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|RACE NEWS 2007|
|New contacts, forthcoming events plus archives . .|
|The story from conception of WSM in 1961 to present day . .|
|Website front page . .|
|WSM's in competition 2006 . .|
|WSM's in competition 2005 . .|
|WSM's in competition 2004 . .|
|Pictorial file in two parts of WSM's in action from 1962 to 2007 . .|
|Bentley to Sprite||Pictorial file on almost everything bar WSM's that DW-S drove . .|
5th/6th/7th October Spa 6 Hours . .
This Belgian bonanza now has a star-studded entry of cars and drivers, and pick of the bunch were 'Equipe' GTS regulars Malcolm Johnson and Tom Smith, who together with Nick Reuben took the TVR Grantura to 8th overall and winners of class 3. MGB mounted James Cottingham and Rowan Atkinson excelled in 13th, and the Dave Wood, John Pearson and Paul Freeman MGB team (pictured) were delighted with 48th overall of the 85 starters. Also pictured is Antonio Bertini's Speedwell Sprite in action again after misbehaving at Monza - see below.
Good to hear from old friend Nigel 'Grizzly' Adams, known from when we used to frequent Healey Championship races in the 1990's. Although occupying different ends of the grid in modified Sprite's back then, he is thinking of joining the 'Equipe' grid next season -
NA - "Spa. What can I say ? We survived, a long story, but in short we overcame last minute niggling problems both prior to departure and at the circuit - not least having to change a head gasket on the morning of the race. Despite starting last (91st) we were up to 53rd at the end of the 2nd hour when the rear o/side wheel fractured due to metal fatigue and departed into the Ardennes forest. I was left in a 60mph downhill 540 degree spin on a 90 degree corner, with fortunately no-one around and only minor damage to car and none to me - but our race ended there. However due to an odd quirk of fate, as everyone else in our class had dropped out/retired before us, we were classified as finishers and class winner . . . ! "
6th/7th October MGCC Snetterton . .
Clive Cocks in WSM 210 finished 12th in the first of two 50's and 60's Sports Car races, but got a bruising in the second after spinning and being unavoidably collected by the unfortunate Chris Dady's Elva Courier on the first lap. Meanwhile, Paul Woolmer exceeded expectations to record a fine 5th place in PMO 200, the ex-Sprinzel Sebring Sprite.
Click on PDF booklet for practice and race results.
Click on for A-H Eastern Centre report
Pictures courtesy of Paul Webb
|FISC Eurotour||AvD Race Week-End||At Monza . .|
German organisation, Italian passion, English fortitude and Dutch ontspannen made the first visit to Monza for the BMC 'A' series engine based grid a successful one -
The Vooertrekkers had nothing on the journey most of the drivers made to race at the Italian cathedral of speed, but still the English insisted on turning up. The FISC EuroTour has grown since inception in 1994, and in 2006 the parameters for entry were changed to allow all 'A' series engined cars to compete.
A 12 hour deluge prior to Friday morning threatened to make the learning curve even steeper around the drenched 5.7km track, but despite the parkland location, practice got underway in the dry. The guest class Triumph's TR7 and GT6 of Hugh Maund and Jon Wolfe were to dominate all week-end, but main interest lay in the John Moon, Adam Cunnington, Pieter Bakker Bridgestone shod scrap for class 3 1400cc Sprite position where a 2.29.54 by Moon was enough to pip Cunnington's 2.29.74 and Bakker's 2.31.0. Robert Halewijn claimed 6th, and Mark Dols unveiled his recently finished Ashley bodied car in 7th. In class 2's 1300cc cars, Fred Corporaal's Lotus Elite led the way with 2.37.1, but WSM 301 and Max Tyler's Sprite hung in with 2.37.4 and 2.37.8
Race 1 - A rolling start preceded a slipstreaming fight between the top three class 3 Sprite qualifiers, and while the TR's of Maund and Wolfe made off to the flag, the squabbling threesome stretched away from 6th placed Dave Callendar despite a 2.31 lap in the car he shares with Ian Permain. Bettering his practice pace by 7 seconds, Hans Dullaert finished 7th, but the promising class 2 dispute never materialised as Tyler retired on lap 6 and Corporaal's pace in 10th was too much for the WSM in 14th. Moon kept Cunnington and Bakker at bay in an enthralling battle to the chequered, despite Cunnington posting a stunning 2.27.8 on lap 5.
