MGCC SW Centre, invitation event from Minehead Motor Club

Eventually the rain gods decided to give us a weekend off and Sunday 23rd June was probably the first dry day with grip in the grass since our own MGOG1 back in April. This made for excellent conditions at Minehead Motor Club’s first grass autotest of the year.  Three MGCC members entered thanks to a kind invitation.  The SW Centre has been gradually building good relations with Minehead Motor Club especially on grass autotests.  At MGOG1 Clive Rayson from Minehead walked off with FTD in his Westfield, so here was a chance for SW Centre to regain some honour.

The three MGs entered were Mike Angwin in his MGF, Peter Kuruber in his beautiful MG ZS 180 and Chris Pelmear in the 1275 Midget.  And then there were four!  Rob Woodward and father Les had recently acquired an MGF.  Les was secretary of the meeting so Rob piloted the F on the day.

The field at Ellicombe is the local rugby club pitch.  Clearly, the event does not do the playing surface a lot of good, but the field is actually owned by the MMC President, and repairs or reparations aways seem to see the turf recover.

There were four tests.  The first was the often used “four points of the compass” with a gate at the centre.  The next two were variations on a compressed slalom.  The final test is traditionally the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit – so imagine a flattened broad bean, with Paddock Hill Bend, Druids and Clearways etc.  An excellent entry of 19 starters attempted four runs at each test. 

This event is always a perfect balance of relaxed fun but with a definite competitiveness underlying it.  The great atmosphere is enhanced by a very professional lunch truck and even a Portaloo to make life easy.

After lunch the dry conditions started to lead to some ruts.  This favoured a well driven front wheel drive car or those with some power.  The ruts saw Paul Merson in his indecently powerful trials special raise two wheels a long way in the air, but fortunately it landed back on the rubber.  Generally, clerk of the course Tony managed to avoid any potentially damaging bumps, although by the end of the day all cars were kicking up some fine dust clouds.

When the dust had settled and results tabulated, it really is true to say it was very close.  There was a three way tie for FTD on 13m 12s. between three well driven fwd hatchbacks.  Our own Mike Angwin was so close, finishing third in class and 4th o/a on 13m 13s.  How near, yet so far is that.  Well done Mike.  The most important thing being that Mike beat Clive Rayson by over 30s, so restoring MGCCsw honour after MGOG1.  There were ten starters in the class.  Chris finished 6th (12 o/a), Peter 8th (17th o/a) and Rob who is just getting to grips with the Woodward MGF was 9th (18th o/a).

The results are available to view by clicking here Ellicombe Autotest 23rd June 24 Results

The next MMC autotest at this lovely venue just between Minehead and Dunster is on 28th July, again with special invitation to MGCCsw.  Our own MGOG2 follows on 11th August and we hope to welcome some MMC members to support us.

Chris Pelmear