In an effort to promote and strengthen relationships between NSW Car Clubs, each month Rally NSW will be profiling one of the clubs that make up our rally community. Featured for this March is the Brindabella Motor Sport Club, organisers of several state and DRS rounds.
Club Name: Brindabella Motor Sport Club
Club Location: Canberra, ACT
Membership: 150 – 200
Motorsport focus: Mainly rallies and rallysprints
The Brindabella Motor Sports Club was originally known as the Renault Car Club, and while the membership had mixed interests (predominately motorkhanas and some hill climb enthusiasts), there was an increasing interest in rallying and the membership was starting to shift.
In the mid 1970’s the Renault dealer in Canberra suddenly took an interest in the club because Renault was bringing on to the market a new Renault (Renault 12). Renault had proposed to have an R12 feature race series and wanted all the Renault Car Clubs in Australia to promote the R12 and the series. They flew the Presidents and Secretaries of all the Australian Clubs to Melbourne for a special launch of the car. When asked what support were they (Renault) prepared to give to the Clubs to keep them afloat and interested in the make, the attitude was that the Clubs should be prepared to give and not receive. From that point on the Brindabella Motor Sports Club had been conceived.
It took some time after that to get the structure arranged, the constitution and other regulations agreed, but there was a determined group of people to make it happen. The initial challenge was to win over the stalwarts of the old Renault Car Club and this was not made easy by the fact that the focus of the “Club” was shifting away from family fun activities to a much more rally orientated Club. Eventually though, the Brindabella Motor Sports Club was born. This took place around 1975/6. Why Brindabella Motor Sports Club? Well simply because the Club did not want to associate with a car make, given the experiences with Renault, and that the club members saw the Brindabella Ranges every time they drove to meetings. The words “motor sport” were inserted to indicate the multi focused nature of the new club.
The Brindabella Motor Sports Club has run Club, State and National championship events. It currently hosts a round of the Australian Rally Championship. Club members are successful competitors, with numerous State and National title winners in the Club.
What events does the club organise?
The BMSC run a variety of events, with our flagship event being the National Capital Rally, a round of the ARC, the NSW State Championship, and the ACT Rally Series. The Natcap will run from the 27 -29 May, and attracts the best Australian competitors, as well as some international competitors.
The BMSC also organises the Narooma Forest Rally, and the Brindabella Stages Rally, both rounds of the 2016 Development Rally Series.
The Club also runs the only rally in Australia specifically for female drivers – the Rallye des Femmes.
Any famous/successful members?
Neal, Rick and Harry Bates; Mick Patton; Bernie Webb; the late, great Possum Bourne was a past member. Even Mark Webber was once a member. There are too many to list them all. The club is very proud to have 4 time Australian Champion Neal Bates as our club Patron.
What does the club do to attract new members?
This year we have written to current and past members and asked them for their input. We hold “Technical” club meeting nights where local experts can share their knowledge on aspects such as suspension setups, brake upgrades, lubricants and corner weights. The club is also starting a Club Championship in 2016. Members score points across 4 BMSC run events, with the outright winners to take home $500 cash!
What are the clubs plans for 2016 and the future?
To build on the success of the past, and run the best national, state, and club events on the calendar. We will try to hold more social events to encourage more family interaction across our membership base.