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Bulletin 3 – 18th June 2013

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A lot of the Trophy Championship drivers made it a 3 day affair at the premier event in the MG racing calendar, MG Live! at Silverstone.

Silverstone 15/16th June 2013

Both our races were sponsored by Dunlop Tyres and our thanks go to Michael Butler of Dunlop Motorsport.

Again several regulars were unfortunately missing but nevertheless we had a very creditable 25 starters in both races, this brings our grid average up to a healthy 21.2.

Testing

The testing was, as usual, on the Friday, as this was not an ‘MG day’ the testing was open to all, however the majority appeared to be cars that would be racing over the weekend. The slight drawback to this not being an MG day was that the circuit configuration in use was the Arena GP circuit utilising the chicane at Vale whereas the weekend racing would be using the historic cut through at Vale.

The day was broken into 45 minute sessions to suit open and closed wheel cars. At least 15 of the Trophy cars were present testing at some point during the day including our guest driver, reigning Ginetta GT Supercup points leader Tom Ingram, in a new B&G built ZR190. Our second guest driver was ex Trophy man Gary Wetton with his LE 500 the only rwd car to be racing with us. New drivers, Jake Fraser-Burns in the ex Ollie Neaves car and Chris Boulton in the Finishline hire car, were both racing for the very first time. It was good to have the full Scottish contingent present with the first outing for 12 months for Colin Robertson and Graham Ross.

Tom Ingram wasn’t getting much track time with persistent crank oil seal problems, Sarah Budby had a driveshaft failure at Woodcote and both Paul Luti and Chris Bray suffered with broken hubs. Better that these things happen in testing than in the races. Because of the circuit configuration in use lap times were not recorded in testing, however it was clear that new driver, Fraser-Burns, was on the pace almost straight away. The Ingram crank seal problem persisted on the B&G car but with help from Luti technician Claire, the problem was finally sorted on the Friday night.

Qualifying

The Trophy qualifying was the 2nd session on the Saturday starting at 09:33 with all 25 Trophy cars on track plus 19 of our friends from the Drayton Manor Park Metro’s. With a damp track, tyre choice was going to be of prime importance and several cars came in straight away to switch from wets to slicks, some going slicks all round but most, who changed, going to slick front but leaving wets on the rear. After 2 laps most of the front runners were the class C cars on their intermediate tyres, however Bray was first followed by Colebrooke A., Savage, Wetton, Butler, Ashton, Fraser-Burns, Buckley and Walker. At the halfway point, it was Bray, Ashton, Colebrooke A., Savage, Marsh, Fraser-Burns, Butler, Buckley and Wetton. Several cars had non-working transponders, manual timings then materialised and the top five were Ingram, Cole, Bray, Fraser-Burns and Ashton. With two minutes to go, Luti popped into second place, 0.15 secs. behind Ingram, with Robertson, Cole and Ross completing the top five. In class C, the order was Ashton, Colebrooke A., Marsh, Butler and Budby.

Ingram’s pole time was 2:31.43 and in class C Ashton posted 2:39.37.

Cole’s clutch went on the last lap of qualifying and Rushforth suffered with a burst oil cooler pipe and only managed four laps, fortunately he was able to switch off and coast off the track before any damage was done. Fraser-Burns finished the session early with an oil leak but still managed to post 8th in class in his first ever race event.

Race 1

Our first race of the weekend got underway at 13:44 on a dry track. The grid was split with the Metro’s starting 40 secs. after the Trophy cars. At the end of the first lap, the order was Luti, Robertson, Ingram, Bray and Cole then a gap of 4 secs. before the next group of Walker, Wetton and Fraser-Burns. The first of the class C cars were next with Ashton heading Ross, who had spun at Becketts along with Marsh, who suffered with a seized caliper, dropping them both down the order. Ingram made his move on lap 2 to lead Luti, Bray, Robertson and Cole, there was already a gap of over 10 secs. to the next man Ross, followed 2 secs. later by a group of six cars covering just five seconds. Luti kept on Ingram’s tail but lost second place to Bray on lap 5, Ingram taking the win just over 6 seconds ahead of Bray. Luti held his third place just 0.275 secs. behind with Robertson and Cole rounding out the top five. In class C, Ashton held the lead until lap five when Butler made his move only to lose it a lap later. Colebrooke A., Rushforth, Savage and Budby followed, racing in close formation most of the time. The final positions in class C were Ashton, Butler, Colebrooke A., Rushforth and Savage. All 25 cars finished the race.

Fastest laps  Class B was Tom Ingram on lap 4 with 2:26.353s, however, as he was a guest, it was given to the next fastest which was Paul Luti on lap 3 with 2:26.645s.

Class C was Andrew Ashton on lap 6 with 2:34.559s.  

Driver of the Race  Tom Butler, class C.

Race 2

Marsh’s car was checked by Mark Stacey and was found to be down on power, this was rectified. Just before the start of the second race of the day on the Sunday there was drizzle already in the air, so correct tyre choice was paramount. Luti decided wets all round while most of the other class B runners chose to opt for slick fronts, some making last minute changes as the drizzle continued. Most of the class C runners used the control tyre all round but a couple of others used the Dunlop wet on the rear, this was to prove critical. At 14:53, two green flag laps were given due to the conditions, and the race got underway. Jones came in immediately with gear linkage problems and took no further part. At the end of the first lap Luti and Ingram came past side by side 0.001s. separating them, then a gap of 5 secs. to Bray followed by Cole, Robertson, Ross and Wetton in close contention. The class C first five were Ashton, Savage, Colebrooke A., Budby and Marsh. At the front, Ingram opened out an increasing lead over Luti to take the win by 15.6secs. Luti’s alternator belt came off which in turn took the power steering belt off, leaving him with heavy steering. Bray, Cole and Ross tangled early resulting in Bray holding third to the flag, Ross fourth a further 15.5secs. adrift and Cole fifth despite taking fourth place briefly at the 14 min. mark and again a lap later. Penfold called it a day coming in on her third lap and retired. Robertson, Buckley and Colebrooke J. had lonely races on the large GP circuit. Wetton suffered with a broken alternator casting causing smoke in the cockpit. The class C race was a close run thing at the front with Ashton, Savage, Butler and Budby racing line astern, Budby took a position off Savage with a nice move at Copse to take P13, P3 in class. At the front, Butler took the lead off Ashton on the penultimate lap to take the class C win, his first by 2.47 secs., Budby held on to third, Colebrooke A. fourth, and Savage fifth. Webster was a non finisher retiring on lap 6.                 

Fastest laps  Class B was Tom Ingram with 2:38.158, but the point went to Chris Bray with a 2:39.182 on lap 5. Class C was Tom Butler on lap 5 with 2:48.35.  

Driver of the Race  Sarah Budby, class C.