Race Reports 2023
After a very long winter break the drivers competing in the Cockshoot Cup Championship arrived at a sunny Oulton Park for the first two rounds of the 2023 Championship on May 13th. Twenty four competitors signed on and ventured out onto the track in the first qualification session of the day at 8.30 in the morning. Two drivers managed to set times below the two minute mark and occupy the front row of the grid, Chris Greenbank in his MGF and Ray Collier driving his MG ZR190. The second row fell to David Morrison’s MG Midget, the fastest Class B car, and Mark Wright’s MGF Cup Car. Keith Egar’s Midget and Karl Green’s MG ZS clinched row three. Quickest Class A runner was Rhys Higginbotham driving his MG ZR160 and pole in Class F went to new driver Jamie Stevens from Phil Rigby.
The drivers were called for the first race later in the morning. Sadly, Dave Morrison, the defending Champion, had to withdraw with an oil leak and Colin Parkinson’s MGB was also a non-starter. Richard Johnson was not able to start feeling unwell so twenty one cars lined on the grid sparkling in the spring sunshine. Keith Egar made a lightning start in his Midget to take the early lead, but was soon passed by Mark Wright who was driving brilliantly in the MGF Cup Car. As the race progressed, Mark began to have gearbox problems and slipped back behind the front row drivers with Chris Greenbank and Ray Collier circulating together and sometimes overlapping. As the last lap began, it was neck and neck and although Ray was ahead out of Lodge Corner, Chris accelerated across the line to win by the margin of 0.111 seconds, probably the closest finish ever to a Cockshoot Cup race. Third on the road and in Class C was Keith Egar with Mark Wright hanging on for fourth from Karl Green, and Mike Peters. John Payne drove his MG Midget into seventh and victory in Class B from Mark Bellamy, Colin Stubbs and James Johnston all in MG ZR170s. Rhys Higginbotham clinched Class A from Len Wignall and John Spencer. In Class F, Jamie Stevens was an early retirement with Phil Rigby then taking the class win with Tom Church and Gareth Jones completing the podium. Rhys Higginbotham set a new Class A lap record.
After a pleasant lunch break, the drivers assembled on the grid for the second race of the day. Mark Wright was unable to repair his gearbox and Gareth Jones and John Spencer were also non-starters, so eighteen cars left the line when the red lights went out. Another brilliant start from Keith Egar resulted in an early lead but the flying duo of Chris Greenbank and Ray Collier soon passed Keith with the dicing being resumed as it was in race one. With the end of the race approaching the red flag was shown because Jamie Steven’s MGF was in the gravel at Druids in a dangerous place. There was very little time left so the race was not restarted. This time Ray was ahead of Chris at the flag with Keith Egar completing the race podium. Karl Green came home fourth with Mike Peters and David Coulthard making up the Class C positions. Colin Stubbs was the leader in Class B for the early part of the race but was passed by Mark Bellamy and John Payne, his victory giving him maximum points from the two races. Class A and an amazing fifth in the race was achieved by Rhys Higginbotham and Phil Rigby also achieved the double by winning Class F with Tom Church runner up and Greg Elwood third.
Rounds three and four of the 2023 Cockshoot Cup Race Championship were run on the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on June 10th and 11th. Blue skies and high temperatures were in evidence on both days. The qualification session started early on Saturday with twenty three drivers taking to the track. Mark Wright in one of the restored MGF Cup Cars dominated the session with a time more than 4 seconds quicker than any other driver. Next up and on the front row was Chris Greenbank in his MGF followed on row two by Keith Egar’s Midget and the Class B Midget of Dave Morrison. Rhys Higginbotham was the quickest Class A driver aboard his ZR160 and Phil Rigby just secured Class F pole despite a trip through a gravel trap.
Mike peters had to withdraw his MG Midget so twenty two cars took the start on a split grid with the MG Cup cars starting later. Mark Wright was beaten away from the line by Keith Egar, but it wasn’t long before the MGF took the race lead. Sadly, an engine problem resulted in Mark’s retirement and Chris Greenbank’s F was also sidelined by a broken drive shaft. This let Keith Egar into the lead which he held to the chequred flag. Dave Morrison finished second on the road and won Class B. Karl Green driving his ZS started from the back of the grid but powered through to take third and second in Class C just pipping David Coulthard out in his ZR190 who took third in Class C. Into fifth came John Payne to take the runner up spot in Class B from the pink ZR170 of Leon Wignall who took third in Class B. John was awarded driver of the race for his performance. Dad Paul Wignall was the only Class A finisher in seventh just ahead of Mark Bellamy’s Class B ZR170. In Class F, Phil Rigby continued his good form by winning from Paul Rigg and Gregg Elgood.
