MGCC Midland Centre - Sporting

MGCC Midland Centre Autumn and Taster Trials - September 2023

The portents were good; Bromsgrove had 13 days of rain in the couple of weeks before our Autumn and Taster trials on 24-09-23 at East Lodge Farm. The kind of weather C of C Adrian Tucker-Peake had only been able to dream about for several years when we’ve been blessed with wall-to-wall sunshine. A capacity entry of 26 for the Main Trial and 10 for the Taster included no less than 16 MGs; that kept everybody busy, even more rewarding seeing 9 MGCC members driving - haven’t enjoyed numbers like these since we held our trials at Burton Dassett and Lintridge Farm. Long live Production Car Trials!

In our Centre’s 90th anniversary year, great to welcome cars of the period that competed in 1930’s trials, Andy and Angela King’s 1936 Cream Cracker team car, Dave Rushton and Corinne Davies-Griffith’s 1932 Mtype and Frank Vautier’s 1936 TA driven up from and back to Llanbydder in South Wales on the day, that’s the way to do it! Mark Seddon and Roger Brett forsook his Morris Oxford for a very tidy 1930 Model A Ford.

Best MG and winner of the Allen Trophy was Warren Blain in his Midget, losing 36, having a shakedown prior to embarking on the MCC Edinburgh Trial the following weekend.

Overall winner on just 5 lost was wizard Mark Hobbs with BobTozer, driving a Class 8 special called a Troll. It was a close-run thing for second overall with 11 marks lost by the Richard Tompkins/ Ed Nikel Imp in Class 4, rear engine RWD vs. Tim Beard’s class 7 Liege, front engine RWD. It’s not often that we use the Observed Tests to decide a tie - the Imp did 30.6 secs. onTest 4 whilst the Liege managed 32.6, then Test 5 yielded the same with Richard/Edsetting 29.4 against Tim’s 30.8.

Shane Bowles, Saxo, won Class 1, FWD, with 25 lost after a good battle with Phil Buckle/ Harry Polly who had mechanical issues. NigelWilliams/Ross Gregory triumphed in Class 5 on 57 lost. Midland Centre stalwart Brian Osborn had his last run out in his faithful MGB, having first competed with it in 1989 at Burton Dassett, this car also a veteran of countless MCC long distance trials.

The Taster entry had a blast; 17-year-old Ben Elwood with dad Jonathan donating his Marlin for the day was best first-timer, he also set a very nimble 28.0 secs on Test 4. Harry Polly in Phil Buckle’s Saxo was judged the most improved driver. Best under 18 was 16-year-old Maddison Whiten driving her dad Nigel’s Ka, a good foundation for next year when she takes her driving test.  Ian Pogson with Ian Williamson as coach was happy to drive Adrian Tucker-Peake’s trials MGF, which he pronounced a very satisfactory tool for the day, but quite different than the production cars for which he was responsible as Chief Engineer at MG Longbridge!

Whilst the unremitting prevailing westerly finally demolished our ancient yellow gazebo, Ellie’s Hog Roast tent stood its ground to deliver much needed tucker and drinks all day. The sole recovery Land Rover of Matt Boyce worked hard to keep the event moving, while our band of marshals coped well with the wind, a blessing that it kept the rain at bay. Nigel Taylor and Martin Price, Midland Centre Honorary President took photos all day which can be viewed HERE our grateful thanks to all of them.  We were delighted to hand over our collection of £68 for the Midlands Air Ambulance charity to Maggie our host for the day and long-time supporter of PCTs at East Lodge Farm. Finally, one of the highlights of this single venue competition is the social side, lots of old friends meeting and greeting, we hope that is a ‘takeaway’ that the enthusiastic youngsters can look forward to enjoying as well.

Report by MGCC Midland Centre Trials Co-ordinator - Tony Lake

Results and Winner PLUS  List of thanks and reviews  

Link to Image Gallery by Dave Cook

MGCC Midland Centre Summer Sprint Curborough 06-08-23.

Following a couple of seasons with lower than expected entry numbers, the Midland Centre again worked together with Shenstone and District Car Club to promote a second very successful Curborough Summer Sprint this year, held on August 6. Our spring meeting used the single lap format of this superb course, situated near Lichfield, in Staffordshire. However, the summer event used the Figure of Eight configuration which a means a slightly smaller maximum entry. Indeed, very quickly after entries opened, our Sprint Coordinator, David Russell, had received the maximum number and had to begin a reserve list.

