Snetterton Showdown final two rounds race report

Snetterton 200 2017.
So the last races of the season are upon us and the last men and women standing head their way to the Snetterton circuit once more. Some drivers thought they would get a head start on their fellow competitors and take up the option of testing on the Friday before the race weekend. Team StrikeWick were the first on the scene as they arrived on the Thursday to set up shop and Baggsie the best place in the paddock, David was to be testing the newly rebuilt bottom end in the MGB GT and Mr Whitewick was running in his newly acquired rubber in the hope it would aid his lap times.
The weather had other opinions and decided that a nice and greasy track would be the order of the day. David was first to head out in the morning session with Chris having a go in his TF later in the day. 
Also out testing and after parking his MGB in the barrier at Oulton Park was Rod Oakenfull, he decided that a wet track would better suit a front wheel drive car, so he bought one! The ex Drayton Manor Metro is now firmly in the Oakenfull camp as Daughter Megan hopes to be out in it and mixing it up with the rest of the MG Cup boys and girls next year.
Hannah Brian was out to get more track time under her belt but was unfortunately collected on the exit of Bombhole by a ZR from the Trophy that was behind her, she’d had a half spin and was left momentarily sitting on the racing line hunting for a gear. Much wielding of borrowed sledgehammers (thanks to last years champ Tom Halliwell for the lend) and tow ropes attached to parked vans meant that the Metro was almost square again and was ready for the afternoon session.
Some decent weather arrived and thankfully no more maladies were had by anyone, so with the cars put to bed for the night everyone headed to the bar.
Race day arrived and the clouds had somewhat cleared to just a mere drizzle. The atmosphere among the competitors was none deterred and the usual banter and mickey taking was well underway as was the morning coffee. After some scrutineering had taken place which was much faster than usual, probably due to the lack of competitors taking part in the 4 hour relay this year, the intrepid racers headed to their quali session in the dry and bright October sunshine.
Quickest to the timing line was Alan “Nosedive” Brooke in the rapid little red Metro, he put his car on pole for race 1 and race 2. Next up was Marge Simpson in his Miami Blue Tomcat closely followed by Richard Buckley in 3rd, this was to be the starting grid top 3 for race 2 as well. Richard Buckley was hedging his bets this weekend as he cleverly painted his current car exactly the same as his old one which is now being run by Charlieboy Moreton. Should one of them be called to see Uncle Gammons then they can always blame the other!
Race 1
A rocket start from Matt Simpson and he was leading the pack into Riches for the first time hastily pursued by Alan Brooke and Rich Buckley, Matt held them both at bay for nearly 3 laps until Alan found a way past and started to pull a small lead. Simpson couldn’t answer to the quick little Metro in the early stages as Alan kept the pace up to avoid a lapse in concentration as he needed a win and a fastest lap to add to his points tally in the championship battle. Further back in the pack Chris, David, Rod and Hannah were all trying their best beat each other with some good respectful driving by all. Hannah was to finally get past Chris in the TF and started to chase down Rod. David was having issues with the B and was slower than usual.
Dave Nixon was having problems in his Tomcat as was dropping back through the field, first impressions were that he was losing his turbo pressure but it proved to be more involved as a holed piston was to spell the end of his days racing.
Also adding the attrition rate of race 1 was Pete Burchill who had run out of electricity in the ZS, and Iain Dowler who made 2 attempts to solve an issue with calls to the pit lane, but he too was to drop out.
But by far the most impressive way to exit a race was expertly executed by Ian Boulton. Showing the rest of the class how it’s done he parked his inferno of a ZR right next to a fire marshal, for obvious reasons as he didn’t want to use his on-board extinguisher as he may need it again during race 2. His car had thrown a rod through the front of the block and his race was run.
Alan Brooke held the overall lead until the chequered flag followed in by Matt Simpson and Richard Buckley, so the championship fight would come down to the last race on the Sunday. Buckley took the Class B win with Josh Wright winning Class A.
Charlie Moreton, Josh and Steve Tyler were all having a close battle of their own in the mid pack and Steve Tyler took the fastest lap for the Class A cars with Dan Jones taking the fastest lap for Class B.
