Thoroughbred Sportscars Rotating Header Image

Round 5 – Thruxton (Roy McCarthy Memorial Meeting) – 30 July 2011




After many years the M. G. Car Club returned to Thruxton where it was to hold a special Memorial Meeting for Roy who had always loved the circuit and had one of his first races there using his road Mk 11 MGA 1622cc before he dedicated the rest of his racing career to preparing yellow MG’s and a couple of other sports cars. He had a few memorable races at Thruxton over the years and he always told me he thought it was the best and fastest circuit in England.

The Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Championship race had a very good entry of thirty three at the first Thruxton MGCC meeting for quite a few years.

The weather was beautiful, the spectators and the competitors were all in very good spirits. Some drivers had not competed at this circuit before so it would be an interesting experience for many of them.  Russell and Spencer would be out racing their Dads first and last MG’s, his MGA and his MGBGTV8 both previous race winning cars at this circuit.

The entries consisted of Three A Class, Eight B Class, Twelve C Class and Ten D class cars assembled for practice on the 2.3560 mile track and thirty one drivers would line up for the race.  Jon Ellison who had arrived with his TR4 and Invited driver Richard Evans in his FIA TVR both had mechanical problems and pulled out.

Practice Positions

Overall and D class Pole went to Russell McCarthy in the Yellow 1950cc MGA with a 1.29.852 and he sat alongside his brother Spencer in the Yellow MGB GT V8 with a time of 1.30.123, the qualification times showing Spencer only doing two laps but he assures me he completed at least five and ‘went for it’ quickly but the V8’s Transponder had been put in the MGA earlier in the year and he had forgotten to put one in the V8 so the timekeepers had started to time him a bit late and in the old fashioned way.

Row two saw Simon Garrad in his Jag D type replica on a 1.31.126 alongside C Class Pole Simon Cripps in his MGB GTV8 with a 1.31.366.  On row three Andy Green in the Morgan +8 with 1.32.050 with Tim Harrison in his Morgan 4/4 on a 1.32.399.  On Row four Tony Lees and Jonathan Edwards in their Plus 8’s on 1.32.527 and 132.894 respectively.

On row five, B Class Pole Ian Prior on a 1.33.591 next to Roger Connel in his TVR with 1.34.374 and on row six Jerry Knight on a 1.34.779 all alone.  Row seven saw Peter Barnard with a 1.35.164 and Simon Baines on a 1.35.437 and on row eight John Emberson with a 1.35.454 and John Wilkes with a 1.35.782.

On Row nine Rob Spencer with a 1.35.992 and Barry Holmes with a 1.36.073 and on row ten Tim Falce on 1.36.359 and Jeff Hooper on 1.37.137.  Row eleven John Yea on 1.37.212 and Colin Jones with a 1.37.909 while on row twelve Richard Abels on a 1.38.158 and Neil Cawthorn on 1.39.627.  Row Thirteen Graham Paddick with a 1.39.631 alongside Bob Lines with a 1.41.140 and on row fourteen A Class Pole Peter Hiscocks with a 1.42.011 all alone.

On row fifteen Bob Innes Ker with a 1.44.441 alongside Neil Fowler with 1.49.210 and on row sixteen Brian Playford on 1.49.716 and Ben White on 1.50.568 and finishing the field Invited FIA driver Ronald Hazell on a 2.11.545


I stood on the banking at the chicane with family, many friends and a great atmosphere and a lightness seemed to be over everybody.  I was apprehensive as the lights changed and Simon Garrad got the best start from the second row with Simon Cripps up into second position taking a dive down the outside and clipping back in front of Spencer who swerved, then Tony Lees with Russell behind.  Spencer now on a hard charge round Allard, Campbell, Cob and Seagrave to take back his lost position, next Jonathan Edwards, Andy Green and Jerry Knight.   By the return to the chicane it was still Simon Garrad heading the field with Spencer, Tony Lees and Russell, then Simon Cripps, Andy Green, Jonathan Edwards and Jerry Knight

Back around to the chicane with Simon Garrad heading the field and Spencer now chasing hard on Simons rear.  Tony Lees was third but Russell had decided he needed to be with the leaders so passed Tony on the outside at Noble to storm after his Brother who was still at the front and swapping places with Simon Garrad.   A hard battle for a few laps with Tony Lees and Andy Green but Andy had an overenthusiastic moment and displaced Tony and Jonathan Edwards crept past into fourth, Tony soon regaining the position but Andy’s race finished.   Tony and Jonathan had a fantastic battle from lap six with Jonathan hounding Tony lap after lap to the flag.

At the front Spencer and Simon were having a great battle with Russell a second behind watching and waiting when on lap six at Church Simon lost control and spun out, Russell then slowly reeled Spencer in passing him on lap eleven, Spencer taking back the lead by lap thirteen but one more pass at the chicane and Russell managed to take the Win by just .102 at the flag.  A McCarthy spectacle in honour of their Father.

Simon Cripps headed Class C from his blistering start but Jerry Knight kept him in his sights, Simon slowing slightly from mid race with a misfire, managing to hold Jerry off till lap twelve when Jerry passed to take the Class honours, Simon, just keeping second from Rob Spencer, with Tim Falce and Richard Abels fourth and fifth.  Jeff Hooper having a fine race and just making the last of the un-lapped in sixth as he crossed the line thinking he had taken the flag just as the flag was waved for the leaders.

Ian Prior put his stamp on class B from the lights pulling ahead immediately and keeping his distance from second place Peter Barnard.  Further back John Yea had a few close laps with Colin Jones before Colin retired on lap five leaving John a lonely class drive.  Further back the rest of the B class of Neil Cawthorn, Bob Lines, Rob Innes Ker were strung out until about lap ten when there seemed to be a gaggle of MGA’s and B’s coming round lap after lap in convoy with Neil Fowler in his MGC and A class Peter Hiscocks catching up on their rear and joining in.

An enjoyable race, appreciated by the crowds on the banking at the Chicane by shouts and loud applause as they all filtered into the pits.

  • Congratulations to Russell and Spencer on their outstanding tribute to their Father – he would have been as proud of them as I am.
  • To Jerry Knight for his Class C win
  • To Ian Prior for his Class B win and to Peter Hiscocks for his Class A win







Pam McCarthy


Comments are closed.