Race 2 - Maund won by 12 seconds from Wolfe, and Cunnington gained revenge with a 7 second win over the improving Dullaert while 5th placed Moon was unable to match Friday's performance. Dols brought his new steed home in 6th, and Stijn Bauland did well to finish 15th after stitching the car up after first race aerobatics into the gravel. Corporaal again dominated class 2, but Tyler upped his pace to finish 12th overall, leaving the WSM to fight for 13th with Bert van Herwijnen. UK Healey championship veteran Permain chased home 10th place Ben Kap in a close finish, but unluckiest were Ian Hulett, Antonio Bertini and Joop de Kinkelder who posted their second successive retirements.
Race 3 - Wolfe took the laurels after Maund hit problems late in the race, and Cunnington wrapped up the overall Sprite honours with a comfortable 23 second margin over Moon. Dols took an excellent 4th place in front of Halewijn, Dullaert and Kap, while Hulett was able to coax a troubled car to the finish as reward for much toil in the paddock, and the de Kinkelder Midget ran well to finish 10th. The Bertini camp will be scratching heads as the very pretty but temperamental Speedwell Sprite continued to confound any spannering.
Click on for the 2008 FISC EuroTour calendar
Zandvoort 8th - 9th September . .
The very popular Dutch circuit was an excellent venue to end an 'Equipe' GTS season in which exactly 100 drivers competed during the 14 race calendar -
Tom Smith continued his marvellous season long form and posted fastest lap in qualifying. James Cottingham , after keeping his hand in at the Goodwood Revival, set fastest lap and lead twice in the race, but could not prevent Smith winning by less than one tenth of a second, with Malcolm Johnson a strong 3rd in the TVR.
Race two started in the finishing order of race one, with the MGB's of Smith and Cottingham at the front. Smith was a clear leader after one lap, with Cottingham’s MGB and Johnson's TVR losing time scrapping for second. At mid distance Johnson passed Cottingham, who was struggling with a gearbox problem, and Johnson set fastest lap while catching the Smith MGB. A brief rain shower spoilt a great finale with Smith able to pull out a good lead in the damp conditions. Neil Howe benefitted from Cottingham's demise to finish 3rd.
Throughout the packed field many drivers were involved in their own dices, but race of the week-end was without doubt the six car battle between the Gilbern 1800GT of Mike Bell, the Triumph TR3a of Brian Arculus and the MGB's of Stephan Propsting, Graham Bates, George Edney and Chris O'Neill. It all ended in favour of O'Neill in his faithfull old original 1960's ex-Barwell Engineering MGB registered 656 FXF. Pat Arculus’s progress continued in her debut year with another class win, and Keith Hampson topped his class in the ex- Le Mans Sunbeam Alpine.
Pictured - the final 2007 'Equipe' podium of 2007, and Rod Longton with an enviable entourage . .
The 'Equipe' grid fielded 33 cars, and again was the leading contingent of the week-end in terms of quality and quantity of cars and the close racing. For further information on this friendly and entertaining series for 2008, click on here.
4th August 'Equipe' At Combe . .
click on for comment from Autosport's Marcus Pye . .
The 'Equipe' squadron scored a first with a visit to 'Classic Raceday' at the 1.85 mile Wiltshire circuit of Castle Combe. In the circuit's formative years, without chicanes and with ludicrous headgear, DW-S (pictured) raced a 4 1/2 litre Bentley. Fifty-six years later, and one of his designs, WSM 210 in Clive Cock's hands follows in the Bentley wheel tracks. Grid interest also focused on Jaguar XK, Gilbern, Healey 100M, Alpha Romeo, Sunbeam ('Equipe' debutant Colin Reed driving the Roger Blunden owned Le Mans Sunbeam "Harrington" Alpine), Triumph's TR4 and Spitfire, Lotus Elite and TVR all vying to steal the MGB thunder . . .
PRACTICE - MGB's dominated the top 10, with only the TR4's of Neil Howe and John Andon breaking the hold in 4th and 7th. Tom Smith produced a belter on his 8th lap to set pole at 1m 22.4, with James Cottingham unable to better his 3rd lap 1.23.9 and Malcolm Johnson in 3rd spot with 1.24.3. Summing up the spirit of the grid, Lotus Elite driver Pat Arculus was under the weather and volunteered the drive to Helen Elstrop.
RACE - Drama for unfortunate second placed James Cottingham as a coolant leak was spotted and he was removed from the grid. Neil Howe is catching a 'Rossi' complex and the TR4 resolutely refuses to match race pace with grid getaway, while Jeremy Cottingham caught a tow from 5th and lead the first lap. Smith was right behind, and soon slipped past to build a lead, which then evaporated as a safety car flag came out for the stranded Mark Yates MGB at the chicane.
