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Category: National Events

President’s Article January 2016

President’s Article January 2016

The by-laws of the BMW Car Club of America Foundation states the Foundation is “organized exclusively for charitable, literary and educational purposes as set forth in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.”

The Iowa Chapter has always had a charitable and benevolent purpose in which we have donated funds to several very deserving entities or charities. Most notable and of late, have been the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and the BMW CCA Foundation.

The proceeds of our charity laps from our 2015 Longest Day Driving School have been donated to the BMW CCA Foundation. The BMW Car Club of America Foundation was formed in early 2002 in Greenville, SC with initial capitalization from the BMW Car Club of America. The Foundation is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) public charity. The Foundation has currently raised more than $2,000,000 of a capital campaign goal of $7,000,000 to help secure the future of events such as Street Survival® Teen Driver Safety Program, archiving the history and library of the BMW CCA and expanding the museum in South Carolina. The Capital Campaign is still in progress and all members are encouraged to give in order to preserve and protect the history and programs of the BMW CCA.

Please consider assisting the Foundation achieve its goals by making a tax deductible contribution. Your donation will help insure the future of all of our programs, such as Street Survival® Teen Driver Safety Program and archiving the history of the BMW CCA. For more information regarding the BMW CCA Foundation and to donate, please visit


ISMA/ Tudor race at Road America – Aug. 7-9, The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

ISMA/ Tudor race at Road America – Aug. 7-9, The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase

An Iowa contingent will be attending the race. The Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes over Road America’s 4-mile circuit for what will be the most incredible weekend of sports car racing in the world. Fans will get to see the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race on Saturday, with the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship event on Sunday plus races from the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge and IMSA Prototype Lites all weekend. Fan activities include an open grid, autographs, tech talks, fan forums, car corrals, and Tour de RA bike event.


President’s Article January 2015

President’s Article January 2015

Although the faces of the National Board of the BMW CCA may be viewed in each publication of the Roundel, their duties and actions are probably not widely known by the 70,000 members of the BMW CCA. Our Club is divided into five geographical regions, and each region elects a Regional Vice President to help oversee each Chapter within that region. It is the RVP’s job to help promote and enhance the experiences of the members of the local Chapters and help create a direction and mission for the National Club.  Regional Vice Presidents are elected on staggering three year terms, so as not to replace the entire Board in the same election cycle. The office of the President of the Club is elected to a three year term.

In the January edition of the Roundel, you will receive your ballot for the 2015 election of President and North Central and South Atlantic Regional Vice Presidents. All members in good standing are eligible to vote for President and the RVP candidate in their region. Steve Johnson, current Executive Vice President is the lone candidate for President.

In our region, four candidates are running for the position of North Central Region Vice President; myself, David Brighton from Iowa, James Walters and Tim Beechuk from Ohio and Sean Hayes from Illinois. Each of the candidate’s statements will be published in the January edition of the Roundel. I feel it is important to read and analyze each candidate’s statement before casting your vote.

Like any election, it is important for each member to voice his or her opinion in electing the leadership who will determine the future of our club for the next three years. I hope you will take the time to fill out and return your ballot.

BMW CCA Oktoberfest 2012

When some of my friends asked me where we were going for vacation this year–I told them Columbus, Ohio. I received several weird looks and many responses of “really?” I needed to inform the less knowledgeable, that Columbus was the site of our annual BMW Annual Oktoberfest Event and we would be seeing about 900 of our favorite BMW friends. After spending the night in Cedar Rapids with Katie, we started out in the technoviolet M3 and the blue 325ci about noon on Sunday to travel until we determined we needed a rest for the night. After several discussions back and forth with our traveling radios, we determined we would pull off at Danville, Illinois and find suitable lodging. Later on Monday evening, during the Liberty Mutual Welcome Reception in Columbus, we discovered the Bells had stayed very close to us and then visited with the other 17 Iowa Club members that had made the trip to Ohio.

Along with the driving school held at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Tuesday is devoted to the Concours de Elegance so that those participants can get the event out the way in order to concentrate on other events throughout the week. Tuesday was the only day it rained, and to the dismay of the Concours entrants, not all cars were totally ready for the judging that began at noon. It was an equal distraction for all entries, but the rain stopped about an hour before judging would begin. After the judges finished with the white gloves and Q-tips, we had two winners from Iowa walk up to accept their trophies during the Dinan Performance Concours Awards dinner that evening. Russ and Brian Wiles finished in first place in the 3rd Generation Clean Class with their 1995 M3 Lightweight and David and Becky Brighton finished first in the 3rd Generation Super Clean Class with their technoviolet M3.

