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Round 1 – MGCC Donington – 4 April 2009

Would it, wouldn’t  it.  It WOULD.  After all the hype, the problems with the Circuit, the safety issues, the yellow flags the very last minute issue of a Temporary Licence from MSA the Meeting went ahead.

Race Report
– 4 April 2009 – MGCC Donington – Round 1

Three or four weeks of severe frustration for the organisers, both with the M. G. Car Club and Championship Coordinators.  M G Car Club must be congratulated for their continuous efforts under very difficult conditions and it proved to be worth it.

The first race of the Season saw a massive entry for the M. G. Car Clubs first race with an average of 33 drivers entered for each of the ten races on the programme.  The weather forecasts during the week had changed from Sunny to Rainy so until we all arrived on the Saturday the sunny conditions were a bonus.

All the drivers had been pre-warned of the MSA stipulations so had digested them before they had arrived and although they were discussed in great length all the drivers were ready for their first race meeting after the long winter break.

The MSA had imposed the stipulation of using yellow flags from McLeans through to Coppice with absolutely no overtaking.  This would prove a bit difficult towards the middle to end of the races when the lappery started.  However, some of the experienced drivers would be able to read the circuit and take advantage of the situation.  Would it therefore be a ‘Track Day’ or a race day for those who could handle the problems?

The cars all looked well manicured, some had changed colours, some (or most) had newly built or tinkered-with engines and there was a good, friendly atmosphere in the paddock.

The Zero Exhaust Thoroughbred race was number five on the programme but second in the afternoons schedule as three races had been before lunch.  The meeting had been oversubscribed so MGCC had amalgamated a few grids to take other Championships or classes from them, so everybody would get a race.  Thoroughbred Sportscars had been amalgamated with the A, AB and B classes of the BCV8 Championship who all fitted in well with our classes so the organisers had decided to integrate them within our grid.   For the Thoroughbreds we had 12 B class drivers entered, 8 C class drivers and 6 D class drivers.  Colin Jones lost power with head gasket problems during practice and was unable to compete and Roger Whiteside’s master brake cylinder had seized after the Morgan practice so did not make the Thoroughbred grid.

Practice Positions

Overall and D class Pole went to 2008 D class Winner Chris Acklam in his Morgan Plus 8 on a 1.22.031 who sat alongside a returning Roy McCarthy in his MGBGTV8 on a 1.22.855.  Row two D class Tony Lees in his Morgan Plus 8 on a 1.24.776 alongside D class John Emberson in his Morgan Roadster on a 1.25.495.

Row three Peter Henry in his Morgan with 1.25.877 alongside C class Pole Simon Orebi Gann in his Morgan Roadster on a 1.26.039.  Row four now moved into class B with his TR4 on B class Pole Mike Hazlewood on a 1.26.061 next to Jerry Knight in his Jag D Type Rep. with a 1.26.110.   On row five two B class BCV8 drivers Jonnie Wheeler on a 1.27.369 and Ian Prior on 1.27.547.

On row six B class Joe Parrington on a 1.27.594 alongside D class Roger Connel on a 1.27.930.  Row seven Simon Cripps who was Registered in both BCV8 and TSCC so he was on a winner for points in each Championship on a 1.28.672 sitting alongside Ulrich Vierhaus on a 1.29.244.    Row eight Andrew Potter on a 1.29.260 next to Steve Chapman on a 1.29.960 and on row nine Roy Chamberlain on 1.29.992.  Row ten Roger Whiteside with a 1.30.440 alongside Rob Spencer on a 1.31.006.

Row eleven Philip Tisdall on a 1.31.017 next to newcomer Tim Bryan on a 1.31.265 and on row twelve Terry Burrows on 1.32.368 alongside Sharlie Goddard on 1.33.390.  Row thirteen Alan Kyson on 1.34.145 next to Bob Lines on 1.34.774 and on row fourteen Richard Thorne on 1.37.634 next to Colin Jones vacant spot with Edwin Driver finishing off the grid in his TR2 in 1.39.302.

