For the latest information concerning MGCC Midland Centre events, such as changes to event dates and/or times, please check for details below.

MG enthusiasts of all ages are welcomed to the Centre and its Natters, including members of other clubs such as the MG Octagon Car Club and the MG Owners Club, irrespective of the model of MG owned. Please visit our 'Natter Venues' page for details of a group in your area.

For more information about the Midland Centre and our events, please click on the links shown in the Menu on the left of the screen.

 

            

 

From Abingdon to the Nurburgring - a report by John Dignan

The following report has been sent to us by the North Leics MG Club

In 1964, between 24th of November and the 4th of December MGB Roadster G-HN3-L/51786 was built in the MG factory at Abingdon.  It was assembled as a left-hand drive car using body number 50027, fitted with engine 18GB-U-H/4239 and painted black.  On the 9th of December 1964 it was dispatched from the factory and exported to the United States. In 1994 it was discovered in a Californian scrap yard and brought back to England and registered as RFP 796 B.  It rested in a barn in Loughborough for the next seven years before being bought in January 2001 as a restoration project by John Dignan, the highly successful MG sprint and hill-climb champion.  The aim of the project was to build an FIA MGB for long distance racing, with the first race at the Eifel Klassic in October. 

The car was dismantled in Loughborough and the rolling shell trailered to Manchester for welding work and the fitting of a full roll cage by Entune 2000, supervised by Mike Entwisle.  Then followed a long run down to Richard Brinklow's highly respected Hillarys Coachworks in Tunbridge Wells where Nigel Fuller carried out detailed panel work and Steven (Spike) Seymour completed a beautiful re-spray in Tartan Red. On returning to Mike Entwisle's works in Manchester, there began the long and detailed task of building and assembling the roadster to FIA competition specification, as raced by the Abingdon Works in the early 60s.  The work was completed in September 2001.

In October John set off for the Eifel Klassic at Nurburgring, a 300-kilometre race for FIA cars, using the combined Grand Prix circuit and the famous Nordschleifer circuit, a total of 15.75 miles per lap.  The race had an entry of 143 cars and the 300 kilometers could be driven by one or two drivers, but with a compulsory pit stop in both cases.

The first practice of one and a half hours on the Saturday went well, as John took on the daunting task of learning the 180 corners per lap, having never raced at Nurburgring before.  John's wife Pauline was in the pits supporting the team and taking all the photographs.  The car was running a 3.9 diff, a close ratio gearbox without overdrive and Avon ZZ 70 profile tyres.  The black hard top, instead of the traditional white, was in recognition of the roadster's original colour.  After the final practice session in the afternoon, the car achieved a lap time of 11 minutes 51 seconds and was placed 65th on the grid from an entry of 143 cars.  The car performed very well indeed and touched over 125 mph on three different parts of the track, the downhill Schwedenkreuz and Fuchsrohre sections, and the long straight at Dottinger Hohe.  The fastest MGB, of the eight entered, was Mark Ashworth and Martin Richardson at 51st on the grid with a time of 11 minutes 39 seconds.  Mike Entwisle and Pru Pruton were 72nd and Brian Lambert and Bob Luff were 77th.  Pole position was the Jaguar E-Type of Martin Stretton and Jon Minshaw with a time of 10 minutes 27 seconds, a lap average of 145 kilometres per hour. It was expected that the fastest cars, lapping some 84 seconds quicker than John, would catch him during lap 10, therefore the new FIA MGB would only do 11 of the 12 lap race distance.  Fuel was therefore planned for 12 laps based on practice fuel consumption plus 5 litres reserve.  This would turn out to produce an interesting result.

