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Keith Beningfield at Prescott’s La Vie en Bleu, May 2019

It’s the second meeting of this season and for once the sun is shining.  This event was a round of the MG Speed Championship, which ensured a good entry of 34 cars, notionally split into two classes, above and below 2 litres. Within the Speed Championship, cars in each class compete and score points against a target time set at the beginning of the year. T Types were represented by –

• Martin Price TA
• Keith Beningfield TC
• Dave Morris TC
• Stewart Penfound Lester MG T51
• Chris Pamplin Dargue MG
• Howard Harman TC 

Previous T competitor James Burmester had forsaken his usual TC mount for a single seat MG PA but was experiencing teething problems.

Prescott is home to the Bugatti Owners Club, the course is 1127 yards long, a slightly uphill start to a sweeping left hander and onto the long 180 degree right hander at Ettore’s, then down-hill and up-hill to the famous Pardon Hairpin leading into the Esses, a tight left hander, up to Semi-circle, and a long right hander onto the finish. Spectator viewing is very good at this venue with easy access to the paddock and trackside.

The two practice runs were uneventful, no mechanical gremlins, the track was completely dry, and best times ranged from 55.73 to 73.09 seconds, reflecting the wide range of modification to the cars. Martin Price’s car is a T Register Class A/B car with limited modification, whereas mine is a full race Class C Car. The closest battles were between Dave and Howard, and Stewart and Chris – long-time adversaries.

The two-timed runs began after lunch, with the weather still warm and dry. Unfortunately, on Dave Morris’s first run, his clutch gave out leaving him to crawl round in second gear and an early bath!  For the rest of us, we all managed to improve on our times as the afternoon progressed with no more mechanical problems, the results are set out below –

T1 secs T2 secs
Martin Price TA 72.43 70.87
Keith Beningfield TC 54.86 53.87
Dave Morris TC 89.28
Stewart Penfound Lester 66.14 66.04
Chris Pamplin Dargue 64.87 63.69
Howard Harman TC 62.30 61.60

Postscript 

I have been competing at Prescott since 2006 and set my personal best time of 55.42 in 2009. Since then I have continued to modify the engine, different camshaft, larger over bores and other minor tweaks, but it has taken 10 years and fourteen events (that’s somewhere near 50 separate climbs) to better that time, probably a combination of good track and weather conditions and the car and driver on top form.  By comparison Nick Topliss in ERA 4D managed 49.50 seconds, the old TC isn’t doing too bad.

Total costs for this event, entry fees and fuel approx. £150.00, no work to do on the TC, and the next event will be the Harewood Classic and Vintage meeting on 1 June.

Finally, the quest for the best paddock bacon roll is on. So far, Prescott is edging in front with a four-rasher version, although inflation seems to have taken its toll this year with a 50p increase over last year – watch this space!