On resumption, Smith held his advantage as Johnson and Howe demoted the fast starting Jeremy Cottingham to 4th, Mike Thorne slid his Healey 100M from 11th to 7th and the MGB's of Stephen Bond and John Pearson squabbled over 10th. Graham Bates was holding off the Jaguar XK120 of Nick Wilkins for 14th, but after 12 laps, John Yea's MGB inexplicably headed straight off from 12th place at Quarry and into the barriers. The ensuing red flag ended the race, and precluded a worrying time as medical teams attended the stricken driver.
Needless to say it was a subdued 'Equipe' paddock area, and with no update on the condition of John at that time, the usual light hearted prize giving assembly was cancelled. Latest news was good in that it was not a heart attack as at first suspected, and John is recovering well in Bath hospital.
Next 'Equipe' races - September 8th /9th Zandvoort 2 x 30 minute
'Equipe' GTS at Classic Speedfair 21st/22nd July . .
Knockhill hosted the second running of this event with a celebration of 50 years of historic motorsport and Scottish sporting heritage. The organisers stated aim was to provide an event ". . to cater for grandfathers to grandsons . .", and among sportscars, single seaters and touring cars, the 'Equipe' entry provided the strongest grid of the week-end. Speedfair's organiser Stuart Gray was delighted with the quality and quantity of the cars provided.
Besides two full days of racing, there were marque club displays, military vehicles, commercial vehicles, parades and airborne displays, and a major celebration of Scottish rallying heritage was the key focus of Saturday's programme. On Sunday the Isle of Man TT Centenary was highlighted, with the first ever 100mph lap around the mountain course by Scotland's Bob McIntyre in 1957 at the forefront.
Practice - TR4 mounted Neil Howe found a little extra with his very last practice lap for 1.02.747 and pole, followed by the MGB of Tom Smith (1.02.892) and series returnee Richard Lawson's MGB (1.05.145). Brian Lambert was hard on Lawson's heels in 4th, but the midfield 1.06 battle from John Wilkes in 7th to Ron Watt in 12th looked promising. Stephen Bond in his first season of racing impressed with 10th in the ex-Cottingham MGB, while experienced Aston Martin driver Martin Brewer revelled in the Alfa Romeo Giulia he shared with Alasdair Bruce . Pat (first race) and Brian Arculus shared the Lotus Elite in the absence of Brian's TR3, and Barbara (first race) and Brian Lambert shared an MGB.
Race 1 - Smith took advantage of Howe's clutch slip off the line and built an untroubled margin to tour to the flag with 41 seconds to the lonely Howe, with Lawson also unmolested in 3rd. The Class 2 winner James Willis (ex-works Midget coupe) versus Ron Watt (MGB) struggle for 8th spot was epic, while Class 3 winner Brewer versus Graham Forrester was similarly close for 16th. The WSM Sprite of Clive Cocks showed improved form and was the meat in the MGA sandwich of Simon Gurney and Brian Ireland but the unfortunate Graham Bates had the MGB clutch fail after 2 laps.
Race 2 - Again the Howe TR4 clutch refused to respond as required and Smith needed no second invitation. Despite a penultimate fastest lap, Howe bowed to the inevitable and Smith kept over 14 seconds in his pocket to the finish. Lawson again comfortably earned the remaining podium spot, and the Bill Kirkpatrick MGB took 4th place as in race one. The immaculate Frogeye Sprite of John Hopwood, another series debutant, took Class 2 honours in a strong 10th place, and Bruce pedalled the Alfa Romeo well to seal Class 3 in his second ever race, and only after a race long duel with the Class 2 Helen Elstrop Spitfire.
PITLANE - James Willis inadvertantly took on the handicappers role . . . after working on the brakes at home, he turned up 10 laps late for race 2 . . .
Tim Patchett - MGB and MGTC pilot, rented a drive in a Ford Sedan 1250cc on Sunday afternoon for the 'Legends' race. He described the experience as " . . utter madness". . .
Paul Freeman - whose batchelor days near completion, received a memento of the grids sympathy in the form of an ample cake . . .
Thanks to James and Fiona Willis for providing a fine lunch for all GTS competitors on Saturday in the paddock
Next 'Equipe' GTS event - Castle Combe 30 minute race Saturday 4th August
Pictures below courtesy of our foreign correspondant, and Pat Arculus
LM Story - 'Equipe' GTS at Le Mans Circuit Bugatti . .
Un Plateau Prestigieux De Vehicules Historiques . .