It was an early morning call for all the drivers on Sunday with the race due off before ten o’clock. Chris Greenbank had replaced his driveshaft and Mark Wright had returned home and repaired his engine. These two went on to dominate the race with Mark comfortably beating Chris in the race and in Class C. Dave Morrison again won Class B in his Midget by finishing third on the road. This time Keith Egar had to settle for fourth and third in Class C ahead of John Payne who again beat Leon Wignall having to come from behind to do so. They were second and third in Class B. Paul Wignall finished seventh and won Class A. Class F was again won by Phil Rigby with Greg Elgood second and John Clarke third. Paul Rigg suffered a very worrying incident when part of the flywheel from another car came through his windscreen and hit his shoulder. Driver of the race was awarded to Mark Wright for his dedication in repairing his car overnight and coming back to the circuit and winning.
The Tim Forwood Trophies for best aggregate performance over the weekend were won by Keith Egar (Class C), Dave Morrison (Class B), Paul Wignall (Class A) and Phil Rigby (Class F).
The Cockshoot Cup Championship drivers arrived at Oulton Park on Saturday August 5th for the summer races. The weather forecast predicted rain all day which unfortunately proved to be accurate. Twenty drivers took to the circuit for qualifying on a very wet track surface. Quickest all session was Mark Wright in his MGF with Chris Greenbank completing the front row in his similar car. David Coulthard and Ray Collier locked out row two driving their MGZR 190 cars. Next up was quickest Class B runner Dave Morrison’s MG Midget with Colin Stubb’s ZR170 alongside. Rhys Higginbotham was the only Class A runner clinching eighth spot. Fastest MGF was Phil Rigby with Greg Elgood and John Clarke second and third. Colin Parkinson failed to compete three laps in his MGB but was able to qualify behind the safety car during the lunch interval.
The track was slightly drier when the cars emerged from the collecting area for the first race. All twenty cars lined up on the grid and it was Dave Morrison with a rocket start who headed the pack when the red light went out. The lead wasn’t to last because Mark Wright and Ray Collier got ahead and had a superb dice for the race lead with front-wheel against rear-wheel drive. Ray had a spell ahead, but Mark prevailed and won by just over six seconds. Dave Morrison finished third and first in Class B. Chris Greenbank took fourth and third in Class C having lost ground at the start and spent the race dicing with Rhys Higginbotham. Rhys drove his Class A MG ZR160 into fifth place ahead of Tom Church’s MGF Cup Car. Colin Stubbs held second in Class B, but a grassy moment allowed Leon Wignall through to take second in Class with Colin recovering to third. Phil Rigby finished eleventh in the race and won Class F but was under pressure from Gareth Jones who finished second in Class with John Clarke completing the podium. Driver of the race was awarded to Chris Greenbank.
It was much wetter for race two. As the leading cars went through Cascades Ray Collier locked his wheels and plunged into the gravel trap and out of the race. This resulted in the safety car being called onto the track as Ray’s car was extracted. When racing resumed Mark Wright put on a superb display of wet weather driving dominating the race to win by nearly fifteen seconds. Chris Greenbank and David Coulthard also drove brilliantly to take second and third in the race and in Class C. David Morrison completed a good day by finishing a solid fourth and first in Class B. Rhys Higginbotham drove another storming race to finish fifth. Leon Wignall ran second in Class B but a grassy moment at Clay Hill dropped him back with Colin Stubbs and Mark Bellamy coming through to take second and third in Class B. Helen Waddington was next in her ZR 170 having her best race for a long time. Phil Rigby won Class F again and this time was pressurised by John Clarke with Greg Elgood finishing third in Class F. David Coulthard was awarded driver of the race.
The Vicky Peters Trophies for the best aggregate performances were awarded to Rhys Higginbotham (Class A), David Morrison (Class B), Mark Wright (Class C) and Phil Rigby (Class F).
Cadwell Park looked at its very best for rounds seven and eight of the Cockshoot Cup Championship. A dry track was on offer for the whole day which was a great relief for the nineteen drivers who took to the circuit for qualifying. Dave Morrison driving his Class B MG Midget thrives at Cadwell Park and set the fastest time to gain pole position. Alongside on the front row was Mark Wright in his MGF Cup Car leading Class C. Chris Greenbank’s MGF and Keith Egar’s MG Midget occupied row two with John Payne and Mark Bellamy on the third row being second and third in Class B. It was clear that Phil Rigby would have a challenge to his perfect Class F record with Gareth Jones alongside him on row seven. The session ended under the red flag when John Clarke put a wheel on the grass and spun into the barrier with his MGF suffering damage which would preclude him from racing.
