Oulton Park Race Report - MGOC Championship 2017

2017 MG Owners' Club - Production MG Championship


RACE REPORT

Rounds 1 and 2 – Silverstone 26th March 2017

The opening rounds of the 2017 championship saw the drivers travel to Silverstone on a bright and breezy Spring weekend for two 20 minute races on the 1.64 mile National circuit.

This was the first time since 2013 that the championship has been on the National circuit. The ultra fast Copse corner, the slower Becketts hairpin and the challenging Brooklands/Luffield complex all present a real challenge to the drivers and all have to be attacked hard if a good lap time is to be achieved.

 

Qualifying

Pole position was taken by the MGF of 2014 champion Mark Baker with the lurid orange MGF of 2013 champion Simon Kendrick alongside him on the front row. Row 2 was an all ZR affair with Phil Walker taking his first ever Class Z pole with new driver Alan Forster alongside. The MGF of Stuart Plotnek and the ZR of Nick Golhar were on row 3 ahead of the MGF’s of Paul Wisbey and Philip Espinasse and the ZR of Steve Williams.

 

The leading Classic Class car was the familiar green/orange MGB of reigning MGOC champion Jim Baynam who was notably quicker than Chris Millard, Dave Amphlett, Sam Queen and Marcus Holland who was making his race debut, Bob Fisher and Ashley Barnes whose pretty 1275 Midget managed just two laps before retiring with a steering problem.

 

Round 1

The field made a good clean start with Baker making the best start and held the inside line into Copse to take the lead. Baker held the narrowest of leads on the run into Becketts but Kendrick found a way past on the inside to take the lead.  Kendrick held a narrow lead until lap 3 when Baker retook the lead under braking at Brooklands. The leading two MGF were putting on agreat show with the ZR of Forster right on their tails in 3rd place. Baker held the lead until lap 6 when he spun at Becketts allowing Kendrick back into the lead with Forster also moving past the MGF to take 2nd place before Baker retook the place a lap later at Luffield only to lose the place back to Forster on lap 13. Behind the leaders Walker, Williams and Plotnek were having their own close battle for 4th place before Williams and Plotnek tangled at Luffield on lap 7 with Plotnek dropping down the order.  

 

After 17 exhilarating laps Kendrick took the chequered flag by the narrowest of margins from Forster who took an impressive Class Z win on his championship debut with Baker in 3rd place and taking the extra point for fastest lap after a fine recovery drive. These three experienced drivers were never more than a few lengths apart for the duration of the 17 lap race and are to be congratulated for putting on a tremendous show of good clean racing. The ZR of Williams took 4th place by a length from Philps with Walker a length further back in 5th place ahead of Golhar, Plotnek and Wisbey. Baynam quickly established a commanding lead in the Classic Class and went on to take the win ahead of Millard, Queen Holland and Fisher.

 

Round 2

The front row of the grid for this race saw the positions reversed with Kendrick on pole position with Baker alongside him. The ZR’s on Walker and Forster were again side by side on row 2.

 

The  rear wheel drive MGF’s usually get the power down better than the front wheel drive ZR’s and this proved to be the case with Kendrick and Baker side by side through Copse corner but Kendrick ran a little wide on the exit allowing Baker to take the lead.  Walker made best use of the inside line into Copse and held 3rd position over Forster with Plotnek in 5th position at the end of the opening lap. Baker and Kendrick continued where they left off in Race 1 and were seldom more than a length apart in what was another hugely entertaining battle. 

 

Just behind the race leaders, another splendid battle was taking place between the leading ZR’s with Walker holding 3rd place from Forster by a couple of lengths until he missed a gear exiting Copse forcing the alert Forster to take to the tarmac runoff in order to avoid hitting Walker but no contact was made but Forster and the chasing MGF of Plotnek took full advantage of Walker’s error to move up a place.

 

The race for the lead continued at unabated pace but sadly it all came to an end on lap 12 when Baker spun at Copse and hit the tyre wall hard. Kendrick had to lift off to avoid the spinning Baker leaving Forster with a clear track and he duly took the race lead.   Kendrick clearly had the Class F win in his sights and backed off the pace for the final few laps.

 

Forster went on to take an impressive and richly deserved race win in only his second race in the ZR. Kendrick finished 2nd and took the Class F win ahead of Plotnek with Philps just holding off Williams for 4th place.

 

In the Classic Class, Baynam made another good start and by the end of the opening lap had established a 100 metre lead over Millard who was being pushed hard by the Midget of Sam Queen with Fisher and Holland having their own private battle a little further back.  By mid race Baynam had opened up a comfortable lead and was driving hard in an effort to beat his own lap record set back in 2003 managing to shave a tenth of a second off the lap record on lap 10.  Baynam went on to take his second win of the weekend by a substantial margin from Millard who gradually pulled away from Queen with Fisher and Holland enjoying a good tussle for the final place.

 

Star Drives

The Star Drive trophies were awarded to:

Alan Forster  -  two highly impressive Class Z wins in his first race in a ZR.

Stuart Plotnek - a good 2nd place in Class F in race 2. 

 

New lap records were set by Simon Kendrick in Class Z and Jim Baynam in the Classic Class - All of the Race information provided by TSL Timings, can be found by clicking here

 

 

Next Race:  1st May - Castle Combe

Race Reports
Silverstone National
Castle Combe
Thruxton
Rockingham
Donington Park
Snetterton
Cadwell Park
Silverstone (International)

 

Sponsors | Championship Archive | Links | Suppliers | Privacy Policy