Kumho BMW Championship
|Country or region||United Kingdom|
|Drivers||28 (2007) 34 (2008)|
|Constructors||BMW (single make series)|
|Last Drivers' champion||Stephen Pearson, M5 E34|
The Kumho BMW Championship is a single make racing series based in the UK. Exclusively for BMWs, the championship is run by the BMW Racing Drivers Club in conjunction with the British Automobile Racing Club (BARC). The championship is a BARC registered, BMW-exclusive motorsport series.
The Championship is open to any production BMW sold in the UK. It provides close competition in four classes split by a power to weight ratio. The aim of the championship is to provide a closely competitive series for drivers, having a low cost entry class where cars can be competitive running standard engines, and a ladder of increasing cost and performance accommodating the latest vehicles. In 2006, 20 contenders scored points in the championship with the race victories shared between 6 drivers across the four classes.
The BMW Car Club Championship was started in 1987 by husband & wife team, John & Linda McVicker. The Championship was an essentially amateur club series, for the BMW owners who wanted to race their BMW’s at all the national circuits in the UK. The championship was opened to all types of BMW from 2002’s to CSL’s, Bat mobiles, new models & the older model. The first race meeting was on a cold & overcast Saturday at Silverstone where it was a full grid & the racing was fast & furious.
The Championship continued under the BMW Car Club banner until late 1999, where the championship was re-named to the BMW Racing Drivers Club. The championship became the ‘Drivers Club’ where the all the drivers had in how their club/championship was run, & it is still like this to this day. The series is established as the fastest road tyred championship in the country, but it is not necessary to use the latest models, or to run at the front to be competitive.
- The championship has its own driving standards policed by the competitors' own BMW Racing Drivers Club, membership of which is a requirement of entry. This is in an attempt to eliminate the damage caused by modern tactics of blocking, weaving and tapping (or as it used to be known, driving into one another). Do not however think that this makes for a gentle series. Racing is getting ever closer as drivers become confident that these undesirable tactics are removed from the sport, allowing competitors to trust one another to not take out the opposition. Some founder members remain at the club today. These include Evelyne Buanic, who competes in Class B and Trevor Ford, who also competes in class B.
The Kumho BMW's Today
2007 marks the 20th anniversary for the Kumho BMW Championship, and also the 10th Anniversary of successful sponsorship from Kumho Tyres. For 2007, the championship has also obtained new sponsorship from FFE Fire & Security and Hills Motors.
The championship is made up of four classes split by a power to weight ratio. These are:
• A, 220 bhp (160 kW) per tonne
• B, 195 bhp (145 kW) per tonne
• C, 175 bhp (130 kW) per tonne
• D, E36 318is M42 & M44 engines
• E, Invitation class, Any BMW Model at the discretion of the BMWRDC. Includes BMW Minis. No points scored in this class.
- Note- Weight of the car includes the driver in full racing gear.
The championship currently competes at many famous circuits in the UK, including Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Snetterton, Thruxton and Croft. The championship has 14-race calendar in 2007, with 6 race weekends being double-headers.
The 2007 season opened at Brands Hatch on the weekend of 21st/22nd April. Stephen Pearson was confirmed as Class B and overall champion for 2007 after securing 2 class wins at Thruxton on September 16.
2007 Final Championship Positions
- 1st James Perrott- 98 Pts
- 2nd Dan Stringfellow- 95 Pts
- =3rd Garrie Whittaker- 88 Pts
- =3rd Ian Crisp- 88 Pts
- 1st Stephen Pearson- 134 Pts
- 2nd Evelyne Buanic- 102 Pts
- 3rd Stuart Laws- 93 Pts
- 1st Jeremy Woodgate- 18 Pts
- 1st Liam Hamilton- 18 Pts
|1 & 2||Silverstone Circuit||5th April 2008|
|3 & 4||Rockingham||19-20 April 2008|
|5 & 6||Pembrey||10-11 May 2008|
|7 & 8||Brands Hatch||7-8 June 2008|
|9 & 10||Donington Park||26-27 July 2008|
|11 & 12||Snetterton||9-10 August 2008|
|13 & 14||Croft||30-31 August 2008|
|15 & 16||Oulton Park||27 September 2008|
Martyn Bell and Rick Kerry are both current competitors in the British Touring Car Championship.
Geoff Steel, ex touring car driver has himself competed in the Kumho BMW Championship as well.
- In 2007, the championship will have their first teenage driver. At only 16 years old, Liam Hamilton, will be racing in Class D driving a 318is E36.
- The championship was once televised on Sky Sports in the UK, in the late 90s.
- West Suffolk Racing have either built, run or developed the Championship winning cars in:
2004 (Rick Kerry) 2005 (Rick Kerry) 2007 (Stephen Pearson) 2008 (Karl Katcliff)
- West Suffolk Racing Website
- BMWRDC Website
- British Automobile Racing Club
- Kumho Tyres
- Driver, Paul Moloney