RACE NEWS 2012

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In Competition
Pictorial file in three parts of WSM's in action from 1962 to date . .
Bentley to Sprite
Pictorial file on almost everything bar WSM's that DW-S drove . .

In Car Video . .

Thanks to the equipment and expertise courtesy of Paul Webb and Colmworth Classic Cars, video race coverage from 2010 -

WSM 208 at Cadwell Park 5th September - 'Equipe'
Cadwell Park 5th September courtesy of Stephen Bolderson in MGB - 'Equipe'
WSM MGB at Silverstone GP circuit MGLive 5th June - 'Equipe'

WSM 208 at Brands Hatch April 10th with the 'Equipe' GTS grid

13/10/2012 'Ecurie' GTS at MGCC Snetterton . .

Dry and sunny Snetterton, and the Tom Smith MGB second on the list of qualifiers - neither of which are habitual. The MGB of Malcolm Gammons topped the practice times but found Smith with his race face on a different proposition in race one and graciously admitted as much after Smith pulled out 30 seconds to the chequered. John Andon and Pete Foster resumed their hugely competitive and entertaining TR4 rivalry for third, and again less than a second separated the pair after half an hours racing.

Race two minus Smith on his travels was a complete contrast once Gammons fell back after a pit stop and Andon and Foster retired early on. The Prutton/Entwistle MGB picked up the pieces, knocked 1.5s off qualifying best and kept Will Linley's MGB and Richard McKoen's TR4 at bay.

Click here for TSL timing results

07/10/2012 HRDC Mallory . .

Varying fortunes for WSM in Leicestershire on Sunday. Brian Arculus had a rotten week-end with the clutch in his Lotus Elite failing in practice at Castle Combe on Saturday, then at Mallory in WSM202 had a gearbox break in practice on Sunday. The combined Grand Touring Greats and MGB50 qualifying saw Ian Hulett in WSM401 second to the Bamford family MGB of Andy Newall, with Gordon Elwell third. Hulett lead for 5 laps of the race before losing out in traffic to Newall, with Elwell third.

08/09/2012 Thruxton 'Ecurie' . .

WSM202 was given a good work out at the fast Hampshire circuit - Brian Arculus, running as the only Class 2 entrant, mixed it with the MGB's and claimed an excellent 5th overall. Getting his eye in with the Lotus Elite helped, as immediately before the 'Ecurie' grid he contested the FISCAR race for 1950's sportscars and took a superb win ahead of Andy Shepard's AC Ace and Harvey Woods Healey 100M. Capping a good day for the Sussex-based driver was 'Driver of the Day' award from the FISCAR organisers . .

30/07/2012 HRDC Donington . .

The Coys International Trophy meeting was HRDC's first race day entirely populated by HRDC grids, and Julius Thurgood's six stanza's did him proud -

Q - WSM have proven to be the most ardent supporter of the 'Grand Touring Greats' grids for sub-1500cc pre 66 sports cars, and an unprecedented five WSM Spridget's sprinkled the practice sheet with Ian Hulett best in 3rd, headed by the Nigel Bancroft Lotus Elite and Mike Youles Sebring Sprite.

R - A blistering start from Hulett to lead into Redgate was amplified by a dreadful one from poleman Bancroft, with Youles, Arculus, Davis and Elwell all charging past. Hulett lead comfortably, and the first lap leaderboard showed WSM's 1st, 3rd, 7th, 9th and 14th. But Bancroft was in recovery mode and by lap 5 was on Hulett's case, Youles having yielded 3rd and retirement on lap 7, while Elwell and Davis were slugging it out until a second uncharacteristic spin from Elwell on lap 18 gave Davis a sniff of 5th. The canny Prentice Le Mans Sprite was never troubled in 4th, but the Lotus meanwhile had the Hulett WSM for mph and stretched away, and although Arculus gave valiant chase, Hulett's consistency kept him at arms length for a WSM second and third.

Pit & Paddock

WSM support in the shape of John Mangan from Stockport and Geoff Hill from Staleybridge was welcome . .

Richard Frankel drove the Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS beautifully to 11th place . .

The Hulett motorhome hospitality was again administered royally by Maggie Hulett . . Th

UK marshalls earn their reputation as the best around . .

Photographs courtesy of Paul Webb, Geoff Hill and John Mangan

Click on for results from TSL Timing

WSM50 on September 29th - go to 'News' page

23/06/2012 MGLive . .

