RACE BULLETIN No. 5 – 29th September 2021

Snetterton 300 11th September 2021

The MGCC Holden MG Trophy Championship

After an eight week gap since Donington Park the final rounds of the 2021 MG Trophy Championship were held on the Snetterton 300 circuit. With his collection of eight chequered flag finishes Sam Kirkpatrick had already secured both the Class A and Overall Championship title, but with only two points separating the top three in Class B, excitement was still guaranteed. As the closing date for entries approached for rounds nine and ten of the 2021 Championship a grid of eighteen looked possible, with a Class breakdown of 4 Class A, 11 Class B, and 3 Class C.

Driver News

Included in this total was a Class B guest drive for 17-year-old Astin Wigley (No.58) from Stevenage, with a newly acquired car. Sadly, a possible case of Covid in the family brought on the need for a very disappointing withdrawal at the last minute. We look forward to seeing Astin in 2022. A last minute entry from Mike Harris (No.37) restored the grid to 18, 5 Class A, 10 B, and 3 C.

Testing

The MSV option for some Friday track time was taken up by just over half the field. Patrick Booth (No.33) was back in his Class A machine, but not confident at the end of the day’s testing that his bottom end oil leak issue had been resolved.

Qualifying

With John Donnelly (No.76) due to take part in the Great North Run for Young Lives vs Cancer on the Sunday, both Trophy races were scheduled for Saturday. Qualifying started ahead of schedule at 09:49 and ran for the full 20 minutes without interruption. Failure to observe track limits was again a feature particularly at Agostini and Williams, although it was only Ballard whose repetition resulted in three lap times being removed, not that this changed his final grid positions! Top threes for Round 9 A Burgess(P1), Cole(P2), Booth(P3), B Ballard(P5), Campbell(P6), Dennison(P7), C Moreton(P14), Tolley(P15), Donnelly(P16). As always, the second race grid is based on second best quali times and so for Round 10 A Burgess(P1), Cole(P2), Booth(P3), B Ballard(P5), Campbell(P6), Dennison(P7), C Moreton(P13), Tolley(P14), Donnelly(P15).

Race Report by Mark Paulson (edited by BW)

With the MG Trophy title already in his pocket after the July rounds at Donington Park, Sam Kirkpatrick chose to sit out the races at Snetterton, which left the way clear for Fred Burgess to take two comfortable wins – his first of the season – on a track at which he thrives. But it was the battles between youth and experience in Class B that stole the show.

Burgess’s fellow front-row man Doug Cole was forced to begin race one’s first start from the pitlane after his car wouldn’t start in the assembly area. But the race was red-flagged on the first lap when Robin Walker ran wide at Williams and re-joined the circuit in the path of Joe Dalgarno, with the collision resulting in both cars rolling. Both drivers were fine, but the damage to their cars meant their race weekends were over.

Cole took up his grid slot for the re-run, but was unable to match Burgess’s pace. He had to settle for second as Patrick Booth completed the podium, with the trio repeating that result in race two.

“Both races were fairly comfortable,” admitted Burgess. “I’ve always said, I don’t care if I come fifth or sixth if I have a good race. I enjoyed the weekend because I love this circuit – it’s one of my favourite circuits so it’s always fun – but it would have been nice to have someone a bit closer.”

Instead of focusing on the leader, most onlookers’ eyes were fixed on the enthralling Class B battles. The class championship was on the line, with only two points separating Fergus Campbell, Tylor Ballard and James Dennison heading into the weekend. Ballard struck first blood by taking both class pole positions, as Campbell first suffered an ABS issue and was then left to rue race one’s red flag as his trademark lightning start counted for nothing. Ballard made the best getaway at the second time of asking and kept himself clear of the engaging scrap between Campbell and Dennison. Campbell made the decisive move for second mid-race at Oggies, and while he was able to pull away and reduce the gap to Ballard, he ran out of laps to make a challenge.

Campbell made another quick start in race two but, as the others tried to follow him between the Class A cars contact led to an accident which brought out the safety car. Ballard fared worst of the Class B contenders, touring into the pits with a holed radiator and his championship hopes in tatters. That left Campbell needing to finish second to be sure of the class title. Under pressure from Dennison and Jack Chapman, he was able to fend off the pair and clinch the class crown in style while also earnt him Millers Oils Driver of the Race.

It was a desperately disappointing way for Ballard to lose out, having finished every other race of the season. But at 21 years of age, he has proven that he can compete with far more experienced drivers like Campbell and that his time will come.

“For a relatively modest club racing championship, the Trophy is so incredibly competitive,” said Campbell, who repeated his class triumph of 2014 and credited car builder Rob Quinn of Quinntech for the machinery at his disposal.

“I’m 52,” he added. “These kids are young and brave! James Dennison is mighty fast and he’s got a bit of experience in these cars. The lad Jack has come into it this year and he’s really arrived. If my concentration slipped for a minute he would have been there.”

Chapman certainly impressed as he passed Dennison for second at Brundle mid-race. Having already been named Millers Oils Driver of the Race for his fourth in class earlier in the day, he was also named as Saturday’s overall Driver of Day for his efforts.

James Moreton continued his run of winning Class C at each race he has contested, wrapping up the class title in the process, and sixth position in the Overall Championship. In the first race John Donnelly finished ahead of Guy Tolley by 0.8s for second in Class, but the order was reversed in the second race with Tolley finishing with an 8.2 second advantage over Donnelly.

John went on to complete the Great North Run in 1:59:25, and you can still contribute to his just giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-donnelly21

Round 9.
Fastest Laps A: Burgess 2:13.771 on lap 4, B: Campbell 2:17.980 on lap 8, C: Tolley 2:27.762 on lap 9
Millers Oils Driver of the Race – Jack Chapman

Round 10.
Fastest LapsA: Burgess 2:14.094 on lap 5, B: Chapman 2:18.842 on lap 4, C: Moreton 2:26.712 on lap 4
Millers Oils Driver of the Race – Fergus Campbell

Driver of the Day – Jack Chapman

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

RACE BULLETIN No. 4 – 29th July 2021

Donington Park 17th & 18th July 2021

The MGCC MG Trophy Championship

Five weeks on from our visit to Silverstone the Trophy Championship moved to the Donington Park National circuit. As the closing date for entries approached for rounds seven and eight of the 2021 Championship a grid of twenty five looked possible, with a Class breakdown of 6 Class A, 15 Class B, and 4 Class C.

Driver News

Following a rebuild of the dyno busted engine Phil Tomlinson (No.117) made his delayed return to the Trophy grid. Also back for the first time in 2021 Class B was Andrew Herron (No.72) with a re-shelled Trophy Blue car.

Yet again, whilst leaving a decision right up until the deadline Erick Lefebvre (No.66) was forced to withdraw as there had been no change in the Covid travel restrictions. Sadly, John Booth (No. 50) found himself in a similar position, having to isolate at home as his daughter was ill with Covid. Fortunately, Mike Harris (No.37) reversed the declining grid with a late entry to make a very welcome return to Class A in 2021. So come Saturday morning the Trophy Grid was twenty four. 7 Class A, 13 B, and 4 C.

Testing

With the forecast set for the warmest weekend of the year so far, on Friday seventeen competitors took advantage of the MSV option for some track time. Joe Dalgarno (No.93) Class B absorbed the bad luck for the day when his engine totally destroyed itself. A busy Friday evening followed and with much assistance a newly assembled replacement was fitted allowing Joe to continue for the weekend.

Qualifying

Another two-day meeting format for Trophy with qualifying starting ahead of schedule at 09:48, and running for the full 15 minutes without interruption. Failure to observe track limits was widespread, 14 lap times were removed. However, post session analysis shows no one lost any starting grid position as a result. Top threes for Round 7 A Kirkpatrick(P1), Burgess(P2), Cole(P3), B Campbell(P6), Bacon(P7), Ballard(P8), C Croker(P18), Moreton(P19), Donnelly(P21). As always, the second race grid is based on second best quali times and so for Round 8 A Kirkpatrick(P1), Burgess(P2), Cole(P3), B Campbell(P6), Ballard(P7), Bacon(P8) C Moreton(P18), Croker(P19), Donnelly(P21).

