The annual M.G. Live weekend event at Silverstone was the venue for round 6 of the Lackford Engineering Midget and Sprite Championship. On the full G.P. circuit it was an opportunity for drivers to experience the U.K.’s fastest circuit. There was no shortage of entrants with 25 cars heading for qualifying. It was expected that the class A cars would perform strongest.
The entrants in Class A were Ed Reeve, Paul Sibley, Martin Morris, James Dunkley, a returning Sam Healey and Nick Day. Class B entries Adrian Moore, Chris and Andy Southcott, Dean Stanton, Carl Chadwick, Phil Attwood and Richard Wildman. We had one entry in Class C which was Kim Dear, whilst Class D had Nigel Lackford, Jim Prior, David Jenkins venturing north of Watford, and John Bridge. Class E had Pippa Cow, Richard Perry, Richard Homer, Ian Burgin, Will Corry, John Collinson and sponsor Robin Lackford.
The two days meant that qualifying took place on Saturday and as at Donington it was extremely wet. The result was a mixed session with cars once again qualifying out of position and lap times in most cases well over 3 minutes, at least half a minute over the expected norm. Pole was taken by Sibley who was the only sub 3 minute lap with a huge gap to Southcotts A and C with Perry, Wildman and Healey completing the first six. Dunkley and Reeve had Stanton separating them from Morris with Corry, Cow, Chadwick, Dear, Day and Moore next up. Lackford N. was the first class D runner with Burgin, Lackford R, Attwood, Homer, Collinson, Bridge, Jenkins and Prior completing the field.
Sunday morning and the weather was far more promising and looking like we were going to have some dry racing. In the Paddock there didn’t appear to be any major issues with just the usual pre race checks going on and with our race taking place before lunch there wasn’t long to wait.
At the start the expected happened and immediately the out of position A class cars stormed to the front, noticeably those of Dunkley and Morris. It seemed an age before they came through to complete that first lap but in the lead was Sibley from the fast starting Dunkley and Morris.
Behind, Southcott A was holding off an impressive Healey. There was a gap to Southcott C with Wildman right on his tail, stuck with them was Reeve looking for a way through with Perry on his inside.
Cow was well up and clear of a scrapping Chadwick and Stanton, with Lackford R., Day, Corry, Lackford N., Attwood, Burgin, Collinson, Dear, Bridge, Homer, Jenkins and Prior. Moore hadn’t made the first lap.
Southcott C and Wildman would fight tooth and nail for the whole race, swapping places until the final few meters before the flag with Southcott being given the result by a thousandth of a second, which relates to a couple of centimetres, or where you place your transponder!!!
Meanwhile at the front Sibley was ahead but not pulling away from a fired up Dunkley. Healey and Reeve were now in close combat and would gradually haul in Morris to fight for third place. Likewise the ongoing battle between Cow and Perry was getting in full swing. On that lap we lost Lackford R whose car let out a loud bang before coasting to a standstill, possibly a timing issue. Also the Stanton/ Chadwick fight came to an early finish with both retiring.
As the race progressed the field spread out but there was interest in the fight for the lead, the third place battle of Healey/Reeve, Southcott C and Wildman, and Cow/ Perry. Attwood’s troubled season got worse as he retired on lap four and the maiden season for Day ended in tears with a blown engine.
There was a nice little battle going on with Collinson, Dear and Bridge, and Reeve was ahead of Healey for some laps before Healey would take the place at the flag.
By lap 8 and with one lap to go Dunkley had pulled right onto the tail of Sibley. Was Sibley’s domination about to end? Southcott A’s race was finished and the Cow/Perry battle was over, Perry had miscalculated the pace and unfortunately ran out of fuel.
Healey was an excellent third finally getting ahead of a fighting Reeve. Morris was a lonely fifth ahead of the Southcott C./Wildman battle, both docked 5 seconds for exceeding track limits in their fight. Cow was next from Corry, Lackford N, Burgin, all spread out before Collinson, Dear and Bridge. Homer Jenkins and Prior completed the order.
We had seen a good race with the usual battles going on. We had lost a lot of cars, eight in total, probably due more to the flat out nature of Silverstone than anything else. And we had seen the car that is undoubtedly the fastest in the championship beaten.
Scoops momentous moment : That final corner fight and drag to the line..TWICE.