As the largest one-make Club event on the globe, the organisation and welcome to the UK home of motorsport from the MGCC is first class. Highlight of two day's racing was the MGB50 Celebration race which drew some rarely seen historic MGB's to a capacity 58 car grid thanks to organiser Dave Saunders efforts.

Qualifying - Rarely bested or tested by other MGB's, Tom Smith's usual domination was rudely interrupted by Callum MacLeod's one second margin to top the sheet. Malcolm Gammons (right) was the only other qualifier within sniffing distance, although clumps of drivers all within fractions of each other promised much for the afternoon race.

Race - MacLeod's single seater experience in Formula Ford shone through, but credit to Smith for not letting up in his quest and only 8 seconds separated the two after 50 hectic minutes. Gammons slipped to 6th as a traffic dominated schedule caught up, and the family pairings of Boyes and Johnson brandished 3rd and 4th in style, with the Boyes father and son lopping 5 seconds from their best qualifying lap. The Johnsons bested the persistent Jeremy Cottingham, and epic scraps throughout the vast field were complimented by lack of contact - British Motor Heritage lynchpin John Yea and Will Linley fought tooth and nail from start to finish for 16th, and so hard were they at it that both were penalised for different offences.

Paddy Hopkirk presented the spoils, and the hope is the MGCC will come close to repeating the hugely successful race formula in future seasons.

Pit & Paddock

Paul Woolmer shared the Mick Darcey MGB GT . .

WSM202 owner Brian Arculus won the Iconic 50's/FISCAR Historic Inter-Marque race on Sunday in his Lotus Elite

Barry Sidery-Smith followed by the WSM he owned in the 1970's . .

Good to meet Alun Howells of Beech Hill Garage who has been giving the WSM MGB some tlc

Photographs courtesy of Paul Webb

Clive Cocks cured the maladies with WSM210 to compete in the Ecurie GTS race on Sunday, but Will de la Riviere suffered battery failure just one lap into the MGB Celebration race . .

click on for results from TSL Timing

Alexander Sprite owner Paul Freeman reverted to his MGB for the Ecurie race but it was not quite as trusty as hoped . .

Next race for the WSM MGB at Donington July 28th with the HRDC

16/06/2012 HRDC at Spa Francorchamps . .

Without doubt straight to the top of list to date of great circuits - the undulating and challenging nature of the forest venue is unforgettable - and the plunge down from La Source through Eau Rouge in the wet is intoxicating -

Practice - Ian Hulett put WSM401 in a superb 4th, headed only by the TVR Griffiths, Lotus Elan S2 and ex-Hopkirk MGB. The WSM MGB session was curtailed with fuel feed problems but completed enough laps to qualify midfield, while Clive Cocks in WSM210 broke a crank and was out for the week-end. Le Mans, Ashley and Alexander Sprites mixed it up with Jaguars in the wet, but Ian Burford hit the barrier hard in his recently completed 'Lumbertubs' Sebring - Shaun Rainford's CCK Historic team took just a couple of hours to fix what looked from afar like terminal damage and the car was running later that day.

Race - a rolling start, and in the wet again, but Mike Whitaker's TVR was untroubled and driven faultlessly to the flag. The rapid Alfa Romeo 2000GT of guest drivers Colinet had an off, and despite fastest lap lost too much in the recovery. Andy Newall brought the Works MGB home a fine 3rd, and Bill Watt fulfilled the Lotus Elan S2 promise with a masterly drive to 4th. Drive of the day belonged to the resourceful Hulett (right) in keeping at bay the spectacular Dorlin father and son combo in the Jaguar Mk 2 for 5th. Paul Freeman delighted the supervising restorer's by bringing home the Alexander Sprite ahead of the Donegan's Ashley, and Burford displayed a gentle touch in cajoling a recovering 'Lumbertubs' to the flag.

Pit & Paddock

Good to meet Pieter Bakker again - the eternally enthusiastic Dutchman heads the Legendary Circuits race series with whom we raced at Monza . . Maarten Krikken caught up with us, and was pleased to see the Alexandra Sprite in action with Paul Freeman after Maarten had been instrumental in its recovery and subsequent restoration . . Ex-Healey race series Spridgeteer Charles Marriott was celebrating a milestone birthday while co-incidentally racing in the CSCC 'Swinging Sixties' in his Turner at Spa, and Simon Page brought his immaculate black Sebring for the same two half hour races . .