Something new for this season is the brilliant decision of Motorsport UK to introduce a Junior class. This allows youngsters between the age of 14 and 16 to take part in a standard, totally unmodified production car up to 1400 CC. This is to encourage young people to try motorsport and hopefully attract them to make sprinting and hillclimbing their sport. Our spring sprint attracted only one young lad, but the summer event had four entries; the word is clearly getting around!

Although competitors arrived in sunshine, the forecast was to expect some very heavy showers during the day, and we were not disappointed in first practice. The session saw a couple of spinners and one or two mechanical breakdowns and it was whilst the rescue unit was dealing with one of these incidents that the heavens opened. The rain was extremely heavy for about a quarter of an hour, rainwater settled on the track and those waiting in the assembly area, some in open cars, were totally soaked.

However, this passed over and the rest of the day remained dry, and we were able to enjoy some excellent sport with several very close battles. Our opening class was for standard MG ZRs, up to 1400cc and included our Juniors. It proved to be a tightly fought contest, with Lee Bradford taking the class win with a creditable 71.72sec run. The fastest Junior was William Carvell, with Lewys Carpenter securing second place, both driving MG ZR 105s.

Next was Class Sc and it saw a good scrap between the Renault Clios of Paul Glendenning and Greg Owens. A failed second timed run by Owens handed class victory to Glendenning with a best time of 69.81 sec.

On to Class MG1, which was the largest class of the day, with nine competitors. This always produces some very quick times and is very hotly contested. This event was to be no exception, as just 0.07 sec separated winner, Lee Willars, from seasoned campaigner David Coulthard, both driving MG ZR160s. Ian Howlett took the honours in Class MG2, driving his MGF Trophy.

Class MG3 found a group of MGBs and MGB GTs. Christopher Reaney recorded a second run time of 72.00sec to secure the class victory from long-time Midland Centre regular Terry Pigott. It was great to see him back after a short break away from the sport. Class MG4 saw just three entries, but from these we had the overall fastest MG of the Day, that being the MG Midget of Peter Clark, who posted a superb 69.85sec run. Also from this class, with an outstanding 72.62sec final run, was Rosemary Collins, driving her MG ZS; this secured her the Fastest Ladies Award.

Class MG5 found a group of five modified Midgets and 70.25sec was good enough for Danny Cusworth to secure victory over John Egan.

It was rather disappointing for me to note that we only had one entry in the pre-war MG class. Usually, we attract a few T Types and some MMM models, but not for our Summer Sprint. It was very good, however, to see the much- campaigned M Type of Dave Rushton putting up a fine display; it is amazing how well the car still performs at over 90 years old! Next, we saw a real mixture of a class, a with Mallock, a Midget, a Mira and a Mini. Graham Harvey, driving an Austin Mini, took the spoils with an excellent 70.27sec first timed run.

Class 1b was mainly for modified Renault Clios and we saw Steve Barrow's outstanding second run time of 67.22sec secure class victory driving his 182, from John Adams' RS200 version.

Class 2a was for Caterhams and this was won by Ben Robinson, driving his Caterham 7 Supersport with an excellent first timed run of 63.68sec, which was also good enough for him to win the Novice Award.

Class 2b found another mixture of cars, including a couple of Westfields, a Caterham, a GBS, a Midget, a Mini and a Lotus Elise. After the conclusion of the second timed runs we found that John Caldicott drove his Lotus to victory with an excellent time of 62.53sec from the 63.84sec best from Simon Price, driving his Westfield SE.

Next, we had Class 3b where we found some very highly modified machinery. Having failed his first timed run, Thomas Harding finally recorded time of 66.13sec to clinch the class honours, driving his VW Golf, from Dave Purdy in his Opel Manta.

The remaining six entries were each in a class of their own and consisted mainly of single seater race cars. It is inevitably from this group that we find the car which takes the Fastest Time of the Day award, and today was no exception. Despite a great 59.50sec performance from David Large in his Radical, the outright winner was Martin Duffield, driving his Jedi MkIV, with a brilliant best a time of 55.77sec.

So ended an excellent day's motorsport: a superb entry, some outstanding driving, brilliant marshalling, masses of spectators; all under the direction and management of our coordinator, David Russell, and our superb Clerk of the Course, Simon Morris, together with the support of Shenstone and District Car Club.

The Midland Centre Committee would like to pass on their sincere thanks to everyone who was involved in the event and we look forward to seeing you all back at Curborough in 2024.

Report by MGCC Midland Centre President - Martin Price

Images Gallery of the event will follow…..

MGCC Midland Centre Spring Sprint Curborough 02-04-23.


