One of the highlights of MGLive! aside form the entertainment and displays on the infield is of course is the race action on track.
Saturday kicked off with the 20th anniversary race for the MGF cup and Abingdon Trophy. Jonathan Harker lead throughout most of the race owing to the pole position starter Philip Standish retiring on the first lap with a fuel leak. Harker commented afterwards that his MGF LE500 had caused some concern in the closing stages when the cabin steamed up and he was unable to see!
Driver of the race and the Abingdon Trophy went to second place finisher Brian Butler. There was drama for Paul Goodman who spun at Luffield on the first lap but ended the race inside the top 6 after an impressive fight back.
The TN Racing BCV8 Championship was won by Russell McCarthy after a number of laps of tight battles, door handle rubbing action and impressive lunges. One such tussle saw the Fowler driven MGBGT spin on the Wellington straight and the Spencer car spinning at Abbey on the last lap. Andrew Young came out of his battle with Ollie Neaves to win Class C as well as the Driver of the Race award.
The Cockshoot Cup and MG Trophy for modern Rover based MGs displayed equally quick racing with battles up and down the field n the various classes. There really is motor sport action to suit everyone’s interest and eras and MG Live and the close nature of the competition made it it easy to sit and watch for hours, gripped and entertained. Ray Collier enjoyed success in the Cockshoot Cup and the MG Trophy went to Graham Ross after brake failure for the man everyone thought would have it in the bag, Paul Luti.
Steve Collier won the Lackford Engineering Midget/Sprite Challenge race without drama in his Midget to boost his overall championship lead. Collier was 7 seconds clear of a close battle for second position between Dave Weston and Richard Wildman, in their class A Midgets.
Returning champion Alan Brooke took both Peter Best Insurance Services MG Cups in his Rover Metro. In the first race he was locked in a battle for the lead with fellow Metro driver and Brands Hatch double winner Mike Williams, which was settled when Williams pulled off just after half distance as oil was leaking onto his wheels. Championship leader heading into this round, Matt Simpson, also had to retire from the weekend’s proceedings during race one when a head gasket failed on his Rover Tomcat.
The MGCC Iconic 50s race was the only one during MGLive 2018 to be red-flagged, with Stuart Dean crashing the MG Dick Jacobs Special into a gate in the pit wall at the start of the second lap while taking action to avoid a slowing car ahead of him. There was just time for a 15-minute restart, which boiled down to a two-way fight between Canadian Stuart Dickinson’s MGA Twin Cam and the Turner MkII of Steve Watton. On the final lap, Dickinson spun at the Arena complex, handing Watton the victory. Mark Ellis took third overall and a class win in his MGA Twin Cam having battled closely all race with Neil Cawthorn’s Roadster. Robert Innes-Ker gained Driver of the Race for his climb to fifth place.
The first Equipe Pre-’63 race was blitzed by Jack Rawles in the family owned Austin Healey 3000. He was thirteen seconds ahead of second place Martin Brewer after John Pearson lost second place after two offs at Aintree. In third was the Jaguar E Type of Bob Binfield.
Jack Rawles took pole position for race two on the Sunday at MG Live and lead the race from the off, extended it with lap after lap of consistent times. The headline battle was for third when Binfield got past Paul Kennelly in a Jaguar E Type dogfight to wow the crowds of spectators at Silverstone. In the Equipe MGB races, David Keers-Trafford took both honours.
The TVR Grantura MkIIIs driven by Wilf Penrose and Mark Ashworth fought hard with Tom Smith’s MGB Roadster in the Equipe GTS race. Wilf Penrose , despite looking a bit smokey int he closing stages, took the honours and Ashworth’s TVR suffered an underbonnet fire in the pit lane.
The combination of car show, Autotest, Concours D’Elegance, Stunt driving displays, live music on the Duckhams Village Green and all the motorsport action as described above, makes MG Live one of the premier club events in the world and we are already looking forward to supporting the MG Car Club in building upon this success in 2018.