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Race Reports 2021

Donington Park 17th/18th July

Donington Park was flooded with hot sunshine for the fifth and sixth rounds of the Cockshoot Cup for 2021. Twenty six drivers signed on and headed for qualifying on Saturday morning. Karl Green in his MG ZS and Ray Collier driving his ZR190 swopped fastest times but it was Karl who secured pole position from Ray. Next up were Mark Wright out in the fully restored MGF Cup Car for the first time and David Greenbank making his debut in another MG ZS. On row three was Simon Lowry in yet another ZS and fastest Class B runner Ian Whitt in his newly built MG Midget. The two MG Fs from Class F of Brian Butler and Christopher Greenbank made up the next row. Fastest Class A driver was Paul Wignall’s MG ZR160.

Race one on Saturday started in mid-afternoon on Saturday in very hot conditions. Ray and Karl set off as one from the front row and were quickly embroiled in the lead battle, but Mike Wright passed both and took the MGF Cup Car into the lead. Mark’s race was soon over after a gear linkage problem which left the ZR and ZS at the head of the field. Trading fastest laps the race was very hot, but Karl got ahead and took the victory from Ray. This was Karl’s first ever race win for which he was awarded driver of the race and, later on, driver of the day. David Greenbank drove a fine race taking third. Fourth on the road and winning Class B was Mike Peters in his Midget maintaining his 100% winning record. Ian Whitt finished next and second in Class B with Aaron Jackson’s similar car third in his first race since 2019. Chris Greenbank chased hard to try and catch Brian Butler but was 0.6 seconds behind at the line. Third in Class F was Gareth Jones in the orange MGTF LE 500. In Class A Paul Wignall was the only finisher. Both Chris and Paul set new lap records lowering the times which they had set last year in Class F and Class A.

Sunday was even hotter. Nearly all the cars which had non finished on Saturday had been repaired so twenty four cars lined up just after lunch. This time Mark Wright took an early lead from Karl and Ray and looked as if he would win the race, but Karl got ahead of Ray and set about catching Mark. Going faster and faster he hauled in the MGF and took the lead to register a second victory. Mark hung on for second from Ray. The two ZSs of David Greenbank and Simon Lowery were fourth and fifth. In the classes there was early drama when the two drivers with perfect scores dropped out of the race before it had really begun with Brian Butler retiring after the green flag lap and Mike Peters with a mechanical problem at the first corner. Class B was then won by Mark Bellamy driving his ZR170 after a retirement on Saturday. Second registered driver in Class B was James Johnson with Aaron Jackson again third after being dragged out of the Redgate gravel trap. Chris Greenbank secured Class F with Gareth Jones in second place and Tom Church third. Class A was again won by Paul Wignall from son Leon whose car had been repaired from a Saturday problem using parts brought from the north west over-night. Ian Cochrane’s ZS suffered a major engine failure at Redgate just before the end of the race.

Silverstone Grand Prix 13th June

Twenty three drivers arrived at a hot and sunny Silverstone for rounds three and four on the Grand Prix Circuit. The last time the Championship raced at the venue the track included the “cut through” at Vale Corner which no longer exists so new lap records would be set. The twenty minute qualification session resulted in Ray Collier taking pole position driving his MG ZR190. Alongside on the front row was Karl Green getting to grips with slick tyres on the powerful MG ZS V6. On the second row Pete Bramble and Keith Egar lined up in the MG MGB and Midget. Mark Bellamy was on row three in the quickest of the Class B cars driving the familiar yellow MG ZR170. Brian Butler headed Class F and Paul Wignall secured Class A pole. Sadly, Ian Wright’s gearbox broke meaning that he would not be able to start.

