MG Clas­sic cel­e­brates 30 years of clas­sic rac­ing

New Zealand Classic Car - - Nationwide News - Words and photo: Terry Col­lier

With the wide range of is­sues now in­volved, it cer­tainly hasn’t been get­ting any eas­ier or­ga­niz­ing mo­tor sport events th­ese days, so it is great to see long-stand­ing his­toric and clas­sic race meet­ings con­tinue, and that the MG Clas­sic will cel­e­brate its 30th an­niver­sary event on Novem­ber 13, 14, and 15.

Not sur­pris­ingly, spon­sors have come and gone over those three decades, with per­haps the most mem­o­rable be­ing the long as­so­ci­a­tion that Whittaker’s choco­late had with the event. Al­though valu­able sup­port has been pro­vided by in­di­vid­ual race spon­sors and from me­dia such as The Sound ra­dio sta­tion, the MG Car Club Welling­ton has ef­fec­tively been its own spon­sor over the past decade, putting earn­ings and ex­pe­ri­ence from pre­vi­ous years to good ef­fect.

This year, the club has even man­aged a mild ex­pan­sion to make room for two full days’ rac­ing, with doc­u­men­ta­tion and prac­tice on Fri­day, and for the first time mak­ing it a three-day event. This has also al­lowed for a greater num­ber of race cat­e­gories that not only in­clude ev­ery­one’s favourites, the For­mula 5000s and Cen­tral Mus­cle Cars, but also, new to the North Is­land, the His­toric Tour­ing Car group, which fea­tures many of the types of old Group A tour­ing cars that were seen in the Welling­ton Street Race in the mid 1980s.

The main­stay of the event, how­ever, con­tin­ues to be the well-sup­ported clas­sic grids, with th­ese di­vided by prac­tice times into slow, medium, and fast groups, to help im­prove both safety and closer rac­ing.

As usual, the or­ga­niz­ers have tried to rein in costs, and en­try fees still seem to rep­re­sent good value for money at un­der $300 for four to five races plus prac­tice. As be­fits an event at which the fea­ture race for Clas­sics is the Sy­bil Lupp Tro­phy race, women driv­ers are be­ing en­cour­aged to en­ter by hav­ing their en­try fees waived, as are driv­ers of MGS.

The long-stand­ing re­quire­ment for New Zealand road-le­gal tyres for the Clas­sics groups also con­tin­ues. Al­though this could mean that tyres might need re­new­ing a race or two ear­lier than planned, the or­ga­niz­ers think that this helps keep a han­dle on the costs as­so­ci­ated with use of the more ex­pen­sive tricky slick types.

His­torics are also catered for, and Vin­tage Car Club (VCC) mem­bers are in­vited to join the event as pro­vided for un­der the agree­ment be­tween Mo­tor­sport New Zealand and the VCC. Other cat­e­gories in­clude Pre 65 sa­loons, BMW E30 se­ries, and an­other new group run­ning as His­toric Sports Sedans.

The or­ga­niz­ers also ad­vise that the pop­u­lar char­ity lunchtime rides will be avail­able on Sun­day, with en­thu­si­asts given the chance of a ride around the cir­cuit in a clas­sic or sim­i­lar car for a do­na­tion to the Can­cer So­ci­ety NZ.

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