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Two hard-fought MG Cup contests ended with honours even between the VVC-engined Rover Metro of Mike Williams, and sophomore driver Morgan Short’s MG ZS 180. Benefiting from his wet running in Friday testing, Short put the ZS on pole position for each race by the huge margins of 7.4 and 8.8 seconds. But, after last year’s horrendous conditions, race one would offer his first dry laps of the circuit.
Williams made his experience count to outdrag Short up Clay Hill on the first lap of the opener and, while Short stuck with him, he couldn’t find a way through and had to settle for second. The Rover 220 Tomcats of the returning Richard Buckley and Matt Simpson were third and fourth, Simpson earning Driver of the Race for his charge from the back after being disqualified from qualifying for a yellow flag infringement. Iain Dowler (MG ZR 170) took Class B honours, while Jago Keen (MG ZR 160) claimed Class A.
Determined to learn from race one, Short was able to defend against Williams’s similar attack in race two, and Williams lost time as he ran on the grass. But the Metro reeled the leader back in and was ready to take advantage when Short struck a slowing backmarker exiting Knickerbrook on the final lap. However, Short held firm to take his maiden win despite the scare.
“It was enough to do quite a bit of damage to the front of the car and I lost my whole gap to Mike,” said Short, who was named Driver of the Race. “I thought, ‘There’s no point giving up now, I’ve just got to keep pushing and hope nothing’s wrong with the car.’ And luckily, it looks like most of the damage is cosmetic. I had a great race with Mike, we were battling the whole time. He’s a great competitor and he’s a good sport.”
Simpson made faster progress early in the race so was able to beat Buckley to third, while Dowler took a comfortable Class B win and Keen too repeated his earlier Class A success.
We all look forward to rounds 5 & 6 at Silverstone on the Grand Prix Circuit on the 13th June 2021