Race Report by Graham Keilloh (edited by BW)

The MG Trophy this season has had a pattern of two young guns, Sam Kirkpatrick and Fred Burgess, battling over first place, but with Kirkpatrick prevailing every time. The 20-year-old indeed won six from six before Donington. And in Leicestershire’s race one he made it seven.

Burgess true to form attacked Kirkpatrick throughout Donington’s race one, and he reckoned he could have made a move for the lead had the race not ended early with a red flag – after a spectacular clash between Paul Savage and Josh Bacon exiting the chicane. Third across the line was Doug Cole.

Race two was a similar tale at the front, but this time it had a last-lap twist. A late safety car bunched the contenders up, and Burgess had throughout looked stronger than Kirkpatrick out of Old Hairpin. On the final tour he got alongside there, but they touched and Burgess spun, dropping to ninth, while Kirkpatrick was able to continue to be first home to claim seemingly win number eight – the championship’s maximum-possible season total.

But he was docked five seconds for an unsafe track re-join, meaning he was classified third with Doug Cole declared winner, and Adam Jackson promoted to second. Kirkpatrick’s results nevertheless were enough for him to be officially assured of this year’s MG Trophy Championship.

Kirkpatrick said: “It’s been a really close fight all the year with Fred – just managed to get out on top. It was a close fight all the way through [at Donington].”

Burgess added: “I think I’ve been the quickest car (this weekend), just haven’t managed to convert it to a win. Bit disappointing but we’ll come back next round and have a go. I like Snetterton, I was always quick there in the 170; I won there last year in the 190.

“There’s a lot of ifs and maybes [this season]. I’ve had the pace most weekends to have at least shared the wins with Sam. There’s been a few times the flag’s come a lap late or a lap too early. We’ll keep trying; we’ll get there.”

Fergus Campbell in race one topped the Class B runners, finishing fifth overall and getting Millers Oils Driver of the Race having kept just out of reach of the chasing Bacon up until his contact with Savage. After correcting the result back to the end of the sixth lap second in Class B was Tylor Ballard, with James Cole taking third to match his fathers form in Class A. James Moreton won the Class C battle by 9s ahead of John Donnelly, with Paul Croker a further second back.

Race two in Class B had an equally dramatic finish as in Class A, with Tylor Ballard claiming first place from long-time leader Campbell on the final lap in a tight five-car lead scrap. At the line less than 1.2 seconds separated the first five Class B finishers, the final order being Ballard, Campbell, Chapman, Bacon, and Dennison. This crescendo also got Ballard both the Millers Oils Driver of the Race and Sunday’s Driver of the Day.

Jack Chapman is in his first year of Tin Top racing and has shown gradually improving results from race to race. “I never expected to be on the podium this year, and to be going home with a trophy has absolutely made my weekend.”

Moreton made it a double win in Class C, maintaining his 100% record for the six rounds he has so far entered this year, again finishing well clear of runner-up Donnelly and Guy Tolley in third.

Round 7.
Fastest Laps A: Burgess 1:20.198 on lap 2 (New Lap Record), B: Campbell 1:23.873 on lap 4, C: Moreton 1:28.351 on lap 2
Millers Oils Driver of the Race – Fergus Campbell

Round 8.
Fastest LapsA: Burgess 1:20.611 on lap 4, B: Campbell 1:23.574 on lap 11, C: Moreton 1:28.322 on lap 12
Millers Oils Driver of the Race – Tylor Ballard
Driver of the Day – Tylor Ballard

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

RACE BULLETIN No. 3 – 16th June 2021

Silverstone Grand Prix 12th & 13th June 2021

The Unity MGCC MG Trophy Championship

After a very short gap of only three weeks the Trophy Championship moved on to the full Grand Prix circuit at Silverstone for the very first time. As rounds five and six of the 2021 Championship approached the entry list looked to be a healthy 23, with a Class breakdown of 8 Class A, 12 Class B, and 3 Class C.

Driver News

This weekend’s event was to see the return of Phil Tomlinson and the Class B Carrot Racing car, both having had major surgery since their last Trophy appearance. However, a dyno test of the new car engine on the Monday before proved catastrophic, and the entries were reduced to 22. This total included Ross Makar (No.73) with a one-off guest drive in a newly built 4G Class A car, although with his 2020 engine. In Class C, entries remained at the same level with class leading James Moreton (No.78) returning after missing Oulton, and Guy Tolley taking a break for Silverstone. With no change in the Covid travel restrictions yet again, Erick Lefebvre (No.66) was unable to join the Championship and had to rely on a combination of TSL and our Facebook Live Broadcast by Adrian Wray.

Round Sponsor – Unity Coventry MG

Rounds five and six of the 2021 Championship were sponsored by Unity Coventry. Unity Automotive began in 1980 when their first branch was opened at Tredington in Warwickshire. Expansion over the following years saw more branches opened at Coventry, Leicester and Oxford. Many car brands are catered for at the various sites and their Oxford branch is now an official ‘brand centre’ for FCA brands. The Balsall Common branch ‘Unity Coventry’ which was acquired in 2012 took on the MG brand in 2019 and our sincere thanks go to Elliott Cartwright and all the staff at Station Road.

Testing

With great contrast to the damp conditions of testing before Oulton, the Friday before Silverstone was hot and sunny and twelve competitors took to the track, keen to familiarise themselves with the full GP circuit and the tight left-hand turn at Vale which the Championship had never used.

Qualifying

The two day meeting format and scheduling of the Trophy race meant qualifying kicked off at 10:58. For the first time this year there was a full twenty minute session under green flag conditions. Due to exceeding track limits Bacon and Makar had one lap time removed, Kirkpatrick, Chapman, and J Booth each had two, none of which impacted on either their first or second best times clearly demonstrating the fairness of deleting the erroneous lap, rather than the best lap as had previously been the rule. Top threes for Round 5 A Kirkpatrick(P1), Burgess(P2), Makar(P3), B Dennison(P9), Bacon(P10), Dalgarno(P11), C Moreton(P19), Croker(P20), Donnelly(P21). As always, the second race grid is based on second best quali times and so for Round 6 A Burgess(P1), Kirkpatrick(P2), Makar(P3), B Dalgarno(P9), Dennison(P10), Bacon(P11) C Moreton(P18), Croker(P20), Donnelly(P21).

Race Report by Mark Paulson (edited by BW)

Sam Kirkpatrick remains unbeaten in the 2021 MG Trophy but, once again, Fred Burgess made him work hard for his continued success.

Making his first appearance of the year in a ZR 190 newly built by 4G Racing, albeit in a non-scoring guest capacity, Ross Makar looked set to give the leading duo a run for their money. Indeed, from third on the grid, he ran around the outside of polesitter Kirkpatrick’s similar car through Copse before yielding into the Maggots/Becketts complex. But the three-way fight would prove short-lived as Burgess’s gearbox gave up the ghost and Makar’s engine – an ageing unit transplanted from his previous machine – blew, ending his weekend. So Kirkpatrick could look after his tyres in the hot weather as he eased to a fifth win of the year from Adam Jackson in a season-best second, with Doug Cole completing the podium.

Joshua Bacon (ZR 170) was named Millers Oils Driver of the Race and Saturday’s Driver of the Day after claiming his first Class B win. He jumped class polesitter James Dennison and led throughout as a closely fought contest played out behind. Dennison fought off Tylor Ballard for second in class, with James Cole also edging out Ballard by five hundredths of a second on the run to the flag for third.

In Class C the order over the line remained the same for all eight laps, with James Moreton taking his third win from as many races, with Paul Croker 2.3 seconds behind, and John Donnelly third.