The first race started in the mid-afternoon heat with the track shimmering under the sun. For twenty minutes the two front row drivers Ray Collier and Karl Green battled for the win never being more than a cars length apart. The lead changed several times but at the flag Ray crossed the line 0.328 seconds ahead of Karl to take the win and Class C. Keith Egar couldn’t quite keep up with the saloons but drove his Midget into third in the race and Class C holding off Simon Lowery in another MG ZS. Mike Peters resumed his traditional dice with Mark Bellamy, the blue Midget heading the ZR, but Mike spun out of the race giving away several places. A brilliant recovery drive resulted in him re-catching Mark to win the Class. John Payne’s Midget took third in Class B after Jimmy Johnson’s ZR170 engine expired. Brian Butler looked to be in control of Class F, but Chris Greenbank was slicing through the field behind him but failed to catch him by 0.474 seconds at the flag. New driver Joe Jones piloted the orange MG TF LE500 into third in class. Paul Wignall took another Class A win with son Leon finishing second.

Two hours later the drivers lined up again for the second race, round four of the championship. Jimmy Johnson and Pete Bramble were not starters, but the rest were all present and correct. Keith Egar got a brilliant start to lead at first, but Ray and Karl soon got past him. At the flag, the result was the same as the first race with Ray, Karl and Keith the first three in the race and Class C. Very unusually, the first three in each of the Classes turned out to be the same as in the first race, so Mike Peters, Mark Bellamy and John Payne, Brian Butler, Chris Greenbank and Joe Jones and Paul and Lean Wignall made up the class podiums.

The winners of the Tim Forward Trophies for best overall performance in each class were Ray Collier, Mike Peters, Brian Butler and Paul Wignall.

The new lap records were set by Karl Green, Mike Peters, Chris Greenbank and Paul Wignall.

Outlton Park 22nd May

After a very long winter, twenty six drivers signed on for the first two rounds of the Championship. The weather was cold, wet and greasy when they set out onto the Oulton Park International Circuit for qualifying. Ray Collier driving his MG ZR 190 used his tyre testing skills to claim pole position. Second quickest was Mark Bellamy aboard his Class B MG ZR170. On row two were the MG ZSs of Karl Green and Simon Lowery. David Coulthard drove his MGF Cup Car onto row three with quickest Class A driver Paul Wignall alongside driving the MG ZR160. Brian Butler began his title defence by being quickest in Class F. The Championship welcomed three drivers having their first ever race, these being Leon Wignall driving a Class A MG ZR 160, and Tom Church and Max Pittock-Holdsworth with MGFs.

The weather had improved by mid-afternoon and the cars formed up on the grid for race one on a dry track. David Coulthard made a brilliant start and took the lead, but Ray Collier soon got away from him to lead the rest of the race and take an unchallenged win. Keith Egar driving the K series engined MG Midget had a poor qualifying but cut through the pack to take second in the race and Class C. Also having a good run from down the grid was Pete Bramble who drove his MGB into third place in the race and Class C. Brian Butler began to be challenged by Chris Greenbank but an engine problem put Chris out of the race with Brian going on to take Class F and a new lap record. Mike Peters was also storming along in his MG Midget taking the win in Class B from Ian Whitt’s MG Midget and Jimmy Johnson and Mark Bellamy driving the MG ZR170s. New Cockshoot driver Gareth Jones grabbed second in Class F from Phil Rigby. In Class A, Paul Wignall survived an early spin to win the Class from son Leon and Phil Yates in his MG Midget. Early season woes resulted in six cars not finishing with various problems. These ruled Chris Greenbank, Mark Wright, Ashley Woodward and Helen Waddington from race two.

The sun appeared for Race Two with twenty cars forming up on the grid. This time Keith Egar made a rocket like start, weaving through the pack, and grabbing the lead of the race. There then followed a gripping duel between Keith and Ray Collier. On the penultimate lap, Ray managed to slip through and take a second race win by 0.150 seconds from Keith. Karl Green had a much better race in the ZS and took third place in the race and Class C with Pete Bramble pulling out with a broken gear box. Next up were Brian Butler and Mike Peters both securing second Class wins in F and B. Paul Wignall also won again in Class A from Ian Wright , who had retired in race one, and son Leon. In Class F, Phil Rigby grabbed second but was put under great pressure by Gareth Jones over the final laps but they finished in that order second and third in Class F. In Class B, Mark Bellamy failed to finish with Jimmy Johnson taking second in Class from Ian Whitt in third.

Ray Collier, Mike Peters, Paul Wignall and Brian Butler were awarded the Vicky Peter’s Trophies for the best performance in each class over the two races.