The Saturday weather forecasters, BBC, ITV, et al, bless ‘em, queued up to tell us how blue skied, sunny, and warm it would be from dawn on Sunday, those in the know wrapped up in thermals against a nasty easterly wind. The promised stuff started to appear around noon by which time the 2023 MGCC Midland Centre Spring Sprint practice was well under way,the second round of the annual MGCC Speed Championship.


|This was the first competitive event in the 90th year of the inauguration of the Midland Centre so we were delighted to welcome 76 competitors to a packed paddock, the entry included eight novices, all keen to take part in their first sprint, after a comprehensive briefing by Simon Morris, C of C, with explicit behaviour instructions, they performed impeccably.

No less than 38 MGs contesting, with 13 ZRs the most popular of the marque, eclipsing all the other makes by a big margin. MGCC members made up 34 of the entry with strong support from track operators Shenstone and DMC and Nottingham SCC; a proper interclub meeting with 2 practice and 3 timed runs.


Six Car Club members and five Shenstone drivers started timed runs in their standard 1.4L ZRs, Lee Bradford, MGCC,40.55 pipping Shenstone’s Mike Smith by 0.17 on his final run; whilst Jack Twomey’s Project Stinky ZR of YouTubefame got 3rd place. Good to see Ray Collier take a break from Cockshoot racing to share 14-year-old son Lewis’s ZR, purchased without telling his mum, where forgiveness comes easier than permission! Both dipping a toe into sprinting for the first time.


The standard up to 1600cc class was a draw for Matthew Maries Mini Cooper on 42.36 with Chris Wallett’s Alfa 147, on count back Matthew was 1st. Up to 2.0L class went to Steve Barrow’s Clio RS200 with an impressive 38.74.


MG Speed championship contenders were next, DavidCoulthard’s 1800 ZR 39.51 beating Lee Willan’s similar car by 0.22, the only ones to get under 40.00 in that group. MG2 was a win for Ian Howlett in his MGF Trophy, 38.16; followed by Martin Lunn’s Midget on 39.83. MG3 saw Paul Drake’s modified 1950cc MG BGT 38.46 see off Steve Jackman in a 1796cc MGF. MG4 had the usual suspects on a charge, 2022 Speed Champion Andy Walker’s much modified 4.6L MGB set a blistering 34.14, followed by James Thacker in his equally exotic and well campaigned Modsports 1460c Midget on 38.64. Centre chairman and commentator Roger King presented the awards with plenty waiting to find out who’d lifted what, 90thanniversary key rings to the winners and a chance to hold the trophies before they go back to the bank for safe keeping, tangible assets of the MGCC, too valuable to let out of sight!Best MG went to Andy Walker in 34.14, FTD to Mike Hull in a Jedi MkII in 30.95. Roger was delighted to present the fastest lady, Zoe Sherman, Lotus Exige 39.1 with her award. Best Novice was Tom Bowen competing in MG1 of the Speed Championship for the first time in his MGF VVC on 40.91.


Great to see Midland Centre President Martin Price back driving with his camera in tow after a protracted convalescence period. Blimey, he said, after noting the defibrillator on the office wall, mine’s a good deal smaller than that!


Heartfelt thanks to Marshals, Medics, the Recovery Team, Shenstone & DMC and
www.resultsman.co.uk ; where you can find all the times, each contributing to a fastmoving event.


Tony Lake

MGCC Midland Centre.

Link to Image Gallery below…..

Sprinting & HillClimbing.

The MG Car Club has been organising motor sport since the 1930’s and the Midland Centre also has a very long history of doing so. Currently, we organise two speed events each year at the Curborough Sprint Course, which is situated three or four miles north of Lichfield in Staffordshire, just off theA38, near the Fradley Industrial Estate. The Centre has recently celebrated fifty years of running these successful meetings there.

MGCC racing, sprints and hill climbs are well publicised in Safety Fast Magazine.These are speed events, often connected to championships for which an MSUK competition licence is required before one can compete. Their website explains how to qualify for a licence. There are plenty of clubs in the Midlands organising similar contests enabling the newcomer to plan a season of competition. As a way to encourage the younger drivers, all 'Under 21s' qualify for a discounted entry fee.

Video of our Spring Sprint

Held at the Curborough Sprint Circuit near Lichfield in April 2021

MGCC Autumn Trial
& Taster Trial - September 2022

The Midland Centre held its Annual Autumn Trial & Taster Trial at East Lodge Farm, Bromsgrove on Sunday 25th September. Congratulations to Steve Courts for another master class in his Imp, the Autumn Cup returns to his household after a gap of a year. We need some very wet weather for next year to induce a bit of wheel spin to extract some points from him. We had high hopes for the cow pats, we asked Maggie to graze the herd on the hill but there just weren’t enough of them to make an impact.

