Two more rounds have passed for the French MGF Trophy: a 1 hour, 24 lap race at Magny-Cours (June 1st), with the 17 year Frederic Real taking first place during the last lap, and the Beaujolais Hill Climb (June 14th), the region's famous wine helping to create a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, and Franck Vericel, an experience rally driver, winning by several clear seconds.
The group of leaders left the pack and literally battled it out. The first off was a driver who usually finishes among the leaders, Philippe Schwab: Rene Staiano drove into his rear wheel piercing Schwab's tyre with his tow hook. Philippe returned to the pits, and with the help of several strong hands lifted the car without a jack and mounted the spare wheel. He returned to the race to finish 11 of 14, a true display of his sporting character.
Jean-Yves Navucet came off after only one lap, and then, by sheer determination climbed to reach 4th position by lap 6. He later battled it out with Olivier Favre, who in true Schumacher 'win under any circumstances style' slammed into the side of his car. The move didn't pay off and Navucet finished fourth ahead of Favre. Incidentally, Favre was put off the track himself in lap 8 by Staiano who used Favre's car as a brake entering 'Lycee' just before the pit straight. Favre never managed to get close to contesting the lost position after that.
As for myself, I kept sixth place until lap 15 when, under pressure, spun off twice and fell to 9th place. There I remained until lap 23, the penultimate lap, when again under pressure leaving the '180', spun off into the gravel trap. There I remained to find myself watching the other competitors sail by to the finish line. A very humbling experience.
The timed trials from the previous day showed Jean-Yves Navucet that he was in with a chance of earning second place. However, highly motivated to do well, he left the track at high speed during the first climb and damaged his car, not able to participate the climbs that followed.
Franck Vericel showed his talent and finished each of his climbs by a clear few seconds ahead of the second place runner, Rene Staiano.
The hill climb meant more time for the competitors to chat and appreciate the beautiful, hilly, vineyard covered countryside. A great buffet was put on by the Castrol team, and a few bottles of wine were thrown in for good measure by the village.
The amount of sponsorship in the trophy is minimal, but if there are any potential sponsors out there who feel this race series would interest them, please contact Mark Mansfield
Our thanks to Mark Mansfield for these exclusive on-track details.
MGF Cup/Trophy page