Thruxton Race Report - MGOC Championship 2017

2018 MG Owners' Club - Production MG Championship


RACE REPORT

Rounds 9 and 10:  Thruxton 7/8th July  

With the season now at a crucial stage, the drivers travelled to Hampshire to the 2.35 mile Thruxton circuit, the home of the British Automobile Racing Club. Thruxton is the fastest circuit in the UK with the MGOC cars achieving an average lap speed of close to 90mph. On a sweltering hot weekend the cars assembled for what would be an action packed weekend of high speed racing where the MGOC championship were on the supporting programme for a two day BARC meeting where the British Truck Racing Championship was the feature event.

Qualifying
The front row of the grid saw the yellow ZR of Dean Sullivan on pole, his first since joining the championship in 2006. Alongside Sullivan on the front row was the fastest MGF of Simon Kendrick. The second row was occupied by the ZR160's of Steve McDermid and Stuart Philps with the MGF of Stuart Plotnek and the ZR190 of guest driver Ray Ferguson on row 3 ahead of the leading Classic Class MGB of Jim Baynam who had the ZR of Nick Golhar alongside him on row 4 with the 1275 Midget of Will Sharpe and the MGTF of Phil Walker on row 5.

Round 9
The pack got away cleanly with the rear wheel drive MGF of Kendrick getting the power better than the front wheel drive ZR of Sullivan to take the early lead. The two leading cars quickly opened up a three second gap over the chasing pack lead by McDermid, Plotnek and Philps.

Kendrick held a narrow lead over Sullivan but the ZR closed in on the run up Woodham Hill and took the lead at the Chicane on lap 4. By this time, the two leaders had opened up a substantial lead over a four car battle involving the ZR of McDermid, the MGF of Plotnek and the ZR's of Philps and Ferguson.

The two leaders were having a great battle with Kendrick re-taking the lead at the Chicane on lap 8 but Sullivan didn't give up the fight and retook the lead at Allard on lap 10 in a battle that was to go right to the flag.

Further down the grid, Baynam lead the Classic Class and by mid-race had established what looked like a winning lead but Sharpe never gave up and began to close the gap before taking the lead at the Chicane on lap 9. Baynam kept the battle going and slipstreamed Sharpe up Woodham Hill before re-taking the lead around the outside at the Chicane.

After 13 laps of hard but fair driving, Sullivan took his first ever outright race win by 0.7 secs from Kendrick who took the Class F honours. Philps took 3rd place in his ZR ahead of Ferguson and Golhar. Baynam held on to take the Classic Class win by a length from Sharpe with Millard and Fisher in 3rd and 4th places.

Round 10
By the time the cars assembled on the grid for their second  race of the day, the temperature had climbed to 30° and even a short 20  minute race was going to be hard work for the drivers.

The whole grid got away to a good clean start with the MGF of Kendrick the first to show ahead of Sullivan and Plotnek whose team had replaced a cracked cylinder liner after his retirement in Race 1. As the race progressed, Sullivan was never more than a few lengths behind the leader but Kendrick was driving well and looked to be in control. Behind the two leaders, Philps and Ferguson had moved ahead of Plotnek and were battling hard for 3rd place.

By mid-race, Kendrick had extended his lead over Sullivan to 3 seconds and looked to be heading for another win.  Sullivan had dropped back somewhat but had a comfortable lead in Class Z over Philps who was embroiled in an entertaining battle for 3rd place with the "guest" ZR of Ferguson,

Kendrick reeled off the remaining laps in confident style to take his third win of the season ahead of Sullivan who took another impressive Class Z win ahead of Philps, Ferguson, Golhar and Plotnek.

The battle for Classic Class honours continued where it left off in the earlier race. Baynam took an early lead but was experiencing handling problems after fitting new front tyres and Sharpe took the lead exiting the Complex and by lap 5 had opened up a 200 metre lead and was looking to take his first win since returning to the championship.  Things began to change on lap 10 when Sharpe's tyres began to lose grip and Baynam, whose new tyres finally began to work well, started to close the gap.  At the start of the last lap Sharpe's lead had been cut to less than a second and Baynam began to look the likely winner but Sharpe put in a great last lap effort to hold off the MGB and take the chequered flag by 0.7 secs with Millard taking 3rd place ahead of Fisher.

Sarah Sullivan took the Class B win.

 

Star Drives
The Star Drive trophies were awarded to:
Dean Sullivan – A memorable weekend with a full house of pole position, two wins and two fastest
laps.

Stuart Philps -  Two tremendous races against the more powerful ZR of Ray Ferguson

Next race:  Aug 27th - Castle Combe

Visit the MGOC Championship website www.mgoc-championship.co.uk to see the full race results and the final 2017 Championship positions.

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

 

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