Race morning started misty and wet and much to everyone's surprise the organisers started the race on time at 10 am despite fog on the Grand prix circuit.  The grid was split into three batches with a pace car leading each at three-minute spacing.  All the MGBs were in the first group and the fastest cars in the second group, 3 minutes behind.  The green flag lap was a full 15.75 miles and the field discovered that the main Nordschleifer circuit was in fact clear of fog but very wet and slippery. There were no major incidents in the first couple of laps, and as the track started to dry out by lap 5, the cars were approaching the lap times set at the end of the dry second practice.  Martin Richardson was holding first MGB, Mike Entwisle was second, John Dignan was third and Bob Luff fourth.  Four non-UK MGBs were further behind.  The two-driver teams made their pit stops around lap 5 and John moved into second placed MGB with lap times on laps 7, 8 and 9 below that of fastest practice.  By this time Pru Pruton had unfortunately retired with a damaged engine after the flywheel became jammed. 

 RFP 796 B made its compulsory pit stop at the end of lap 10 and went out to complete what should have been its last lap.  However, at the end of lap 11 there was no chequered flag as expected and John set off on lap 12.  The leader, which was not the E Type or the TVR Griffith, but the Hall Racing Lotus Elan, had failed to catch John by a mere 6 seconds.  John needed to continue to drive hard because firstly he didn't know that the chequered flag had come out just behind him and secondly there were some 15 cars within a minute either side of him in the race.  Unfortunately, having averaged 128 kph during the race, only 3 kph slower than the best race lap time, the fuel ran low with three miles to go and despite switching the engine off twice, could only coast to within 800 metres of the finish.  As it turned out, with no one behind him on that last lap and only passing three cars during the lap, he only dropped those three positions; places that would not have been taken had the leader lapped him.

The final results of the top three MGs, after well over two hours of high speed racing, were amazingly close.  Mark and Martin were 18th overall; John was 28th, forty seconds behind, and Brian and Bob were 34th, a further fifty seconds back.  There were 99 finishers with most of the rest parked all around the track.  A highly satisfactory result from an MGB that had not turned a wheel for the previous eight years, and a great tribute to all those involved in its rebuild.

 

 

 

Thanks to John Dignan for the words and photos.

 

 


Midland Centre Regalia Supplier - Top Signs

We have received the following information from Kimber House -

Topsigns’ Managing Director has informed Kimber House that they intend to end the partnership with the MGCC (including CRBs and affiliated Clubs) at the end of 2018. This is due to low sales from CRBs. If you wish to order any items, or secure stock for your CRB, please head to http://shop.topsigns.net/ and place your order.

So, if any Clubs or members wish to purchase any regalia with MGCC, Centre or Register embroidery, you need to do so now before the contract ends.

 

 

 

 

 


Autumn Trial 23 September 2018 - Report

Do you remember the long hot summer and how we stopped talking about the weather because there was only one sort? Then the memory of heavy rain came flooding (sorry) back, particularly how it only ever rained on Saturday and Sunday; well that was what we faced last week. And also how the harbingers of doom; the weather forecasters, quickly got back in the swing of announcing bad conditions and then at the very last minute would issue a reprieve. We were equal to it, playing them at their own game of leaving it to the last minute to say everything was still on and how right we were, the 23rd was a bit breezy but sunny and dry after a damp start.

 We had a healthy entry of A7s and MG TA /TC cars in class 2 but we were a bit thin in the remaining classes so 4,5 and 6 ran together as did 7 and 8, strangely no front wheel drive cars at all, first time in my memory of Autumn Trials.

 The MGF of Adrian Tucker-Peake and George Houghton was well to the fore on the day despite being harried all the way by Don and Helen Skelton’s Austin 7, Adrian won the Allen Trophy with best performance on 16 lost; Don lifted the Autumn Cup on 21 whilst George with 22 was third overall and best in combined class 4,5 and 6.   

Ian Nute and  Tony Burdett in a Dutton Melos were 4th overall and won the combined class 7&8  with 28 lost.    5th overall and best in class 2 were Dennis and Julia Bingham on 45 lost in another of Don Skelton’s very capable A7s.

 Special mention for 14 year old Joe Leach with father Jeremy in their first trial who lost 50, was 6th overall and won the award for Best Newcomer and Young Driver in their classic Cannon. Joe had a clear final round as well, he was in good company with Adrian and George also on zero. More family rivalry as Matt Wills and dad Mike hustled their MX5 to Best Novice award with 78 lost.