Two races on arguably the most famous circuit in the world, and in company with some truly stunning historic machinery, guaranteed a strong grid at Le Sarthe for the UK and MGB based series. The third edition of the L'ASA ACO Paris organised event attracted 350 entries, and as usual, 'Equipe' racing grabbed some headlines -
PRACTICE - an almost inseparable top three was headed by James Cottingham (2.07.642), with Neil Howe (2.07.764) and Tom Smith (2.07.851). Steve Mills continued to head the 'MGB rookie' class in 4th ( 2.09.952), with Malcolm Johnson perhaps surprised to be adrift in 5th (2.10.373). However, 6th place Jeremy Cottingham (2.11.301) was guaranteed a close race with the five next MGB's registering 2.11's down to Jurgen Felske in 11th place. Newcomer Marc Lafon found the circuit to his MGB liking, as did Paul Madden in the ex-Richard Bull TR4, but John Pearson in the WSM Midget had a misfire and Paul Freeman broke a halfshaft early on.
RACE 1 - The struggle between the top three went awry after lap nine. Smith had fallen behind the Johnson MGB early on, but battled back past Johnson and Howe to pressure James Cottingham remorselessly until Smith's halfshaft gave up the fight - no doubt heads were scratched at MG Motorsport - and Howe was left to a comfortable second place. Mills took the fight to Johnson for third spot, but the closest scrap was fought for 7th with Steven Radcliffe and Jerry Stock in entertaining form. Angus Dent was the recipient of a black flag after four laps, particularly gaulling (sic) when subsequently found to be the wrong car, while mechanical woes put out the Elite of Pat Arculus, and the WSM of Pearson who at least managed to complete a photo call for three laps with the Flavian Lurvley WSM.
RACE 2 - With grid slots decided by race one finishing order, alarm bells rang at the back of the grid where Tom Smith loomed. Headlamps ablaze and a halfshaft to cane, he obliterated the grid to take fourth after one lap. Johnson resisted the surging Smith for longer than most, but ahead James Cottingham was away and kept a healthy margin to the flag. Jersey resident Mark Yates' MGB kept the TR4 of John Andon narrowly at bay, the MGB's of George Edney and Graham Bates squabbled constantly and the immaculate Jaguar XK120 of Nick Wilkins collected a puncture after seven laps.
Race Two - left to right Tom Smith, Jim Lowry, James Cottingham, Christophe Willmart, Malcolm Johnson
PITLANE - A reworked halfshaft lasted the distance in race one for the Freeman MGB, to some surprise, but Rob Cull went to work with an arc welder organised from Paris by Christophe Willmart to ensure race two was completed . .
Ron Cody had everyones sympathy after the oil pump drive gear on his MGA failed during Friday practice and wrought major damage after just one lap . His good humour and knowledgeable assistance to others for the rest of the week-end was simply inspiring . .
The invisible elastic that ties ex-MG TC racers together is as strong as ever - qualifying less than a second apart, and finishing both races with a combined gap of less than 4 seconds in their MGB's, Tim Patchett and Bob Allen must be close to picking curtains together . .
John Andon and his Barley Mow crew deserve a shout for the BBQ generously supplied on Saturday night - priceless entertainment, and in the form of Jurgen (Mama) Felske, we know that Germans DO have a sense of humour . .
'Equipe' MGB's featured in full race action on the front page of the locally produced race newspaper . .
Click on (slow download, click on 'Le Mans Story - 8 Juillet') for pix of all 'Equipe' cars from Le Mans Photos . .
Click on for race pix from MG Club de France . .
Click on for results (for 'Equipe GTS' read 'MG Midgets')
AND FINALLY - a tribute to a busy grid that no contact was made, especially in the crowded scenes at the chicane before the Dunlop bridge on the first laps. Nick Wilkins, open to the elements in his Jaguar XK120, remarked that repelling boarders felt more like the order of the day, such was the proximity of smoke, noise and drama all around . .
Next 'Equipe' race at Knockhill 21st/22nd July . .
With thanks to our foreign correspondants Flavian Lurvely and Graham Bates, a pictorial flavour of the week-end . .
22nd/24th June 'Equipe' GTS at Silverstone MGCC . .
Another well organised MGCC meeting, despite pretty dire weather as in 2006 and over 550 racing entries -
PRACTICE - Forty eight cars including five reserves took to the dry International circuit for Equipe GTS qualifying at 10am, and MG Motorsport mounted Tom Smith dialled up a rapid 1.44.6 lap for pole, followed by the 1.45.7 TVR Grantura of Mark Ashworth and 1.45.8 class 5 TR4 of Neil Howe. An unfortunate Malcolm Johnson got caught up in spinning traffic at Copse on lap two but replaced his Grantura with the MGB in time for race one. Debutant Linda Fuller settled straight into action with her MGB, while the nimble MG Midget of John Palmer headed 'ring rusty' Paul Woolmer in the Sebring Sprite for class 2, and Trevor Kemp chucked his Elva Courier into leadership of class 3.
