31st An­nual MG Clas­sic Race Meet­ing

New Zealand Classic Car - - News -

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 ron@mg­car­club.org.nz, or phone, on 0274 439 969.

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