MG Live Silverstone Historic Grand Prix Circuit 2nd and 3rd June 2018
The Millers Oils MGCC MG Trophy Championship
MG Live at Silverstone is always a great event, with plenty of other activity, besides the packed race program, all helping to make this the premier MGCC Race Weekend of the year.
What had initially looked like a very pleasing potential grid of 40 gradually depleted in the final days before the event finishing up with a still reasonable 32, the Class breakdown being 6 Class A, 20 Class B and 6 Class C.
The Friday Silverstone test day was well supported by the Trophy Championship, with about three quarters of the field having a run. The most notable event of the day being the end of Ollie Coles return Guest Drive with the modification of one cylinder to a new five valve configuration which only had a very limited life. And so the grid became 31.
After a disappointing first round in Class B on the National circuit Will Payne returned, initially as a Guest, in a Class A car. After some careful consideration, and prior to the first race, Will made the decision to switch to Class A for the rest of the season. Also returning after disappointment in round one was Sam Kirkpatrick in a new car, originally built by Oliver’s Preptech. Three drivers made their 2018 MG Trophy debut at MG Live, in Class A, 22 Gary Wetton, North Wales finest Truck Parts Supplier back for his seventh year in the Championship, and 77 Robin Walker, who also collected his ten year anniversary award at the weekend, in Class B 88 James Cole, back for his fifth year after the frustration of watching the first four rounds from the pit wall, and keen to eat into dad Doug’s eighteen point lead.
The initial expectation was for five guest drivers. I’ve mentioned Ollie who had to make do with just racing his Porsche Centre Swindon Coca-Cola Boxster S this weekend, and Will who switched to being a point scoring Class A driver. So effectively we ended up with just three Guest Drivers. In Class B 4SS Danie Van Niekerk, from Cape Town, South Africa, apprentice cleaner at Dreadnought, and good friend of Paul, returning for his second time to race at MG Live. Back home Danie is three times BMW Saloon Car Series Champion, and he also encouraged fellow competitor 114 Clifford Bacon, also from Cape Town, to have a drive with us whilst here on holiday. Clifford drove Will Payne’s Class B car prepared by 4G. And in Class C, Guest driving for just these rounds in what would be his fifth season was 27 Tim Martin. Tim is our IT advisor and runs https://techtrader-racing.com/ which tells the story of his racing as it unfolds. Well worth a read.
Round Sponsor – Millers Oils
The fifth and sixth rounds of the Championship were sponsored by our long-term friends at Millers Oils who also provide the “Driver of the Race” prize for each of the seasons twelve rounds. Millers Oils, of Brighouse, West Yorkshire, are leaders in the production of oils and lubricants for the motorsport industry. Using their nanodrive low friction technology they have developed the next generation of motorpsort oils. The MG Trophy Championship are proud to use their CFS 5W 40NT+ fully synthetic oils.
A 10:30 start for qualifying was a bit of novelty for me, for the past 14 years it’s usually been a 07:00 start. While the full 3.6393 mile circuit is a great drive, the disadvantage is a 20 minute qualifying session is only going to produce 8 laps at best. As the 31 cars took to the track for their first circuit Ross and Bacon both managed to lose time and consequently were laps down on the rest of the field. After 4 laps the top 3’s were A: Payne, Ross, Spencer, B: Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, Jackson, C: Booth, Ballard, Dalgarno. Two laps later, A: Ross, Spencer, Payne, B: Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, Firth, C: Booth, Ballard, Gil. Two more laps and the chequered was out – A: Ross, Spencer, Payne, B: Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, Firth, C: Booth, Ballard, Gil. Second Best times were A: Ross, Spencer, Payne, B: Kirkpatrick, Turnbull, Jackson, C: Booth, Ballard, Heasman.
Race Reports by Ian Sowman
In the Millers Oils MG Trophy the stage was set for Paul Luti to extend his advantage in the Enhanced Power points standings in the absence of Jason Burgess, but it wasn’t to be. Paul was plagued by brake problems on Saturday, with Graham Ross pouncing to grab the lead in the championship with a lights-to-flag victory in race one.
Andy Spencer took second place, a long way clear of what developed into a three-car battle for the last podium place. Having made his switch to the ZR190 class permanent, Will Payne “didn’t give it enough revs” at the start and dropped right back, but grabbed third place from Doug Cole at Copse on the final lap, in spite of an issue with his exhaust.
In the ZR170 class, Ryan Firth was chuffed with his victory and the Driver of the Race award as he emerged on top of what was often a five car battle for the lead. Sam Kirkpatrick had put his freshly built car on pole, and brought the car home second in class, just ahead of Adam Jackson. Luti suffered “colossal brake failure” on two occasions in the race, both at Village hairpin. On the first occasion Matt Turnbull was delayed in avoiding the accident, while on the second occasion Luti retired from the race. Turnbull came back to fourth, ahead of Patrick Booth.
Tylor Ballard bounced back from his roll at Brands Hatch by taking the 160 Class victory in a new car that had been built up in the four weekends since the last race, taking the lead from John Booth on lap three and staying ahead thereafter.
Fastest Laps – A: Payne 2:26.197 on lap 5 (New Lap Record), B: Turnbull 2:31.896 on lap 2, C: Booth 2:38.190 on lap 7
Driver of the Race – Ryan Firth
Driver of the Day – Ryan Firth
Ross completed his brace of wins in the second race, but again Spencer gave him a very hard time on his way to second place. Cole completed the podium – just – but survived a “massive moment” at Maggotts before fending off Payne.
The ZR170 division again provided the highlight of the race, with Firth taking another far from straightforward victory. “I never thought I would be able to do the double at MG Live!” he said after fending off non-points scoring South African guest Danie van Niekerk by less than half a second. Firth had taken the lead by half-way around the first lap but lost it to Kirkpatrick on the third lap before the rookie’s car promptly expired. Patrick Booth went with Firth and van Niekerk (who won Driver of the Race), with Luti limiting the damage from the weekend by grabbing onto their coat-tails by the end, up from 18th overall to eighth. With John Booth retiring on the first lap with a misfire on his ZR160, Ballard had to sing to himself to keep him entertained on his way to class honours once more.
Fastest Laps – A: Ross 2:26.533 on lap 7, B: Luti 2:32.084 on lap 7, C: Ballard 2:39.703 on lap 3
Driver of the Race – Danie Van Niekerk
Driver of the Day – Danie Van Niekerk
MG Trophy Championship Co-ordinator
t: 07836 358300