Five cars failed to finish the first race. Patrick Booth and Ross Makar both had engine failures, Makar was forced to withdraw from round 6, whilst Booth accelerated a plan he had to purchase a Class B 170 which he collected and prepared overnight with the 4G team, qualified out of session Sunday morning, and started from the back of the grid, now in Class B. Fred Burgess was able to borrow a gear box, and Robin Walker replace a hub, a failed stud causing his loss of a wheel, and both were able to make the second race. Also fixing his issue of a jammed on full throttle was Fergus Campbell, meaning 21 cars started the Sunday race.

With Makar withdrawn from P3, and Booth starting at the back, the top threes became A Burgess (P1), Kirkpatrick(P2), Jackson(P3), B Dalgarno(P7), Dennison(P8), Bacon(P9) C Moreton(P16), Croker(P18), Donnelly(P19).

Burgess converted pole position into the lead of race two but had his opening-lap margin wiped out by a safety car required after Bacon and James Cole’s first-corner accident. Burgess made a good restart but Kirkpatrick got a run through Aintree to take the lead, only for Burgess to fight back with an around-the-outside run through Stowe, completed into Vale on the next lap. The effort was enough to earn Burgess the Millers Oils Driver of the Race, but a mistake under pressure at Brooklands allowed Kirkpatrick into a decisive lead to make it six from six this season. Jackson was relatively lonely in third, his fourth podium finish of the season.

“I had to really fight for that one,” Kirkpatrick smiled. “Much more rewarding.”  It was another case of what might have been for Burgess, who nevertheless relished the contest: “It was a great race, we enjoyed it a lot. Sam moves around a lot coming into the braking zone, so you’re trying keep an eye on which side he’s going to go and then I just missed my braking point.”

Dennison secured Class B honours from Ballard and Fergus Campbell in another hard fought extremely close battle, the final gap between first and second 0.346s and between second and third 0.262s.

In Class C James Moreton (ZR 160) passed Paul Croker to take his second Class C win of the weekend, with Donnelly again third.

Round 5.
Fastest Laps A: Kirkpatrick 2:30.694 on lap 5 (New Lap Record), B: Ballard 2:37.604 on lap 5 (New Lap Record), C: Moreton 2:44.477 on lap 5 (New Lap Record)
Millers Oils Driver of the Race – Joshua Bacon
Driver of the Day – Joshua Bacon

Round 6.
Fastest LapsA: Burgess 2:30.467 on lap 7 (New Lap Record), B: Bacon 2:38.083 on lap 5, C: Moreton 2:43.577 on lap 5 (New Lap Record)
Millers Oils Driver of the Race – Fred Burgess

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

RACE BULLETIN No. 2 – 25th May 2021

Oulton Park International 22nd May 2021

The Mangoletsi MGCC MG Trophy Championship

Just four weeks since the season opener the Trophy Championship moved on to Oulton Park for rounds three and four. At the closing date there were 22 entries, with a Class breakdown of 8 Class A, 11 Class B, and 3 Class C.

Driver News

Andy Heitman (No.60) switched from Class C to Class B, with a second car identically wrapped to that used at Brands. Making his Trophy (and racing) debut, now equipped with a suitable race suit was Keith Henley (No.30) in Class B. Also racing for the first time in 2021, making very welcome returns to the Championship were Paul Savage (No.23) in Class A, James Cole (No.88) in B, and Paul Croker (No. 96) in C. With growing frustration, Erick Lefebvre (No.66) was still unable to travel from France due to Covid restrictions. Due to unforseen circumstances Graham Ross (No.1) Class A had to withdraw leaving a starting grid of 21.

Round Sponsor – Mangoletsi MG

Rounds three and four of the 2021 Championship were sponsored by Mangoletsi MG. Based in the North West of England, Mangoletsi are situated amidst beautiful countryside, flanked by Holmes Chapel and Knutsford. With easy access from the M6, along with many other commutable routes via winding country lanes, they are perfectly placed to deliver the most thrilling and comprehensive test drives. Selling cars to customers nationwide, the Mangoletsi team strive to make the purchasing experience of your next car as exciting and pleasurable as possible. Having been established for almost fifty years, they have a widespread loyal customer base – and this comes by no fluke. With fantastic offers in place to reward both new and repeat custom, there has never been a better time to buy a car from Mangoletsi. In addition to providing a ZS EV and a HS PHEV for use as Course car and Safety car four further vehicles from the latest MG range were on display. Our thanks to Simon Taylor and the team from Mangoletsi.

Testing

A particularly damp Friday MSV testing day saw twelve competitors take to the track, although just the journey to Oulton on a trailer was enough for some to set the theme for my weekend as the poor adhesion quality of one of our sponsor supplied stickers became apparent. Patrick Booth (No.33) found himself with no choice other than to experience a very expensive “Running In” process, only able to use the final session with any real speed, his engine having to have been rebuilt since Brands Hatch. A few late nights work by Alex at 4G. Fergus Campbell (No.31) managed to lose a crank pulley in the afternoon, but thanks to Joe Dalgarno’s spare was able to prove no further damage.

Qualifying

The Trophy qualifying session was the third of the day and started at 09:20 in the wet. There were only really six laps under green flag conditions, interrupted with a couple under safety car conditions, after Jack Chapman (No.8) had had an excursion. The complication caused eight people to have a lap time removed from their top two. Another interrupted qualification session where many drivers were unable to demonstrate their full qualification potential. Top threes for Round 3 A Kirkpatrick(P1), Burgess(P2), Jackson(P7), B Ballard(P3), Campbell(P4), Dennison(P5), C Croker(P17), Tolley(P18), Donnelly(P19). As always, the second race grid is based on second best quali times and so for Round 4 A Kirkpatrick(P1), Burgess(P2), Jackson(P5), B Ballard(P3), Campbell(P4), Dennison(P6), C Croker(P16), Tolley(P18), Donnelly(P20).

Race Report by Mark Paulson (edited by BW)

Mixed weather conditions in qualifying created an extra variable for the racers to deal with at the MG Car Club’s second race meeting of 2021, at Oulton Park. Five of the club’s championships were in action, each contesting two races, and they were joined by three series from Equipe Classic Racing. It was all played out in front of an appreciative crowd enjoying the newly-relaxed COVID restrictions that enabled spectators to watch the racing for the first time this year.

It is now four wins from four races for Sam Kirkpatrick as he maintained his 100% start to the season in the MG Trophy. Kirkpatrick and Fred Burgess (both in ZR190s) picked up where they left off at Brands Hatch in April, the pair duelling for supremacy throughout.

Kirkpatrick’s race one win from pole position was the more straightforward of the two, although he lost a hard-earned two-second advantage to a mid-race safety car. Burgess then shadowed him to the chequered flag in the two remaining green-flag laps, ruing his compromise of a wet set-up with slick tyres on what had become a dry track after wet qualifying. After his run of bad luck at Brands a well deserved third in Class A was Patrick Booth.

Fergus Campbell impressed on his way to third overall and Class B victory in his ZR 170, earning the commentator selected Millers Oils Driver of the Race award in the process. He edged Tylor Ballard by half a second on the road, but Ballard’s 10s penalty for a false start dropped him to fourth in class, behind Josh Bacon and Joe Dalgarno. Paul Croker (ZR 160) was set to win Class C, only for a final-lap excursion exiting Cascades to cost him dear and promote both John Donnelly to the win and Guy Tolley to second.

Two separate incidents on lap 2 brought out the Safety Car. Adam Jackson spun on his own oil, which ignited to add to the drama, whilst James Dennison ended his day’s racing with holed engine block.

Campbell’s lightning start allowed him to lead race two, and Burgess also jumped Kirkpatrick. The two ZR 190s quickly cleared Campbell and could barely be separated for the remaining nine laps of the challenging circuit. Kirkpatrick drew alongside on several occasions, but Burgess’s defence held firm until Kirkpatrick squeezed inside at Cascades mid-race. But the Cumbrian couldn’t shake off the Lincolnshire man as the pair traded new lap records four times, Kirkpatrick’s winning margin of 0.6s being almost unrepresentatively large!

