BMW 330 CHALLENGE MOVES TO 750MC
BMW series to launch this year with shared grid
The BMW 330 Challenge will be run by the 750 Motor Club this season after previous organiser BMW Racedays pulled out.
The one-make series based around the 330 version of the BMW E46 was due to have its inaugural meeting last June. But concerns over a lack of completed cars and extra development work meant no races actually took place in 2016.
Now BMW Racedays, which also runs the popular Compact Cup, has decided that it’s not financially viable for it to pay for additional track time with the BRSCC when a small entry is still expected for 2017. The series will now share a grid with the Super Cooper Cup with the 750MC.
“Last year we put a huge amount of resources into creating this new series that we wanted to turn into another strong one-make championship,” said BMW Racedays boss Paul Mcerlean, who still plans to race in the series this year. “We did very well creating a lot of noise and we sold a good number of kits.
“The key part of it being in its second year is it needed to be able to stand up financially but the build progress wasn’t as quick as we hoped for. We concluded in order for it to progress it would need to be grid sharing with something else.
“As difficult and painful as it was, we knew within the BRSCC portfolio there wasn’t anything else we could mix it with. We had to do the right thing for the formula and the people invested in it already. The industry is loaded with eight, nine, 10 car grids and that is not what we wanted to do with it. We got into talks with two or three different organisations all able to offer it a financially strong place to race.”
The 750MC launched the M3 Cup last season but competitions secretary Giles Groombridge believes the two BMW categories can co-exist.
“It shouldn’t be seen as trying to compete against the M3 Cup as the M3 is a higher performance car,” he said. “It’s competing more with a series like Production BMWS.”
Groombridge added the 330 Challenge could act as a stepping stone to the M3 Cup and is confident it can become a popular series.
“With some adjustments to the concept I think we will make a success of it,” he said. “We will make some changes to the regulations to make it cheaper and give it a better chance.”
330 Challenge didn’t get off the ground in ’16