News - MGOC Championship 2017

                                                       

 

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6th May 2017

ALL,


Castle Combe may not be the most challenging circuit on our list of venues but it is a delightful place to visit and the Castle Combe Racing Club team always put on an efficiently managed and friendly meeting. With a Twix or KitKat at signing-on and an excellent paddock restaurant what more could you ask for !!.

The weather forecast over the days preceding the event were a bit uncertain but late on Sunday evening the forecast was for heavy rain from midday, thankfully this didn’t happen and both races went ahead in warm and cloudy conditions.

Thanks to late entries from Junior Bhambra and Jag Golhar we ended up with 22 entries, this was pretty good and shows that the championship is definitely moving in the right direction. It was good to welcome the Midget of Shelby Wilsher and the MGF’s of Ivor Morgan and Ralf Tognieri to the championship. With a couple more new drivers on the way and a few more experienced names returning over the next couple of months, the future is looking good.

Congratulations go to Stuart Philps for taking outright and Class Z wins in both races, Stuart’s ZR looks great and he drove it really well to firmly bury the memories of twelve months ago.

Congratulations also to Simon Kendrick for taking two wins in Class F and to Dave Amphlett who, after a truly depressing run of engine problems, finally got back to form with two Classic Class wins.

Martin Wills was his usual ebullient self and put in two strong drives that came to nothing when his gear linkage failed in Race 1 and a dislodged rear bumper resulted in him being black flagged in Race 2. He did have the consolation of setting a new fastest lap in Race 2.
I’m pleased to report that for the second meeting in a row, there were no significant on-track incidents and all cars (well most !!) cars came home without damage. The sole exception being Martin’s MGF whose rear bumper was dislodged when, rumour has it, he reversed into Stuart Philps in race 2.

Star Drives
The Star Drive trophies were awarded to Stuart Philps for two impressive drives and a win double in Class Z and the Junior Bhambra for coming out on top of a hugely entertaining race long battle with Nick Golhar.

Thruxton
We now look ahead to Thruxton on 3/4th June. This is billed as a two day meeting, the timetable isn’t yet posted on the BARC website but I will ask what day(s) our races are on and advise you all later this week. With Thruxton only able to run races on 13 days a year we are very fortunate to be allocated a date and we really do need to put on a good entry in order to secure a repeat booking for 2018. Thruxton is the fastest circuit in the country and is a real challenge, the BTCC are there this weekend, have a look and see what it’s all about. It’s a big meeting for us and I do hope you’ll all do your very best to support it.


MGCC Brands
Many of you will be aware that there was a nasty multi-car accident at the start on the MGCC Trophy race on Sunday. A number of ex-MGOC drivers were involved and many cars were seriously damaged. Sadly this sort of incident does happen from time to time in all championships but thankfully, to the best of my knowledge, there were no serious injuries and I’d like to pass on our best.

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30th March 2017

ALL,

It was of course disappointing to get just 17 entries for our opening meeting at Silverstone but we shouldn’t be too despondent as a number of our regular drivers and several new drivers will be entering Castle Combe. I should also make the point that early season entry levels are often a bit thin and most of the other races at Silverstone had grids of less than 20 cars.  Not much of a consolation but it is a fact.

With a healthy influx of new drivers joining the championship over the next few months I see 2017 as a year when we refocus the championship and I’m optimistic about the future. If we continue to put on the same high quality racing as we did at Silverstone it will only be a matter of time before even more new drivers come and join us. Congratulations go to Alan Forster who had a Class Z win in Race 1 then went one better with an outright win in Race 2. After a heavy shunt at Mallory Park on Boxing Day and troubled winter repairing his ZR this was a great reward for Alan, who prior to Silverstone had never raced a front wheel drive car. Alan was quick to publicly thank Steve Williams for his unwavering help and support in getting his car repaired and on track for Silverstone.

Congratulations also to Simon Kendrick who took a Class win, an outright win and set a new lap record in Class F. The action at the front of Class F was hugely entertaining but sadly ended in the worst possible way when Mark spun off at Copse and hit the barriers in Race 2, the repair is under way and Mark fully expects the F to be ready for Combe.   