“I had to fight for that one,” admitted Kirkpatrick. “I went for a few overtakes, but they weren’t quite perfect ones. But then I got a bit closer through Cascades than I normally would, so I let off the brakes and hoped!”

“I knew what Sam was going to do,” said Burgess, “but I didn’t think he’d be able to hold the speed down the straight [from the tighter exit] but he got a mega run out of there.

“It was the most tired I’ve been in a race car – I knew about it at the end of the race!” he added, as both drivers had clearly enjoyed an exhilarating contest.

Adam Jackson completed the podium in his ZR 190, a great result after his first race had ended with an engine fire caused by a split oil filter housing. Doug Cole, fourth, also failed to finish the opener after a gearbox mount broke, snapping the driveshaft. Patrick Booth was fifth after his earlier class podium, both achieved after the wrong choice of rubber in qualifying left him 15th on the grid, having also been running in his new engine.

Tylor Ballard chased down Campbell, passing him into Cascades after getting a run out of Old Hall, to win Class B and also claim Millers Oils Driver of the Race honours, with James Cole taking third. Croker made up for his earlier disappointment with Class C honours, from Donnelly second and Tolley third.

Round 3.

Fastest Laps A: Kirkpatrick 1:58.766 on lap 8, B: Ballard 2:03.861 on lap 8, C: Croker 2:09.347 on lap 7

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – Fergus Campbell

Round 4.

Fastest LapsA: Kirkpatrick 1:56.392 on lap 8 (New Lap Record), B: Ballard 2:02.113 on lap 4, C: Croker 2:08.664 on lap 8

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – Tylor Ballard

Bruce Woods

MG Trophy Championship Co-ordinator

t:    07836 358300

e:   Trophy@mgzrx.com

RACE BULLETIN No. 1 – 6th May 2021

Brands Hatch Indy 24th April 2021

The Boretech Engineering MGCC MG Trophy Championship

With a gap of nearly nineteen months since the last Trophy Championship racing there was great enthusiasm from all quarters for the opening rounds of the 2021 season. 28 Driver Registrations have been received, and it was pleasing to have 19 entries for Brands Hatch, the Class breakdown being 7 Class A, 8 Class B, and 4 Class C.

Driver News

The Championship maintains a wide age range of competitors from 18 to 67, and also a good mix of familiar faces together with seven new drivers, five of whom were present at Brands Hatch; In Class B Jack Chapman (No.8), and Josh Bromley (No.97), and in Class C Guy Tolley (No.35), Andy Heitman (No.60), and James Moreton (No.78). Frustration was experienced in equal measures for the remaining two new comers, both in Class B; Keith Henley (No.30), who was unable to source a suitable size Race Suit in time, and Erick Lefebvre (No.66), who was unable to travel from France due to Covid restrictions. Moving to Class A this year is Adam Jackson (No.79).

Round Sponsor – Boretech Engineering

Rounds one and two of the 2021 Championship were sponsored by Boretech Engineering from Henfield in West Sussex. Boretech Engineering was founded in 1984 by new to Trophy Class C driver Andy Heitman, providing motorcycle engineering, cylinder reboring and crank rebuilding services.

Boretech has expanded its engineering services to include Automotive Engineering, block reboring, crankshaft regrinding and cylinder head machining for car, motorcycle and light commercial applications. Its well-established motorcycle servicing, repair, and motorcycle MOT facility, continues to grow alongside all the original engineering, preparation and restoration services.

Check out the Boretech website at www.boretech.co.uk

Testing

Thirteen cars made use of the Friday MSV testing option, although by mid-morning Patrick Booth (No.33) had experienced his first piece of bad luck for the weekend and was on the road back to the 4G base in Spalding for a replacement exhaust. In a later session, John Booth (No.50) had a rear quarter glass break and brother Patrick found his return journey to Brands interrupted by his second visit to 4G HQ. My observation from the groups of cars testing together was 2021 was going to filled with some very close racing in all three Championship classes.

Qualifying

The Trophy qualifying session was the second of the day, and every driver who had practiced Friday commented after that the track conditions had considerably deteriorated. In addition, Patrick’s next piece of bad luck resulted in a gearbox seal failure, and some lubricant loss. (Doug Cole (No.99), however, stopped Patrick making another trip with the loan of a gearbox.) The frustration trackside was high, as TSL were unable to provide any live session data, and this was soon equalled on the track as six cars left the tarmac and brought out a safety car for four and a half minutes. At the end of the session only nine and half minutes of quali had been achieved. Eventually TSL provided the two race grids, and after adjustment for removal of times achieved after receiving assistance to regain the track, the starting positions were revealed. Top threes for Round 1 A Kirkpatrick(P1), Burgess(P2), Jackson(P3), B Dennison(P5), Campbell(P8), Dalgarno(P9), C Tolley(P16), Donnelly(P17), Moreton(P18). As always, the second race grid is based on second best quali times and so for Round 2 A Kirkpatrick(P1), Burgess(P2), Ross(P3), B Dennison(P4), Campbell(P5), Booth(P7), C Tolley(P16), Moreton(P17), Donnelly(P18).

Race Report by Graham Keilloh (edited by BW)

Sam Kirkpatrick (No.3) at Brands continued his strong form from last season by taking two wins from pole position in his ZR 190. And it was two young guns who fought for first in both races from the front row. In race one Kirkpatrick just held off his fellow young gun Fred Burgess (No.16), who also continued his good 2020 form. Burgess made many attempts to pass, including at Druids on the last lap, but Kirkpatrick clung on.

The MG Trophy’s qualifying had been disrupted by many incidents as drivers reported the surface offered little grip at that point, and this resulted in a somewhat jumbled pair of grids. Doug Cole (No.99) was one who was impeded by this but he recovered to finish third in race one.

James Dennison (No.14) beat Fergus Campbell (No.31) to the Class B win, pipping him in a thrilling run to the line, and Dennison got Millers Oils Driver of the Race with it. Third in Class was Tylor Ballard (No.80). James Moreton (No.78) in his ZR 160 won the Class C race, from Guy Tolley (No.35) and John Donnelly (No.76).

Two non-finishers would see their day come to a premature end. Patrick Booth’s final piece of bad luck for the weekend came on his tenth lap with a seized engine. Newcomer Jack Chapman (No.8) also finished his day on his seventh lap with what looked like a valve issue giving him only 3 cylinders. Jack was a late entry for the meeting, having actually only collected the Race Car from its previous owner on Monday evening!

Race two was a similar story at the front, though this time Kirkpatrick beat Burgess with a little more comfort, managing to get Burgess out of his slipstream.

“Good day, two good wins,” smiled a satisfied Kirkpatrick. “The first one was a bit more hard fought, the second one was a bit more relaxed. In the first one I had a bit more understeer and didn’t have much confidence. [Race two] it felt good, I had a bit more confidence and I could break the tow. We made no huge changes [for race two], I think the track might have been better, felt grippier.

“It was a good start to the season, hopefully more of the same next time! I think next time everyone will be more on it and it’ll be quite close.”

Burgess added: “It was a very messy qualifying, I felt like I had the pace to get maybe on pole. [In the first race] I put Sam under a lot of pressure, I had a really good car, good balance, good pace. I was hoping I could have the same in the second race but the balance wasn’t quite right. Didn’t quite have the grip, halfway through the race I settled for second. Maybe we’ve got to learn how to manage the balance of the car as the tyres fade away; I’m sure we will learn.”

Adam Jackson – newly graduated to Class A – completed the podium, climbing from a 14th-placed start amid the disrupted qualifying. He finished eighth in the first race as he’d left the track avoiding the suddenly slowing fourth-placed Patrick Booth ahead whose car had seized.

Two-time MG Trophy champion Graham Ross returned to the contest in a left-hand-drive ZR 190, and his day was a struggle after a qualifying off. He only finished 12th in race one thanks to a tyre problem, while in race two he was fourth.

