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MGoT return to Pembrey after 11 years

30th May 2015


  MGoT return to Pembrey after 11 years
 
Words by Dave Livingstone, President MGs on T rack  
It was in October 2004 that a handful of MGs (see photo) first visited Pembrey – a 11/2 mile circuit in Carmarthenshire about 20 miles outside of Swansea. Now, nearly 11 years later, we’re going back! This time it is for a special occasion, as Pembrey will be our 2015 Founder’s Day venue. What does that mean, I hear you think? Well, for the last few years we have dedicated one of the season’s track days to be a bit of a re-union – for the founding members of MGs on Track (MGoT), all past and present committee members and our early-year regulars. Not that this precludes newer MGoT members or indeed first timers; it’s just an opportunity for those of us who don’t do as many days as we used to, to catch up with each other. Pembrey is on Monday 13th July and there will be just 36 places. It is my local circuit now that I live in Pembrokeshire and I’d like to invite any old-timers, like myself, to venture another 50 miles West and come to a BBQ at my house on Saturday 11th July. Weather permitting on the Sunday we’ll also be taking a walk on the beautiful Pembrokeshire Coastal Path or if it’s really nice, maybe even taking a boat trip over to Skomer Island to see if there are any Puffins still around. Email me at Dave@mgs-on-track.com if you’re interested in making a long weekend of it. As for the circuit, though I did drive it myself in 2004, my memory isn’t good enough to tell you much. Fortunately, Neil Thomas, Midget Register Scribe, also lives in Pembrokeshire and he managed to get to Pembrey just the other week (see photo). I’ll leave it to him to tell you about his day.
 
K-series Midget Enjoys a Sunny Pembrey
 
Words by Neil Thomas, Midget Register Scribe  
 
When I was invited to attend a pre-season track day at Pembrey in South West Wales, by members of the local sprint and hillclimb club, I was delighted. This is the nearest motor circuit track to my home and a venue I had been to many times to watch various forms of motorsport, but had never had the opportunity to drive. For a number of years it had been the venue that Formula 1 teams such as McLaren used for testing and which I had been fortunate enough to observe. So, on March 22nd I headed off with my 1964 K-Series Midget. I was particularly keen to try out the track, as I knew MGOT would be there in July. It really is a challenging little track with some quite technical sections, including a hairpin after its main straight, some very fast open bends and some tight 90-degree turns. The weather was brilliant; cold, dry, bright sunshine - perfect for grip. Upon arrival I looked at the other cars attending on the day. My good friend Ceri had brought along his Mk1 MX5 and another friend, keen MGCC member Ken Waylett, was in his 2005 JPS Lotus Elise. There was a cacophony of other vehicles including a brand new GT3, other Porsches from the local Porsche club, a couple of race-prepared Mk1 Lotus Cortina’s, an early 60’s race prep’d Ford Galaxy, various Caterhams, Westfields, Honda GTRs and Subarus. After the briefing we had two familiarisation laps and then we were off. Initially I was wary of the circuit, as the track was quite tricky in places, but as the morning progressed, confidence grew and I was in my element. This was an open pit lane day, which allowed me drive alongside the full range of vehicles present. My Midget performed faultlessly and despite running road tyres on this occasion it held its head up high, embarrassing some of the more powerful cars on the track.
One thing to remember is that the black stuff has lots of grip, but the green stuff doesn’t and the tyre walls can approach very quickly if you decide to take an alternative route. I didn’t try this out, but we were warned! So, a cautious approach is advisable at first, but soon you start to appreciate the great variety of this little 1.45-mile long circuit with its 8 turns running in a clockwise direction.
 
The facilities include a cafe with food and drink available all day and some great banks on the outside of the track for viewing and photos. I thoroughly enjoyed Pembrey and I am certain that anyone attending the MGoT day on the 13th July will not be disappointed. I’ll certainly be back.
 

MGoT at MG Live!

29th May 2015

MGoT at MG Live!
 
As usual, we will have a stand at MG Live! If you are one of our regular tracksters do come along and say hello or if you have ever wondered what track days are all about, then come and chat with Dave, Doug, Steve or Nigel and get the low-down and find out how to join the fun!
 

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.
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