Many thanks to Brian Osborn who once again set some challenging sections aided and abetted by Adrian Tucker Peake on a rather wet Saturday afternoon. Dave Bowlas once again scrutineered and towed a number of cars up sticky inclines, many thanks. We managed to rustle up six marshals to run the first round before we despatched two of them to run both timed tests. Thanks to John Grottick, Keith Horton, Roger King, John Fry and particularly Ken Banfield for his vivid depiction of the Autumn Trial as the Grand Old Duke of Bromsgrove. 

Finally, thanks to all of you for keeping the faith at our new venue.

Regards,

Tony Lake

2018 Autumn Trial Results

In addition to Tony's notes, one of the people who attended the event as a marshal, Ken Banfield, has kindly written a light-hearted report on the day's proceedings. Please click the link below to open and read the PDF document -

2018 Autumn Trial Report

It has been said before, but Trials can be an enjoyable and low-cost entry into one form of motor sport, requiring more driving skills than you might first think. This form of motor sport seems to have lost some popularity amongst mainstream motor club members in recent years, as we have noted from falling attendances at our own events, yet it remains hugely popular amongst more specialist drivers, with events like the Land's End, Edinburgh, and Clee Hills Trials regularly attracting large entries.

Best of all, you don't need a special car fitted out with a roll-cage or lots of expensive clothing in order to compete. Although some serious competitors do bring along specialised vehicles, a bog-standard road car will do the job just as well, and a classification system evens out the chances for awards. As you will see from the report, it can be a very enjoyable way to use your car with minimal risk to your safety and your car's bodywork! Oh, and it's very cheap to enter, too.

In 2017 and 2018, we held 'Taster' Trials as our opening events for the year, both at East Lodge Farm, and both were well-received, with several entrants electing to have a go at the 'proper' event in the autumn. We may host another 'taster' next March, so please keep an eye on our website for further information. Why not give it go - who knows, you might get hooked!

If you would like further information on Trials driving or our Trials events, please drop us a line at our main email address -

midlandcentre@mg-car.org.uk

  

Don't try this at home .... !

 


North Leics. MG Club Charity Donation

North Leicester MG Club recently made a donation of one thousand pounds to the Steps Conductive Education Centre, which is based in Shepshed, near Loughborough, in Leicestershire. .

Started in 1994 by four local families, Steps now provides support to more than fifty families who have children with conditions which affect their motor skills, such as cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.  The system of conductive education employed at the centre was pioneered at the Peto Institute in Hungary, where some of the Steps staff have trained and gained their qualifications. 

The donation was made possible by the success of the North Leicester MG Club's Charnwood Caper Classic and Sports Car Run in May 2017.  Steps had been nominated by the club’s members at their 2017 AGM to be the beneficiaries. 

This year’s "Caper", held in May 2018, saw over ninety cars taking part, and generous sponsorship by local MG dealership, Bishop & Bishop of Wigston, has ensured that a substantial donation will be made in early 2019 to another local charitable organisation.

Presentation of the cheque was made by North Leicester MG chairman, Colin Readwin, when supporters of the charity attended a "thank you" buffet at the Steps centre.  It was received by the charity’s patron and trustee Rosemary Conley CBE DL, who outlined the history of Steps and the work undertaken by them. 

Following the presentation, guests were given a tour of the Steps facilities.  These are based in a former school, which was purchased in 2006 and substantially refurbished and adapted in 2007.  The project was supported by ITV Central News, and involved 130 local companies who supplied over half a million pounds worth of goods and services free of charge.

For information about Steps and the work they do, visit www.stepscentre.org.uk.

