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New Car, New Track, New Year!

15th March 2015

New Car, New Track, New Year
 
 
New member Jonny Silman attended Goodwood track day with MGoT in February in his new MG ZS 120+. He describes his day out with us here.
 
Words: Jonny Silman, Photos: Nigel Silman
 
Accelerating  down the Lavant Straight for the first time after being released by the pace car was, in all honesty, a slightly scary experience. 110 mph in a car I had only owned for a couple of months, heading straight towards a tyre wall as the track curved away into Woodcote, the penultimate corner on Goodwood circuit. I had done track days before, taking my dad’s MG TF for a spin (often literally) around great tracks like Donington, Brands Hatch and Castle Combe. But Goodwood was different – the first track day of 2015, the first time I had been round Goodwood, was also the first time I had driven my ZS 120, recently bought from a fellow MGs on Track member, in anger around a racetrack. And what a racetrack it is! I already knew that Goodwood was a fast circuit, but it took first hand experience for me to grasp just how fast this famous old track was – a huge portion of the course is spent with your foot welded to the floor, interrupted by sharp spurts of braking and tricky double-apex corners like Madgwick and Lavant.
 
A circuit that you could instantly go out and have fun on, but one that is difficult to master, making it all the sweeter when you get a corner or a section spot on. Doing this was made much easier after an early session with Alan Wilshire, one of the excellent MGoT instructors at Goodwood, who’s input in terms of braking and turn in points, track position and general driving tips was invaluable, giving me the confidence to really have a good go at the circuit, and also to discover what the ZS could truly do. In fact, the ZS could do a lot – for a car so well mannered on the road, it handled the track with no problems, and in the end it was only the fleshy bit behind the wheel that held it back! Mastering Goodwood was also made significantly easier by the weather – bright sunshine for most of the day, fortunately no snowstorms like previous years! Additionally, the track’s marshals did an excellent job getting sessions out on time, and the staggered starts from the pit lane allowed you to go around at your own pace, often not seeing another car for the whole session. This meant that I could freely play around with different lines into corners, and there was no one to hit if I suddenly ran out of talent! When other cars were around, they quickly got out of the way of faster drivers, and the quicker guys always waited until they were let past to overtake – all very courteous. In the paddock, everyone at the event was friendly and chatty, discussing their experiences with the track and their cars, and the committee members worked tremendously hard all day to ensure the event was a roaring success. By the end of the day, the Lavant Straight was no longer scary – it was brilliant, as was my ZS. 110 mph? Easy. I’m going to do it faster next year.
 

Silverstone - A Must Do Circuit!

5th February 2015

Super Silverstone

The excitement of being able to drive at Silverstone starts to build weeks before the event, the social gathering is as much part of the day as driving is whereby the renowned MG camaraderie forms with friends old and new. Nearly all models of MG make an appearance, proving yet again, our Track Days are not just for B’s and F’s.  Silverstone is unique in our calendar in that, to be able to drive on the Grand Prix circuit, you must have experience at a minimum of one track day at another venue. Silverstone is a ‘must do’ event! Be sure to book a track day with MGoT this year to qualify for Silverstone in 2015. There are still a few places at Goodwood for first timers who may want to drive Silverstone this year. 

Steve Brand continues with his account of a day at Silverstone GP circuit - I will let him tell his story!
 
Words Steve Brand; Photo coutesy of Xtreme Sports Photography

The sound of ‘The Chain’…
Just as you turn off the A43 there is a short stretch of road leading up to the entrance, turn left and observe the sign ‘WELCOME TO SILVERSTONE’- The home of the British Grand Prix. Through the security barrier and over the bridge, it’s then I start to imagine the distinctive voice of Murray Walker saying …“And - There - Goes - Nigel - Mansell…” at the same time the sound of Fleetwood Mac reverberates in my head, Yes, It’s ‘The Chain’ the theme synonymous with Formula 1… I feel honoured to be able to drive on one of the best motor racing circuits in the world, here is my ‘whistle stop’ account of the day!  
 
 
To read the rest of the article, click "read more"
 
 

The Season Opens!

1st January 2015

Glorious Goodwood!


Photos courtesy Ken Carrington, Track Snaps

No sooner are Christmas & the New Year over than another season is upon us. You might be thinking now about your plans for the 2015 season. So, to whet your appetite, we deceided to remind you of our last visit to Goodwood circuit in October 2014. We had a glorious day both in terms of the track day as well as the unseasonally balmy autumn weather. Just take a look at these pics to remind yourself!

Goodwood is a fantastic circuit for both a first-time track day and for experienced track drivers alike. So come along at the end of February, we have often
had great weather for this event and we guarantee that you will have a great day irrespective of the cimactic conditions. Book via our dedicated event page HERE.