The Race

Green flag lap commenced and the field pulled away to warm up on a dry and sunny track forming up again at the red lights.  Engines revved and screamed as the lights turned off and the field pulled away with Chris Acklam leading from Tony Lees and Roy McCarthy then Peter Henry with a dive round the outside by Jerry Knight into fifth place and the rest of the field tucking in as they went down into Redgate.

Back round into the chicane and still the same order up front then Mike Hazlewood and Simon Orebi Gann, the fighting duo of Ian Prior and Jonnie Wheeler in BCV8, Roger Connel, John Emberson, Joe Parrington and Ulrich Vierhaus.  Then the Iris blue TR4 and MGB of Steve Chapman and Simon Cripps, then Andrew Potter and Roy Chamberlain, newcomer Tim Bryan with BCV8’s Christina Totty in the Rob Huff MGB and then Rob Spencer. Sharlie Goddard, Terry Burrows, Bob Lines, Phillip Tisdall next with behind Alan Kyson, Edwin Driver then the BCV8 cars of Brian Smethurst and Terry Savory with the FIA Morgan of Richard Thorne and finishing the massive field of 31 newcomer to racing and BCV8 Victoria Stones in her first race and finally Bob Fisher.

Class D

From lap two Chris Acklam was still up front being hounded by Tony Lees who in turn had Roy McCarthy on his heels, Roy finding he had no brakes at the chicane at the end of lap two, just managing to get round to chase after Tony with Peter Henry now only a few lengths behind.   ‘Who needs brakes’ thought Roy and dived past Tony on the approach to Redgate passing him and storming off to catch up to the rear of Chris. Roy hung on to Chris managing to pass him to complete one lap of glory, or as the commentator said Hero to Zero, before retiring on lap five. Behind Peter Henry was dicing with C class Jerry Knight but had his sights on Tony Lees   A gap of a few class C cars then Roger Connel and John Emberson, John passing Roger on lap three to creep up the field by the flag to fourth in class and fifth overall and Roger retiring on lap four with problems.  Chris Acklam held his position at the front with Tony closing until back markers appeared on the yellow flag area and Chris managed to pull out a few seconds lead to hold him off till the Chequered taking the first Class and Overall win of the Season

Class C

Jerry Knight stormed away from class Poleman Simon Orebi Gann from the line and tucked himself in behind D class Peter Henry trying to hold a cushion of B class cars but by lap three Simon had managed to get on Jerry’s tail, things looked harrowing for Jerry until the lappery started on lap five and the dreaded yellow flag section gave advantage to those managing to get there first and Jerry pulled out a gap again.  Jerry hanging in for the whole race just behind D class Peter Henry.  Further down the field Andrew Potter was the last of the unlapped while Ulrich Vierhaus, Rob Spencer, Sharlie Goddard and Phillip Tisdall finished the class all within sight of each other.  Jerry Knight held on to his class lead to the flag to come home first in class and fourth overall.

Class B

Mike Hazlewood now in his Class B TR4 from B class Pole initially tucked in behind C class Jerry Knight soon losing out to Simon Orebi Gann.  Mike was kept honest by the two BCV8 drivers dicing behind, Ian Prior and Jonnie Wheeler who maintained constant contact with him for the whole race.  Joe Parrington in the Gulf V8 keeping watch of the antics in front, came home second in class B.  Down the field slightly Roy Chamberlain kept in touch being the last of the B class unlapped.  Having a great dice throughout and a lap behind Tim Bryan, Terry Burrows and Alan Kyson with Bob Lines a few lengths back.  Steve Chapman and Richard Thorne finishing two laps down, Steve Chapman confessing to running out of petrol and Richard Thorne out in his pretty Morgan FIA until his Roadster is finished.  Simon Cripps ending up in the kitty litter on lap ten at McLeans and getting his knuckles wrapped and a couple of points on his Licence and Edwin Driver overheating on lap six and retiring.  Mike maintained his class lead to the flag to come home first in class and seventh overall.

Congratulations to
Chris Acklam
for his Overall and Class D win,
Jerry Knight for his C class win, and
Mike Hazlewood
for his B Class win

Click here for the full results

Pam McCarthy


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