Oulton Park Race Report - MGOC Championship 2017

2019 MG Owners' Club - Production MG Championship


 

Race Report

 

 

Rounds 3 and 4  -  Brands Hatch 12th May 2019

 

The drivers assembled on a bright and dry day for their first races at Brands Hatch since 2016. The Brands Indy circuit may only be 1.2 miles long but it remains one of the most popular and challenging race circuits in the country.  Its location in a natural bowl means that spectators can see virtually the entire track from the public viewing areas. Brands always brings the drivers out and a good field of 24 cars were entered for this meeting.

 

Qualifying

On a dry track the MGF of Simon Kendrick took pole position from the ZR of Lee Sullivan. The ZR of Will Sharpe and the MGF of Stuart Plotnek were on row 2 with the MGF’s of Mark Baker and Paul Wisbey row 3. The ZR’s of Dave Mellor and Nick Golhar qualified out of session and would start both races from the back of the grid.

 

Pole position for the Classic Class was taken by Chris Millard who was .05 secs ahead of Malcolm Hill with Dave Amphlett in 3rd place ahead of James Pryor, Marcus Holland and Ray Lovell who was having his first race for over 30 years in a smart looking MGBGT.

 

Round 3

As expected the rear wheel drive MGF’s were quicker off the line than the ZR’s and Kendrick was first into Paddock Hill Bend with Plotnek, Sullivan, Wisbey and Baker in a bumper to bumper train. Sullivan got a good exit from Clearways and took the lead on Brabham Straight on lap 3. The race developed into a four car battle with the ZR of Sullivan leading the MGF’s of Kendrick, Plotnek and Wisbey with the ZR of Sharpe in 5th place but catching the battling trio of MGF’s. The battle for Class F continued in great style with Kendrick having to drive on the limit to stay ahead of Plotnek and Wisbey. On lap 9 Wisbey found a way past Plotnek and set off after Kendrick but it all changed on lap 10 when Kendrick spun off at Clearways handing Wisbey the Class F lead.

 

By lap 12 Sharpe got past Wisbey to move into 2nd place but Sullivan had a 100 metre lead and looked secure but a lap later his engine expired in a cloud of oil smoke and he retired from the race leaving Sharpe in the lead ahead of Wisbey who was battling to stay ahead of Plotnek and Darbey. The oil from Sullivan’s stricken car caused havoc and the race was red flagged after 14 laps leaving Sharpe as the winner with Wisbey taking a hard fought 2nd place by the length of a bonnet from Darbey.

 

The Classic Class Millard made the best start but Hill nipped through on the inside of Paddock Hill Bend to take an early lead but Millard retook the lead at Druids before Hill fought back to take retake the lead along Brabham Straight with Pryor following him through into 2nd place. Pryor then ran a little wide at Graham Hill allowing Amphlett to take 3rd place along Cooper Straight. Hill had a commanding lead but the race for 2nd place continued in great style with Millard, Pryor, Amphlett and Holland battling hard and swapping places several times a lap until Amphlett retired on lap 7 with an engine problem.  Hill took the flag but was slater excluded for a technical infringement leaving Pryor to take his first MGOC win from Holland and Lovell who took an excellent 3rd place in his first race for over 30 years.

 

Round 4

In a repeat of the earlier race, Kendrick lead the field into Paddock Hill Bend ahead of Plotnek who had a great start from row 2, then the leading ZR of Sullivan whose team had fitted a spare engine after his drama’s in the earlier race.  A fired up Sullivan outbraked Plotnek into Paddock Hill Bend on lap 4 then homed in on Kendrick and took the lead later that lap on the start/finish straight.  Plotnek then dropped back leaving the MGF of Baker to battle for 3rd place with the ZR of Darbey.

 

As in the earlier race, Kendrick didn’t give up the fight and was never more than a few lengths behind Sullivan who was working his replacement standard road engine to the limit to stay ahead of the MGF. As the race moved into its final stages, it looked likely that Sullivan would reward his team for carrying out the engine change but, incredibly, that engine expired in another cloud of smoke in exactly the same place as in the earlier race.  The following cars had a few scary moments on the spilt oil but all continued and Kendrick went on to take a well-deserved win from Darbey who took the class Z honours with Baker holding off Wisbey after a race long battle for 3rd place.

 

 

With Hill and Millard missing from the grid, the way was clear for a resumption of the battle in the earlier race.  Amphlett made the best start to lead into Paddock Hill Bend ahead of Pryor, Holland and the Midget of Barnes. Amphlett lead the Class by a few lengths with Pryor and Holland in close company and swapping places every lap.  Pryor took the lead with a good move on Amphlett on lap 10 before Amphlett retook the lead at Paddock Hill Bend on lap 12.

 

On lap 16 the cars hit the oil dropped by Sullivan’s ZR, Amphlett retained his position but Pryor lost 2nd place to Holland but Pryor re-took the place at Paddock Hill Bend on the penultimate lap but then ran wide at Graham Hill on the last lap allowing Holland to re-take 2nd place.  The three leading MGB’s were never more than a few lengths apart for the entire race and were putting on a great show with places being swapped on every lap and after 21 laps of non-stop action Amphlett took the win by just 0.28 secs ahead of Holland with Pryor a similar distance back in 3rd place.

 

 

 

STAR DRIVES:

Steve Darbey    –Two fastest laps and a Class Z win in Round 4.

Marcus Holland – played a full part in a superb battle for the lead of Classic class and taking fastest lap in Race 2.

 

Visit the MGOC Championship website www.mgoc-championship.co.uk to see the full race results and the final 2017 Championship positions.

Race Reports
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Castle Combe
Thruxton
Rockingham
Donington Park
Snetterton
Cadwell Park
Silverstone (International)

 

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