Silverstone MG International Weekend
22 - 24 June 2007
The MG Car Club hosted its 57th
Silverstone International to coincide with our 60th Celebrations …
and duly provided a whole year of seasons over the three days.
Being first in (Friday afternoon) and last
out (until late Sunday afternoon), we drew the task of the Y Report on this
year’s main Club event. The first major change was that due to torrential rain
there were no Register displays/parking on the grass and all had to learn new
routes around the circuit to find their allotted corrals on the tarmac. As we
shall see, some found this a challenge in its own right! Having driven the 175
miles from home in pouring rain, we came prepared and immediately found that
the last minute packing of wellies had been a master stroke. All the trade
stands which had been allocated grass pitches were already ankle deep in
Glastonbury-like mud or under pools of surface water – and the main purpose of
a Friday visit is always to ‘beat the crowds’ to the pick of the parts!
The Y Register stand was one of three given
star status in the Main Marquee, with Slater Reynold’s 1947 YA gracing the
display just ahead of the stand. What was intriguing however was the number of
occasions when every head seemed to be turned directly away form the two tone
green Y – could it possibly be the gleam of the polish was too intense?
Davies, Paul Gresser, Ted Gardner
and Neil Cairns arrive ‘Y mounted’ and in a bid for power make a take-over for
the SVW corral by ‘wrong slotting’ their cars into our neighbour’s territory. Also
up for the day were Jack Murray and Malcolm & Pat Hardy (YA still not
finished) with Mel Fry (Melbourne, Australia), David Lawrence (South Africa) and Victor Rodriguez (Switzerland)
making welcome international appearances.
Unfortunately Peter & Suzie Arnell had
cancelled due to family emergency, and heroically Andrew Morland arrived to
announce that he had entered his YB in the Sprint competition – but thought he
needed some parts as he had dodgy front brakes!
Also bad news was the weather, one
spectacular cloud burst pulled all the 1960’s/70’s sports cars off the track
mid-race (most were racing on slicks),
but the boys & girls of the MMM race left the safety of their dry
qualifying times and testing to set up a spectacular Kimber Trophy race
immediately after the sports car race was stopped.
The grid sounded wonderful, smelled
fabulous and then disappeared in a spray-storm for the next 17 miles of
event-filled racing. Which brings us to Y types and racing …
The ex-Dick Jacobs YB having been sold at
auction in the previous week (£6K plus), there is still one Y around which used
to race here; Frank Vautier’s sun bronze car, last seen in 1997! Despite the
rain, the sun metaphorically shone as Frank was at this year’s meeting with his
wife, Pam, albeit with no car to race. BUT your contributor can confirm that
the rumours of the death and destruction of Frank’s car are exactly that – all
myths! A sense of possibilities (as opposed to the possibilities of sense) is
now rife in parts of the Y fraternity.
Sunday again saw most people in obligatory
wet weather gear, and a further five Y’s arrived to bring a welcome rainbow of
colours to leaden skies. There was a plus to the rain, however, in that the
Register stands were busier than ever as people huddled out of the worst of the
weather, and models, parts, books and tools were sold in steady order from the
Y stand (much to the relief of Jack & Mollie who work extremely hard as
porters, storage and displayers of our regalia). Also on the plus side was a
chance meeting with a Dutch VA owner, who just happens to be the current owner
of the fabled Y pick-up which has a crane mounted on the flat-bed. Discussions
and exchanges are now in process!
With trade stands already departing, the
afternoon became a slow haemorrhage of people and cars from the circuit as
tales of impending ‘worst weather for fifty years’ spread at Silverstone. The
racing continued, with considerably more caution in most cases, and the
Registers eventually packed up around 4 p.m. As we left just after half four
for the trip north, it became apparent that we would pick up all the Moto GP
bike traffic from Donnington Park (we did), most of the early north-eastern
leavers from Glastonbury (we did) and the usual Sunday evening traffic
returning home from family outings (we did)!
For the number lovers out there, UMG 473
performed very well; returned 34 mpg; consumed/refilled 1 pt oil; cruised at
sixty; and travelled 420 miles – which equates to around 200 laps of
Silverstone; and coincidentally is the total number of laps from the entire
race card this weekend!
And finally, the last picture shows why the
YA was put on display in exactly the spot chosen by NAC; the newly launched
Nanjing MGTF was nose to nose with her elder model – and they obviously need a
major attraction to pull in the crowds! Well done to the Club and the Register
for an outstanding coup!!!
parking forced on to tarmac
A rainbow of
Ys under black clouds
in the main marquee
Reynolds '47 Y holds centre
the breed have a close encounter
But why are
they looking away?
their heads ... the new TF
Dry in the
while they wait
Wet on the
for the race
To enlarge the pictures, double click on them.