Another fantastic MG Live put on by the MGCC, and a great Martin Boys Weekend as my sons William and Eddie joined their Uncle Tom and Granddad Roger for the weekend. Friday the car took its first public showing with black runabout alloys and received lots of great comments on the look. The race tyres will have to stay silver for the time being!
After a lovely Friday, normal MGCC Race conditions resumed on Saturday with rain and drizzle. Having bought a pair of Yokohama tyres for the front I was left having to run the Toyo’s as they perform better in the wet. Quali was very slippy but uneventful, the track was wet but grip certainly started to come back towards the end of the session. Qualified P3 behind Paul and John but I felt more familiar with the layout than I did last year.
Race 1 did not go as planned, the green flag lap as I head through Beckett’s the car loses grip at the rear and I do a full pirouette in front of Martin’s 160, fortunately he stopped. The start was a blinder probably my best ever I managed to get past both John and Paul plus a couple of 170’s before John slipped back through and the 170’s went past. I managed to keep Paul at bay but then disaster I spin again letting both Paul and Martin through. The car stalls but I get it going and head off once more knowing that there is probably something wrong but its pulling OK so it cant be a puncture. Another spin off and grass collection at Brooklands and Woodcote where I nearly take the rear out the car determine its time to retire so I plod round to the Pit entrance and with a white/black diagonal flag being waved cruise into the pit garage. As i step out the car I can smell petrol and a glance under the car shows a leak spraying all over the n/s/r tyre.
Two small jubilee clips kindly provided by Ian Morgan of Ian Morgan Racing get the car back up and running but a precautionary replacement of the fuel pipes will be needed. Just a shame the repair has eaten into my look round MG Live time.
Race 2 was much more successful, again a good start allows me past Paul and then I try and keep him behind but he is just too quick through the corners and gets back through after two laps. John does his usual off into the sunset and as is the way with Silverstone its a long time until the 190’s get round to lap you so I tuck in and try and keep up with Paul to improve my lines as he slowly creates out a gap over the remainder of the race.
Sorry for the delayed write up, busy at work and home catching up on DIY!
Another enjoyable weekend at Donington the track is still my favourite although the rules off track are a pain in the backside all be it to keep a local resident from complaining about the noise to the council.
An appalling nights sleep thanks to East Midlands Airport (obviously no noise complaints there then!) and the rain mean’t that most of us were wearily wandering into signing on before the challenge of moving a ton of car around the sloping paddock to scrutineering without starting the engine. Our approach was towing it there, but it was good to see everyone helping each other out to get the vehicles through to the scrutineers and that tells you all you need to know about the characters involved in the MG Trophy.
I have decided that scrutineers are like MOT testers. If they don’t spot something they have to go for a public flogging so with a tie wrap round the camera and brake master cylinder and a bit of tape round the pipe where it passes through the bulk head applied the car is ready to go. (Now a proper rubber grommit but only had tape on Sunday!)
Quali was in the wet, and there were a few that took off the track but I found the Toyo’s performed well in the damp even when I couldn’t see 20 yards in front a few skids but nothing major and I remember thinking actually how much grip there was at Roberts even in the monsoon. Paul Bryson just pipped me by 9/10ths of a second so with new driver Martin Webber finding his first Quali in traditional British summer weather I was third in class for race 1 and 2 behind John Gil and Paul Bryson.
Race 1 and at turn 1 (Redgate) there is a two car spin and Paul and I luck out to Martin and John who get through ahead, only for me to follow Martin to Schwantz Curve where he slides off the track in front of me releasing myself closely followed by Paul to carry on tussling as ever! The car is OK but as I get through lap 6 the rear tyres go off and the bends become a challenge. The track was way drier than I was expecting and the tyres have got too hard leaving me struggling in Hollywood, Macleans, Coppice and exiting Roberts and then traffic passing me wrong foots my position and Paul is through. I hold on for 3rd, on the weigh scales the car is 10kg heavier that finishing at Brands and I took more bracketry out! Too much fuel and too much pressure in tyres have compromised my race.
My recording of race 1 is on YouTube apologies for it being slightly dark. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILAa-3ARaG8&sns=em
Race 2 and Dad and I decide that we will not refuel as there is more than enough in there and the tyres are adjusted for a dry track. Pulling out the assembly area and Paul’s car seems to be kangarooing and I don’t see him arrive on the grid. I get a better get away but so does John Gil and he’s hard to keep up with but after just two laps Robin and Ali had some sort of incident and to say Robin’s car is destroyed is an under statement. The race is red flagged and we line up again, and Paul limps into the pits after originally starting from the pit lane. This time I get a better start and am able to stick with John for the first four laps before he edges away and I notice his fastest lap is only 6/10ths of a second faster which I am pleased with. A short race due to the red flag and late running schedule means I follow John in for second and Martin comes in third.
Loaded up (see photo) and the long drive home we get in at 11pm after a long old day! Key points for me were the fastest lap for me last year was 1:42 in the dry and this year 1:34 8 seconds is almost stopping and having a cup of teas as Martin Brundle would say.