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Goodwood Track Day
Text and Photo’s by Julian White and Colin Grant
The philosophy of the MG on Track team is to generate fun, sociable track days where MG enthusiasts can enjoy their cars in safety, with fellow enthusiasts and at the best possible price. We witnessed this to good effect at the famous Goodwood circuit near Chichester in West Sussex.
We were invited to go along and see for ourselves. We had a very early start to be able to arrive and sign on by 8.30am, where we were met by Barry McCann, one of the organisers of the track day, who signed us on and arranged for the Star Car to be used on the sighting laps of each session at the start of the day.
We were taken out on a sighting lap by the Chief Instructor who has been driving various circuits for around twenty years. He took us round the track showing us the correct lines to take, which made it look all so easy especially at the pace he was using.
The thing that amazed both of us was the range of cars participating. We saw a rare Costello MGB, an SV-R, RV8’s and good selections of Midgets, MGF’s, B’s plus a Morris Minor!
Things started in earnest with cars going out in sessions relative to their driver’s experience. Strict rules have to be obeyed with relation to overtaking etc. The ‘sessions’ last for around fifteen minutes and we had the opportunity to accompany two of the drivers involved. Julian went out with Richard Wale, in an open top highly modified Morris Minor, with a tuned MG Midget engine and brakes.
This car nudged nearly a 100mph in places. I went out in a highly modified 4.2ltr MGBGT V8 with Michael Sparks. This was very exciting particularly as we were doing over 130mph in places. The amazing thing is that I felt no fear being driven round the track at these speeds as Michael handled the car so superbly, that I felt totally confident in his hands.
MGs on Track started off as a group of MG enthusiasts who decided to try a bit of self-help. A few of them had tried the odd track day, but sometimes found the mix of high powered cars on commercial track days a bit daunting. The events were quite expensive so they couldn’t go to as many as they would have liked and they also found they enjoyed them much more in the company of fellow MG enthusiasts.
In 2002 they formed MGs on Track and their objective was very simple – to get as many MG owners as they could enjoying track days in each others’ company for the cheapest possible price! This philosophy remains and continues to be their primary aim!
In December 2003 MGs on Track was taken under the wing of the MG Car Club. This offer made tremendous sense and secured the operational future of MGs on Track. It gives them access to the Car Club’s infrastructure and also means they can benefit from the long standing relationships built up between the Car Club and many of the circuit operators.
We both had an amazing day, we found people very friendly and willing to talk about their cars and experience. There was no lack of offers to be taken out as a passenger, the organizers were friendly, helpful and enthusiastic and to top it all the weather was fantastic, but don’t take our word for it go and experience a day for yourself as spectator or participant.
We wish to extend our thanks to Barry McCann, Steve Hills, and Martin Charles for inviting us along.
For those of you who may be interested in a track day then go to their website here for more details.