Again the cars were put to bed and everyone headed to the respective hotels and hostelries for the evening. All except Team Boulton who burned the midnight oil (Ian likes burning oil) to fit a new engine into his ZR. Hats off to them as that was some job to do outside, at night with no engine crane. Just so they didn’t feel on their own, David Strike who had set up camp next to Team Boulton decided to do a head gasket change Saturday evening too in the hopes he would gain some more power from the B.
The evening proved eventful even for those not changing engines in the October twilight. A huge powercut effected 3000 homes in the Snetterton area (some say that was most of Norfolk) that included the hotel we had booked dinner at with Messers Oakenfull, Tyler, some bloke called Jonesey and all our respective partners. Dinner was called off by the hotel staff and with the prospective of only peanuts to eat the wonderful hotel manager made a booking for 10 of us at a local Italian restaurant. So with Steve and Angie Tyler driving the rest of us to Attleborough with calls of “are we there yet” from the back seats we all headed for a evening of pizza. Great thanks to Team Tyler for the taxi service, we all owe you one.
So the morning of the Sunday beckoned and the work rate was still frantic on the ZR of Ian Boulton, as it was refusing to start and run on all four cylinders so early. There was even more smoke but this time from the exhaust as the guys refused to give up and eventually she stuttered into life and the recalcitrant engine finally came to life. With the battery topped up in the ZS of Burchill, The ZR of Dowler fettled to health and the MGB of David Strike repaired the grid was back to almost full numbers. The MGC of Conner Holmes had retired after quali with a split in the sump, and Dave Nixon was already heading home with his poorly Tomcat.
Race 2.
James Darby being the nice guy he is suggested to Dan Jones (who is well known for his height) in the assembly area that he should have a seat in the MGB GT, Dan’s ZR is somewhat more roomey than the lowdown MGB and once inside it looked as though Dan might have to start the race in the car he was currently stuck in. The rest of us were helpless with laughter and left him to slide his way out of the car like an arthritic sealion. Sorry Dan!
Wet again, and as the racers took to the grid the TF of Chris Whitewick decided that two windscreen wipers were just a frippery and the one on the drivers side stopped working. Hopefully the rain would not fall any harder during the race.
As the lights went out Rich Buckley gave it a bootfull and had nothing but wheel spin and fell down to fifth place. Simpson went into the lead once again and was to hold Alan’s Metro for the initial laps. Peter Burchill was close behind in third but this was not to last as he slowly dropped down the order with more problems.
On lap 8 Alan Brooke had encountered the first of the back markers but as he passed “One Wiper Whitewick” into Murrays corner the back end of the Metro was slightly off the drying line and he had a half spin and the engine stalled. Unable to get it going for few seconds he dropped to eighth place and notably behind Peter Burchill and down to 3rd in the battle for Class C and the championship.
Josh Wright was having a blinding race in the wet getting his Class A ZR up behind Buckley, and then making a move on him during lap 9 which put him into 3rd overall behind Dowler.
Hannah Brian who had finally got her skates on and made a move to pass Chris Whitewick at the hairpin, and was hot on the heels of a struggling James Darby, James was not enjoying the lack of grip in the greasy conditions. Rod Oakenfull was on the other hand really having some fun in the front wheel drive Metro even though he was having a lonely race as the chasing trio of Strike, Darby and Hannah couldn’t catch him up.
Dan Jones was the fastest driver in the wet on the day posting the quickest time overall in his Class B ZR, with Josh (Class A) and Alan (Class C)  second and third fastest, all of them were within 9 tenths of each other. Wet weather really is the best leveller.
So at the chequered flag with Matt, Iain and Josh taking the podium that left Alan Brooke down in 6th place but most importantly 2nd in Class C which gave him the points needed to take the overall 2017 MG Cup Title.
Well done to all the drivers over the final weekend of the year with some respectful and entertaining driving.
The 2017 Champions are:
Class A Josh Wright
Class B Richard Buckley
Class C Alan Brooke
Alan Brooke is the MG Cup overall Champion.
We hope to see you all at the end of season bash in a few weeks, dust those Ball Gowns and Dinner Jackets off and lets have some fun.
That’s all Folks!!!
See you in 2018.SN17_5676
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We are the champions

