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RACE BULLETIN No.1 – 14th April 2018


Silverstone National 7th April 2018 – The College Motors MGCC MG Trophy Championship

 

My first meeting as Championship Co-ordinator took place on the National Circuit at Silverstone, a venue the MG Trophy had not visited for four years, and then only as a non-championship event. Getting to grips with the many elements of the co-ordinator role would not have been possible for me without the ongoing support and great assistance which I have received, and thankfully continue to receive, from Pete.

I had wanted to start the season with a grid over 30, and just shortly after the closing date the entries reached a total of 35 which was really pleasing to see.

Following the decision made at the drivers meeting the Championship has separated in to Standard Power (160) and Enhanced Power (170 & 190) sections, with the overall champion coming from the Enhanced Power section. Two dropped scores will be permitted this year.

Testing

There were a few track and test days on the weeks running up to the Saturday races with the last one being on the Friday beforehand, this was a busy Trophy day with over three quarters of the grid familiarising themselves with the grip of the new surface laid at Silverstone over the winter period. Unfortunately, pre-season testing revealed issues with three Class A cars, and the grid became reduced to a still very healthy 32, 5 Class A, 22 Class B, and 5 Class C.

Returning & New Drivers

Four drivers returned to the MG Trophy. In Class A, 15 Rob Perkins, our connection to our 2018 Charity Partner, Rett UK. Rett Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder causing profound and multiple physical and communication disabilities from age 1, affecting about 1 in 12,000 girls. Every car in the Championship displays a Race4Rett sticker in the windscreen. Please visit www.rettuk.org to find out more. In Class B, 84 Chris Boulton who last competed in 2015 finishing 7th, and 10 Ray Ferguson who has been racing in the Ferrari Maranello Challenge since last competing in the Trophy in 2016. In Class C, 36 John Gill the 2015 Overall Champion. New to the Trophy were, in class B 3 Sam Kirkpatrick, 6 Ben Mills, 100 Dave Stubbs and in class C, 93 Joe Dalgarno, we wish all our new drivers the best of luck. 2017 Trophy champ 64 Matt Turnbull moves up from Class C to Class B, while 2nd place from Class C, 7 Andy Spencer becomes the first driver to move from Class C to Class A, where he is also joined by 4 Simon Byrne, and 23 Paul Savage from Class B.

Round Sponsor – College Motors

The opening two rounds of the Championship were sponsored by College Motors, Oxfordshire’s Xpart dealer, and MG Rover Specialist for over 20 years. College Motors are also an all makes car dismantler, who provide quality second hand parts as well as an end of life vehicle facility. Owner, Simon Ballard has a long family history with MG and it’s Abingdon factory base. His son, Tylor, drives the College Motors sponsored car No. 80 in Class C.

Guest Driver

Not for the first time, the Championship was joined by an Australian, Rob O’Boyle, a Management Consultant from Brisbane, Queensland. Rob, 45, originally from Sawley in Derbyshire, raced a Fiesta XR2 in the Hot Hatch Championship and then moved to an MG Maestro where he had several podiums with the MGOC. He moved to Brisbane 10 years ago to work in sales. His drive in the Championship was arranged by his lifelong friend, Trophy regular Simon Byrne, especially for Rob’s visit to the UK. Rob was also supported by his wife Claire, daughter Katie, and son Ben.

Qualifying

At 08:59 32 cars took to the track for the first MGCC qualifying session of 2018. After 5 laps top 3’s were A: Spencer, Burgess, Ross, B: Luti, Kirkpatrick, Firth(R), C: Booth, Ballard, Dalgarno. After 8 Laps A: Burgess, Spencer, Cole, B: Luti, Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, C: Booth, Dalgarno, Ballard. At the end of the session A: Burgess, Spencer, Ross, B: Turnbull, Luti, Kirkpatrick, C: Booth, Ballard, Dalgarno. Post qualification Payne discovered an engine problem which would see him withdraw from both races, and Mills needed a clutch change which meant he missed race 1.

Race Reports by Ian Sowman

The opening rounds of the College Motors MG Trophy Championship were not without drama. The safety car was scrambled in race one after a second-lap incident at Copse that ruled out Rob Perkins and debutant Sam Kirkpatrick, who had graduated from the Junior Saloon Car Championship.

The call for the safety car to return to the pit lane was a late one, which caught Doug Cole – who had made up three places at Becketts to take the lead on the opening lap – napping. In the confusion, Jason Burgess took the lead just before the timing line, although given the circumstances he was not penalised.  He went on to take outright victory with Graham Ross, who dived up the inside of Cole at Brooklands on lap 11, taking second.

Reigning champion Matthew Turnbull proved that his ZR160 success was no fluke by qualifying on ZR170 pole on his maiden outing in the division, but it was last year’s runner-up that aced the start and left Turnbull playing catch-up. Their battle for the class win was interrupted on the final lap by the ZR190 of Andy Spencer unlapping himself after a first lap trip to the Becketts gravel.

Among the ZR160s, Tylor Ballard (son of the race sponsor) took his first class victory, emerging on top of a fine tussle with John Booth by less than half a second.

Fastest LapsA: Burgess 1:07.053 on lap 16, B: Jackson 1.09.849 on lap 10, C: Booth 1.12.794 on lap 9 (All New Lap Records)
Driver of the Race – Tylor Ballard

Burgess completed a double later in the day, this time leading from lights-to-flag – just! Cole had been running second when a spin on the exit of Luffield dropped him down the order, and he had fought back to fourth position before he was forced to retire. Ross, meanwhile, played a waiting game before launching an attack on the leader at Brooklands on the final tour. There was door-to-door contact that caused Ross to spin and Burgess to take to the grass, but they maintained their original positions, with the rorty-sounding car of Andy Spencer third.

The ZR170 scrap was intense, with a number of position changes in the battle between Luti, Turnbull and Adam Jackson. On lap 11 Turnbull dived ahead at Brooklands to take the class lead only to lose it to the experienced Luti at Woodcote before turning his attentions to defence from Jackson in the final few laps.

Ballard suffered problems from the off and eventually retired his ZR160, leaving 4G Racing team mates Booth and John Gil to dispute divisional honours, the former coming out on top.

Fastest LapsA: Ross 1:07.231 on lap 11, B: Jackson 1.09.832 on lap 14(NLR), C: Booth 1.13.294 on lap 3
Driver of the Race – Matt Turnbull

Driver of the Day – Matt Turnbull

Bruce Woods
MG Trophy Championship Co-ordinator
t:    07836 358300
e:   Trophy@mgzrx.com