Hot racing action for MG Car Club’s Brands Hatch season opener

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The MG Cup races at Brands Hatch also had two frantic battles for first, in this case between 2019 champion Richard Buckley (pictured above), these days back in his Rover Tomcat Turbo, and the invitational MG ZS 180 entry of Karl Green, who is more commonly seen in the Cockshoot Cup and was at Brands Hatch for the very first time.

Buckley held off an attacking Green to win a restarted Race 1, which also was ended early when Chris Boulton’s MG ZR 190 went off at Paddock. Ian Boulton was third overall and first in Class B, ahead of Iain Dowler’s fellow MG ZR 170.

Steve Tyler beat fellow MG ZR 160 runner Aaron Ross by 1.3 seconds to win Class A, and this also got Tyler Driver of the Race.

Buckley and Green took up battle for first again in Race 2, and Green passed Buckley a handful of laps in with an charging move at Druids. But this delayed both and Green and Buckley resumed in third and fifth respectively.

The pair quickly recovered to first and second and Buckley chased Green hard for the rest of the way, though Green won by 0.4s.

“Good day,” Buckley said, “first race, I made an absolute hash start, it was awful, but I managed to then keep the lead. Karl in the ZS, that thing is so quick. I just managed to keep him behind me, we had a really good race.

“And then second race, same thing really. Didn’t make a particularly brilliant start. Ian [Boulton] got in front and Karl was in front. I managed to get back past Ian then I made a demon move down into Paddock to take Karl, and I thought it was going to be pretty much the same thing [as Race 1].

“He did a bit of a late lunge down on me into Druids [and] Ian and Iain went past. So we were then chasing them and then I was trying to chase Karl to see if I could get him again but he was just that little bit in front. It was good fun again. Two really good races so can’t be happier.”

Boulton again was third home overall and the Class B winner, while fellow MG ZR 170 competitor Jack Chapman finished fourth overall and second in Class B and was awarded Driver of the Race.

Ross won Class A, while next up in class this time was Marcus Short in his Rover 216 GTi, who rose through the field impressively after a poor start. Short, taking part in only his second ever car race, is the latest racing son of Le Mans overall victory contender Martin Short – who built the 216 – and is the younger brother of last year’s MG Cup frontrunner Morgan, who also cut his MG Cup teeth in the 216.