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Richard Buckley returned to the MG Cup grid at Snetterton, after missing the Oulton Park round with work commitments. In Norfolk he was seeking to confirm the championship crown ahead of the challenging Class B runner Ian Boulton.
Buckley in his Rover Tomcat claimed pole, but it rained before race one and he was less happy, particularly with the car’s brakes early in the race and he had a lap-one off at Oggies.
The Class B MG ZR 170s came to the fore instead and among them Jack Chapman – in his newly improved machine – quickly took to the front and streaked clear. He won by 45 seconds and astoundingly it was his first-ever win. Appropriately he got Driver of the Race. Fergus Campbell and then Boulton were next home.
Buckley despite his struggle took class victory just from Dave Nixon, who recovered from a lowly grid slot as his Tomcat was only running on three cylinders.
Joel Roy Highley in his MG ZR 160 won Class A clearly from the returning Marcus Short whose gamble on wet tyres did not pay off.
Race two was in large part a repeat as Chapman again scampered clear in first place to win crushingly, this time by half a minute. His performance was rewarded with Driver of the Day.
Buckley again had a tough time, and again ran off the track early on. He recovered though to second in class and this was sufficient for him to seal the title.
Campbell again was overall runner-up while Daniel Boman was third home and clear Class C winner, as well as Driver of the Race, while Short won in Class A. Boulton had been second home overall on the road but got a 10s penalty for causing a collision.
“I tried my hardest not to do it today really didn’t I?,” Buckley laughed. “I locked up in the first race, the first lap, locked up on the first lap of the second race, made myself hard work. But I managed to bring it back, so happy with that.
“I put some different brake pads on and they’re very snatchy, too hard, very snatchy when they’re cold. They’re fine when they get hot. Especially the first lap there’s not enough heat in them, as soon as you touch the brakes it just snatches them.
“Two finishes, that’s all I was interested in today. I wasn’t particularly bothered about wins, just two finishes and the championship.”
Double winner Chapman meanwhile said: “It’s been a really good day, had a lot of ups and not many downs, because I seemed to keep the car on the pace, the car was set up well for every condition that the track threw at me.
“Before coming to this weekend I overhauled it [the car] with British Legends, and just everything seemed to be good. Throughout the whole of the season I was having an issue with it but I didn’t realise I had the issue. It had a dodgy earth on the ECU and when I sorted that the car seemed to be on fire ever since.
“End of last year I’ve shown a lot of pace and potential and that I could possibly fight for the championship. But this year it all went out the window, but out of nowhere I’ve found the pace in the car again and I’m back where I should be.”
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