Rockingham Race Report - MGOC Championship 2017

2018 MG Owners' Club - Production MG Championship


RACE REPORT

 

Rounds 3 and 4 - Rockingham 15th April 2018

 

For the second meeting of the new season the drivers a total of 21 cars travelled to the industrial wastelands of Corby for the annual visit to Rockingham. The races were to be held on the 1.94 mile International Super Sports circuit layout which features a long 7° banked straight to Turn 2 then a twisty and very technical infield before rejoining the banked pit straight.

 

Qualifying

The Race ZR160 of Lee Sullivan, who was making a welcome return to the championship, took pole position from Dave Mellor by just 0.078 secs. Row 2 was occupied by the leading MGF's of reigning champion Simon Kendrick and former champion Stuart Plotnek with the MGF of Martin Wills and the ZR of Steve McDermid on row 3.

 

The Road ZR of Gordon Jeakins took Class B pole ahead of Matt Gozalves and Sarah Sullivan.

 

The Classic Class pole was taken by the MGB of Jim Baynam ahead of Chris Millard with Marcus Holland, Dave Amphlett, William van Vuuren all close behind. Bob Fisher and the 1275 Midget of Shelby Wilsher completed the Classic Class entry.

 

Round 3

The field got away to a good clean start with the ZR's of Lee Sullivan and Mellor side by side through Turn 1 but Sullivan claimed the inside line at the Hairpin and nosed into the lead. By the end of the opening lap, Sullivan had a 30 metre lead but Mellor quickly closed the gap and by lap 3 was right on the bumper of the leading car.  The two leaders were never more than a couple of lengths apart and either could have won the race but Sullivan put in a very quick final lap and took the win by a few lengths from Mellor after an enthralling and cleanly fought battle.

 

Behind the two leaders a three car battle was raging for 3rd place between the MGF's of Kendrick, Plotnek and Wills.  Kendrick initially held a 30 metre lead and with Plotnek and Wills battling behind him looked likely to extend that lead but Wills got past Plotnek on lap 4 and closed the gap to the leader before taking the lead on lap 9. Kendrick responded well but it all went wrong and he retired on lap 9 leaving Wills what looked like a race winning lead but a resurgent Plotnek put in some quick laps towards the end of the race to close the gap but Wills held on to take the Class win by a cars length from Plotnek with the MGTF of Walker taking 3rd place in Class F.

 

Jeakins took the Class B win by a comfortable margin from Gozalves and Sarah Sullivan.

 

Further back in the Classic Class, the MGB of Baynam took an early lead but Millard, who was chasing his first MGOC win, was pushing hard but was losing time trying to fend off the advances of Holland.  On lap 9 of 12, Holland found a way past Millard and began to lose the gap on Baynam but ran out of time and Baynam held on to take the win by 30 metres from Holland with Millard taking 3rd place ahead of van Vuuren, Amphlett, Fisher and Wilsher

 

Round 4

By late afternoon the weather had closed in and showers looked likely.  On a barely dry track, Mellor made a perfect start with the MGF of Kendrick briefly slotting into 2nd place ahead of Sullivan with Wills in 4th place ahead of Plotnek and Golhar.

 

The Safety Car was deployed on lap 3 and during this brief one lap period the rain began to fall and the track surface became treacherous.  When the action re-started, Mellor held the lead for four laps but Sullivan gradually closed the gap and took the lead on lap 8 and quickly established a 30 metre lead. The track then began to dry over the final two laps and Mellor came back strongly but Sullivan controlled the race well and went on to take his second win of the day by a couple of lengths from Mellor who had the consolation of taking the extra point for fastest lap of the race. 

 

Class F saw another epic battle with Kendrick taking an early lead from the garish pink F of Wills, these two experienced racers managed the track changing conditions extremely well and were seldom more than a couple of lengths apart for the entire race. The battle raged for the entire 11 laps and exiting the final corner Wills seemed to have the better exit speed but Kendrick had enough momentum to hold on and took the chequered flag by the length of a bonnet from Wills.

 

In the Classic Class, Baynam initially lead from Amphlett, Holland, Millard and van Vuuren.  Amphlett was putting great pressure on Baynam who had a half spin at the Hairpin causing the unfortunate Amphlett to lose momentum in avoidance.  The battle raged on with Holland taking up the chase but as the rain got heavier all eyes were on Amphlett who worked his way back through the field in confident style to mount a serious challenge for the lead before dropping back down the order with another spin on lap 9.  It was then left to Holland to mount a late challenge but a drying track, Baynam's lap times improved and he was able to hold on to take his second win of the day.

 

Star Drive Trophies

These were awarded to:

  • Dave Mellor for two tremendous drives and fastest lap in Round 4.
  • Steve Darby for an impressive drive in Race 2 in very difficult conditions.

 

Next Races: 7th May - Snetterton

 

 

 

 

**************************

 

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

 

Sponsors | Championship Archive | Links | Suppliers | Privacy Policy