'EQUIPE' RACE 1 - Ashworth's clean start and a 1.43.9 third lap gave him a small but valuable margin from Smith, and he was never headed in a dry race. The TR4's of Howe and Andon gave chase but the form book was not being ripped up anytime soon. Both WSM Sprite drivers had engine problems, and Johnson retired his MGB after 5 laps. Nick Smith and Nick Wilkins in Alfa Romeo GTA and Jaguar XK120 failed to finish and the usually reliable MGA's of Graham Coles and Terry Bryant hit trouble early on. The MGB of Steven Radcliffe impressed with 5th overall and Graham Bates continues to rack up consistent midfield results in his MGB.
'HERITAGE 45' PRACTICE - This unique grid of forty FIA and period spec MGB's was dominated by Tom Smith in the wet. His time of 2.09.3 was an astonishing 2 seconds clear of Jeremy Cottingham on the front row beside him, and quite frankly he put the rest of us mortals in the shade.
'HERITAGE 45' RACE - James Cottingham won a wet race comfortably from 7th on the grid after poleman Smith dropped out with a dead battery on lap one - racing can be cruel - and with brother Jeremy set fastest laps on their 9th circuit. Closest pursuer Simon Ashworth did well to keep the Cottingham train to a 15 second margin, David Beresford finished an excellent 4th, and it was good to see Barry Sidery-Smith, Mick Darcey and Bob Ridguard bring home their very special Le Mans, Sebring and Coune Berlinetta MGB's.
'EQUIPE' RACE 2 - After such a dominant Heritage 45 practice, perhaps not surprisingly the greasy track was mastered by Tom Smith, although second placed Howe registered fastest lap by some margin and the MGB of Jeremy Cottingham posted quickest class 4 lap. Jeremy finished 5th after arriving at assembly area for the race and being demoted to the back of the grid - his transponder had a glitch during practice. Smith's car control through traffic in treacherous conditions was sensational and race one winner Ashworth had no answer, tumbling to 9th in the powerful Grantura. Beresford underlined his prowess with a superb 3rd by dint of superior racecraft, and finished the blink of an eye ahead of a battling Jerry Stock who continues to impress in his debut Equipe season. James Willis turned the tables in class 2 where Palmer in the race one class winning Midget discovered his tyres were utterly devoid of any wet weather grip. The Alfa Romeo GTA of Nick Smith achieved some fascinating angles around Woodcote and while in close company we all got very familiar with the Alfa's side-on profile . .
Footnote - great to see one of Sprite racing's helpful and colourful characters achieve deserved success - Murray Henderson won the Peter Best Insurance Challenge, and modestly admits it was helped greatly by a borrowed WSM wiper blade . .
Click on for YouTube video of 'Equipe' race . .
Pictures courtesy of Paul Webb
The following are programme notes for the Silverstone MGCC meeting June 22nd - 24th
VIRGIN RADIO CLASSIC ROCK - EQUIPE GTS with JIGSAW RACING 2 x 30 minute races
'The Virgin Radio Classic Rock supported Equipe GTS series caters predominantly for FIA Appendix K historic sports and GT cars, and cars with limited period modifications. The carefully thought out and strictly executed vehicle regulations limit engine size and modifications, and all cars run very much as they raced in the early 1960's with low grip historic style tyres that induce four wheel drifting. Among this truly mouth watering grid, fans will be delighted to see genuine period historic race cars, many with international racing histories and all beautifully prepared. They are, however, still raced with vigour and not treated like a car show parade.
Those lucky enough to the see the Equipe GTS cars here in the earlier Spring MGCC meeting witnessed a thrilling duel between the leading MGB's of Tom Smith and Oliver Bryant, beaten only by the lighter and more nimble MGB engined TVR Grantura's of Mark Ashworth and Malcolm Johnson. Less than three seconds separated the leaders after the most entertaining 30 minute race, and we hope to see more of the same in both of this week-end’s Equipe GTS 30 minute races.
Sprite and Midget enthusiasts will be pleased to see many very special cars in today’s Equipe GTS list of runners, including the two WSM Sprite's of Tony Wilson-Spratt and Clive Cocks, plus the unique and oldest known surviving WSM, the MG Midget sympathetically prepared and driven by John Pearson. There are two ex-MG factory MG Midgets, being the special bodied ex-John Milne coupe of James Willis and the more standard looking, but far from docile ex-works 1965 World Sportscar series Bridgehampton car driven by Rauno Altonen, today driven and probably with similar verve by the very experienced MG racer John Palmer. The MGCC are particularly pleased to also welcome Paul Woolmer, who will be driving his own unique piece of BMC history in possibly the most famous racing Sprite or Midget of all time, the ex-John Sprinzell, ex-Stirling Moss Sebring Sprite PMO 200.
