This Queen of Drifting hails from Europe

Ramona Rusu is a self-taught professional drifter who managed to claim the Queen of Europe title in the 2014 European Drifting Championship, and, in the same year, come second in the King of Europe competition. It’s a wonderful story about success, and an equally impressive one regarding her drift car’s evolution – the white E30 you see in these pictures.

The E30 started its life with Ramona as a diesel-powered daily driver, and it was a good life – a bit closer to the ground than in its stock guise, wearing aftermarket shiny rims, stylishly cruisin’ in style all day. However, this lasted for about half a year, before the first heart transplant: the 282 hp 4.4-liter M62 V8 taken from a BMW E38 740i replaced the 2.4-liter diesel unit that moved the E30 around.

The Bimmer became Ramona’s new drift car, so the list of modifications comprises a lot of other stuff besides the engine swap. The car had to be regulations-compliant and ready for sideways action, so it got an FIA-approved roll-cage (after being stripped out), a hydraulic handbrake, a better cooling system for the engine, a set of ventilated brake discs, a Wisefab lock kit, and XYZ drift-spec coilovers.

The main reason for choosing E30 at that time, Ramona admits, regarded the budget in the first place — for a European independent pilot, this German coupé was not only accessible in terms of purchasing but also maintenance. Compared to a Japanese counterpart, the E30 was way friendlier with your wallet.

Afterwards, something else happened – Ramona fell in love with the E30’s personality.

“What I like about the E30 is that you really have to be spot-on to handle it on a drift course. It’s quite easy to handle, but the weight transfer happens so quickly that, if you’re not there to catch its rear, it’ll most probably spin you around,” Ramona says.

Two years into competing, she realized she’ll soon want more from the car, so the 4.4-liter V8 was replaced with a bigger one: the 5.0-liter S62 unit coming from a BMW E39 M5. In order to adapt the bigger lump to the new life, it had its ECU remapped, which added some more 25-hp over the 394-horsepower stock figure.

Although she doesn’t know for sure what is going to happen next — Ramona is curious about rallying at the moment — she would like to push the E30 even further in terms of power output. “Force-feeding the 5.0-liter V8 with a bolt-on supercharger would up its power output to about 600-hp,” Ramona told us.

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[Source: DriveMag]

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BMW Film “The Escape” Wins Best of Show at One Screen Film Fest

Geisel Productions and Anonymous Content’s branded BMW Films short The Escape–directed by Neill Blomkamp–took home Best of Show at the One Screen Film Festival awards ceremony on Tuesday night at the Sunshine Cinema in New York.

One Screen is part of The One Club for Creativity, the global non-profit organization celebrating creative excellence in advertising and design.  Now in its sixth year, One Screen focuses on all forms and aspects of short films–commercials, music videos, short narratives, spec work, passion projects, movie poster design, credits, etc.–and has a mission to celebrate and award the best of the film and ad industries with no limitation and total artistic freedom, all on one screen.  The festival doubled the number of entries received this year, with work submitted from 45 countries.

The One Club’s One Show was the first ad industry awards competition to recognize original branded content, creating the separate new category of Branded Entertainment in 2003 to accommodate the original launch of BMW Films. Widely regarded as a milestone in the history of branded film, the BMW Films series was also honored in 2010 by The One Club as Best of the Digital Decade.

From Academy Award nominated director Neill Blomkamp (“District 9,” “Elysium”), the action-packed short film features original BMW Films star and Oscar nominated actor Clive Owen (“Closer,” “Children of Men”) who reprises his role as The Driver, Dakota Fanning (“War of the Worlds,” “I am Sam”), Jon Bernthal (“The Punisher,” “Daredevil”) and Oscar nominee Vera Farmiga (“The Departed,” “Up in the Air”).

The car Owen drives in this new short is the brand-new G30 BMW 540i M Sport. It’s an interesting choice of car for BMW, as it could have gone with the range-topping M550i with the 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8.

The story centers around a young girl simply named “Five”, played by Fanning, who is the subject of seemingly illegal experiments. With the FBI cracking down on the company responsible for such experiments, Owen’s nameless transporter was hired to get Five out of there. Then, the action ensues.

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Video: Convertible BMW 8 Series Prototype Storms the Ring

Just yesterday we were checking out the looks and sounds of the BMW 8 Series Coupe while out testing on the Nurburgring. The upcoming model made us all drool with its symphony of V8 sounds, but today it’s the turn of the Convertible model to do the same thing and we couldn’t be happier about it.

Just like its brother, the drop top model is also housing a V8 under the hood and the two are most likely using the same engine. The rumormill churns out that that the new 8 Series will come with a fresh 4-liter mill in the engine bay, but that’s been unsubstantiated reporting so far. Our sources confirmed that the N63 will live on in revised guise and it will be making about 500 HP in the 850i. Yes, so far it seems like the M Performance model will have to wait a bit.