Equal congratulations to Jimmy Milligan who carried off the Allen Trophy for the best MG in his ZR. Jimmy has been a stalwart competitor for many years so good to see him make off with some silverware. The weather was on our side again, can’t recall such a calm day, we usually do battle to set up the gazebo in a force 9 gale using weights and tying it to a car.

Our grateful thanks to you the competitors, our brilliant marshals for their enthusiasm, the scrutineers for their diligence and the Recovery gang for their rapid response; from the organising team at the Midland Centre of the MGCC. Commiserations to those who retired.

Thanks also to the coaches for the Taster Trial, a small but beautifully marked entry who had a lot of fun judging by the smiley faces at the end. Look forward to seeing you again in 2023 when the Midland Centre celebrates its 90th anniversary.

MGCC Summer Sprint - August 2022

Crisis – what crisis? (With apologies to Supertramp).
While it can’t be denied that we’re all going through cost-of-living concerns right now, you wouldn’t have known it from the excellent number of competitors and spectators who turned out at Curborough for the Midland Centre’s Summer Sprint.


Let’s continue with a comment on the weather because that sets the scene for the day, hot sunshine, a bit of a breeze and good track temperature. So, few mishaps that kept a busy event on schedule. The figure of eight course is demanding, all point and squirt, it brought out the best driver skills with close competition in all classes competing in a round of the MGCC Speed Championship.

For much of the day spectators filled the viewing areas and brought with them an eclectic variety of vehicles, ranging from a vintage-looking Essex, through a huge Pontiac Catalina, to a rebuilt Austin Allegro fitted with a K-series engine and turbo which the owner believed may be the fastest Allegro in the world – who could argue? Either way, the workmanship was impressive.

Class SA, up to 1400cc unmodified, for cars which must be driven to the event, heavily populated by MG ZRs was a win for Les Wilson on 72.06. Close behind on 72.73 was Mike Smith. 3rd, Jack Twomey on 73.44, his ZR features in a YouTube series about whether it’s possible to get a car to win trophies for an annual layout of less than £1000. It’s called project Stinky, watch it to find out why.

Class 1 for standard cars was won by Richard Froggatt’s MG ZT260, V8 4.6L, 71.85, which doubles as tow car, family transport and sprint car. Weighing in 1850kgs it eats up tyres and brakes and does 8mpg on track. He beat David Coulthard’s 1.8 ZR on 72.49.


Class 2 was another fastest time for Martin Lunn in a Midget.

Class 3 for road going MGBs was a win for Paul Drake on 69.59, maybe the Weber carb made all the difference over Terry Pigott’s similar B on 73.13.

Class 5 for Group 4 racing cars was a win for Andy Walker in his 4.6L V8 MG B roadster. Ear wigging on a conversation about V8s between he and Brian Osborn, who wants to sell his V8, the Peter Burgess magic continues to deliver the goods. Andy has 460 lb. ft of torque under his right boot, exactly double the original factory V8 figure. As AJ Foyt wisely opined: There ain’t no substitute for cubic inches.

Class 7a for up to 1400cc road legal race cars saw Graham Harvey set 69.38, his beautiful 1380cc 120hp Austin Mini is crossflow, fuel injected and home brewed.


Class 8b, over 1700cc road legal; Simon Price in a 1998cc Westfield SE iW set fastest time of 62.55. Mark Williams was fastest in class 10, modified specialist, his 1300 Westfield Megabusa ran 55.75, what a difference a set of slicks and a lightweight engine make, very close to FTD.

Class 11a, up to 1700cc sports libre was a win for John Bradburn, his Radical beating Lloyd Bettison’s 998cc Stm Phoenix.

For those whose MGs compete in both the Spring and Autumn sprints; their combined times resulted in the award of the Kjell Qvale Trophy for pre 1956 MGs to Dave Morris, s/c 1350cc TC.


The post 1956 MG Ernie Foster Trophy, went to Martin Lunn, 1328cc Midget.


A very busy meeting, slick organisation, lots of smiley faces and a full entry list, thanks to all the usual culprits, you know who you are! A special pat on the back to commentator Owen Cule for his insight.

To the awards.........
Fastest Lady went to Rosemary Collins, ZR with 75.04.

Best Novice was Ioan Evans, Van Diemen FRF88, on 63.72, still striving to beat Uncle Chris, the car owner, who was just .01 sec faster, nearly there Ioan!

The Kimber Trophy for Fastest MG driven by an MGCC member, 60.96, went to Andy Walker.
FTD set by John Bradburn; 1300cc Radical Prosport with 55.54 who wins the John Arrowsmith Trophy.