Driving school at Mid-Ohio continued on Wednesday, as well as the Odometer Gears TSD rally. The rally was a 4-hour course that wound east out of Columbus about 120 miles through the foothills of the Adirondacks of eastern Ohio. When the scores were tallied, we had 4 cars from the Iowa Chapter that had won a trophy. In “Class B” David and Becky Brighton placed first and were followed closely by Russ and Brian Wiles who finished 3rd in class. “Class C” was won by Alex Totten and Sean Hayes followed by Alison and Fred Bell who finished 3rd in class. Gymkhana was also held back at the Polaris Hilton parking lot and the trophies began to pile up for Iowa members. The Iowa Chapter came home with some of the best times of the day with Russ Wiles finishing 2nd, Brian Wiles 5th, Alex Kotten 8th, Katie Brighton 15th, David Brighton 16th, Cindy Wiles 19th and Becky Brighton 31st out of about 75 participants. Wednesday evening was highlighted by the second version of “Casino Night” with proceeds going to the BMW CCA Foundation.

Over the years, I have been asked many times “why are so many trophies won by Iowa Chapter members?” and I always respond that we have the best members in the county.

Driving school is held each day, so that was also true on Thursday, as well as the first day of autocross–non “M car” day on the course. Iowa was well represented again with Alex Kotten finishing 1st in class 3A, Jan Gerber finishing 2nd in class 9, and Katie Brighton finishing in 7th place in class 3D. Thursday evening was highlighted by motorcoach rides for all participants to the buffet meal hosted at Kelly BMW. Kelly BMW had the showroom filled with historical and rare BMW’s for viewing preceding the highlight of the evening–special guest speaker Joey Hand with his E46 M3 race car driven in many races about 3 years ago.

Friday is “M” day at autocross and it is dominated by M3’s and M coupes. This year, the new 1 Series M was also well represented. The fastest time of the day went to Russ Wiles who finished 1st in class 5B. Brian Wiles finished 1st in class 4A. In class 5A, Scott Smed finished 4th, Don Van Lengen finished 9th and Stacy Van Lengen finished 12th. In class 5C David Brighton was nudged by 2 hundredths of a second for a trophy and finished 4th. Friday night at O’fest is always Banquet and Awards night and it usually lasts well into the night. This year’s Banquet was highlighted by a special award presented to Larry Koch who is retiring after 28 years with BMW NA and also with special speaker Joey Hand of RLL Racing.

Saturday morning brought another day of driving school and is also time for friends to pack up and say “good-bye” for another year until we meet again.

Oktoberfest 2013 will be held at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway near Monterey, California August 19-24, following the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion.

Photo Gallery

A First Timer’s Report from Oktoberfest

While I’ve been to, and organized, my fair share of local chapter events over the past couple of years, last month was the first time I’ve attended the club’s national annual event, Oktoberfest!
Due to the time and travel investment, I tried to get the most out of the event—here’s what my week looked like:


Arrive around noon, check into the event hotel, register and unpack. Enjoy Spaten hospitality in the beer garden at the hotel. Make sure glass is full before heading to the first timer’s meeting for a briefing, orientation and introductions, then on to the welcome banquet!


I volunteered to help with the concours. This was something I had no prior experience with, but was accepted and paired with a more experienced person to judge the “race” clean entries. Turns out volunteering also got me a free shirt and an invitation to a Wednesday evening reception. Dodged rain while the competitors prepared their cars. Also took test drive in a brand new 5 Series – nice. . Rain stopped before “rags down,” then went out to rub Q-tips and white gloves over a couple of race prepared cars. Evening was more Spaten hospitality, after which things get a little fuzzy.


First driving school day! Three sessions on the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, followed by the volunteer reception, and even more Spaten .


Autocross, and the first time I’ve done it without needed to replace a fender liner! Course was laid out such that novices like myself were unlikely to get lost among the cones. Unfortunately, I’ve about as much sophistication at autocross as a hammer. Was fun though—eight runs for the day!


Out early for a second day at Mid-Ohio, followed by the awards banquet in the evening .


Last day at Mid-Ohio, with a BBQ that evening near by .

Drove home Sunday, and felt like I needed to sleep for three days! For someone my wife characterizes as “socially indifferent,” I also used up a lot of my socialization reserves! If you decide to attend O’fest for the first time next year, you can make your own decisions about how many activities you want to cram into the week, but I don’t know as I’d have done my first time any different.

As for next year, Laguna Seca is a long way away, but driving there is a bucket list kind of event… we’ll see!

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