“It’s a bit disappointing if I’m honest,” said Ross. “Ever since the off in qualifying it’s just been an uphill struggle, just trying to get the car right. In the first race it turned out to be a duff tyre, the rear left was always stepping out every right-hand corner. I changed the tyre and it was a lot better, but that second race was just frustrating, the pace wasn’t in the car. Back to the drawing board!

“The front end of the car is not right, after the off in qualifying it hasn’t got the right camber on, I think it’s bent a crossmember or something. If it was right would I have been on the pace? I’m not sure, you get these weekends.

“In both races left-hand drive was fine. It took a bit of time yesterday in testing to get used to it.”

Dennison made it a double Class B win in race two, winning by 9s ahead of Campbell and Dalgarno, and was also awarded Saturday’s Driver of the Day. Moreton made it a clean sweep of MG Trophy doubles in this meeting by winning Class C’s race two. He shadowed Guy Tolley for much of the distance and passed him to win late on at Druids. Third in Class C was John Donnelly. Moreton was also awarded Millers Oils Driver of the Race.

Round 1.

Fastest Laps A: Burgess 54.493 on lap 19 (New Lap Record), B: Dennison 56.603 on lap 16, C: Moreton 59.777 on lap 20

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – James Dennison

Round 2.

Fastest LapsA: Burgess 55.095 on lap 18, B: Dennison 56.570 on lap 7, C: Moreton 59.377 on lap 18

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – James Moreton

Driver of the Day – James Dennison

Bruce Woods

MG Trophy Championship Co-ordinator

t:    07836 358300

e:   Trophy@mgzrx.com

RACE BULLETIN No. 2 – 25th August 2019

Donington Park 20th & 21st July 2019

The Vehicle Procurements Ltd MGCC MG Trophy Championship

With the resting of MG Live! for 2019 there had been a twelve week gap since the first two races of the Championship. As has previously been mentioned Championship registrations are significantly down on last year’s figure with a total of 28. It was thus pleasing to have 24 entries for Donington, the Class breakdown being 7 Class A, 13 Class B, 3 Class C, and for the first time 1 MG3 190.

Driver News

A very welcome return to the Trophy was made by Colin Roberston (No.87), who brought his MG3 down from Perth for its first run in the MG Trophy. The car has been built by Colin with help from Doug Cole on custom parts (mainly suspension) using his previous MG ZR 190 engine. Considerable weight ‘saving’ has been done but the car is still 90 kgs heavier than a ZR. To make this car competitive in class A, where it grids amongst the other slick shod MG ZR, Colin is talking to Mark Stacey (K maps) re an ECU re map to give more power. Colin has gone down the existing K series VHPD route, but the championship regulations allow for 3 engine options up to 220 bhp. The first outing of this car was in the Cockshoot race at Oulton Park last year where it came 3rd.

New to the Championship for this year is Fred Burgess (No.17) in Class B. Fred is the son of last years overall Runner up Jason Burgess (No.16) and will be campaigning in Phil Tomlinson’s car, while Phil takes a year out.

Also returning for their first 2019 outing were two drivers in Class B, Gianni Picone (No.5) and Matt Turnbull (No.64). Making a welcome return to Class C after two years out was Martin Webber (No.12)

Round Sponsor – Vehicle Procurements Ltd

Rounds three and four of the 2019 Championship were sponsored by Vehicle Procurement Ltd. Our thanks go to Malcolm, Mark and all the staff at their Nottingham base.

Testing

Many of the grid made use of the Friday MSV testing option. Of particular note was John Booth (No.50) Class B, who managed a gentle roll on to his roof, and starting a trend of what was to be a busy weekend for many. Friday evening the car returned to the 4G Spalding base and received the attention required from Ali and the team to make it ready for Saturday.

Qualifying

With the luxury of a two-day meeting the Trophy 15 minute qualifying began at 09:45, with the days somewhat unpredictable weather conditions currently dry. As the session reached its mid point the order in each class was A Makar, Ross, Booth, B  Kirkpatrick, Luti, Turnbull, C Croker, Bacon, Martin. Three laps later, Cole had replaced Booth for third in Class A, and Turnbull had taken second from Luti in Class B. Next Harris pulled off, and then Luti’s engine expired which marked the start of a chain of events which would see a couple of engine builds and his missing of that days race. With a minute and a half of the session remaining the only change in order was to see Jackson take third in Class B from Luti. This order was unchanged at the session end, the six running Class A cars, followed by Robertson’s MG3 in seventh and then the leading Class B car. Grids for the races were again formed in Class order, although this only really benefitted Harris and Dalgarno. Round 4 grid was based on second best lap times, the only top three difference from Round 3 being Burgess third in Class B.

Race Report by Graham Keilloh (edited by BW)

As the time for the race approached the weather had declined to cloudy, but still dry. Missing from the grid was Luti, still dealing with the expired engine from qualifying. Eight minutes into the race, with signs of the beginning of some rain, Harris experienced a brake issue at the Old Hairpin and on re-joining made contact with Marsh. This left Marsh upside down in the gravel, and brought out a Red Flag before the rain really set in. So began the third gigantic support effort of the weekend, which would see Marsh also return for the following days race. With the heavily deteriorated weather situation, and the cars held on the grid with their dry setup, Race Control made the decision to hold the remaining part of the race later in the day.

21 cars made the restart an hour and a half later, in what were now definitely wet conditions.

Reigning champion Graham Ross made it three MG Trophy wins from four this year by claiming both Donington victories. He prevailed in wet-but-drying race one – held over two parts due to a red flag – with a last lap outside-to-inside pass of Doug Cole through the Craner Curves.

“I am pleased, considering this weekend has been a bit experimental,” Ross said, referring to a modified VVC head he was running for the first time, “but the wee thing has gone absolutely great. I can tick the box and say that one’s a success. I like Donington, it’s not one of these ones where I come with a negative attitude.”

Cole got two second places from Donington, despite his gears jumping out in the second race, which let Ross past him at the Old Hairpin. “That’s not an excuse, we should prepare them a bit better,” Cole admitted. “I think I could have kept up with him if it’d been OK.”

Double poleman Ross Makar had a frustrating time, as he dropped out of both races with blown head gaskets, which he suspected was due to gas getting into the engine and causing its water to overheat. Makar and Ross made contact at Redgate in race two as Ross went by shortly before Makar dropped out; though both drivers accepted there was nothing malicious in it.

Matthew Turnbull was Class B victor in both races, and got Driver of the Race as well as Saturday’s Driver of the Day for his race one effort, where he finished third overall just 3.6s off Ross. He got the race two class win as well after Sam Kirkpatrick, who was holding Turnbull off, had a late-race engine blow up, ironically at almost exactly the same point of the track that he had a similar blow up in last year’s Donington meeting. Kirkpatrick fell down in race one when he ran off at Coppice in wet conditions, not quite able to correct a slide. Adam Jackson was race two’s Class B runner-up and got Driver of the Race. Joshua Bacon and Paul Croker split the Class C wins, after a broken throttle cable left Bacon stranded in the Assembly area for race 2.

Round 3.

Fastest Laps (from first part of race) – A: Cole 1:20.967 on lap 3, B: Kirkpatrick 1:23.473 on lap 3 (New Lap Record), C: Bacon 1:28.327 on lap 2, MG3: Robertson 1:25.537 on lap 3 (New Lap Record)

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – Matthew Turnbull

Driver of the Day – Matthew Turnbull

 

Round 4.

