qualified P15.

Race 1 – Starting P15 I got off to a dreadful start. I didn’t get the revs up high enough before I dropped the clutch. I was swamped into turn 1 and from then on in I was at the tail end of a pack that was flighting hard but very fair. Finished P16.

Race 2 – Reverse grid starting 10th (the front of the second pack). An interesting start with some confusion around lights/flag drops sent a couple of the boys off early.

This time I got off to a better start but it’s still something I need to work on. As a few of the faster boys caught up and passed me I had a good opportunity to get a couple of laps in behind and follow them through some of traffic in front.

Towards the end of the race I went too deep under brakes into turn ___ and got all crossed up with Brocky G next to me…thankfully I recovered and we managed to avoid any contact. Finished the race P19.

Race 3 – Starting towards the back of the grid I knew I had some work to do. Unfortunately we had some intermittent issues which would hinder my chances of trying to pick up a few spots. Finished 21st.

All in all another enjoyable weekend behind the wheel with some great people. Thanks to everyone who helped out, P&S Autocentre, BMW Race Driver Series, Taupo Car Club…it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Photo Credit: Matt Smith


Taupo – Round 3

Friday – What a day and what a track. It was my first time driving a race car around the Taupo track, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning every corner and every lap. Once I dialled some of the understeer out, Ian Power had the courage to buckle up in the passenger seat and give me a few pointers in one of the sessions. This proved very useful come qualifying…thanks Ian. 
Unfortunately we started battling an intermittent issue that we believe was electric related, this remained with us for the entire weekend…that’s how motorsport goes some weekends!

Saturday – Qualy, I tried to get a decent lap in on one of the first few laps. I managed to put together a lap that would see me start race 1 from 17th.

Race 1 – Starting from 17th I got off to an ok start and drifted back as the race went on. Finished in 28th.

Sunday – Day was very cold and wet.

Race 2 – Due to my half decent qualifying I was starting the wet race from 12th. I need to learn how to start as I tend to go backwards at a million miles an hour off the line. Into turn one I was sandwiched between two cars and got a little tap on the front right corner. I spent a bit of time having a few battles towards the back of the pack, passed a few cars that had spun around and finished the race in 24th.

Race 3 – Starting from the back of the pack, I got an ok jump for once and made up a couple of positions into turn one. The common theme remained that I drifted back as the race wore on. I had a bit of a battle with Grant, however he got the better of me in the end. Finished 28th…again.

Special thanks to Peter and Graham Ball at P&S Autocentre, the number of hours they spent changing parts and trying to figure out what the issue was over the weekend was very much appreciated. Also thanks to the usual suspects for your support.

Photo Credit: Matt Smith


Standard, beautiful day in the mighty Manawatu to kick off the weekends racing at Manfeild. A few of the boys were giving the grip levels a good old test and a few oil spills made for an interesting day of practice. For me it was a good chance to learn the track and give the car a good shake down!

Saturday Qualy – It didn’t quite go to plan as we were battling with a “miss” at around the 5k rev mark however, we soldiered on to put the car in 25th.

Race 1 – Starting out of 25th I got an average start and had a good battle with Will and Grant in the later stages of the race. Will got me and I got Grant in the end. 
Thanks to a DNF I finished in 23rd.

The weather wasn’t all that flash Saturday afternoon so we decided to bin the BBQ and start Sunday morning with a cooked breakfast at the track…Not a bad way to start the day.

Sunday Race 2 – After starting out of P3 there was a touch of confusion at the start as some missed the flag signal, some took off and stopped again (me) and some blasted on by, this made for an interesting turn 1. Thankfully we all made it off the start with pretty straight cars. I got caught up in the bunch and slowly drifted backwards. I think I was a little too friendly to most people…this will change by the end of the season! Late in the race I ran too deep into Higgins and ended up doing some gravel.  Got my first battle scars on the front right wheel  I guess they won’t be the last. Finished the race in 25th. Obviously home track advantage didn’t count for much.

Race 3 – Starting out of P22 I made a cracking start and made a couple of passes midway through the race. Sam and I exchanged a few  as we passed each other and battled it out for the minor places, finishing in 18th.