Nevertheless, the engineers must’ve been given a lot more freedom to do as they please with the new car and the car’s sound is now worthy of the 8 Series badge, maybe even catching up to the AMG models in Mercedes’ line-up. As for the drop top, the new 8 Series Convertible will be sporting a textile roof, as you can see in the shots below. It will be following the same recipe as the outgoing 6 Series Convertible and use a similar solution for the retractable top.

Saving weight might be one of the reasons why BMW chose to go with a textile choice and on a car like the 8 Series those few pounds saved compared to a metallic top will make a difference. The officials have been hinting at the fact that the new 8 will be more agile and sporty than the outgoing 6er, so we’re in for a treat. According to our sources, the new 8 Series will drop next summer in the coupe form first, followed by the convertible a few months after. The Gran Coupe will arrive towards the end of 2019.

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Video: Five Things to Love/Hate about the BMW i8

The BMW i8 has been out for a while now and, even though a few years have passed since it was launched, it’s still looking like a car that came from a distant future. The looks are one thing but how is it to live with this hybrid beauty on a daily basis? Well, owning one will bring forward a couple of interesting tidbits about it and will reveal stuff you didn’t know about. The guys from Roads Untraveled talked to an owner to get his pulse on the i8 and what makes him love or hate the car.

Among the things he loves he mentions the car’s great GT character, the i8 truly being a car in which you can easily cover long distances without feeling tired. The seats, as thin as they may seem, are comfortable and they offer great support all around. Sitting in the back isn’t recommended as those seats are there mainly to allow you to store some stuff. However, I did manage to get two girls in the back when I had an i8 all to myself but I wouldn’t recommend doing that if you’re planning on a longer trip, outside the city limits.

Other things the owner points out as pros include the fact that the car is easy to drive daily, the good looks, the technology it brings to the table and its versatility. Of course, he goes into detail in the video posted below but then there’s another video showcasing the five things he hates about the car and they are a bit more surprising.

The first one he mentions is the steering which definitely lacks feedback. And while I might be tempted to disagree at first, he has a point as the i8 has an electric power steering system that isn’t all that communicative in the first place. Then there’s the jerky hybrid system that sometimes seemingly gets ‘confused’. The thing is, I took the i8 out for test drives a number of times and never seen the hybrid system act up but then again, he does have a point when he says reviewers can’t see this flaw because you need to spend a lot more time with the car to notice it. Since we usually have only a couple of days with test vehicles, it does seem plausible that we can’t pick up on it. For the remaining downsides you’ll just have to watch the second video below, no spoilers here.

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Lowry upbeat but six off the pace at Valderrama

Shane Lowry asks Sergio Garcia to confirm he can take relief from casual water on the 18th hole at a soggy Valderrama. Garcia signed for a five under par round of 66 while Lowry had to settle for a one over par 72. Picture courtesy Denis Kirwan/Meridian Media

Shane Lowry asks Sergio Garcia to confirm he can take relief from casual water on the 18th hole at a soggy Valderrama. Garcia signed for a five under par round of 66 while Lowry had to settle for a one over par 72. Picture courtesy Denis Kirwan/Meridian Media

Shane Lowry was treated to a ball-striking masterclass by playing partner Sergio Garcia but was still upbeat despite opening with a one-over 72 in the Andalucia Valderrama Masters in Cadiz.

The Clara man is looking for a good finish in Spain as he’s 65th in the Race to Dubai and €45,543 outside the top 60 who will qualify for next month’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship with only the Turkish Airlines Open and the Nedbank Golf Challenge remaining for him.

“It’s the first time in a few years I’ve had to worry about trying to make the Race to Dubai [finale],”  Lowry told Meridian Media’s, Denis Kirwan. “But listen, I am going to play the best I can the next few weeks and see what happens.”

Four bogeys outweighed three birdies on a soft and testing Valderamma, and he could only look on in admiration as Masters champion Garcia birdied all four par-threes and made seven birdies in a five-under-par 66 to share the early lead with Dutchman Joost Luiten. 

“I played okay, but I struggled [off the tee],” Lowry explained. “I was starting my driver a little too far left, and around here you need to be very accurate off the tee.

“I played okay but playing with Sergio, what a day of golf he put on today. It was very impressive, and you can only stand back an admire that. 

“People at home who have never played here don’t realise how tough this golf course is. To make five under look easy out there was very good. But listen, one over is not that bad. 

“I think if you are hanging around par coming into Sunday, you will do alright in this tournament.”

Lowry, who has slipped from 43rd to 88th in the world this year, paid the price for several missed fairways and indifferent putting.

“I missed three putts in a row from five feet, and if I hole those it’s a completely different day,” he said. “I am not too displeased. It is always nice to shoot a better score, but I will do a bit of practice this afternoon, get out there tomorrow and see what I can do.”

As for Garcia’s impressive 66, Lowry said: “I’ve always said he’s one of the most impressive, if not the most impressive ball-striker in the world.  He makes it look easy. Hopefully, I will have a good day tomorrow, make a few birdies and make a run at them.