Fastest LapsA: Ross 1:20.365 on lap 10 (New Lap Record), B: Turnbull 1:22.993 on lap 11 (New Lap Record), C: Croker 1:26.519 on lap 6, MG3: Robertson 1:23.347 on lap 8 (New Lap Record)

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – Adam Jackson

 

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

RACE BULLETIN No. 1 – 6th May 2019

Brands Hatch Indy 27th April 2019

The Maidstone MG MGCC MG Trophy Championship

With a gap of seven months since last year’s final championship race the 2019 season opening rounds on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit could not come soon enough. Two changes for 2019, as agreed at the Driver’s Meeting, both driven by the aspiration of avoiding first lap incidents between classes; Grids will be formed in Classes, and Class A have the option to use either Dunlop CM720 or Yokohama N2614 specified tyres. At the start of the 2018 season there were 40 driver registrations, this year there were 26, which will have an obvious impact on grid sizes throughout the year. After a little post closing date activity there were 20 entries, the Class breakdown being 8 Class A, 10 Class B and 2 Class C.

Driver News

Two drivers move up to Class A, Patrick Booth (No.33) having finished 2018 6th in Class B, and Paul Savage (No.23) after a year out since competing also in Class B. Three drivers have made the switch from Class C to Class B; last year’s Standard Power Champion John Booth (No.50), runner up Tylor Ballard (No.80) and fourth place Joe Dalgarno (No.93.) Also making a welcome return after a year out besides Paul Savage was Paul Croker (No.96) in Class C.

Round Sponsor – Maidstone MG

Rounds one and two of the 2019 Championship were sponsored by Maidstone MG. Supporting the Championship for the first time, Maidstone MG are part of the F G Barnes group. As wind conditions allowed the MG Motor UK dome was inflated in the spectator area beside the back of the grid and the current range of MG vehicles was showcased. Maidstone MG are to found at Sutton Road on the Parkwood Industrial Estate in Maidstone. Our thanks go to FG Barnes Sales Manager Dan Brann and MG dealer principal Sam Jennings.

Testing

Nearly three quarters of the grid took advantage of the Friday MSV testing option. I noted only positive comment from those Class A drivers using the Yokohama tyre.

In Remembrance of David Heasman

Through the use of black armbands, the MG Trophy Championship demonstrated its respect to David Heasman who sadly passed away earlier this year. Dave, who finished third in the 2018 Standard Power Class always thought of Brands Hatch as his favourite circuit. His partner Sue thanked the Championship for this mark of respect, wishing all drivers the best of luck.

Qualifying

Having both races scheduled for the first day of the MGCC two-day meeting inevitably resulted in the Trophy being the first qualifying session of the day. As all 20 cars took to the circuit at 09:00 with the track conditions damp, the session would prove to be one dictated by tyre choice. Half way through the session the leaders were Makar(A), Bray(A), Cole (A), Savage (A), Luti(B), Kirkpatrick(B), and ninth Butler(B). In class C the order was 17th Bacon, and 20th Croker. With 2 and a half minutes remaining it was Bray(A), Makar(A), Cole(A), Luti(B), Kirkpatrick(B), and eighth Johnston(B). Class C still Bacon & Croker.
With Cole off in the gravel at the top of paddock hill the chequered flag fell early with the final order Kirkpatrick(B), Luti(B), Bray(A), Makar(A), Cole(A), Booth(A), Savage(A), Walker(A), Johnston(B), 19th Bacon(C) and 20th Croker(C).
Grids for the races were however formed in Class order, race 2 being based on second best time, giving pole positions to Bray, Kirkpatrick and Bacon in Race 1 and Cole, Kirkpatrick and Bacon in Race 2.

Race Reports by Graham Keilloh

Round 1.
The common theme of the Maidstone MG Trophy season-opener was recovering from adversity. Reigning champion Graham Ross won race one after starting seventh following “a gamble that didn’t really pay off” of running slicks in wet-but-drying qualifying. Ross was aided to victory by Doug Cole spinning on fluid at Clearways – one of several to spin there – then by Ross Makar retiring from the lead when throttle body screws got loose and were sucked into his engine.
Ross was chased home by returning three-time champion Chris Bray, who wasn’t letting Ross relax despite Ross’s self-admitted desire to cruise to the flag! “It was more to do with the attrition of a couple of others,” said a modest Ross of his win.
Sam Kirkpatrick looked on for Class B victory but retired with a clutch failure on his ZR 170 – “it gradually got worse,” Kirkpatrick said, “first it wouldn’t go into second and then it wouldn’t go into anything”. Paul Luti competing in that class also hit problems with his 170, with a water pipe for his coolant detaching and leaking fluid onto his tyres. Further, Luti didn’t realise this was amiss until the race finished; he also didn’t realise what was happening to his engine temperatures without coolant, as his temperature sensor was in fresh air! It meant a frantic engine repair for race two due to the overheating.
The Class B win was instead taken by Richard Marsh (no. 19) who after starting at the back of the class grid headed a fine scrap with Samuel Johnston and Adam Jackson. This also got Marsh Driver of the Race.
Cole (no. 99) later in the race was hit in the side by Tylor Ballard’s 170 who was out of shape in avoidance of another car losing it, and had to visit the pit lane for a frantic door lock repair.
In Class C Croker (no. 96) got the better start and lead for 14 laps before Bacon (no. 136) took over the lead which he held to the line, finishing 0.24 seconds ahead of Croker.

Fastest Laps – A: Bray 55.012 on lap 19, B: Johnston 57.231 on lap 21, C: Bacon 59.401 on lap 12

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – Richard Marsh

Round 2.
After Cole’s (no. 99) eventful race 1 and starting race 2 from pole, he was determined to make amends. “I had to do something about it; I had to win,” said Cole of the second race, and he did just that by leading home a four-car battle and resisting enormous pressure from Makar, Bray – who discovered after the race he’d picked up a left-rear puncture after running over debris – and Ross. It also earned Cole Driver of the Race and Driver of the Day for Saturday.

“I’ve had a few races like that in terms of pressure, but nothing like for 18 laps,” said Cole, who had the added challenge of not having timing and therefore having no idea how many laps remained. “It was just like keep putting the car in a safe place. We’ve been racing for 10 years together so we know each other really well; we don’t knock each other off.”
“It was just nose-to-tail for lap after lap,” added Ross. “It was just awesome, and pretty clean from where I was sitting. It’s one of those ones you come off with a big grin on your face.”
Kirkpatrick got “a bit of a redemption” by winning Class B in race two, passing Luti partway through when Luti got stuck behind a 190; Kirkpatrick started the move at Clearways and completed it at Paddock.
In Class C again Croker had the better start, but this time only led for a single lap before Bacon took over the class lead which he held for a further 18 laps till the flag. Commenting on his two wins afterwards 19-year-old Bacon dedicated the second win to David Heasman who he had enjoyed some close racing with last year.

Fastest Laps – A: Bray 55.376 on lap 19, B: Luti 56.719 on lap 16, C: Croker 59.062 on lap 15

Millers Oil Driver of the Race – Doug Cole

Driver of the Day – Doug Cole

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

RACE BULLETIN No.6 – 9th October 2018

Snetterton 300 29th September 2018

The NMG MGCC MG Trophy Championship

The final two championship rounds again followed the tradition of the Norfolk Snetterton Circuit venue, but for the first time this year took place on the longer 300 layout. The outcome of all three race classes would depend upon the Snetterton results, the first to second place points gaps in each class being A: 9, B: 6, and C: 4. With all still to play for at the closing date there were 28 entries, the Class breakdown being 7 Class A, 16 Class B and 5 Class C.

Driver News

The final two rounds were the first of the year for two long time Trophy supporters Fergus Campbell (No.131) and Simon Byrne (No.4), both competing in Class B. Switching to Class A was Paul Luti (No.69).

Round Sponsor – NMG

Rounds eleven and twelve of the Championship were sponsored by the Norfolk Motor Group (NMG) of Norwich. NMG are a new MG dealer for 2018. Sales Manager Craig Durrant arranged the use of the MG Motor UK event trailer and together with the NMG team was able to display the current MG Motor range at Murray’s corner.