Congratulations to the pole sitter and the race winners…maybe one race I’ll be up the front!

Thanks to everyone who helped out over the weekend as it makes for such an enjoyable time.

Special thanks to Pete and Graham at P & S Autocentre for putting up with my silly questions…I’m slowly learning. Also O-Dogg for the use of the danger ranger and Dr John for loaning me the trailer.

Taupo here we come!!!

Photo Credit: Matt Smith

Icebreaker 2017 – Round One blog, by E30 Scholarship Winner Tim Dawson

Practice: It was my first time out in the wet, and I was crawling round trying to get a feel for the car and the grip levels. Unfortunately, part way through the second practice session the fan belt popped off. With my very limited mechanical knowledge I unpinned the bonnet and stood there scratching my head pretending I knew what I was thinking would be wrong. Thankfully someone who knew a bit more about what they were doing came to my rescue. Thanks Ian. A couple of laps into my next practice the belt was back off. We decided to put it on the trailer and take it back to P&S. Mr Griffin kindly towed the car back to P&S and then gave me a ride to my car. Thanks to P&S for getting the car ready and back to me in time for qualifying.
I am beginning to wonder if this was all part of the E30 scholarship initiation!

Qualifying: After limited time in the car on the Friday we were straight into qualifying mid-morning on Saturday. I spent the first couple of laps getting a feel for the car in the dry and tried to spend as much time tucked in behind the fast guys before trying to get a decent lap together. The lap times slowly kept coming down however, I only managed to qualify 33rd a few seconds off the pace.

Race 1: The track was dry….that was a great relief to me.
Light’s went out and the first race of the season was underway, unfortunately the racing was short lived as Peter V had some clutch issues and couldn’t get off the line properly. 
Take two – The grid was reset back to the original starting positions. I got a decent run off the line and managed to find some clear bitumen on the outside of turn one. The first corner wasn’t as daunting as I had first thought, probably because everyone behaved themselves and got through relatively easily. I tucked in a found a little bit of a groove however, I was still struggling for pace. I managed to pick up a couple of spots and finish 31st.

Race 2: Before race two I was trying to think of the positives…It was raining and I’m starting from pole…I better not stall…at least I could see going through turn 1! 
I got an ok start and slotted into P2. I had a couple of decent duels throughout the race but I was pretty friendly to the folks around me. I managed to finish 7th after a couple of D1NZ moments into turn 1, I’m not sure it’s the fastest way around the track but it sure was fun!

Race 3: Another wet race and I was starting from 20th. This time it was much harder to see following the majority of the pack. My confidence has grown a bit and I a getting used to close racing and having cars around me. Dealing with understeer and being patient is something I need to learn! I managed to finish 23rd.

All in all, I had a great weekend and I don’t think anything further could have been thrown anymore at me….a couple of small mechanical issues, safety cars, race restarts, dry and wet conditions! Car is in one piece, first race and round out of the way and I met some awesome people. 
Bring on Manfield!!

Photo Credit: Matt Smith

Pre-Season Blog

Regardless of whether or not I won the scholarship day, it was a day that was well worth the early start. We had the chance to meet a raft of motorsport enthusiasts. We also had a chance to see how race control works, talk about technical aspects of the car, take A+ driving advice from Racing Ray, scare Todd in the passenger seat of the E30 and we were grilled by the interview panel.

It was a day to get a real understanding of what motorsport is all about, what goes into the preparation of the car and the people behind the scenes which make motorsport possible and enjoyable.

Since the scholarship day things have been very busy getting sorted for the first round of the season. Gene at Racer Products has kitted me out with some nice new OMP gear, I have managed to pass my MSNZ licence and I was lucky enough to get to Puke to do a day of testing and get a feel for the car with Ex E30-Scholarship winner Jordan Baldwin. Jordan did a fantastic job showing me the racing lines, critiquing my driving and showing me the commitment needed to be a front runner….now I just need some kahunas. Pete and the team at P&S Autocentre had “Elvis” running smooth as.

I am looking forward to the first race of the season however, I am a touch apprehensive about going into turn 1 at Hampton with 30-40 other E30’s screaming around me!