29th An­nual MG Clas­sic, Man­feild

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News Classic News & Views From All Arou - Words: Terry Col­lier Pho­tos: Stew Wood and Terry Col­lier

Those years are cer­tainly start­ing to roll on by — yet an­other MG Clas­sic, the 29th, in fact! De­spite many events th­ese days strug­gling for par­tic­i­pants, spon­sors, and spec­ta­tors, the 2014 MG Clas­sic on Novem­ber 15–16 still pro­duced an­other en­joy­able and suc­cess­ful meet­ing, with some 70 cars across three clas­sic grids and over 150 in other groups.

The Satur­day morn­ing prac­tice was wet but the weather was gen­er­ally good, although a cool wind blew from the west both days. This did not seem to de­ter the spec­ta­tors, how­ever, and the event was again well sup­ported by the en­thu­si­ast as well as fam­i­lies. It was also good to see lo­cal Welling­ton-re­gion small and not-so-small busi­nesses sup­port­ing the event by spon­sor­ing races.

As usual the quick-fire rac­ing for­mat kept ev­ery­one en­ter­tained, and de­lays from the oc­ca­sional off-road ex­cur­sions on the wet Satur­day morn­ing were quickly dealt with by the ex­cel­lent vol­un­teer track crews and mar­shalls.

The BMW E30s opened with their usual packed fields, but coped well de­spite the slip­pery con­di­tions. The Fast Clas­sics group gained mo­men­tum as the cir­cuit dried out, and Auck­lan­der Grant Kern’s 3.9 Rover–en­gined MGB road­ster kept the flag fly­ing for the Bri­tish marque by im­prov­ing to chal­lenge Ross Gra­ham’s fast V8 To­rana and Nigel Macdon­ald’s quick Mus­tang. Ian Wil­liamson’s in­cred­i­ble Mazda RX-2 gave no­tice that he would be a force to be reck­oned with later in the week­end, while Philip Hehir in his rare Alfa Romeo Mon­treal also held his own against way-big­ger-en­gined ve­hi­cles.

The Cen­tral Mus­cle Cars class is al­ways a crowd favourite, and as usual pro­duced some ster­ling rac­ing, with Greg Hon­nor (Mus­tang), Grant Dal­ton (Ca­maro) and Dean Perkins (Fal­con) fight­ing it out in many of the races.

The Al­ter­na­tive Sports & GT group, which is re­ally an open class, on the Satur­day saw a tremen­dous battle be­tween An­drew Whittaker’s Porsche 911 GTRS and Todd Mof­fat in a ‘Jaguar XK120’. This car ap­par­ently com­prises a set of car­bon fi­bre body pan­els mod­elled from the owner’s real XK120 built around an XJ-S sub-frame, with a Jaguar 5.3-litre V12 four-turbo en­gine in­stalled. Def­i­nitely not a clas­sic, but it cre­ated a lot of in­ter­est both on the track and in the pits. Although Gra­ham Barnes’ 5.8

V8 Capri got firsts in both Satur­day races, the ‘Jaguar’ caught the Whittaker Porsche by sur­prise on the last lap in the ini­tial event to take sec­ond. From then on Whittaker was awake to the threat, and made sure that did not hap­pen again!

Clas­sic & His­toric

The or­ga­niz­ers were hop­ing to have a field of VCC cars to merge with the older clas­sics, but there was ap­par­ently in­suf­fi­cient in­ter­est, and the older clas­sics in­stead put on their own show at the rear of the slower clas­sic group. Th­ese pro­ceeded with some in­ter­est­ing cut and thrust be­tween Neil Moore’s 1951 Jowett Jupiter, Ge­off Brader in the 1954 MGTF (you should have seen him drift it in the sweeper), An­drew Moy­nagh’s 1959 Turner Cli­max, David Neill in the 1955 MG Mag­nette, Trevor Dixon’s 1961 Hum­ber 80 and An­drew Fox in a Tri­umph 2000, amongst oth­ers.

The his­torics group was again dom­i­nated by the For­mula Ford fra­ter­nity, but Ken Wil­liams man­aged to get amongst them in his 2.8 BBM Mercedes for a sixth in one race, though the ef­fort was too much for the old rear-mounted Mercedes en­gine in the next and it ex­pired, leav­ing a con­sid­er­able amount of oil on parts of the cir­cuit. Richard Wright’s Be­owulf again per­formed well, as did John Rap­ley in the ex Great Train Rob­ber Roy James’ Brab­ham For­mula Ju­nior.

The NZ Sports Car Group saw bat­tles be­tween the mod­ern high-revving Junos, Rad­i­cals and a Rey­nard In­verter, chased by War­wick Mor­timer in the 8.0-litre M8F Mclaren and An­drew Robert­son’s ‘smaller’ 7.0 Mclaren M1B replica. What a great sight and sound th­ese cars made!

The fea­ture race — the Sy­bil Lupp Tro­phy in­vi­ta­tion hand­i­cap — was well sup­ported, with Mar­garet Good­win even­tu­ally win­ning in her 5.7 Ca­maro, although fastest of the women en­trants was Joanne Ka­pua’s 6.5 Ford Thun­der­bird.

Race 44, the fi­nal of the week­end, was a Fly­ing Farewell ded­i­cated to the late Eoin Young, and was won by John Mines in the JRM MKIII, one of a num­ber of the lo­cal JRM race cars he has built and driven over the past 50 years. I think Eoin would have been pleased.

01,09 Rad­i­cal Jaguar — a se­ri­ous look­ing XK120 looka­like, tur­bocharged V12-pow­ered racer 02 War­wick Mor­timer’s M8F Mclaren Can-am (photo, An­drew Tier­ney) 03 Trevor Dixon (Hum­ber 80) leads Neil Moore (Jowett Jupiter) and Ge­off Brader (MG TF) 04 Mar­garet Good­win (Ca­maro) leads An­drew Moy­nagh (Turner Cli­max) 05 Vaux­hall takes the lead 06 Ge­off Brader’s MG TF (photo, B Styles) 07 Thun­der­birds are go! 08 Natalie Cam­bell’s rapid Capri V6 (photo, An­drew Tier­ney)

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