If you can\'t wait for the end of February, we also have a day courtesy of our good friends at Lotus on Track. this is at Bedford Autodrome on the 2.3 mile SEN circuit. For all of you who ask about open pit lane events, then this one is for you as it is OPL and therefore suitable for those of you with experience of a few track days. Booking is via a dedicated link to the LoT website from our event page HERE. At the time of writing, there are just 16 places left.
 
Finally we leave you with a shot of Mike Staffords Turbo TF which was at Goodwood last October, showing off its very considerable pace. Not only did Mike come along for his first ever track day, but he also provided free track-day support to a number of our members who encountered mechanical gremlins during the day. Many thanks Mike for all of your help, we hope to see you again soon. Mike runs MJS Auto & Marine who are MG Rover specialists and may be found via his website www.mjsautoandmarine.co.uk.

One More Ticked off the Track-Day Bucket List!

1st November 2014

One More Ticked off the Track-Day Bucket List!

In case you missed the MGoT article in the October Safety Fast! here it is again.
Words by Steve Brand & Stu Dickens
Photos by  Derek Partridge  www.inmotionimages.co.uk
 
Steve writes: The day finally arrived, the day many had been waiting for, the day MGs on Track visited Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit! Judging by the smiles on the drivers faces after going out on this superb track, you would have thought it was a free day at the local brewery… There was a full array of MGs, spread out over the full 2.5 mile GP circuit and when back in the pits, every driver appeared to be holding an exciting conversation on the ‘new found’ GP track. I think it will certainly be a circuit to visit again in 2015.
It was great to see our president and founder, Dave Livingstone on track, having travelled some 300 miles to be there along with one of our other founder members Stu Dickens. Stu now tells us about the circuit he has waited so long to try…!
 
Stu\'s account: It was a tough decision booking this Lotus on Track invitation day, double the price of a typical MGoT track-day and also midweek. I fought off the temptation to book for weeks and was only expecting to see a few diehards prepared to splash the cash, but once it was clear we would have more than a good showing of MG’s and would have a virtually full session I just could not resist it. The morning started bright, the forecast was ominous though, a dry morning but wet afternoon, still we were hopeful for a few dry sessions to feel our way around the unfamiliar GP section,  I can honestly say for the first time in ages I was feeling a ‘little nervous’(well butterflies at least!)   Sign on went smoothly, the cars prepped for the first session, a show of hands at the briefing identified those of us who hadn’t driven the GP circuit, it was the majority which made me feel a little easier, we would all be learning together. And so at 09:20 our first session began, as per usual behind the safety car for the first 3 laps to make sure we all had a feeling for the circuit before the wild horses were unleashed. First impressions at this steady pace was good, it was a long way around with lots of new challenges (corners) to get right. The safety car peeled in and we were released, picking up speed along the Brabham straight and diving into Paddock Hill Bend (one of the bends on my ‘dream’ circuit if I could make one), through the compression and up to Druids which is heavy on the wheel with the power steering off, then back on the juice to the Graham Hill left hander and onto Cooper.  Now remember to turn LEFT at Surtees!  This is a real tricky corner for the lower power (Sub 200hp MG’s), you need to keep your momentum up and carry speed onto the climb and straight going down to Pilgrims Drop but there is little run off on the right of Surtees and it would be so easy to overcook it here. Picking up speed you pass under the famous bridge down Hawthorn Hill and into the very fast Hawthorn Bend, braking hard for Westfield and then winding the power back on to negotiate Dingle Dell and the approach to a blind adverse camber Dingle Dell corner. A short spurt and down to 2nd for Stirlings bend and then the hammer down and you’re back onto the Indy circuit at Clearways and into the Clarke Curve before winding it up for the Brabham straight again.  
 
What a circuit!   Brands Hatch GP is right up there with the best. If you get the chance you really must drive this amazing GP circuit
 

The Value of Instruction!

16th September 2014

The Value of Instruction!

If you have not yet joined MGoT at one of our track days and are still wondering if it is for you, then this letter from one of our first timers at Castle Combe last week shows the absolute value of an instruction session.Adrian writes to one of our intsructors on the day.
Words by Adrian Fryer
 
Dear Ben

My name is Adrian Fryer and you gave me instruction at the recent MGOT day at Castle Combe (Blue MG TF car number 13). It was my first time at one of these events and I like to thank you for the excellent tuition and advice you gave me, it really did make the day so much better knowing what I should be doing instead of following other drivers and assuming that they are taking the right lines.

Your instruction to me was very clear and precise which allowed me to take in what you were saying and apply it to driving correctly around the track.

I have attached a photo which suggests I must have been your star pupil for the day because you seem to be loving what I doing so much you decided to blow me a kiss !

Once again thank you and I will have no hesitation recommending you to other novice and experienced drivers, hopefully when I do another track day I will be fortunate enough to have you as my instructor again, I will certainly make a request for you when I apply.

All the very best.
Regards
Adrian
 
Many thanks for taking the time to write to us, Adrian & thanks for letting us publish your letter. Love the picture & hope to see you again soon!
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