Racing News from Safety Fast! (June 1996)

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The Midland Centre was one of the first of the M.G.C.C. Centres to be formed back in the nineteen thirties, and it is believed that the first Midland Centre motor sport event was held in 1936, exactly sixty years ago.

To commemorate this landmark in motor sporting history, the Midland Centre have commissioned the production of an enamel lapel badge. The badges will be produced in a limited edition of 251 pieces and given (not sold) to the motor enthusiasts, the competitors, officials and marshals who take part in the events organised by the Midland Centre during 1996. This is a reward or a token gesture albeit small to the enthusiasts without whom our club events and many of the national and international events could not be staged.

The events where badges will be issued are as follows:
14th April 1996
Spring Sprint at Curborough
4th August 1996
Summer Sprint at Curborough
29th September 1996
Autumn Trial at Burton Dassett

All competitors and M.G. Car Club members who arrange with the event organiser to officiate or marshal and then honour that commitment. Badges will be issued on a first come first served basis (one badge per person), and if there are any left over at the end of the 1996 season they will be carried forward to the first event of 1997.

Contacts and telephone numbers:
for sprints: Rob Cull 01527 401215
trials: Brian Osborn 0121 453 3380


1995 placings in the Phoenix Challenge have appeared in the Anglia Centre News in February. Congratulations to all award winners and good luck to overall champion Julian Sole in the Minis.

Regs for the 1996 season are now available. There is a busy calendar of fifteen rounds this year, already well underway.

1st JuneSilverstoneM.G. Car Club
23rd JuneSnettertonM.G. Car Club
29th/30th JuneCroix en Ternois750 Motor Club
13th/14th JulyLydden Hill750 Motor Club
18th AugustSnetterton750 Motor Club
31st August/1st SeptemberBrands Hatch750 Motor Club
7th SeptemberSnettertonM.G. Car Club
29th SeptemberMallory ParkM.G. Car Club
5th OctoberCastle CombeB.R.S.C.C.


Due to circumstances beyond my control, there has been a of minor change to this year's speed event championship calendar. Sadly, due to a dates clash Ty Croes, we have had to cancel the second day of the Autumn Sprint Weekend (1st September) in deference to a BRSCC race meeting at the circuit. However, for those who race as well as sprint and hillclimb. I am assured that there will be a race for standard/road-going M.G.s included in the meeting. In place of the Ty Croes event we have been fortunate enough to be able to include the SE Centre's Goodwood two lap meeting on 7th July; seems a fair swap, even if the venues are rather far apart.
So, the calendar now looks like this:

The 1996 Moss Norwester Open Speed Championship calendar

dateVenueTypeOrganising Club
9th JuneHarewoodHillclimbBARC
29th & 30th JunePrescott (two day event)HillclimbBOC
7th JulyGoodwood (2 lap)SprintM.G.C.C. (SE)
13th JulyTy Croes 2 lap)SprintL&CCC
14th JulyTy Croes 2 lap)SprintM.G.C.C. (NW)
21st JulyLoton ParkHillclimbH&DLCC
4th AugustCurborough (2 lap)SprintM.G.C.C. (Mid)
11th AugustKnockhillSprintM.G.C.C. (Scot)
18th August3 Sisters (2 lap)SprintLAC
31st AugustTy Croes (2 lap)SprintM.G.C.C. (NW)
8th SeptemberScammonden DamHillclimbLAC
14th SeptemberWiscombe ParkHillclimbM.G.C.C. (SW)
15th SeptemberThoresby ParkSprintNSCC
21st &Shelsley WalshHillclimbMAC
22nd September(two day event)
29th SeptemberBaitings DamHillclimb M.G.C.C. (NW)


The overall winner of the M.G. Car Club Sprint Championship was John Dignan from Ryedale, North Yorkshire, driving a standard specification M.G. RV8. His wife Pauline won The Shirley Stafford Trophy for the best lady driver. The annual awards night was held recently at Shrigley Hall and included much celebration for the Dignan household with a total of eight annual trophies collected for the 1995 season. This total was in addition to the ten class awards won at individual at events during the year. Their son Peter was also successful in joining his father in the winning team in the Children in Need Three Hour Karting relay race last November.

John has been competing successfully in motor sport since the early seventies when he drove for Mitsubishi in international rallies. Although he has been placed three times in the top ten internationals, has won two manufactures team awards and was placed in the European Rally Drivers Championship, he has always competed as an amateur. Throughout his time of international rallying he was a professional pilot with the Royal Air Force and represented the RAF on many occasions. John now works for Hunting Aviation as Deputy Head of Flight Operations.

Pauline has also competed at international level as John's co-driver in the Avon Tour of Britain. As Gerry Marshall commented at the time "Pauline has my vote for dishiest driver, and if John ever does a Biggles she can be my co-driver any time". 1995 was her third in the M.G. sprint series and the first year sharing the powerful M.G. RV8. She thoroughly enjoyed both the season's competitions and the excellent M.G. club spirit and fellowship. Pauline's profession as a Weight Watchers leader no doubt helps her stay in practice, clocking over 15,000 miles a year driving to and from classes.

The M.G. RV8 was manufactured by Rover from 1993 to 1995 and is based on the MGB. The engine is a 3946cc V8 developing 195 horse power. The suspension and handling have been considerably improved although with the extra power and heavier weight it takes some serious concentration to control the car on the limit. There have been some 600 M.G. RV8s sold in UK plus another 1200 or so exported to Japan. Despite hundreds of M.G.s of other models competing in UK, John's car is the only private M.G. RV8 competing so far. It was very rewarding for him to not only beat many sports cars of other well known makes, but with a car in standard road trim, to secure the fastest overall M.G. award in two of the meetings in 1995. At the Baitings Dam Hillclimb the car won the Kimber Trophy and now holds the hill record for M.G.s.

The M.G. Car Club has been running sprints and hillclimbs since well before the second world war. The famous Kimber Trophy, the silver car on an ebony plinth in the centre of the photograph, has winners engraved from 1937.


Halford has confirmed its continued support for the Halfords M.G. Midget Challenge. The thirteen race series, which started on 24th March at Cadwell park, will also feature a special 20th Anniversary celebration race at Donington Park on the 4th August. Larry Quinn, the championship organiser said, "We are celebrating twenty years of M.G. Midget Racing."

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