Media Report by K Hewer
2017 started in earnest this month with the championship media day at Donington Park on Sunday the 19th of February.
Around 20 intrepid drivers and many more of their friends, family and team trekked from around the country to the wonderful undulating circuit of Donington in what was the best possible weather we could have hoped for in Late Feb. A few die hards turned up on the Saturday evening to set up shop and sleep in the van like the true clubman racers they are… a few more of us also turned up on the Saturday evening, set up shop and then went to he hotel for a nice meal and a few beers!!
Sunday morning beconned and once the coffee had brewed enough to make things slightly less blurry we all made our way to the driver briefing, as we had taken control of a “Book-a-Track” trackday. In fairness to them they were very accommodating and extremely helpful, so thank you! Some drivers only made the briefing by the skin of their teeth, but once we were read the riot act and told of the do’s and don’ts of a trackday compared to a race or test day, we all dutifully made our way to the pit lane for the initial siting laps.
At this point some drivers forgot all we were told only moments before at the drivers briefing, and the fun began!
Obviously the MG Cup bongo drums had been going well over the winter months as there were plenty of rumours etc flying around the paddock, mostly speculation on other racers levels of power, grip and bravado and the ensuing “yes of course Craners is Flat!” comments.
So, two batches of sighting laps later and we were all let loose to do our thing.
We were joined on the track by many of the normal trackday crowd, but also by some Ginettas and many Lotus Seven cars of varying speed, and as we were to find out – Talent! The session was very quickly red flagged as a few of the slightly less awake drivers went to have a look at the barriers and see how deep the gravel traps were. Luckily none of the MG Cup drivers were exceeding the track limits this early in the day. That was to come later.
After the mornings fun and frolics our illustrious leader Ben (elected), and our Championship Supremo Tom (was Bernie ever elected?) had organised a little lunchtime excursion onto the track to have a photoshoot with our tame photographers. This was to be quite a surreal experience as we all filed onto the grid (the wrong direction as instructed by the Donington hierarchy) and took our places as we would for a race start. There then followed a short period of time when us drivers got out of our cars and milled around like lost sheep and had a chat, whilst Tom tried his best to get us to park where he wanted us to. Someone mentioned herding cats I think. One of the ZRs decided it wasn’t going to start and had to be pushed back to the pits, my car was slowly empting the header tank onto the racing line, and only the front row had parked at anything close to level with the next car. Normal race start then!
After some more coffee and biscuits the afternoon session started again, this time with many of the drivers deciding to have a go in other peoples’ cars, along with what can only be described as a “Race” between a certain Mad Scotsman, Lewis Anderson, and his mentor and guru Dave Thomson.
I’d jumped in the passenger seat earlier in the day with David, so with Ed Davies as his ballast this time out I dutifully sat in the (slightly damp….I think Ben Edgecombe was last one in) spare seat with Lewis. 15 laps of near lunacy later and David had run out of fuel. I was amazed we weren’t black flagged as this was a trackday after all, but I had a blast, great fun. Thanks Lewis.
Rumour has it Messrs Thompson and Buckley have some gravel and grass to clear out from under their cars before race 1…
Also Chris Whitewick let me have a go in his MGTF. It’s a great little car I thought, and DS had also been out in it earlier and professed that he’d do well in Class A in it! Chris W is now ordering many, many brave pills….
Alongside the race ready racing cars getting a good shakedown before the first event of the season was the ZR Turbo of Tom Diment. This car has been very openly built with coverage of the rolling road session etc on Facebook live. As it’s a break from the norm Tom had previous MG Cup championship winner Dan Ludlow give the car a run out as well towards the end of the day, with good feedback so we heard. It will be interesting to see how this car fairs in the ever expanding Class C.
A really fun day was had by all, and good to see the crowd on a fun social level rather than just at a race day. We must do that more often, and many thanks go to those who pulled it together.
So to summarise…..
Is everyone’s car ready…No.
Are the drivers ready…No.
Will the stain come out from Ben’s trousers…No.
Are we all going to be at Donington on the 9th of April…Yes!
See you there.