SafetyFast! Notes – Oct 16

Since the last Centre notes, we have just one competitive event to report on, MGs on Grass 2 and what a cracker it was. Six acres of smooth grass, three timed tests and five runs on each test. And all for £15. What value for money.

Overall winner was Jeremy Hawke in his J2, a fine sight to see at full chatter on opposite lock around the cones. Class wins also went to Chris Leverett, Kim Dear, Graham Springthorpe and Neil Lock. One notable entrant this year was the legendary Steve Dear, driving like he had never been away from competing. Everyone went home with a smile on their face.

Our premier speed event Wiscombe Hill Climb, takes place just too late to include in these notes. Full report next month, but the results are available via the webpage if you need to know.

Celebrating the first 80 years of our Centre this year will be a commemorative road run, with three starting points at Sparkford, Portishead and Togg Hill, north of Bristol, finishing with lunch or picnic at Chew Valley Reservoir. Full details of entry are on the website.

Now if your Natter held a small local event this year we would love to hear from you and can print your photos and report, and here is one such story from the Ring o’ Bells Natter.

The famous Hotel de France at Le Chatre-sur-le-Loir

A group of seven T types led by Dave Heath took a week out touring Normandy and the Loire velley. The highlight of the trip was a weekend at a small town near Saumur which holds an annual Retro Grand Prix. The town Mayor authorises closure of the main streets and local farmers set out straw bales to make a 2km circuit for the many ‘parades’ of pre-war cars and bikes. These continued until after midnight. Local food and wine was plentiful and the whole event ran with a minimum of formality, as only the French can do.

We then treated ourselves to a night at the famous Hotel de Franceat La Chatre-sur-le-Loir, Sarthe, where many British manufacturers’ teams stayed during the Le Mans 24 Hour races when there were some notable successes in the 1950s and 60s. They even used the car park to service the cars. The hotel displays many signed photographs of the cars and their drivers. The hotel rooms have drivers’ names on the doors; mine was Roy Salvadori and next door was one of my boyhood heroes, Jules Fangio. If you have not taken your MG to France yet you are missing so much, including the opportunity to bring home as much wine and cheese as you have space for.

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