So here we were back once again for MG Live at Silverstone (Historic GP) for our annual biggest meet of the season. After a cracking turn out at Donington we were all looking forward to healthy grids at Silverstone and we weren’t disappointed. With 24 entries (Class B once again looking the stronger supported) the Peter Besters were out with the Cook shoot Cup with a combined grid of 55.
Qualifying graced us with unsettled weather. The on off showers and humid temperatures had the paddock in turmoil as to what set ups to run. Piggott wasn’t sure how to keep the Marlboro red’s dry on his way down to assembly area and Ashley Cross more concerned with keeping the car dry. Rod Oakenfull concerned if engine number 3 would make the distance (Good luck!)
Qualifying was upon us and Lord Gammons decided that two green flag laps were needed and this was more than enough time for Rayment to test the levels of grip, quickly leaning there wasn’t any and stuffing his B into Hewers V8. Luckily for Rayment, Kev had been on the Ginger cake and despite seeing rainbows on the grid, was very calm about the whole thing.
Qualifying got off to a good start with Darby and Eales looking strong in the B’s. Following on were the gaggle of ZR’s led by Davies. The track was drying and everyone was putting in quicker times lap by lap. Lap 5 Buckley through a spanner in the works (or should I say a crank pulley) and pulled off with terminal damage. Cross in his Jet powered ZS narrowly missing the lump of metal sat in the middle of the track. Strike (not a lover of the wet) had a broken throttle cable which ended his trip out. The V8’s of Hewer and Khouri were struggling with the damp conditions and despite struggling for grip put a great show on for the spectators. The flag fell and Darby claimed poll position with an impressive time, Eales took 2nd on the grid and first in class A in his flying machine. Davies 2nd in class and Coles 3rd. A great drive by Cross to see him start 3rd row on the grid.
Well as expected this season, the heavens opened, the rain came down and Strike put on his rubber pants once again. The PBIC lined up on the grid behind the Cook shooters and starting 30 seconds behind under waved Union Jacks.
Engines revved, flags dropped, tyres sprayed and Coles stalled! Cross and Brown darting out the way to avoid collision the race was underway. Darby (class B) and Eales in the Class A Flying machine fired into the first corner whilst Davies in his mobile bath lost a few places. Visibility was limited but Dowler seemed to be the man on the move. Further down the grid the class a battle was underway with Jones, Tyler and strike scrabbling for grip and charging towards the grey abyss.
Piggott, Eales senior, Mason and Oakenfull bringing up the rear. Piggott more concerned which article to read from his carefully position Daily mail in the foot well as he gets onto hanger straight.
The rain kept falling and everyone was tip toeing around trying to keep it on the black stuff. Coles soon made his way to the front and drove an impressive race to claim victory by 10 seconds from Dowler. Davies fought his way back up to third with an impressive drive but was too far back to catch the leading two. Slippery Eales slid back to 5 overall (1st in Class) with the yellow flying machine not being able to put down all that power in the wet conditions. Darby had fuelling issues due to the standard B fuel pump not coping with the big horsepower it produces (we think) and didn’t finish.
Great results for Dave Brown and Ashley Cross in class B Finishing 4th and 5th in class respectively. John Gould had a solid result gaining 5 places and coping well in the wet conditions, as did David Thompson.
Class A honours to Eales, with Jones taking a solid 2nd and Steve Tyler in the immaculate Maestro 3rd.
The big V8’s and C of Khouri, Hewer and Holmes struggled in the wet and spent more time looking out the side window than in front of them.
Well done to Ollie Coles who took Driver of the race and Driver of the day honours. Unfortunately due to technical infringement, Dowler was disqualified from the results due to running illegal tyres. This awarded Davies 2nd and Brown 3rd.
Race 2 blessed us with dry conditions which were welcomed with open arms by the majority of us. The B of Darby looked to be the favourite going by his performance in qualifying. The Peter Besters were preparing well in their own way by eating, drinking and chatting a lot. I did see Cross polish his car and put some fuel in it. Team Coles and Gould were relaxing in their village fete array and it was all becoming very quintessentially English.
However in the assembly area, the gloves were off and Eales was proclaiming to beat the ZR’s once again. Coles was focused, alongside him his mind coach talking him thorough the first corner.
Rayment yet again getting his car out of shape and parking it in the wrong place having to be pushed back. JD cool as a cucumber and Cross more concerned about the in bored camera than what faces ahead.
Flags drop, Darby has a bad start and goes backwards, Eales jumps into the lead followed by Cross and Davies battling it out for 2nd. Further down the grid the big V8’s and C were pushing up the order along with Wilson from the back.
The ZR’s were enjoying the conditions as they were all making good progress. Dave Thompson looking very racy was flying through the pack. Lap 2 and Davies had fought off Cross and took the lead from Eales. The class A battle was hotting up further back were Strike had the rubber pants pulled off and was charging putting in some impressive times. Wilson was sideways as always and catching fast. Rayment and Strike had a coming together as Rayment got a tank slapper on and collected Strike firing him into the gravel. A good battle broke out between Thompson and Dowler; Thompson under pressure spun and went off to explore the exhibitors. Once back on the track (and possibly off the track) Jones and Thompson had their usual close encounters (Say no more).
Hewer was driving the wheels off the V8 (We can see the orange paint!) and got up to 3rd only to be hampered with fuel starvation. Darby had head gasket problems which ended his campaign. Piggott, Tyler and Oakenfull were battling it out at the back, Rod still concerned about reliability issues but stood up to the task (Well done Rod!)
Coles settled in 2nd but Davies out of sight and way out in front taking the win by an impressive 13 seconds. Congratulations Ed, great drive.
All in all a great weekend. Even Lord Gammons thought so as he personally invited some of us up to his boudoirs for a chat. Bad luck yet again for Team Strike, a few late nights ahead. Well done Ollie and Ed for the wins. Thanks to Stone & Moss for the hospitality, those of you that didn’t come and see us, you missed out on free beer! Thanks to Hannah for the cake, and not forgetting Mr Jones our coordinator (according to the MGCC) and anyone else I’ve missed. See you all at Combe where I will be back out in a ZR, not sure which class yet? Maybe class A