Jigsaw Racing will be running their ex-Le Mans Spitfire ADU 1B in place of the TR3a, while in the larger class for cars up to 1650cc we find another ex-Le Mans car in Keith Hampson’s Sunbeam Alpine 9201 RW, the ex-Sunbeam factory entry in the 24 hour race. This car competed at the famous Sarth circuit in 1962 and 1963 and various other international events including the 1963 Tour de France. Additionally, Italian car fans will be thrilled to see Nick Smith’s ex-Team Auto-Delta Alfa Romeo GTA, the winning car from the Guards 6 hour touring car race at Snetterton in 1966.
Back to MG's in Class 4 for cars up to 2000cc and a mixed hoard of MGBs, most noticeable being those of James Cottingham in car number 4 and Stephen Radcliffe in number 26. The Cottingham car was the MG factory prepared car driven to third place in the gruelling Brands Hatch Ilford Films 500 race in 1966 by Roger Enever and Alec Poole. The Radcliffe car finished ninth in the same race, then driven by privateers Jeremy Delmar Morgan and Mike Walton. This week-end we can witness the first time these two cars have raced side by side for over 40 years .'
HERITAGE 45 - 30 minute race
with thanks to British Motor Heritage Ltd
'Arguably the most successful MG competition car of all time was the ever popular MGB. As well as being enjoyed by many as a road and rally car, both privateer and factory prepared cars raced in local club events and in Europe. Special amongst those were the Le Mans 24 hour, the Targa Floria and the Marathon de la Route on the infamous Nurburgring, and with notable success in events such as the Sebring 12 hour in the USA.
Despite the MGB being considered by many as a “modern classic” it is hard to believe the MGB was launched 45 years ago in September 1962, and with help from British Motor Heritage Ltd, this week-end we can celebrate 45 years with a fine grid of forty five cars from this “Golden Age” of British Motorsport.
Each and every car on this fine grid of historic cars complies with period FIA rules or to an approved “period” specification, thus being the largest gathering of period race MGB's ever - enjoy the spectacle.
We are supported by a marvellous entry which includes two very special period re-bodied cars in Bob Ridgard’s Jacques Coune Berlinetta and the one-off WSM MGB of Tony Wilson- Spratt, with no less than six ex-factory cars among the entries including 6 DBL , one of the ex-works 1963 Sebring 12 hour cars, and DRX 255C, the Le Mans 24 hour works entry in 1965. Anthony Binnington’s very early 1962 car OMO 70 was only the second right hand drive MGB ever made, factory prepared, then owned and raced by Anthony since the mid-1960s. Maurice Whelan‘s ex-Windmill and Lewis car 222 WAE and James Cottingham’s 2 GLL, the ex-Enever and Poole Guards 1000 car completes the ex-factory prepared roadster entries and we are delighted to make a special space on the grid for the one-off factory MGB GT Sebring 12 hour race car, LBL 591E which is today driven by the car’s ever enthusiastic owner Michael Darcey.
A final word to wish good luck to Linda Fuller and Jan Boyes who make their race debuts, both in green cars and undoubtedly with fingers crossed and clutching rabbit’s feet having taken advice from long term MGB racer Paul Freeman in “The Black Cat” car number 13.'
05/05/07 - Equipe GTS at ADAC Zolder . .
Russian oligarchs might have no understanding of the brand, but Malcolm Johnson is making a habit of putting his TVR badge to the fore in some style -
Thirty seven cars qualified, with all but four making the channel crossing to the ex-Grand Prix circuit, and the grid included longstanding MGB friends Holger Felske and Michael van Ofen from Germany, and Dutchman Esper van Heeswiijk in his TVR Grantura. It was especially good to see Joern Rasmussen who arrived from Denmark in his beautifully restored FIA MGB. Esper explained the novelty to a Dane of fast third gear corners at Zolder, as this was his first racing excursion outside Denmark which is blessed with circuits having slow, second gear corners.
Practice - Tom Smith (1.58.3) followed his Snetterton qualifying form in the MGB with an even bigger margin from second placed Johnson (1.59.4) in the Grantura, with Brian Lambert bringing octagonal experience to bear in 3rd. The MGB of Equipe debutant Steve Mills raised eyebrows in 5th behind regular TR frontman Neil Howe, as did Jerry Stock in the ex-Rob Cull MGB in 7th, and 9th place Chris Woodgate in the rapid Elva Courier. Other debutants included Stephen Radcliffe with his newly restored 1966 ex-Guards 1000 MGB who had trouble with hydraulic problems, and Tim Hassle who struggled to overcome persistent brake gremlins.
