Keith Beningfield at the Barbon Manor Hill Climb, July 2019

Team Beningfield

After a month’s rest, the next event was Barbon Manor, another round of the MG Car Club Speed Championship, and also of the British Hill Climb Championship.
This is one of my local events, however only four contenders managed to find their way to darkest Lancashire – an MGF, my son in a Midget (Luffield Champion in 2016 and 2017), my  TC and an MG ZR. I have a theory, that whilst I manage to travel south to many events, the distances going north must be more than those going south since the southerners don’t want to go north of Watford! Or is it that everything MG is just South Centric ( I can believe that! – ed.)
Opened in 1950, It’s a spectacular venue with views out over the surrounding Lancashire countryside, just north of Kirkby Lonsdale. It may be home to one of the shorter hill climbs in the UK, but its narrow 675m course (the drive up to Barbon Manor) is incredibly fast and challenging. It’s great for spectators too, the whole of the course is accessible for viewing and you also have full access to the paddock area and cars. The course record of 20.08 seconds was set by Jos Goodyear in July 2015 making Barbon the fastest Hillclimb course in the UK – Jos set an average speed from start to finish of 90.66mph, with maximum speed around130mph.
The weather for the event was fine warm and dry for a change. Electrical problems with the TC have been solved: the electronic rev limiter had failed shorting the ignition and taking the rev counter with it. Practice for the MG class was uneventful but slow, other competitors seemed to want to use the grass rather than the tarmac. In the end the four MG’s were spread between 30 and 36 seconds with Ian Howlett in the MGF in the lead and my son Ian bringing up the rear in his Midget.
For the timed runs the order did not change and for the third time this year I either bettered or equalled my longstanding best times from 2009 – on this occasion I equalled to 100th of a second my 2009 time.
Final results for the MGs were as follows: –

Driver Car Engine Best Time
Ian Howlett MGF Trophy 1796cc 30.97
Keith Beningfield MG TC 1387cc S/C 31.84
Andrew Till MG ZR105 1396cc 32.88
Ian Beningfield MG Midget 1493cc 36.64

Another successful day’s hill climbing and Team Beningfield survived the day with no mishaps. The TC won the Scrutineer’s Trophy for the best prepared car – it’s no substitute for a class award though!
This event is one of the cheaper entries at £103.00. The first significant expenditure on the TC this season has been a new tachometer. No further bacon roll data from this event as we were self-catering courtesy of my son’s camper van.
The next event will be Shelsley Walsh on 28th July.