Thanks to Andrew Robson & Tony Lake for this report..

Sporting Events - How can I get started? ...

Are you interested in Motorsport but not sure how it all works?

  • Have you ever competed in your car?

  • Are you familiar with the various regulations?

  • The MG Car Club can make it easy for you to begin.

  • It's not always as costly as you expect it would be.

  • There is now a 'Young Persons' event which you can enter.

To try and give you as much information as possible the MG Car Club Midland Centre have created information sheets for various Sporting events, most of which the Centre will be holding during the year.

If you would like more details or like to discuss further, please contact the following who will be keen to assist you.

Tony Lake - Midland Centre Trials Co-ordinator
Telephone 01604 589104
email
tonylake134@hotmail.co.uk

David Russell - Midland Centre Sprints Co-ordinator
Telephone 07808 763685
email
d.a.russell@btinternet.com

What are they???

MIDLAND CENTRE TRIALS -
Spring and Autumn production car trials have been a strong feature in the MGCC calendar for decades. The Spring trial had seen a dwindling entry in the last few years to the point where it was no longer a viable competition and the 2016 event was cancelled. This was quite a big blip in over 80 years of organisation and competition for the MGCC in the Midland Centre, so what to do about it?

At the 2016 Autumn Trial we had a good discussion with competitors about the future of the Spring Trial. As a result of that and another debate that Adrian Tucker-Peake had initiated early in 2015 with Midland Auto Club and the MSA GoMotorsport regional development officer the framework for a taster trial has emerged.

It is clear that with a mature but still enthusiastic entry for the autumn event it makes sense to plan for the future; something which both MSUK and the MGCC have recognised.

What are they ?

TASTER TRIAL -
The objective is to involve newcomers; youngsters and adults who might have heard about trials but haven’t taken it any further yet. An opportunity for experienced drivers to bring their boys and girls and to help on the day. The MSUK acknowledges that clubs need to be able to attract new faces and on a one off annual basis will issue a permit that allows non-club members, members of the public, to take part in a taster event whilst being covered by the MSUK public liability insurance.

All you need is an RS Clubman licence, available free on the MSUK website. It will be a production car event which means that standard road cars are both eligible and suitable. We typically see, MGZR, Rover25, MG F and Citroen Saxo among other small cars competing at the Autumn Trial, all are competent handy vehicles. The course will be grass and mud, essentially non-damaging with some AutoSolo type forward only tests.

Starting in Motorsport..

Become a  Marshal
Another way to get a feel for the many and varied disciplines is to volunteer as a marshal, they are always in relatively short supply and if it is your forte you will find yourself in demand. Contact the chief marshal for the event to make yourself known.

Simon Morris - Sporting Event and Marshal Co-ordinator
Telephone 07788 168488
email
simonmorrisbmmcmgcc@gmail.com

Enter an AutoSolo…
Autosolo' is a forward only version of an autotest ideal for unmodified road cars, they must be driven to the event and have an MOT, although this can vary depending on the regulations. The rules allow for a passenger as young as 12 and a driver aged 14, though not in the same car! MGCC members have an invitation from the Cannock and District Car Club to enter their events.

If you want a fun day out then visit http://www.cdcc.org.uk or see them on Facebook. An ideal opportunity to exercise your daily driver and still get to work on Monday morning.

Other events may be open to MGCC members. Anyone interested in taking part in any of these events should contact the Cannock & District Car Club directly. Their website contains details of entry forms and regulations.

Young Members in MGCC Motorsport…
It’s been highly encouraging to learn that some of the Young Members Branch recently obtained Clubman’s licences.

The MSUK website is a good starting point for information and help about how to get started in low cost grass roots motorsport

The Midland Centre of the MGCC is registered with AWMMC, the Association of West Midlands Motor Clubs. This organisation acts as a forum and clearing house for regional motorsport, avoiding date clashes and providing publicity for all the affiliated clubs in the area.

The AWMMC website is a gold mine. It lists all its affiliated members and their principle activities in motor sport which makes hunting down a club event in your neck of the woods pretty easy. You will find annual calendars, regulations, entry forms; so pretty straight forward to organise your weekend pursuits in which ever discipline takes your fancy. The MSUK rules for clubman events encourage the organising club to invite up to 15 MSUK affiliated-clubs to participate; this information can be found in the regulations.

The MG Car Club Ltd -
Midland Centre

Registered Office:

Kimber House, Cemetery Road, Abingdon OX14 1AS.,
Registered in England, Reg. No. 00962227.

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