Race 1 - Johnson gained revenge for his second race Snetterton lashing from Smith with a 16 second win margin of his own, anchored with a 1.57.8 fastest lap of 15 in 26 degree heat. Smith, amongst others, found the circuit hard on brakes and was losing time at the end of the race. Lambert comfortably filled 3rd and Mills continued to impress with a solid 4th after the ever present and class 5 winning Howe was vanquished, clutch failure having a part to play and causing Howe to miss the second race. Woodgate was notable in 6th, and class 3 was headed by John Bussey in the MGTC and class 2 by Stephen Barlow in another TC. Felske came in a sparkling 12th after qualifying difficulties left him in 32nd place.
Race 2 - The same top four finish to the 16 laps, and Smith's brake woes contributed to a 19 second lead held by Johnson at the line. Allan Ross-Jones hustled the TR4 to 5th and class 5 honours, although John Andon's similar TR4 made him sweat for it. A patently fast learner, Stock added another top ten place to his creditable 9th in race one, and Brian Arculus , normally associated with the Lotus Elite, continues to march up the learning curve with his 1959 TR3a in 13th. Class winners included Bussey again, and the Spitfire of Helen and Colin Elstrop in class 2.
Busy B's - * With son Mark, Brian Lambert won his class in the 3 hour race later the same day * Rod Longton announced that Zolder would be his last race - we look forward to seeing him at Silverstone . . .
Pictures below courtesy of Pat Arculus . . .
Next Equipe GTS race - June 23rd/24th MGCC Silverstone 2 x 30 minute + 'Heritage 45' 30 minute race
WSM at MGCC Silverstone . . .
Confirmation of three WSM entries and Paul Woolmer's Sebring Sprite PMO 200 in the two half-hour races on June 23rd and 24th. Also, the WSM MGB joins a full grid of FIA and period specification MGB's in the 'Heritage 45', a 30 minute race, supported by British Motor Heritage Ltd , which celebrates 45 years of the MGB brand. Series organisers at Equipe GTS have again excelled in their gathering of historical cars.
21/04/2007 - Equipe GTS at CSCC Snetterton . .
Perfect conditions greeted the practice grid, and even with eight cars having withdrawn during the preceding week, this popular series still boasted a 36 strong line-up and with several drivers making their series debut.
Practice for the two 25 minute races saw Tom Smith produce a corking lap 6 to stake pole in his MGB from Malcolm Johnson's TVR , with Neil Howe a very close third in the TR4. The MGB's of John Pearson and Bob Ridgard impressed with 8th and 12th considering previous form, while Brian Arculus drove a TR3a and ceded his Lotus Elite to wife Pat who completed her first practice session for a circuit race. Rob Cull was also on a steep learning curve with Christophe Willmart's ex-Surfers Paradise 12 Hour TVR Grantura.
Race 1 - The cut and thrust of an entertaining duel lasted the entire 18 laps, and despite a fastest lap 1.3s quicker than his pole time, Smith just could not parry the Johnson TVR by less than a second at the line. So hard did the leaders go that the TR4's of Howe and John Andon were 48 seconds in arrears.
Race 2 - Smith and Johnson dominated again, but with an even faster lap from the MG man. The Johnson TVR was only 2 seconds slower over the entire 18 laps than yesterday, and yet Smith's race pace carried him 11 seconds in front at the flag. Allan Ross-Jones pipped Andon for runner up TR4, while the 8th place Brian Arculus TR3a and MGB's of John Wilkes and Simon Merriott colluded to keep the TVR of Stephen Skinner at bay in 11th.
Click on here and PDF booklet for qualifying and race results
pictures courtesy of Mike Donnor and Paul Webb
Top, left to right - Paul Freeman, Malcolm Johnson, Dave Wood, Pat Arculus, Ross-Jones, Michael Bell, Richard Woolmer and Jim Lowry and Christophe Willmart Bottom, l to r - Rob Cull, Michael Bell, Simon Gurney, John Wilkes leads Graham Bates and David Beresford, Pat Arculus, Michael Bell, Rob Cull.
'Equipe' GTS - next race - May 5th & 6th Zolder GP
19th April - Manx Classic . .
Although entries were down on last year, an absorbing mix of machinery in the Grandstand paddock after scrutineering boded well. Fair weather encouraged spectators from early on, and after last years unfortunate delays in the first of the three events, hopes were high that 2007 would bring better organisation.
Bray Hill Sprint - Certainly the MMRC heeded entrants feedback from 2006, but Lady Luck decided not to show. An abandoned car on the Grandstand pitlane, padlocked gates, wrong sized signage and outright vandalism combined to stretch organisers, drivers and spectators patience to the limit. One practice run and one competition run was poor reward for the huge effort in a long day contributed by the MMRC and marshalls.