Jim Prentice finished an excellent 10th overall in his dayglow Le Mans Sprite, and the Spa circuit bestowed on the 24 heure du Mans streamliner a wee testament to how hard he races . .

Met petrol head and journalist Julian Balme who brought one of his favoured American-dominated racing stable, the Lincoln Cosmopolitan . .

The extra-ordinary camera angles amongst the pix from the top of Eau Rouge give some idea to the gradient involved . .

Thanks to Maggie Hulett and Yvette Webb for their shelter and hospitality through a wet week-end, to Paul Webb and Graham Wharton for their expertise, and to Alun Howells at Beech Hill Garage for the tlc given the WSM during its visit . .

The Esso tiger appropriated from Spa in 1964 (via the WSM transporter) made a long awaited return . .
WSM's playing to the cameraman at Eau Rouge . .

Photographer Matty set off on an after-hours lap on the WSM paddock bike and on his return tried to convince us that he'd been really tramping on, hence gravel trap, barrier and medical centre snaps . .

Sparring WSM's - MGB, 401 & 210
'Lumbertubs' . .

Coach Cocks . .

WSM401 in the pink . .

Photographs courtesy of Matthew Mathieson-Nelson

Next race - MGLive 23rd June at Silverstone - WSM MGB in MGB50 3pm

01/06/2012 MGB50 . .

Confirmation from the race organisers that a record breaking fifty-eight MGB's will contest the MGB50 Celebration race at Silverstone's MGLive on June 23rd. Alongside the WSM MGB and a Coune Berlinette will be a host of ex-works cars, and they will help draws crowds of 20,000 plus to the worlds largest MG meeting.Dave Saunders, Motorsport Director of the MG Car Club said “The worldwide response to the official MGB50 race has been overwhelming. The MG Car Club’s annual Silverstone event has tremendous pedigree, and competitors were applying to enter the celebration race as early as December last year.”

Watching a rolling start with 58 FIA MGBs roaring into Copse really will be spectacular and the whole race will act as a fitting tribute to one of the world’s greatest sports car. The MG Car Club is proud to be staging the official MGB50 celebration race and our organisation continues to be at the forefront of the worldwide MG movement.”

05/05/2012 HRDC 360 . .

For many, the 300 circuit at Snetterton was a new and pleasurable experience, and the HRDC tie up with the 360MRC equally so - the ethos of endurance racing allied to a relaxed paddock is shared by both organisations -

Practice - the Sebring Sprite of Gordon Elwell headed the Grand Touring Greats grid ahead of Rae Davis's Mini Gem GT and Ian Hulett's WSM, while the MGB50 times had James Cottingham comfortably on pole from Will Linley.

 

GTG Race - Hulett's WSM retired on the out lap with ignition failure, but Elwell's start was immaculate as usual and he headed Davis until lap 5 when the Mini Gem slipped inside through Coram. The Le Mans Sprite of Jim Prentice was obviously not on full song as he sank to 8th, and Arculus battled with Adam Gittings' Ashley GT for 4th. Elwell and Davis were well matched, but Elwell's decisive move came on lap 7, and he was not to be headed again as Davis retired late on. A recovering Prentice caught the battling Arculus (3rd) and Gittings (4th) on the last lap for second.MGB50 - Dave Alston's rapid getaway and unlucky Cottingham's head gasket demise handed Alston the lead off the line, but Bill Kirkpatrick was on his case and seized the advantage on lap 2 to then dominate with a 7 second margin, while Linley and Jon Sandilands demoted Alston to 4th at the flag.

Pit & Paddock

Clive Cocks was pleased with 8th in WSM210 and springs a leak beside the Alexander Sprite as Paul Freeman (red overalls) watches the flow . .

It was'nt clear to Freeman or Hulett just how the pedestrian had become attached nor for how long . . ?

Ding Boston (OUMF) and woolly hatted Bob Ridgard (Ridgard Seats) in colour sync . .

pictures courtesy of Paul Webb

Mike Youles is sorting his Rochdale Olympic for the next HRDC event, and continuing a Sebring build incorporating a bootlid as per DW-S in 1962 - the connection between WSM and Rochdale stems from the latters windscreen curvature being the basis of the WSM pattern.

