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Mike Williams chalked up two more MG Cup wins but they came in contrasting fashion, while main rival Morgan Short’s championship challenge was dented by failing to finish either race.
Williams (red Metro pictured above) pipped Short to pole position at the end of qualifying as the engine in Short’s MG ZS 180 began to overheat – a legacy of the damage he picked up at Oulton Park that would come back to bite him. Williams was then able to get a jump at the first corner as Short had his hands full with the Rover Tomcats of Richard Buckley and Matt Simpson (both pictured above). That gave Williams the margin he needed to overcome his VVC-engined Rover Metro’s comparative lack of power as he eased to victory. Things would go from bad to worse for Short as he pitted after two laps with a cooked engine and the suspicion that the car’s new radiator didn’t have the required cooling capacity.
Behind Williams, Buckley and Simpson engaged in a titanic duel, Simpson finally finding a way through on the last lap, earning the Driver of the Race award.
With Short absent from race two, the Tomcats made Williams work for his second win of the day. Both had spells in front before Williams eventually succeeded in his repeated attempts to pass Buckley at Stowe. Past champion Buckley held on to second from Simpson.
With points leader Iain Dowler absent owing to work commitments, Dan Jones dominated Class B in the first race but it came at a cost with a mechanical failure on the slow-down lap. That left the way clear for Wayne Stirling-Parker, making his final race start 27 years after debuting at Silverstone, to take the class honours in race two at the wheel of Rod Weston-Bartholomew’s MG ZR 170 after his own Rover BRM hit trouble at a recent Speed Championship event.
“I raced here in 1994 – first ever race with the MG Metro Cup,” said Stirling-Parker. “So 27 years later, I thought I’d start and finish at the same venue. It’s been a wonderful time, to be honest with you. It’s nice to spend most of my racing career in the MG Car Club.”
Steve Tyler’s MG ZR 160 twice took the laurels in Class A from Ian Boulton, who was returning to racing in a borrowed trackday car following his heavy accident at Brands Hatch.