 Dave Amphlett suffered yet more engine problems and Ashley Barnes had a very frustrating steering problem that couldn’t be resolved at the circuit and both didn’t make either of the races. This made life pretty easy for me but I pushed really hard and managed to take a tenth of a second off my 2003 lap record.

Star Drives

The Star Drive trophies were awarded to Alan Forster for two hugely impressive drives on his MGOC debut and Stuart Plotnek for an excellent podium finish in Race 2.

Scrutineering

The ZR’s of Phil Walker and Steve Williams were fitted with the MGOC owned ECU, the two drivers in question were entirely happy to swap their ECU’s and it was clear that the performance of their cars was exactly as with their own ECU’s fitted.

Nigel used our new block height gauge for the first time. He checked the blocks on the ZR’s of Phil Walker and Alan Forster, both were found to be fully in accordance with our regulations.

These checks will be made on other Class F and Z cars at every future meeting. All cars were weighed, Nigel has given me a sheet of weights and I can confirm that all were a minimum of 10kg over the prescribed minimum weights as stated in the Regulations.

Castle Combe

With two or three new drivers planning to enter and a couple of “old stagers” returning to the fray, I’m expecting a decent grid for this meeting. Several drivers have already booked into the Premier Inn at Chippenham for the Sunday night prior to the meeting.

 

21st March 2017

 

The first meeting of the 37th year of the MGOC championship is almost upon us.

A few of our long standing regular drivers have moved on to other things, they will of course be missed but I know you will join me in thanking them for their support and to wish them well in their next venture. I do hope we’ll see them back with us at some time in the future.

I see 2017 as a season where we regroup and focus on the future. The entry level for Silverstone is a bit disappointing but several of our regular drivers are missing due to holidays, engine problems or health problems.

We have several new drivers and I’d like to welcome 17 year old Shelby Wilsher, Phil Elder and Marcus Holland to the Classic Class (formerly known as Class A), Ralf Tognieri and Ivor Morgan to Class F and Alan Forster to Class Z. I know of at least two other new drivers who will be joining us as the season progresses.

In addition to our new drivers I’d like to welcome Ashley Barnes and the 1995 champion Nigel Woolcott back into Class A.

I’m also pleased to confirm that Pat and Mel Scrivenor will again be representing MG owners’ Club at all of our championship meetings this year. Their help and support to me and all drivers is invaluable.

Eligibility

I and several other drivers have put in an enormous amount of time and effort over the winter to close a few loopholes and to rework the technical regulations; the changes are highlighted in yellow in the 2017 MSA approved version issued to you all.

Do remember that it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that their car complies with the regulations.  Please have a good look through the regs and satisfy yourself that everything is OK with your car. If you have any doubts, questions or queries them please speak to me and I’ll advise as best I can.

Pre-season checks

Do check the following before turning up for scrutineering at Silverstone:

· The pull cables for electrical cutout and fire extinguisher haven’t seized solid over the winter.

· Your seat belts are “in-date”.

· Your car has the correct MGOC, Lancaster Insurance and Yokohama stickers in place.

We will have supplies of all of these stickers at Silverstone.

Championship Website

After a lot of work over the winter the championship website has been reworked and has now gone live, have a look at www.mgoc-championship.co.uk

As someone who has no idea of website design it has been a real eye opener to me quite how much time and effort it has taken to get it to where it is now and I’d like to record my grateful thanks to Chris Towers of MGOC and our own Bob Fisher who have been instrumental in putting it together. It is an evolving thing and will be tweaked and added to as the season progresses. I’d welcome any constructive comments and suggestions.

Facebook

In addition to the website, Chris Towers and Bob Fisher are relaunching (I’m not sure if that’s quite the right expression!!) the championship Facebook. Please do contribute short articles and photographs. As I’m sure you all know, I “don’t do” Facebook so if you have any comments or queries please direct them to Bob Fisher.

Driving Standards

Firstly, I’d like to make it very clear that this comment is not a veiled criticism of any driver or any past incidents.