The Centre makes an annual award of the California Shield to the most successful natter in the Midlands area. The award originated from a goodwill visit by a bunch of southern Californian MG enthusiasts to the UK in 1970, the California Cup from the same folk is still keenly contested at MGLive in the Autotest every year. For 2017 the shield went to North Leicester MG club. Rick Willoughby, chairman of 2016 holders, Kilsby MG club, presented North Leics  chairman Colin Readwin with the much prized shield at their natter on 20-06-18. North Leics  run the highly successful Charnwood Caper, an event that regularly sees 90 plus entrants and in addition to being a sociable day out in the Leicestershire countryside generates substantial funds for charity. As noted above, their 2017 event raised £1000 that was recently presented to STEPS who help fifty families with children who suffer cerebral palsy or Downs syndrome. Worthy winners indeed, natters like this and the subs of their members are the lifeblood of both the Midland Centre and the MGCC itself.

For information about the North Leicester MG Club, visit www.northleicester-mg.org.uk.

 

 


We Want Your News!

The Midland Centre of the MG Car Club covers 8 counties of the UK's Midlands region, and our emails reach some 1400 members of the Club. As we have said on previous occasions, this website is for your news, not simply that produced by the Midland Centre Committee. We are aware that much of our news originates from the West Midlands area, largely because that's where most of the Committee live, and our sporting events tend to be held in the West Midlands. In view of this, we would like to carry more news that is relevant to our members in the East Midlands counties.

So, if you have any news you think would be of interest to the broader Midland Centre membership, or simply those members in your particular neck of the woods, please let us know and we will happily place it on this website. Similarly, if your own local MG Club or group is planning an event which is open to all MG owners (and not 'closed to club') please let us know, and let us have copies of any 'flyers', newsletters and entry forms which can be set to be downloaded from our website.

We will look forward to hearing from you.

 

 


Members' Contact Details

Are your personal details correct at Kimber House?

It cannot have escaped most peoples notice that much more correspondence and general communication in business is being conducted via the medium of websites and electronic mail, and this will only increase in the future. Clearly, the use of email makes it easier, faster and (as importantly) cheaper for clubs like the MGCC to communicate with its members. However, this can only be successful if members' details at Kimber House are accurate and up-to-date. In the recent past, the Midland Centre Committee has undertaken its own checks on personal records, and has uncovered numerous inaccuracies, particularly with email addresses; for example, full-stops in the wrong place, spaces between characters where there should be none, hyphens instead of underscores, etc., etc. On that basis, the Committee would recommend that all Midland Centre members check their own personal details with Kimber House to ensure that their records are accurate, especially any email addresses. Just as importantly, please don't forget to notify Kimber House if any personal contact details change, for example if there is a change in internet service provider which entails a new email address.

Are you in the correct Centre?

We are finding that several MGCC members who should have been allocated to the Midland Centre have actually been placed in another Centre, such as the South-West or Anglia. Members are free to ask to be allocated to a specific Centre if they so wish; however, some may not be aware that they are currently in the wrong one. If you are unsure, and wish to ensure that you are in the Midland Centre, please contact Kimber House and ask them to verify this for you.

 For further assistance, please contact Membership Secretary Liz Allsworth on 01235 849734  or via email - lizallsworth@mgcc.co.uk

 


Volunteer Marshals

As some of you may know, the MGCC Midland Centre organises four principal sporting events during the year – two Trials and two Sprints. The Spring Trial is held at Lintridge Farm, near Ledbury, and the Autumn Trial is held at Burton Dassett Country Park, near Gaydon, Warwicks. Both the Spring Sprint and the Summer Sprint are held at Curborough, near Lichfield. 

For all these events, we always need the help of volunteer marshals. Marshalling is not an onerous task (as long as the weather is good!), and many people who volunteer find that they enjoy the event(s) and return in the future. 

For those of you who are more local to the event locations, and have people in your groups who might be interested in assisting at any of these events, please ask them to contact the Midland Centre's Chief Marshal, Simon Morris, on - simonmorrisbmmcmgcc@gmail.com

Without the help of volunteers, these and other similar events cannot take place, so please give it some thought.

 



Please see our 'Calendar of Events' and the 'General Information' pages for more information on the year's events or to read previous news items. Don't forget to let us have details of any MG-related events you would like to have displayed on this site.