Keith Beningfield at Wiscombe Park, 12 September 2020

Keith Beningfield has sent us a report on his second and final hill climb for this truncated 2020 season. He reports again that it was a bit of a strange experience with ‘no spectators, limited scrutineering, and noise testing and overall a muted atmosphere’.

This was a special occasion for me in as much that on this weekend 50 years ago I competed in my first hillclimb at Ditcham Hill in West Sussex in a TC. This weekend was my second and final event of this rather truncated year at the MGCC Wiscombe Park Hillclimb in Devon on the 12 September. This is a very picturesque 1000-yard hill in a mixture of parkland and woods. Usually this event attracts a good selection of pre 55 MG’s however this year due to Covid the event was down to one M Type, three P types and my TC. The weather was warm and dry, so times were expected to be fast, unusually the format was one practice and three timed runs.

The day went without any dramas, as is usual now no spectators, limited scrutineering, and noise testing and overall a muted atmosphere. James Burmester had a minor issue with his inlet manifold on his supercharged single seater P type, but Gaffer tape sorted that out! Everyone managed to improve as the day progressed and the results were as follows: –

Frank Ashley  M Type 68.30
Andrew Morland PA s/c 59.88
Keith Riches PA s/c 69.26
James Burmester PA s/c Single Seat 61.72
Keith Beningfield TC s/c 51.10

The TC performed well, in its current configuration with TC gearbox and 4/44 final drive ratio,1387cc engine and good weather my best time of 51.10 was only marginally slower than my personnel best of 50.72 set in 2014 with the Type 9 gearbox 1366cc engine and 4.875 final drive, so perhaps all the improvements you make don’t make that much difference or is the driver just getting older? For comparison purposes my best time at Wiscombe in the 1970’s in my first TC with a similar engine was 53.94. I suspect much of the improvement is down to suspension and tyre improvements.

So that’s it for this year, we will have to see what next year brings. The TC is still running well, the engine has survived 20 events over three years, so I am inclined to leave well alone. If next years calendar follows previous years, then the first event should be the Manx Classic at the end of April – that leaves 7 months to tidy the garage!