I’d just like to remind you all that this motor-racing is a non-contact sport and to see damaged cars in the paddock is really upsetting and does tremendous damage to our credibility and long term reputation. Most on-track incidents are avoidable and, like all championships, things sometimes happen but please do treat your fellow drivers with respect and give room where it is safe and sensible to do so.

We are all competitive when on track and I wouldn’t want it any other way but do remember that winning a motor-race doesn’t change your life; we all (me included!!) still have to go to work on a Monday morning. Taking the car home in one piece is far more important that winning the race – or it is to me anyway!!

Whilst on the subject, can I remind you all that we expect slower cars to use their mirrors and give room to faster cars who overtake them. Similarly, we expect the faster cars to be careful and respectful of the slower drivers. It’s all common sense really.

Beware!!

Can I also remind you all of MSA Blue Book Q14.4.3 , this clearly makes the point that if a car goes off the track (ie. over the white lines on the edge of the track) it is the drivers responsibility to ensure that he/she rejoins the track only when it is safe to do so. This applies equally if you have fallen off of your own accord or been forced off by another car. Clerks of the Course will be keeping a close eye on this during the season. One driver well known to me was excluded from the race and had four points put on his race licence for such an incident last weekend.

Awards Dinner

Again, I know it’s early but please put a note in your diary that the 2017 Awards Dinner will be held on Saturday 18th November.

I look forward to seeing you at Silverstone on Saturday afternoon.

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4th March 2017

As previously advised, MSA have finally signed off our 2017 regulations, these have been emailed out to everyone on the 2016 championship mailing list.

We have been receiving a steady stream of championship registration forms but I do note that some of you who raced with us in 2016 haven’t yet registered for the coming season.  If you are planning to race with us this season, please complete the registration form and send or email it to MGOC as soon as possible. If you will not be registering for the coming season could you drop me an email so I can re-allocate your race number.

We currently have four new drivers registered for the coming season with a couple more expected to join up soon and with the planned return of a few familiar faces I’m optimistic that entry levels will grow steadily through the season. I see 2017 as an opportunity to re-establish ourselves and get back to our core values and I thank you all in advance for your support. 

It’s fairly normal to see some drivers moving on from our championship. For those of you who will be racing elsewhere in the coming season I’d like to thank you for your past support and to wish you a safe and successful season wherever you decide to race.   You will always be welcome to return to race with MGOC at any time in the future.

Silverstone

The current draft race programme shows our qualification session will be late on Saturday 25th with both races held on Sunday 26th.  The meeting is, of course, being held on the National circuit. 

BARC Race Entry System

In common with other major organizing clubs, BARC operate an on-line race entry system.  This remains exactly as it was in 2016, I found it easy to use to enter, and in necessary cancel, race entries.  My guidelines on how to use the system are attached to this Newsletter.

The Home Page shows the entry fee for each race meeting but please do note that drivers who enter the race before the official closing date will receive a £30 reduction from the stated entry fee.  Assuming you enter the race before the closing date, this £30 reduction will be shown on the Pay page and that is what you will pay.

 We all complain about the high cost of race entry fees and it amazes me how many drivers leave their race entry until the last night and thus pay the higher rate.  It really does make sense to enter before the closing date and use the on-line system to cancel an entry if you have to. 

Class Z Tyres

Clause 8.17.1 of the 2017 regs shows one of the permitted tyre sizes for Class Z as 195/55R16.  This is incorrect and should read 195/50R16 as in previous years. BARC will issue a Technical Bulletin to formally confirm this.

Towing Eyes

All Class sections of the 2017 regs include a clause from MSA regarding a new arrangement for towing eyes.  Please do note that this is a recommendation and there is no indication from MSA as to if/when this will become a mandatory requirement.

Club Photographer

I have previously mentioned that we need another photographer to cover some of our meetings. 

The role requires a talented photographer with high end equipment who is prepared to attend MGOC race meetings and stand out in the cold and rain taking photos of our races. It is an unpaid position but MGOC do arrange Media passes for trackside access. I accept that this isn’t the most appealing job description you’ll ever see but that’s the way it is !.