The remaining eighteen cars lined up for the first race just before the lunch break. The three Midgets all made good starts, but it was Dave Morrison who emerged as leader a position he held to take the race and Class B win smashing his own lap record in the process. It looked as if Mark Wright might get the Cup Car ahead, but a half spin at the top of the Gooseneck lost him time from which he could not recover taking second place and the Class C victory. Keith Egar finished in third place and second in Class C with Ray Collier driving his ZR190 on experimental Davanti tyres coming through the field to take fourth place and complete the Class C podium. John Payne was next up finishing second in Class B and holding off the ZR170s, that of Leon Wignall taking third in Class in his pink car. In Class F, Phil Rigby took the lead at first, but a couple of spins dropped him to the rear of the field with Gregg Elgood winning the Class after Gareth Jones retired with an oil leak. The race ended under the safety car after Chris Greenbank who had been dicing near the front of the race became the second MGF of the day to impact the barriers causing damage that would rule him out of race two. Dave Morrison was awarded driver of the race for winning and breaking the lap record.
Karl Green who had retired his MG ZS from race one was unable to start race two so sixteen cars lined up on a much hotter circuit. This time Mark Wright made no mistakes winning from the front and again taking maximum points in Class C. Dave Morrison pushed the MGF Cup Car all the way but couldn’t find a way through and so finished second and first in Class B. Ray Collier had another good race this time passing Keith Egar to finish third with the two of them completing the Class C podium. John Payne finished fifth and second in Class B. John was chased hard by Leon Wignall until his ZR170 pulled off with a mechanical problem. Mark Bellamy took up the chase and finished third in Class B. In Class F, Gareth Jones had repaired his car and he and Phil Rigby raced closely through the whole twenty minutes with Gareth coming out on top by just a third of a second. Gregg Elgood finished third in the Class. This performance won Gareth the driver of the race award.
Thirteen drivers made the long trip to Norfolk for the final two rounds of the Cockshoot Cup for 2023. The weather stayed bright and dry for the whole weekend giving excellent track conditions on the Three Hundred Circuit. Mark Wright took pole position in his MGF Cup Car by eight tenths of a second from leading Class B runner David Morrison driving his red MGB Midget. Chris Greenbank with his repaired MGF ended up on the second row with Keith Egar’s MG Midget alongside. John Payne and Mark Bellamy occupied row three taking second and third in Class B in Midget and MG ZR170. Fastest of the three MGFs was Gareth Jones a second ahead of Phil Rigby.
The quick Midgets jumped into the lead when the red light went out, but Mark Wright was soon ahead and went on to win the race. The drivers were beginning to fight for places down the field when the engine in Helen Waddington’s MG ZR170 exploded and spread oil through the fast Coram curve. Nearly everybody had a spin or half spin on the slippery surface and the safety car was deployed. At the restart, Keith Egar jumped up into second place with Chris Greenbank third and David Morrison dropping to fourth as he concentrated on securing the Class B victory. John Payne had lost a lot of ground spinning on the oil but a great comeback drive secured him second in Class B by a tenth of a second from Mark Bellamy who took third in Class from Colin Stubbs. David Coulthard finished eighth in on the road and fourth in Class C. In Class F, Gareth Jones took the win with Gregory Elgood second and Phil Rigby third.
The second race started in mid-morning on Sunday with Helen Waddington a non-starter. David Morrison knew that if he won Class B again then he would be Cockshoot Champion for the second year in a row. The focus of the crowd was on a superb dice for the lead between Mark Wright and Keith Egar. Mark was in front initially and then Keith managed to pass him to win the race by less than a second and set a new lap record. Chris Greenbank finished third again with Dave Morrison coming home fourth and winning Class B. John Payne had a good race with David Coulthard and beat Mark Bellamy again in Class B. Gregory Elgood and Gareth Jones both retired to leave Phil Rigby as the only Class F finisher.
The special trophies awarded on aggregate were the Malimson Trophy to Mark Wright, the Genesis Trophy to David Morrison and the Malimson MGF Trophy to Phil Rigby.
So David Morrison is the Cockshoot Cup Champion for 2023 and winner of Class B with Rhys Higginbotham winning Class A, Mark Wright winning Class C and Phil Rigby winning Class F.