The Alexander Sprite of Paul Freeman was awarded Best Prepared Car by the HRDC organisers.

Next race Spa Summer Classic, Saturday 16th June HRDC

09/04/2012 Wringing Wiltshire . .

Typical Bank Holiday weather all day failed to dampen HRDC's sunny disposition, and the sun still shone from organiser Julius Thurgood's administrative orifice -

'Grand Touring Greats' qualifying saw several new entries, the quickest including Ben Adams (Turner Mk 2), Ken Selfe (Mini Marcos) and Will Penrose (Ashley GT) amongst a stellar 27 car grid. Paul Woolmer (Sebring Sprite) was singing in the rain with pole, while Rae Davis (Mini Gem) lurked in second. WSM interest surrounded Ian Hulett's continued progress with the 401 Sanction 2 setup, with Brian Arculus (WSM 202) in close company, and Clive Cocks (WSM 210).

Race - Davis took the lead from Woolmer and Adams as the Selfe Marcos remained rooted to its 4th place grid position and initiated a scamble in the pack to miss the diminutive obstacle. Adams ghosted by the Mini Gem on lap three and held Davis and Woolmer at bay until Davis upped the stakes on lap 13. Recovering Selfe set fastest lap and was 3rd by lap 12, but Davis was away for an 11 second margin at the flag as the Marcos succumbed to mechanical failure and Adams settled for the silver medal. Woolmer took another comfortable podium, while Andrew Frankel demonstrated exquisite handling of the Alfa Giulietta SS in 5th place. The WSM flag flew with Hulett in 6th, Arculus in 12th and Cocks 21st, but a dnf for WSM 208.

Click on for results

Click on for Marcus Pye's Autosport column

pictures courtesy of Paul Webb

Pit & Paddock

A good week-end for WSM pilote Arculus, with a win at Donington on Saturday in the Lotus Elite, and getting to grips on Monday with his recently acquired Hillman Minx Alexander in 'Touring Greats'. .

Ex-WSM 205 owner and racer Mike White with wife Annabelle braved the elements in support of WSM once again from their Oxfordshire home, both well qualified to compare this meeting with last years deluge at Mallory in May . .

The 'MGB50' qualifying threw up the usual rapid suspects in Tom Smith and James Cottingham, but both were usurped by Ben Rushworth for pole . .

Driver of The Day was Marc Campfield in the 'GTS65' race for pre-66 Historic GT cars, where downright exuberent useage of the Austin Healey 3000 was hugely entertaining in a dominant display . .

Ted Walker of Ferret photographics fame stopped by the WSM entourage and will be visiting the Isle of Man on two-wheeled business within the next few weeks - he's sworn to provide an alibi for a pint or two . .

Charles and Vicky Botsford brought family links from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, but I think Vicky may not be a convert to motorsport after such miserable weather . .

Maggie Hulett provided shelter, warmth, food and drink from the motorhome to all - Sainthood beckons . .

Next HRDC meeting including WSM's - Snetterton May 5th

02/04/2012 Historica Day . .

High Class Historics for Castle Combe Season Opener . .

'The Castle Combe circuit’s 2012 season gets under way by going back in time to the era of the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s, with ‘Historica’ race day on Easter Monday, April 9. The Historic Racing Drivers Club with its highly professional approach and enviously regarded catalogue of well supported races, presents a marvellous array of machinery to delight the crowds.

Five HRDC races encompass some of the best historic racing cars and drivers imaginable, with the ‘Touring Greats’ for Pre-’60 touring cars just one of the highlights. Many of the cars seem unlikely competition contenders, but the rules are specifically written to attract the likes of the Hillman Minx, Rover 105S, Borgward Isabella, Standard Vanguard and Daimler Conquest. A full grid bodes well for a superb race.

In this the 50th anniversary year of the MGB, it’s fitting to welcome the first ‘MGB50’ race to Castle Combe, with a number of stunning cars, including the fast 1963 ‘Roadster’ of James Cottingham, and a WSM GT (left).' The slightly more modern ‘TC63’ for pre-’64 cars is equally diverse, with such gems as a Mercedes Benz 300SE, Studebaker Lark Daytone 500, Vauxhall VX4/90 and the MG Magnette of HRDC founder Julius Thurgood.