If you know anyone who may wish to be considered for this role, pleased drop Jim an email.

Cars for Sale

The website currently shows three cars for sale. If you have, or know of, an MGOC spec race car for sale, please send me the details with a side on photograph and I’ll get it added to the website.


26th February 2017

MSA have finally signed off our 2017 regulations, these have been emailed out to everyone on the 2016 championship mailing list.

We have been receiving a steady stream of championship registration forms but I do note that some of you who raced with us in 2016 haven’t yet registered for the coming season.  If you are planning to race with us this season, please complete the registration form and send or email it to MGOC as soon as possible. If you will not be registering for the coming season could you drop me an email so I can re-allocate your race number.

It’s fairly normal to see some drivers moving on from our championship. For those of you who will be racing elsewhere in the coming season I’d like to thank you for your past support and to wish you a safe and successful season wherever you decide to race.   You will always be welcome to return to race with MGOC at any time in the future.

Class Z Tyres

Clause 8.17.1 of the 2017 regs shows one of the permitted tyre sizes for Class Z as 195/55R16.  This is incorrect and should read 195/50R16 as in previous years. This change will be formally ratified by BARC.

BARC Race Entry System

In common with most other major organizing clubs, BARC operate an on-line race entry system.  This remains exactly as it was in 2016, I found it easy to use to enter, and in necessary cancel, race entries.  My guidelines on how to use the system are attached to this Newsletter.

Can I remind you all that drivers who enter the race before the official closing date will receive a £30 reduction from the entry fee shown on the on-line entry form.  We all complain about the high cost of race entry fees and it amazes me how many drivers leave their race entry until the last night and thus pay the higher rate.  It really does make sense to enter before the closing date and use the simple on-line system to cancel an entry if you have to. 

Silverstone

The current plan is that our qualification session and both races will all be held on Sunday 29th.  The meeting is, of course, being held on the National circuit.  We have been allocated five pit garages, the garage numbers will be shown on the Final Instructions.

Club Photographer

I have previously mentioned that we need another photographer to cover our meetings. 

The role requires a talented photographer with high end equipment who is prepared to attend MGOC race meetings and stand out in the cold and rain taking photos of our races. It is an unpaid position but MGOC do arrange Media passes for trackside access. I accept that this isn’t the most appealing job description you’ll ever see but that’s the way it is !!.

If you know anyone who may wish to be considered for this role, pleased drop me an email.

Championship Website

We are in the final stages of updating the championship website, this has turned out to be a lot more work than I’d ever imagined but it should go live in the next couple of weeks.  It’s not radically different, just a lot of tweaking and a more modern layout.

Cars for Sale

The website currently shows three cars for sale. If you have, or know of, an MGOC spec race car for sale, please send them to Jim with all the details and with a side on photograph and I’ll get it added to the website.

Silverstone isn’t fast approaching. I hope your pre-season preparation is progressing faster than mine, the MGB is still on the trailer after Silverstone last October !!


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30th January 2017

ALL,

I’m afraid to say that MSA still haven’t signed off our 2017 regulations. There is no sinister reason for this and most of the Regs for other BARC championships also haven’t been signed off. It’s always a great frustration as, as previously mentioned, we can’t start accepting championship registrations for the coming season until the regs have been signed off.

Rest assured, I’ll keep the pressure on and the minute we get the signed off version I will email them out to everyone on our mailing list.

Club Photographer

Dave Mellor has told me that he won’t be racing with MGOC in 2017, this is really disappointing and we will also be losing the input of Marcia as our championship photographer. I’d like to thank Marcia for her tremendous efforts over the past few years, she will be a hard act to follow but I do need to find a replacement.

The role requires a talented photographer with high end equipment who is prepared to attend MGOC race meetings and stand out in the cold and rain taking photos of our races. It is an unpaid position but MGOC do arrange Media passes for trackside access.

If you know anyone who may wish to be considered for this role, pleased drop Jim an email.

Silverstone isn’t far away. I hope your pre-season preparation is progressing faster than mine, the MGB is still on the trailer after Silverstone in October ….…..

 

 

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