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Keith Beningfield at the MGCC Speed Championship at Shelsley Walsh, July 2019

Keith at Shelsley Walsh

On Sunday the 29th July the MG Speed Championship convened at Shelsley Walsh for the next round. It was a large entry of 23 cars on the day ranging from Triple M’s to ZR’s. The weather on the Saturday travelling down was awful but the Sunday was dry and warmed up as the day progressed.

Shelsley is a very historical venue, first used in 1905 and continually ever since except for the wars, with much of its original infrastructure still in place. In between the wars it hosted many of the motor racing greats including Campbell, Segrave, Caracciola, Bira, Collins, Mays and the MG driver Eddie Hall. The course is 1000 yards long, narrow, being no more than 12 feet wide at some points, and consisting two fast left-hand bends, the esses, and a straight run to the finish. It rises 328 feet during its length, and for an average gradient of 1 in 7, this makes Shelsley a power hill. 

There were seven pre-55 cars entered but with two non-starters (David Butler in the TD Special and James Burmester who was still experiencing gearbox issues in his PA Monoposto) so five made it to practice.  Dave Morris in the TC was running in his new clutch and 5 speed gearbox after his mishap at Prescott. Happily, there were no issues for anyone and the running order after second practice was as shown below –

Keith Beningfield TC S/c 40.07
Howard Harman TC 46.28
Dave Morris TC 50.46
Martin Price TA 53.74
Keith Riches PA S/c 64.37

After lunch we all re-assembled for timed runs. The track remained dry, and for the first runs we all managed to improve our times except for Martin. For the second timed runs we all went slower for some explicable reason with the exception of Keith Riches in the PA who was enjoying his first competitive event and was the only one of the group to improve – perhaps we were all trying too hard. Final placings were as follows –

Keith Beningfield TC S/c 39.32
Howard Harman TC 45.80
Dave Morris TC 49.37
Martin Price TA 53.87
Keith Riches PA S/c 63.27

This was another successful event for me, for a change I did not set my previous best time in 2009 – for Shelsley it had been in 2012 with a time of 39.82. To beat 40 seconds at Shelsley was very satisfying, but now I have now managed to knock a further half a second off at 39.32. Perhaps it’s down to a new pair of rear tyres, the first since 2012 – could there be a sub 39 at some time?

I can’t comment on the bacon rolls as at £4.50 a go it was a step too far! We will see what Loton Park can offer next time out.