Sloc Hill Climb - sunshine and shades brought the best out of the 80+ entry. Despite one incident involving Matthew Mychreest's Nissan 200SX, the event ran seamlessly. FTD went to Paul Dangerfield in the Caterham R500, with Andrew Tattersall mighty close in the Suburu Impreza. The Morgan club fielded fifteen cars with times ranging from 42.80 to 56.52, and a relaxed time was enjoyed by all.
Llerghy Frissell Hill Climb - since the demise of the Willaston Pursuit, the jewel in the Classic crown. Daunting stone walls, the Hairpin, the Waterworks and the Gooseneck dictate commitment and accuracy. Again, the Dangerfield Caterham claimed FTD, but for sheer drama and sound effects the screaming GTD 40 of Jonathon Gough and the Brock Cobra Daytona of fastest lady driver Nadine Geary topped the table. Best battles included the Caterham's of locals Andy Hardy and Steve O'Donoghue. Andy won the class on the Sloc but Steve topping the Llerghy times, while local advocate Tim Boles thundered his unwieldy Chevrolet Camaro around with entertaining enthusiasm.
Pictured below 1a - Albert Sparrowhawk with his Alvis. 1b - First time local entrant Barry Kennedy with his Noble. 1c - Frances Lobb with AH Sprite. 1d - Marshalls are a hardy lot. 1e & 1f - Met Malcolm Buckler whose father produced the famous Buckler sports cars - turns out our fathers had been in contact back in the 1950's. 1g - Malcolm with Buckler owner Michael Stead. 1h - Colin Jaggard and his immaculate Morris Minor. 1i - young sports car fans with WSM 301 in Ramsey.
2a - Tim Bishop & Morgan Aero fans. 2b - explaining the rules. 2c - Sloc hilltop line-up. 2d David Mylchreest's MGA. 2e - Tim Boles Camaro. 2f - AWS unsure. 2g - Nick Cussons and TR4. 2h - GTD 40 of Martin Weigold. 2i - Dave Musgrove and crop-top Cooper S.
3a - Caterham 7 of Steve O'Donoghue (red) with Matthew Biggart. 3b - Tim Bishop and more young fans. 3c - Brock Daytona Cobra 3d - Sylva Mojo 2 of Bryan Hartshorne. 3e - organiser Bill Weldon on HQ bus. 3f - Steve O'Donoghue 2nd in class. 3g - Misty Sloc morning. 3h - Pit lane for Bray Hill. 3i - Tim Bishop in pit lane.
Click on for GL PHOTOS extensive action coverage
At Home with Equipe GTS . .
Silverstone, Saturday 31st March - A full entry of 40 drivers plus 4 reserves diminished as the week unfolded with various drivers being caught out by an early start to the season, but still an impressive 35 cars qualified for the 30 minute race with Mark Ashworth and Malcolm Johnson in TVR Grantura's taking the front row of the grid. MGB's filled the next three spots with British GT driver and series returnee Oliver Bryant fourth, sandwiched between last year’s regular pacesetters James Cottingham and Tom Smith.
Poleman Ashworth took the lead at the start, but Johnson spun early on. He then fought past Bryant, Smith and Cottingham in determined fashion, with fastest laps bringing him back into Ashworth's slipstream. As ever, catching and passing are two kettles of fish yet to match, and Ashworth took a comfortable 2 second margin to the chequered. Meanwhile Smith made a rare mistake to spin out of contention, and the unfortunate Cottingham was beset by engine woes and left Bryant to mop up the last podium spot.
Driver of the day and class winner was Andrew Actman in his replica Austin Healey Sebring Sprite, closely matched by John Andon in his Triumph TR4. Keith Hampson was a popular class victor driving his beautiful ex-works and Le Mans 24 hour Sunbeam Alpine. Although most Equipe GTS drivers knew the Club circuit very well, it was the first time that motorsport HQ has hosted this excellent series. With the host club MGCC making everyone feel at home and their "Welcome Centre" proving very popular, this visit will certainly not be the last.
The Essex correspondant.
Click on for next 'Equipe' race April 21st/22nd CSCC Snetterton 2 x 30 minute
Pictures courtesy of Pat Arculus - click on to enlarge
WSM at MGCC Silverstone . .
Equipe GTS have two half-hour races at the MGCC's annual extravaganza on June 23rd/24th, and three WSM entries are planned from John Pearson with WSM 202, Clive Cocks with WSM 210 and AWS with WSM 301.
MG RACERS STEP UP . . .
Autosport January 4th - ''James and Jeremy Cottingham are to graduate to a Chevron B8 for 2007. Their father, David, has acquired chassis 71 from John Rushton'.
EQUIPE GTS . .
Click on for a provisional 2007 calendar for the MGB based racing series