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Competitors from this years Phoenix challenge returned to Snetterton on October 26 1996 to take part in the 46th running of the Birkett Six-Hour Handicap Relay Race
The race caters for cars of every vintage and is open to teams of between 4&6 cars. MG's have competed for many years with varying ammounts of success.
This year a Team was put together from the MGCC Anglia Phoenix Challenge, which we have followed closely this year on these pages.
The team included this years Challenge champion John Spencer (MG Midget) who featured well in the results, more of John in a moment.
This is how the team was made up:
Other team entries included a variety of Marques:
Weather conditions for this late October fixture were near perfect with the sun shining on the event all day. During the qualifying period all the MG's performed well, and required few changes before the race proper.
First out on the track was the MGF, and after 60 minutes of racing the team lay in 26th position.
Each one of the drivers duly did their one hours drive, with John Spencer in the Midget and Colin Jones in the Twin Cam showing particular flair!
Both the RV8 and MGF performed well, but both cars are heavy and could with shedding some weight.
The final hour of the six hour long race was driven by John Spencer, and he crossed the line to the applause of his team mates as they cheered him on. The team never fell below 27th and at one point rose to 22nd. But at the end of the day they had to settle for 27th overall and 25th on handicap.
Max Collier , team manager said the team were pleased with their position and the race had very much followed his predictions in terms of laps completed.
Also competing were a team of MG Metro's made up also from competitors of the Phoenix Challenge. The Metro Maniacs were not so lucky with reliability, two of their cars suffering from clutch failure. Andrew Talbots clutch failed dramatically when the flywheel apparently disintergrated and the resulting fragments exiting the engine bay via the bonnet, punching a whole thru it!
On the face of it, it was, a dissapointing performance, ( 35th overall 36th on handicap ) for the team which, in practice, showed itself to be quick and competitive....well, thats racing!
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