After 12 rounds of the MG Cup Sponsored by Peter Best Insurance last weekends double header at Snetterton we can now confirm Class winners and our 2017 champions.
Congratulations to the 2017 championship winners
 
Class A
1. Josh Chris Wright
2. Darren Harris
3. Steve Tyler
 
Class B
1. Richard Buckley
2. James Darby
3. Ian Iain Dowler
 
Class C
1. Alan Brooke
2. Matt Simpson
3. Dave Nixon
 
Overal Champion Alan Brooke.
SN17_5728
 
Well Done Alan and all Class Winners.

Final Countdown – who will be champion – we find out at Snetterton this weekend

 

The MG Cup is a championship for all types of MG’s and consists of 12 rounds across the UK premier circuits.
The championship awards are based on the best 10 results from the 12 rounds in the year.
The championship is split into 3 classes, providing class champions, and also and overall champion for the series.
Based on results for the previous 10 rounds, the top 5 drivers in each class are below.
With a maximum of 34 points available from the last 2 rounds, the class positions and overall championship are still up for grabs.

Image 26-09-2017 at 21.23

Class C.
Class C is looking good for Alan Brooke in the Metro, but Dave Nixon, Peter Burchill or Matt Simpson could take the Class if Alan fails to finish any of the races. Matt Simpson will be fired up after his win at Oulton Park and will be looking to improve on his current 4th place.
Class B
Richard Buckley is in a strong position to take the class B title, but with Ed Davis not racing this weekend, James Darby, Ian Dowler or Ian Boulton could steal the class championship if Richard fails to pit in a good result. James Darby and Ian Dowler are only separated by a point after dropped scores so the positions on the track are likely to dictate where they finish in the championship. Ian Boulton will be looking to put in a good performance after his mechanical problems at Oulton Park and will move up to at least third in class but there is also a good chance to move up to 2nd if both James Darby and Ian Dowler have problems.
Class A
Finally Class A, which often provides some of the closest battles although the cars are not as fast as the other classes.
Josh Wright current leads Darren Harris by 2 points, with neither driver having to drop points, the class championship will be decided on the track. Third in the class is still undecided and will be between Steve Tyler and Nick Arden, with just one point separating them.

Overall Championship
The overall champion could still come from any of the classes, and there are 9 drivers mathematically who could win the championship, but the wise money would bet on current leaders from each class either Josh Wright, Richard Buckley or Alan Brooke, with a slight advantage going to Alan and then Richard.

 

 

Oulton Park 2nd September

I always expect a long journey to Oulton with some traffic troubles, and last weekend did not disappoint?! I think many people had ‘fun’ multi hour drives but at least the weather was good, in fact just perfect on Saturday to enjoy the great international layout.

Those I spoke to and in the presentations seemed to have a good time and there was still enough competition in each of the three classes to make it worthwhile for most.

For example in the first race in class A Josh Wrights ZR160 won by 5 seconds from Henry Sharpes Montego with the next four of us covered by only 1.5s. Matt Simpsons 220 Turbo won overall by just 0.7s from Peter Burchills ZS180 and Iain Dowler was a happy bunny taking the class B victory in his ZR170.

In the second race Iain Dowler stepped it up to take an overall win with Dave Nixons class C Tomcat just 0.15s behind at the line. Meanwhile Josh Wright took another class A win in the ZR with only 1.5s covering him and the remaining 3 other class A cars including myself. As I was the last finisher in both races my new rear view camera didn’t see too much action! I’m trying to make a twin camera video now I’ve got a system which seems to work.

Ian Boulton unfortunately spent most of the day changing a cylinder head after rebuilding the engine in previous days and over revving it undoing his hard work.

Rod Oakenfull was back for some fun but the various oil slicks left by the preceeding race caught him out and a grass excursion aided the removal of his exhaust which he then ran over crushing it beyond usable repair for race two.

Alan Brooke proved that the grass speed humps on the lakeside banking are stupid and MSV need to spend some money filling them in over the winter. For a wild ride video try this: https://youtu.be/bspsCCU9iSo

As ever the marshalls did a great job to keep the meeting running.

