MG Trophy Championship 2016: Race bulletin No. 4 – 6th July 2016
11th July 2016
We were at Mallory Park at the end of March last year for two non championship rounds with just 8 cars on the grid, I had forecast 20 for this year with championship points up for grabs. We had 21 entries prior to the weekend, two had to drop out and a last minute entry brought the total back up to 20 so all in all not a bad total for this ‘marmite’ track. Last year we had dreadful weather, this year was the opposite with dry conditions all weekend.
There was no pre race testing but several drivers took advantage of a Javelin track day on the Friday to aquaint themselves with the circuit, some having never raced at Mallory before. Those taking part included Jack Roberts, Richard Marsh and top class C points man Will Payne.
There were no new drivers out for these rounds and with lots of outside distractions several regulars were missing, the worst affected class being the 190 cars with just Doug Cole and Robin Walker in attendance. Tony Jones, Matt Turnbull and Paul Croker in their 160’s were racing for only the second time with us, missing again and still in all our thoughts was Andrew Martin fighting the big C up in Scotland.
All 20 cars made their way out onto a dry track at 09.30 but an immediate problem saw Jones pull off and return to the paddock before completing his mandatory 3 laps. After 2 laps the order was Campbell, Sullivan, Roberts, Marsh Byrne, Luti, Payne, D. Cole and Rogerson. A lot of the class B cars were already well under the previous year’s slow lap record. Doug Cole jumped to pole on his 4th tour with a 54.056 and Luti topped the class B runners on his 7th lap with a 54.443 but was immediately pipped by Sullivan with a 54.432. So, at the half way stage the order was Doug Cole, Sullivan, Luti, Campbell, Marsh with Payne, Picone and Turnbull the top 3 in class C. Walker was up to P2 on his 10th lap the remaining order slotting in behind in the same order. Doug Cole improved on his time to take overall pole with a 53.296 on his 11th lap, Sullivan the class B pole on 54.211 also on lap 11 and Payne taking the class C honours on his 6th lap with a 56.194. The second fastest times were by the same drivers earning them more points in the process.
Cole managed his pole despite a power steering pump failure early on and Jones had a broken throttle cable, this was replaced and he qualified out of session to be able to race, albeit from the back of the grid.
Marsh had a lucky escape and pulled off after 13 laps with a broken front hub.
Marsh’s hub was replaced and all 20 cars made it for the start of the first race of the day spot on time at 12:00. Weather/Track : Cloudy/Dry.
A hairy start saw Cole hesitate as the 5 second board was not shown, Sullivan and Campbell took avoiding action to miss the stationary Cole preventing what could have been a nasty accident. Walker assumed the lead with the rest following as Cole finally made his getaway. At the end of the first lap the order was Walker followed by 7 class B cars then Cole. Walker held the lead for 6 laps until Cole, who had been working his way through the pack, took the lead on his 7th lap which he held to the flag. Unfortunately Walker then retired after completing just 7 laps with bad fuel surging problems.
There was contact at Gerards on the opening lap as the pack of 170 cars concertinered into the bend, Rogerson made contact with Campbell which sent him onto the grass and into the barrier damaging the front right corner of his car. Campbell rejoined in last place but gradually worked his way through the pack. At the front Marsh held the lead with Sullivan, Byrne and Luti next up. Marsh held the lead until lap 3 when Sullivan made his move into P1. These places switched on lap 7 with Marsh resuming the lead after getting the better of passing back markers, Luti went into second and Sullivan third. These positions held until lap 16 when a patient Sullivan again took 2nd away from Luti at Gerards then 1st away from Marsh two laps later at the hairpin to take the win; these three separated by less than a second at the finish. Elsewhere with Roberts in a steady 4th, Byrne, Streather and J Cole fought for 5th until Streather retired after 17 laps with zero power. Roberts held 4th and Campbell, after an amazing drive passing 15 cars, finished 5th.
With 6 class C drivers competing it was Picone who initially lead the class C cars before Payne took the lead on his 2nd tour. Last starter Jones was up to 3rd by lap 5 demoting Turnbull who was also having fuel surge problems eventually calling it a day on lap 18 after a good battle with Croker. This left Croker and Martin dicing for the final place, Croker taking 4th as Martin slowed from lap 9.
Class A was Cole with a 53.268 (n/r) on lap 3.
Class B was Sullivan with a 54.220 (n/r) on lap 4.
Class C, Payne on lap 3 with 56.327 (n/r).
Driver of the Race and overall Driver of the Day:- Lee Sullivan.
Doug Cole changed his power steering pump again, the DC Motosport team also looked into the Walker fuel surging problem changing various sensors and Turnbull did likewise. Streather’s cylinder head was swapped after his team discovered bent valves and zero compression all round. Our second race of the day was slightly ahead of schedule despite an earlier delay and started at 16.50.
Weather/Track : Cloudy/Dry.
Sullivan (class B) made the better start from the front row leading Cole for the first two laps however the extra 20 bhp and warm tyres saw Cole into the race lead on lap 3. Walker, having started from row 2, was well down the field in 13th place after being swamped by the fast starting class B cars. Cole continued to pull away from the chasing pack of 170 cars and at the flag was a clear 21secs ahead of second place driver Sullivan (class B). Walker struggled but worked his way up to finish 7th and second in class.
Luti made a good start but at the end of the first lap it was Sullivan in P1, his dominance lasted until lap 9 when Luti took over the top spot for one lap before Sullivan again took the lead. These two swapped positions again on laps 11 & 12 never far apart, on lap 14 Campbell got involved taking 2nd spot away from Luti having recovered from a bad hit at the hairpin on lap 2. Sullivan did well to hold off the fired up Campbell to take the win by just 0.41secs at the line, Luti held 3rd, 1.2sescs adrift. Elsewhere J Cole called it a day on his 8th lap and Roberts was out a lap later having clashed at the hairpin leaving Marsh to take 4th and Byrne 5th.
Payne lead from the lights with Picone in close attention, Croker and Turnbull a few seconds behind them. Jones, with his car now sorted, soon joined the leading bunch taking 3rd place away from Croker on his 5th tour. Turnbull dropped out of the race on lap 8 leaving Croker and Martin fighting over 4th, this going to Croker at the flag.
Class A was Cole with a 53.687 on lap 5.
Class B, Luti 54.603 on lap 6.
Class C, Payne 56.682 on lap 20.
Driver of the Race:- Will Payne
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