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There was a choice of circuits for the MG motorsport enthusiast over the May Bank Holiday.
It was not a weekend for one of the MGCC's full blown MG race meeting's, with the various championships coming together at just one venue, but a weekend that gave you the choice of two seperate circuits. It was not quite a North/South divide but more a South East/Midlands divide!!
The circuits being..
Brands Hatch (South East) and Mallory Park (Midlands)...pause while I just check the map!!!
The Brands Hatch event featued the MG V8's in the Moss Europe sponsored championships, while Mallory park hosted the Halfords MG Midget Challege and the ACEquip Championship (for The Cockshoot Cup) Round 4.
Once again we are grateful to Allan Patterson for his 'in car' race report'.
So what sort of a day did you have Allan?
Even being last race on the programme involves an early start especially when racing away from our "home" circuit at Oulton Park. Fortunately for me when visiting Mallory Park, as we were for the fourth round of the championship, I have some friends who live not far from the circuit, well closer than Manchester anyway! So after a relax bacon and egg sarnie I drove to Mallory Park where I had already left the car and trailer the previous evening.
A beautiful sunny day belied the eventual conditions for our race and made for excellent practice conditions. I do not usually pay much attention to the support races on our race days but with some interesting ex Formula 1 machinery out for the Boss Formula championship the day was livened up with the shrill sound of F1 power on full chat, lovely!
Practice went well as throughout the session I slowly caught up on Bill Hewitt and no one else passed me or even caught up. With our lap record at 1.00.13 sec and a time on my in car timing set up showing 1.01.00 sec I knew I must be up near the front. As it happened I was officially clocked at 1.00.99 for fourth place, once again it was tight with 0.72 sec covering the top six with a fastest lap of 1.00.49 sec by Peter Harrison, the Standard Class Champion in '95 & '96 get back on form.
In the Modified Class John Hewitt's "protigi" and Championship sponsor, Arto Kesterlian, beat him to pole for the first time with a stonking lap of 54.50 sec only to be told by John that all future driving lessons were now cancelled! With only one rival in the Road Going Modified Class Mark was kind of lonely and a comfortable 6.54 sec per lap faster. However just to give you some perspective on all this the ex Formula 1 cars were lapping in an amazing 36.6 sec, awesome!
Well I've raced at Mallory in the dry, I've raced at Mallory in the damp, I've even raced at Mallory when it poured down but now I've raced at Mallory in a monsoon!!!!!!! As last race of the day we had already had our race cut to eight laps from twelve, which didn't leave a lot of time to get from fourth to the front, however it was racing and there were two Midgets ahead and they hate the rain.
After two green flag laps to settle into the conditions I felt quite good I like racing in the rain. A reasonable start saw me fifth into Gerrads for the first time and despite one or two twitches I still felt good. Out braking Mark Ashworth's Road Modified car into the hairpin was a real buzz (his tyres were not working) and entering Gerrads on lap two closing nicely on Bill Hewitt I just started to think what a lot of grip there was when........ you guessed it into the gravel trap, well beached!
As a laxative I can recommend watching twenty cars at a time slithering as if to ram your stranded car on seven successive circuits of Mallory, luckily no one actually hit it. So I had a grandstand view of the fourth round of the Cup with Andrew Storer in command in the Modified Class, John Hewitt spinning off just beyond my car after a touch with Arto and Graham Jones sideways through Gerrads more than once but unable to catch Peter Harrison who despite driving a Midget coped admirably with the foul conditions. despite no grip Mark Ashworth kept up his unblemished record with a fourth win.
For the Championship Mark leads with 40 points (Road Modified), Graham Jones is second on 36 points and leads the Standard Class and Andrew Storer leads the Modified Class but is only third overall with 33 points. All nice an neat with everything to play for. In the ACEquip Cockshoot Cup you can drop three scores so with me not going to Silverstone (Le Mans calls) and two DNF's I've now run out of Jokers as Graham Jones so elegantly put it the other night.
So come the next round on June 7th I'll have to start extracting a digit to rescue my season.
If you can make it come and say hello.
You can E-mail your thoughts, comments or abuse to me at AllanPaterson1@Compuserve.com
Halfords Midget Challenge
Halfords Midget Challenge Class C (8 laps)
Bill Lancashire continued with his domination of Class C, the damp conditions failed to favour Peter Hall and he lost his second place to John Faux, both went hard into Gerrards but Hall slid wide thus yielding his position, and settling for third.