I forgot to mention at the presentations that the eligible drivers for 50% refunds in the incentives scheme for Snetterton 200 are Matt Simpson, Alan Brooke, Iain Dowler and James Darby. The rules are you have to pay MGCC the full entrance fee and the MG Cup will refund you 50% after the race meeting. Congratulations to you.

Of course as Snetterton 200 is only 4 weekends away on 30th September, if you are planning on competing it will be sensible to apply in the next week to beat the slightly higher late fee charge after 15th September.

Finally If you are planning on coming to the awards dinner on the 11th November here’s a reminder for that too. You already have the form and information from Clive Jones. A new venue in Banbury should make a good evening.

Many thanks & good luck in preparations for Snetterton.

Nick Arden & Race committee.

2017 Prize Giving and AGM 11th November

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MG Cup Championship trophies
I know you are all beavering away getting ready for Snett, but don’t forget the Xmas Do follows only a few weeks after on 11th November at Wroxton House Hotel, Wroxton St. Mary, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX15 6QB

The dress code is smart, which means dinner jackets or lounge suits please gents. Ladies of course may decide for themselves!
We have the whole hotel to ourselves for the Do but space is limited, so don’t miss the opportunity to have one last chinwag about the year’s racing before the winter rebuilds begin.
Please get your menus back to me ASAP and get your rooms booked direct with the hotel.
We have a subsidised rate on both the rooms and the food bills so the price you pay is at a good discount.
Rooms must be booked direct with the Hotel quoting the reference MG Cup.
Don’t leave it till the last minute!
Cheers
Jonesey

Cadwell Park 17 Race Report – K. Hewer

Welcome to the North, to those of you that don’t live here anyway!
It’s not always grim opp north but sometimes the weather plays it’s part in thinking it is. With 21 intrepid drivers entering the Cadwell Park races we were topping the charts in numbers as only the 2 guest series of the Morgans, and madness that was the MGCC Triple “M” race had more drivers than we did.
That didn’t stop some of our drivers doing their level best to take themselves out of the running, some by mechanical maladies, others were tripped up by the conditions. Matt Simpson took to the spannering really early with his Tomcat as he was having oil pump issues on the Friday when he arrived, this would mean he was to qualify out of session and would be starting from the back of the grid.
Qualy was a wet affair, but thankfully most were too asleep and still partaking of the first coffee of the day to worry about car set up due to the impending rain etc.
So out they all went into the very picturesque Lincolnshire countryside. First to want to have a better look at the scenery was James Darby with a trip into the barriers at the bottom of the Mountain. Excuses number #156-158 were used to blame both the standing water with cold used tyres, and of course the #158b excuse of someone else’s oil on the racing line. Luckily there was only superficial damage to the car, but he was to start the races at the of the grid.
Hannah Brian decided that the rules say you only have to do 3 laps, and that was fine by her. She would wait for better weather thank you. Her car decided that it agreed and dutifully threw all the bearings out of the nearside wheel hub.
Alan Brooke in the other Metro was ably assisted by some other members of the MG Cup fraternity and the hub assembly was to be changed in time for Race 1.
Steve Darbey was having issues of his own and was unable to get the car out in time to start the qualifying session and took no further part in the meeting unfortunately.
Race 1.
It was mostly dry all the way around the circuit with the obvious damp patches here and there from the downpour earlier in the morning.
Pole sitter Andy Spencer only first sat in the car on the Thursday before the race weekend, but he was obviously happy to let the 4G team continuously tinker with the car in the run up to the race, and it paid off as he was to take the lead and stay at the front for the whole race.
Ashley Woodward had a good and start and squeezed out Alan Brooke off the line and was up into second place overall by the time he exited Charlies bend.
Matt Simpson in the very quick Tomcat Turbo was starting at the back of the grid and by the time he was onto the back straight he had passed seven cars. Cracking start.
On the entry into the Hall Bends Dave Nixon who was in 3rd place in his Tomcat missed the first apex and headed over the very wet grass and spun, luckily he was missed by the rest of the perusing pack and re-joined with no damage at the back.
Buckley had a grassy moment or two on Lap 2 and fell back from 3rd place after being passed by Alan Brooke who was on a charge chasing after Ashley Woodward.
MGB Stalwart Jonesey had a coming together with one of the newcomers to the series, and unfortunately the older MGB came off worse with front end damage. This would be repaired in time for the second race and all eventually sorted with smiles and handshakes.
 