“I like it here. If you hit good tee shots, you leave yourself short irons into greens. The greens this week are very soft after a lot of rain, and they are playing a lot bigger than they would normally if there were firm.

“There are a lot of holes where you can mess up, but if you do play well, you can shoot a good score.”

Lowry has rented a house in Florida for six months and is set to move there temporarily with his family for the first half of 2018 to ease his travel schedule as he bids to play on both sides of the pond.

“It will be nice for a few months to live in a nice hot place,” he said. “If I don’t like it, I won’t stay. But if I do, I might.”

Of the afternoon starters, Pádraig Harrington was one-under after seven holes while Gary Hurley started with a double bogey and was three over after five.

from News – Irish Golf Desk

Mullarney and Fletcher among new faces on Irish Senior panel

Galway's Ronan Mullarney. Picture: Pat Cashman

Galway’s Ronan Mullarney. Picture: Pat Cashman

Ronan Mullarney and  AIG Irish Close Champion Jamie Fletcher are two of five new faces on 2018 Senior panel named by the GUI on Thursday.

They are joined by West of Ireland champion Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin), South of Ireland champion James Sugrue (Mallow) and former Boys international John Murphy (Kinsale).

A former Mullingar Scratch Trophy winner, Mullarney has featured prominently at Senior Cup and Intervarsity level over the past number of seasons, helping Galway win the Senior Cup last month before going on to win the Fife Student Open at Fairmont St Andrews last weekend.

Warrenpoint's Jamie Fletcher. Picture: Pat Cashman

Warrenpoint’s Jamie Fletcher. Picture: Pat Cashman

He was a member of the Development Panel last year alongside Rafferty, who was promoted mid-season.

Murphy, who is on a golf scholarship at the University of Louisville, made headlines in May when he shot 66 in the second round of the Irish Amateur Open at Royal County Down and finished tied for 20th in French International Amateur Open at Chantilly.

Just eight of last year’s 17-strong panel remain.

Colin Fairweather, John Ross Galbraith, Stuart Grehan, Conor O’Rourke and Kevin Le Blanc have joined the professional ranks.

Jonathan Yates, who played for the GUI in the Carey Cup win at Galway Bay, Sean Flanagan, Jordan Hood and Daniel Holland did not retain their places.

2018 GUI Senior Panel

  • Barry Anderson (The Royal Dublin) NEW
  • Colm Campbell (Warrenpoint)
  • Robin Dawson (Tramore)
  • Jamie Fletcher (Warrenpoint) NEW
  • Alex Gleeson (Castle)
  • Rowan Lester (Hermitage) 
  • Paul McBride (The Island)
  • Tiarnán McLarnon (Massereene)
  • Ronan Mullarney (Galway) NEW
  • John Murphy (Kinsale) NEW
  • Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas)
  • Mark Power (Kilkenny)
  • Conor Purcell (Portmarnock)
  • Caolan Rafferty (Dundalk)
  • James Sugrue (Mallow) NEW

2017 GUI Senior panel

  • Colin Fairweather (Knock) turned professional
  • John Ross Galbraith (Whitehead), turned professional
  • Stuart Grehan (Tullamore/MU), turned professional
  • Conor O’Rourke (Naas) turned professional
  • Kevin Le Blanc (The Island/MU) turned professional
  • Jonathan Yates (Naas) not included
  • Sean Flanagan (Co Sligo/MU) not included
  • Jordan Hood (Galgorm Castle/MU) not included
  • Daniel Holland (Castle) not included

from News – Irish Golf Desk

BMW Y-spoke 763M in gold color for M2, M3 and M4

In the individualization of a car, wheels have always played an outstanding role. With the BMW Y-spoke 763M in gold, BMW drivers are now given another option which can ensure a brilliant performance. The standard wheel is so far available in 19 and 20 inches, and has always been painted black in matte black, but now comes a particularly extroverted color alternative for all drivers of the BMW M2 Coupe F87, M3 Sedan F80, M4 Coupe F82 and M4 Convertible F83.

When exactly the golden version is available and at what cost, remains unclear. But it is easy to see that the Y-spoke 763M also has an M Performance lettering on the wheel lip in its golden version. Especially in combination with dark exterior colors and the golden brake calipers of the BMW M carbon-ceramic brake system, the light-alloy wheels guarantee eyeballs and individuality.

While BMW wheels were always manufacture in classic aluminum optics just a few years ago, the trend towards colored light-alloy wheels has also influenced the factory-available options in the recent past. Wheels in black glossy, black matte, dark gray or in various bicolor versions are no longer a rarity, but the accessories range of BMW M Performance has not been so adventurous as in the case of the gold Y-spoke 763 M.

Just how well a BMW M2 Coupe with golden wheels can look, we have known for some time: Even the current safety car for the MotoGP is on the road with golden light-alloy wheels and attracts even more curious looks on many racetracks.

[Source: Bimmertoday]

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