Testing

With only a few having experience of the 300 circuit the Friday MSV testing option was very popular with Trophy drivers. I noted 25 cars making use of the track time. The news of Paul Luti’s decision to leave the season long brake issues of his Class B car behind him and give Chris Bray’s Class A car a proving run had been kept under tight control until now. Towards the end of testing I became aware of a very late Class A entry taking the Class total to 8, by far the largest for the year, and hopefully an encouraging sign for 2019.

Qualifying

Not being scheduled as race one made for a more relaxed start to a dry and bright day with the Trophy taking to the track at 09:58 for their 20 minute qualifying. Time keeping were only instructed to remove one lap time for exceeding track limits. After 4 laps the leaders were Makar(A), Luti(A), Kirkpatrick(B), Ross(A), Firth(B), and sixth Marsh(B). In class C the order was Booth, Bacon, and Ballard. Two laps later and it was Ross(A), Luti(A), Burgess(A), Makar(A), Turnbull(B), Cole(A), Kirkpatrick(B), and eighth Firth(B). Class C still Booth, Bacon, Ballard.

As the chequered flag fell the final order was A: Ross, Luti, Burgess, Cole. B: Turnbull, Kirkpatrick, R Firth. C: Booth, Ballard, Bacon. Second best times were the same order for Class A and Class B, but for Class C: Booth, Bacon, Ballard.

Race Reports by Graham Keilloh

Round 11.

The destination of the MG Trophy, supported for the event by Norfolk Motor Group, went right down to the wire, but Graham Ross emerged on top from a weekend that did not quite follow his plan. He did qualify on pole position, and was joined on the front row by Paul Luti – who appeared not in his regular Class B car but in past champion Chris Bray’s ZR 190.

Having changed the clutch after qualifying to a more standard part, Luti made a terrible start to the opening race, with Jason Burgess storming through from row two to lead. Luti climbed back to third before a safety car period, then lost out to Ross Makar at Riches at the restart, before the latter went straight on at Agostini. A lap later, the seventh, Luti made contact with Ross at Wilson hairpin and grabbed second, before Ross spun down the order at Hamilton – although importantly he remained third in Class A, and eventually regained that position on the road. Up front, Burgess defeated Luti by 0.7s to also pick up Driver of the Race.

In a typically crazy Class B race, Ryan Firth came out on top although Sam Kirkpatrick had been ahead almost race-long. “He just pulled off under the bridge, I don’t know if he missed a gear or what,” mused the beneficiary. Matt Turnbull and Tom Butler completed the podium, while the two leading Class C contenders both failed to finish. Tylor Ballard was ruled out when startline contact left a wheel hanging off, while John Booth’s engine blew on the final lap. Guest Joshua Bacon triumphed from Joe Dalgarno.

Fastest LapsA: Ross 2:13.371 on lap 9 (New Lap Record), B: R Firth 2:17.701 on lap 7 (New Lap Record), C: Heasman 2:24.836 on lap 9 (New Lap Record)

Driver of the Race – Jason Burgess

The Class points gaps, first to second, at this stage were A:Ross lead Burgess by 7. B:Firth lead Turnbull by 18 (but with 12 points guaranteed from his drop score now uncatchable). C:Booth lead Ballard by 5.

Round 12.

The second race was, by and large, a relatively sedate affair. Burgess again scorched into the lead, but this time threw it all away with a spin at Hamilton on lap two, salvaging only fourth position. That left Luti out front, having taken track position from Ross at Oggies on the opening lap. Ross, meanwhile, did all that he needed and stroked the car (which he reckoned was understeering after the race one incident) home in second, ahead of Makar. “I’ve been doing this since 2008, so I am in my 11th year but never really had a concerted effort on the championship,” said Ross, having wrapped things up. “I am not in the first flush of youth so I am really chuffed!”

After Kirkpatrick went off at the first corner, Firth initially led in the ZR 170 division but was passed by Turnbull at Wilson on the second lap. Turnbull was handed a bit of a cushion when Burgess slotted in behind him after his spin, and Firth was unable to chase him down – but had already wrapped up the Class B title. While Turnbull took his first class win of the year, Fergus Campbell was an excellent third and claimed Driver of the Race. In Class C, Ballard and Booth (following an engine change) slugged it out for the title but although young Ballard won on the road, Booth did enough to take the class crown by 3 points.

Fastest LapsA: Luti 2:13.049 on lap 5 (New Lap Record), B: Turnbull 2:16.962 on lap 5 (New Lap Record), C: Dalgarno 2:23.129 on lap 8 (New Lap Record)

Driver of the Race – Fergus Campbell

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

RACE BULLETIN No. 5 – 11th September 2018

Oulton Park 1st September 2018

The Knight Industries MGCC MG Trophy Championship

Oulton Park is another circuit where the events of previous years give the Co-ordinator and Competitors plenty to think about in the build up to racing. Never the less, the initial intention of 30 entries made the Trophy grid the largest in the programme, the Class breakdown being 7 Class A, 17 Class B and 6 Class C.

Driver News

Mike Harris (No. 37) has been busy since the last rounds at Donington Park, and with assistance from Doug Cole (No. 99) of DC Motorsport, has decided to move to Class A for the remainder of the season as he fancied driving a car with a LSD again, and has always wanted to try racing on slicks.

New to Class C at Oulton Park was Josh Bacon (No. 136.) Josh, just turned 19, from Horsham, West Sussex, is competing in the Kent Karting Championship (Senior Clubmax) this year and currently lies in second place with one round to go. Josh has purchased Tony Jones car which finished third in class last year.

Also worthy of mention Ray Ferguson (No. 10), the Championship’s most senior competitor completed his eighth MG ZR race in five days at Oulton Park, proving age is no barrier to competition.

Round Sponsor – Knight Industries

Rounds nine and ten of the Championship were sponsored by Knight Industries. Knight Industries, of Uttoxeter, Staffordshire are the first UK company to offer both performance tuning and body styling upgrades for the MG3, MG6, MG GS and MG ZS. Whether it’s a simple replacement panel filter, right up to a complete performance enhancement package, Knight Industries can make a difference to your MG. Concentrating on looks, style, performance, braking and suspension, Knight Industries have teamed up with some of the top UK companies to bring you the best choice for your MG. Knight Industries have a superior knowledge of the new MG models and can offer help and advice should you have some technical queries that a dealer may not immediately have an answer to.

Testing

Again the Friday MSV open pit lane testing was very well supported by The Trophy. As an alternative to the delights of a Friday afternoon on the M6 this you would think a better option, but some were left to contemplate this more closely. First to suffer was Sam Johnston (No. 24) when his bottom end let go. Up next was Josh Bacon, after his first ever couple of hours in the car with a circuit instructor Josh experienced a bonnet retention pin failure requiring the services of Autoglass to replace his screen. Andy Spencer shattered the crank on the 4G Class A car, and finally John Booth required a Head Gasket change on the 4G Class C car. Josh and John would go on to compete, Sam and Andy would not.

Qualifying

Being scheduled as first race of the day means the Trophy cars were first on track to qualify at 08.30. Time keeping was kept busy with a number of laps being disallowed due to track limit infringements, a point made very clear in the subsequent Drivers Briefing! After 3 laps the leaders were Kirkpatrick(B), Wetton(A), Ross(A), Roberts(B), Butler(B), and ninth Burgess(A). In class C the order was Ballard, Dalgarno, and Booth.

With 5 minutes remaining Class A had moved to the top, with the order Ross, Burgess, and Wetton. Class B was now Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, and R Firth. Class C remained Ballard, Dalgarno, and Booth.

The session ran to its full time the final order being A: Ross, Burgess, Cole. B: Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, R Firth. C: Booth, Ballard, Dalgarno. Second best times were the same order for Class A and Class B, but for Class C: Ballard, Booth, Dalgarno.

Race Reports by Graham Keilloh

Round 9.

Jason Burgess won both The Knight Industries MG Trophy races and in so doing took maximum advantage in the championship table. (Co-ordinators Note: Once the effect of not dropping non zero scores is taken into consideration this is not the case!) Championship leader heading into the meeting Graham Ross led the first race from pole with Burgess in second seeking a way by. The pair touched at Old Hall second time through leaving Ross in the barrier and Burgess dropped behind new leader Gary Wetton. Burgess then got by Wetton at half distance for a lead he wasn’t to lose.