Mayhem was to ensue on lap 3 after the fast ZR of Paddy Booth who had started on the front row of the grid had a massive moment in Hall bends, putting a wheel onto the slippery grass on the entry to the second of the esses got a tank slapper on that was to eventually pitch the car nose first heavily into the barrier and back again onto the other side of the race track. Quick thinking by the driver got the car restarted and pulled out of harms way, thankfully the driver was out of the car safe and sound.
With the barrier dislodged there was a safety car period for the next 3 laps to repair the damage and recovery the stricken ZR.
During all this commotion a few other drivers decided they had had enough too.
Alan Brooke retired the Metro on the lap 4 due to a fuel rail O ring failure.
James Walpole retired hid MGB with gear selector issues.
James Darby retired the MGB GT with a head gasket failure
Also Mike Harris retired early on. I know not why.
Once the safety car had turned off the lights the racing was back under way for just one more lap and Spencer tore off into the distance on his way to victory. Marge Simpson was heading the Tomcat race in 8th place overall in front of Dave Nixon. An excellent recovery from the back of the grid.
There were shenanigans on the last lap around the Gooseneck section with Ian Boulton, Rich Buckley and Ashley Woodward all taking to the grass in an effort to be first to the chequered flag but it was Buckley who edged it in the end.
Class Winners.
A – Sharpe.
B – Buckley.
C – Woodward.
With the Sunshine now having a go at joining in with the English summer it was ice creams all round supplied by a nice Scotsman, along with copious amounts of tinkering spannering, and all round patching up of things. Ian Boulton was as usual to be found wandering around the paddock with his favourite hammer and a wry smile on his face.
But as is the way with that summer thing, it started to rain with aplomb half an hour before Race 2.
Race 2.
With only 16 cars left from our original 21 taking to the grid the heavens were well and truly open.
Spencer and Woodward checked out early and were 10 car lengths clear as they entered the Mountain for the first time, Buckley, Burchill and Boulton were chasing but the conditions were not helping matters. With the MGB of Jonesey being the only rear wheel drive car left on the grid he was struggling in the wet as it really was front wheel drive territory now. By lap 2 the top two cars of Spencer and Woodward were nearly 8 seconds clear of Buckley in third, maybe they had new wet tyres on that the rest did not, but they were certainly enjoying the conditions.
On lap 3 Alan Brooke was working his way rapidly up the through the pack and after a deft move on a few drivers at Park Bend he was up into 5th and chasing the ZS of Burchill.
Brooke, Buckley, Boulton and Burchill were to have a monumental battle for the next few laps with places being swapped much more readily in the wet conditions than they are in the dry. Lewis Anderson who was in a borrowed car, had forgotten he was in a borrowed car and was chasing hard. Dave Nixon and Iain Dowler were also not far behind.
It was all to end in the inevitable scenario though as Buckley had a moment of his own coming down onto the start finish straight, and in avoidance Ian Boulton and Lewis Anderson bounced off each other and the barriers. Ian and Lewis were later to be seen trudging in the rain towards the dryness of the control tower.
Dave Brown was having fun and was doing well in his Class C ZR which is still in it’s development stages. Charlie (New Boy) Moreton was getting to grips with his ZR and had managed to pull himself further up the field in race 2 than in the previous dry outing. Hannah Brian had a special mention from the commentators as the Mighty Metro in standard Class A form was going really well after it’s problems earlier in the day. She was catching the MGB of Clive Jones steadily and pounced for an overtake on the outside at Charlies after seeing the rear wheel drive car was getting oversteer on the exits. Using the traction of the front wheel drive she set off to get the fastest lap of the race for Class A.
Class Winners.
A- Harris
B- Buckley
C- Spencer
So it’s off to Oulton Park in early September for the MG Cup’s first races there for several years. The turnout looks to good so far with the Cheshire circuit a firm favourite for many drivers.
See you there!!