The race is dedicated to the memory of the late Alan Mann. Ted Williams from Nailsea, a veteran of Castle Combe and historic racing generally, swops from an AC Cobra shared with son Mark to his Austin Healey 3000 in the 45 minute ‘GTS65’ race for pre-’66 historic sports cars. Barry 'Whizzo' Williams is amongst the opposition, and the legendary Whizzo will be sharing a Porsche 904/6 with Richard Frankel. The Morgan Plus 4SLR of Keith Ahlers (pictured) should be interesting, but American muscle may rule if the day is dry. The ‘Grand Touring Greats’ for sub-1500cc cars provides one of the most interesting races with a huge field of mainly ‘Sprite’ based specials including three wonderful WSM cars, one of which (right) is driven by Ian Hulett, former FISC European champion. Barrie Williams (pictured left with WSM 208 in 2011) gets another ride in an Ashley GT and there’s even the Le Mans prototype car from 1966. The main opposition for the BMC based cars comes from the Alfa's, including the Giulietta SS, with the Williams/Frankel partnership again behind the wheel.'

Click on for the full page of Castle Combe Racing Club News.

31/03/2012 Swingers In Leicestershire . .

Clive Cocks and Ian Hulett in WSM's 210 and 401 were at Mallory last Thursday for a test day. Ian made some suspension changes to the rear springs and the front geometry with the knowledge that it could'nt be worse than last October at Snetterton when the car made its racing debut. They swapped cars mid session, which lead to Clive removing some rear suspension mods, and Ian considering a change in brake pad composition . .

30/03/2012 Combe Entries . .

WSM will be out in force on Easter Monday in the Historica Race Day HRDC races - 202, 208, 210 and 401 will contest the 'Grand Touring Greats' grid, and the WSM MGB makes a 2012 debut in the 'MGB 50' race. We also look forward to catching up with Derek Ayres, a long time friend and motor sport associate of DW-S who shared a love of Bentley's and lives not far from the circuit.

08/02/2012 Season opener in Wiltshire . .

With all the itineraries published, it appears the 50th birthday celebrations will be extensive - the MGCC trilogy kicks off with a dedicated MGB race at Silverstone MGLive 23rd/24th June, then parties on with the Silverstone Classic 20th/22nd July and culminates with a gathering at Blenheim Palace 23rd September.

Meanwhile the HRDC, 'Equipe' GTS and 'Ecurie' GTS race series all have events throughout the season, although only the HRDC host MGB celebratory grids. The season begins at the Castle Combe 'Historica' Race Day on Bank Holiday Monday April 9th, and the WSM MGB is entered for the 30 minute single driver event. The WSM Sprite's of Arculus, Cocks, Davis and W-S are contesting the 'Grand Touring Greats' half hour enduro alongside Paul Woolmer in BXN . .

HRDC calendar . .

Almost as exciting as the Pirelli version, but actually has race dates and venues - Castle Combe, Spa and Donington highlight the 'Grand Touring Greats' and the 'MGB50' grids from the Thurgood stable. A 'definite' will be the 18th August date at Lydden Hill in Kent, where tarmac was first laid in 1965 and only WSM 206 with DW-S at the helm has set foot -WSM engine builder Keith Calver recently raced there in his Cooper S and highly recommends also. Belgian frites beckon on 16th June to the historic Francorchamps circuit, and a welcome return is carded to Donington on 28th July for our first time since circuit reviver Tom Wheatcroft's demise . .

25/11/2011 MGB50 . .

Birthday celebrations in 2012 for the MGB 50th are planned, and FIA MGB's will be faced with a multitude of choice. First out of the blocks was Julius Thurgood at the HRDC, conspiring with Barry Sidery-Smith who headlines a series of races kicking off with Castle Combe on April 9th. Ron Gammons at the MGCC includes the Silverstone MGLive event in June as the jewel in their series of races, while the 'Equipe' GTS grids, now esconced with the AMOC, have for years attracted substantial numbers. The new kid on the block is 'Ecurie' GTS, similar in nature to 'Equipe' but administered within the MGCC . .

23/11/2011 Healey Sport . .

Following the demise of the Austin-Healey Club race championship, Healey Club director and Competition Secretary Joe Cox detailed the changes made to ensure an ongoing future for Spridget pilots. The MGCC take over responsibility for the Lackford Engineering Midget & Sprite Challenge, and with no changes to specifications, the transition should be seamless.