MG Classic celebrates 30 years of classic racing
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.