And Paul Luti in Class B, who was second to Ross in the overall championship, also didn’t make the end of race one as his brake pedal went to the floor leaving him in the gravel. Luti had also been unhappy with his brakes in the previous two rounds at Donington and Silverstone, and his problems included air getting into the system as well as issues with the pads.

Luti in the first Oulton Park race had been in locked in a tight scrap for Class B honours, which was won by Ryan Firth in third place overall and Firth with it got Driver of the Race. He just pipped Sam Kirkpatrick for the class win with Mike Harris, who was third in Class A, also in close proximity between the pair. Kirkpatrick dropped to third in class afterwards, behind Tom Butler, due to a five second penalty for track limits being applied.

Tylor Ballard continued his run of Class C wins stretching back to his Brands Hatch crash earlier in the year, consigning Class C table leader John Booth to second place four seconds adrift. Josh Bacon managed a third place finish in his first race.

Fastest LapsA: Wetton 1:58.202 on lap 9, B: Kirkpatrick 2:01.658 on lap 7 (New Lap Record), C: Booth 2:07.713 on lap 3

Driver of the Race – Ryan Firth

Round 10.

The damage from his race one off meant that Ross was unable to take part in race two and Burgess again took advantage by winning. He led from lights to flag though had to resist close attentions from second-placed Doug Cole for the entire distance, particularly after a period when the safety car boards were displayed then withdrawn before the pack had formed up, in which time Cole moved a little closer to the leader. Wetton followed them home in third, four seconds adrift.

“Over the moon,” said Burgess after his double win. “Really happy with the second race, it was a clean fight. Kept honest by Doug, as he always does, we were both throwing everything at it and we were pretty even.

“I was looking forward to the chequered flag – it seemed to go on forever and ever!”

“My early lead was because I managed to get a break away, I think Doug had got someone behind him and I worked extra hard to get the tyres warm, up to pace, and I was very confident from the word go.”

Race two’s Driver of the Race award went to fourth-place finisher Harris for upping his pace and staying well up the road from the Class B pack that time.

Burgess also made gains in the overall championship in race two as Firth finished third and Luti fourth in Class B behind class winner Kirkpatrick and second-placed Matthew Turnbull. The quartet had a close battle for class honours though the mentioned safety car board intervention had the effect of spreading them out a little.

Ballard again led home Booth in the Class C race, this time by two seconds, Bacon again taking third.

Fastest LapsA: Burgess 1:57.786 on lap 9, B: Firth(R) 2:01.323 on lap 5(New Lap Record), C: Booth 2:07.615 on lap 5

Driver of the Race – Mike Harris

Bruce Woods

MG Trophy Championship Co-ordinator

t:    07836 358300

e:   Trophy@mgzrx.com

RACE BULLETIN No. 4 – 16th August 2018

British Sports Car Weekend Donington Park 14th and 15th July 2018

The MG Nottingham MGCC MG Trophy Championship

The inaugural British Sports Car Weekend, a new initiative jointly run by the MG Car Club and the Morgan Sports Car Club, was a chance for MG Racing to move from the traditional race meeting format and try a few new concepts in order to build an event packed full of FUN for wider appeal.

Early indications suggested a grid of 32, but work and family commitments (and the inevitability of not being able to stretch time!) finally reduced this to a still healthy 29, the Class breakdown being 6 Class A, 18 Class B and 5 Class C.

Some unfortunate planning by my cousin, who has performed start line duties in Orange for MGCC in the past, resulted in Best Man duties for me, which consequently delayed my attendance at Donington until Sunday. All reports I have had, and media I have seen, about the Saturday Grid Walk have been very positive, with one or two notable ‘outstanding’ team performances. Well done to all who entered into the spirit of a FUN event.

Returning Drivers

Returning to the MG Trophy Championship at Donington, his local circuit, after the disappointment of a round three crash at Brands Hatch which wrote his car off was Andy Firth. The new car was built with the assistance of son Ryan (No. 46) and fellow competitor Simon Byrne.

Round Sponsor – MG Nottingham

Rounds seven and eight of the Championship were sponsored by MG Nottingham. MG Nottingham are a family-based dealer from the Mapperley area on the north side of the city. They are the first MG dealer to respond to a sponsorship request in over four years, and the MG Trophy is really proud to be associated with them. The team is led by Malcolm Ledgar and Mark Campbell, and ably assisted by Chris Lacey. Car sales are handled by Mollie & Jessica Clark, and Nicola Ledgar.

Qualifying Report by Pete Macwaters

The Trophy cars were second out on track for their qualifying session at 09.28. After 2 laps the leaders were Turnbull, Butler, Roberts and Kirkpatrick. The first 190 was Payne followed by Walker, Cole and Ross. In class C the order was Booth, Gill, Heasman and Dalgarno.

Spencer had rear bumper problems and was given the black and orange flag to call into the pits. There was a problem removing the loose bumper which lost him considerable time.

After 5 laps the order was Ross, Burgess, Payne, Cole and Walker. The class B front runners were Luti, Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, Butler and Roberts. Class C was led by Booth, Ballard with Dalgarno and Heasman next in line.

With 5 minutes remaining Burgess led from Ross with Cole, Payne and Walker next up. Class B was as before with Luti leading from Kirkpatrick, Turnbull and Butler and Booth, Ballard, Dalgarno and Heasman in class C.

The session was red flagged at 09.39 due to oil on the track at Coppice following Kirkpatrick’s blow up which sent 5 cars spinning off. Due to his lost time Spencer was unable to post a fast lap and ended up in P27.

Race Reports by Graham Keilloh

Round 7.

In the opening MG Nottingham MG Trophy race Graham Ross claimed his fourth win in a row, just beating Jason Burgess who returned to action after missing Silverstone. Burgess led from pole but Ross seized the lead at half distance by getting up the inside at Redgate. Burgess stayed on his tail for the rest of the way and Ross won by half a second. Doug Cole finished third despite a Redgate spin on oil from two earlier blow ups as well as gearbox struggles.

Paul Luti kept championship pace with Ross by taking race one Class B victory, winning out in a fight with Tom Butler and Driver of the Race Sam Kirkpatrick – whose team changed his engine to an old unit in double-quick time after a qualifying blow up due to Kirkpatrick selecting the wrong gear, also several cars went off on his oil. In reality Luti’s win was comfortable as both Butler and Kirkpatrick got time penalties for track limits – Butler had five seconds added and Kirkpatrick 15 seconds for two offences. Tylor Ballard meanwhile made it three Class C wins in a row.

Fastest LapsA: Ross 1:20.774 on lap 6 (New Lap Record), B: Kirkpatrick 1:23.886 on lap 7 (New Lap Record), C: Ballard 1:28.850 on lap 10

Driver of the Race – Sam Kirkpatrick

Round 8.

Ross made it five wins on the trot by winning the second race too, again from Burgess. It was more comfortable than race one as Burgess had to ease off to cool his brakes at mid-distance after a spell of pushing them hard trying to force leader Ross into an error. Ross also got to the top of the championship table as Luti slid off at McLeans trying to take the Class B lead from Fitzpatrick on the outside, and got beached in the gravel. Kirkpatrick helped himself to the class win ahead of Ryan Firth and Driver of the Race Butler, while Ballard extended his Class C winning run to four.

“I’m chuffed as chuffed can be,” said Ross afterwards. “Jason kept me really honest. Then I seemed to be able to eke out a wee bit; then it was just a case of not doing anything silly.”

Fastest LapsA: Ross 1:20.767 on lap 7 (New Lap Record), B: Firth(R) 1:24.035 on lap 8, C: Dalgarno 1:27.651 on lap 4

Driver of the Race – Tom Butler

Bruce Woods

MG Trophy Championship Co-ordinator

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