31st Annual MG Classic Race Meeting
The Annual MG Classic Race Meeting is a permanent fixture on the calendar for motor racing fans throughout New Zealand. Now in its 31st year, this event has come a long way since the very first meeting that was organized by the MG Car Club, Wellington Centre, back in 1986, and, since then, it has continued to set benchmarks in terms of popularity with participants and the public alike.
As always, there will be full grids of classic sports and saloon cars lined up to compete in their respective classes, and this November, for the 31st event, the Historic Muscle Cars (HMC) group will also take to the track. The incredible machines of this group are raced as they were when they actually competed in the ’60s — just like the saloons that race at international events such as the Goodwood Revival and the Le Mans Classic.
Included in this special line-up will be the genuine 1969 Mustang Boss 302 owned and raced by HMC organizer Dale Mathers, who hopes that the first Mustang to compete in New Zealand — the legendary Fleetwood Garages car that was driven by Ivan Segedin and is now owned and driven by Neil Tolich — will also take part.
Another Mustang with a local history that will line up is the ex– Red Dawson 1967 Trans-am car being driven by Nigel Macdonald. It’s not all about Mustangs though, and despite the numbers, the field will be quite varied, with the likes of John Sampson’s interesting Westlake-engined 1971 Ford Capri RS2600 and Kevin Gimblett’s 1967 Chevrolet Camaro also racing, just to keep the Mustangs honest.
The return of the Historic Touring Cars class will be a welcome sight indeed for those who remember the Wellington Street Races back in the 1980s. Cars in this class are effectively Group A touring cars, such as the BMW 635 CSL and M3 models, the Ford Sierra Turbo and Mustang, the Volvo 240 Turbo, Rover SD1, Holden Commodore, and Jaguar XJS.
The organizers are also attempting to encourage older racing and sports racing cars to participate in the Historic race car fields, or in their own groups, and they are offering free entry for Vintage Car Club members with bona fide pre-1960 race cars. Races are also scheduled for Pre ’65 saloon, Historic Racing Cars, and Historic Sports Sedans classes.
The MG Classic is definitely an event for the family and enthusiast rather than the purist but is no less enjoyable for that. Manfeild has operated in relatively unchanged form since it first opened in 1973. The recently improved facilities now complement one of the better circuit-driving and spectatorviewing experiences in the country.
The 31st Annual MG Classic Race Meeting will be held from November 11 to 13, 2016, at Manfeild, near Feilding, in the Manawatu. For more information, contact Ron Robertson by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone, on 0274 439 969.