Anglesey - Trac Môn - 21st/22nd July

Anglesey – 21st & 22nd July 2018

The 2018 Morgan Three Wheeler Challenge Series, Round 6. A good weekend of racing with no fewer than 6 races featuring Morgan Three Wheelers. The depleted entry of 8 Morgans meant that our cars were racing with the BEARS outfits. Mechanical and electrical problems affected both ancient and modern Morgans. A write-up from Austin Smith and great photos from Lee Hollick Photography and Dave Wynne. Results from HS Sports.

From Austin Smith:

A rather depleted field of Morgans entered the sixth round of the MTWC, which was hosted by British Historic Racing at the very picturesque surroundings of Ty Croes on Anglesey.
However, it wasn’t so picturesque when most competitors arrived in the rain and murk of Friday evening.  Things started to brighten up bit by bit on Saturday morning and the track was actually dry for practice and all of the racing.
Due to there being just seven Morgan entries for the Saturday racing and eight for Sunday, the BHR organisers had decided to run the Morgans with B.E.A.R.S sidecar outfits, using a staggered start, with the Morgans at the back of the grid.  This would be a new and challenging experience for the 5 Speeders of Rob Pike and Austin Smith, who have only ever raced against Morgans.
Everyone was scruitineered, signed on and raring to go as they assembled for practice.  However, Jim Edwards was having a close look at Rob Pikes 5 Speeder and was concerned about a rattle from the clutch area.  Rob had noticed that his Morgan had recently become somewhat louder and sensibly decided to retire, before turning a wheel in anger.
Mike and Hugo Pickup were having starter problems with their 2 Speeder J.A.P., but like everyone else, managed to get in some practice laps.
Race 3 (Morgans and B.E.A.R.S.) soon came around and everyone lined up on the grid.  Off went the sidecar outfits, then 10 seconds later a second set of red start lights lit up, then went out, and the Morgans joined the race.  As expected, Bill and Maggie Tuer and Hamish Bibby/Mia Weston charged away with Austin Smith settling into third with Danny Hodgson/Bronte Pearson never too far behind.  Mike/Hugo Pickup were running well in fifth with Jim Edwards/Sue Whittaker making up the rear in the ex-Martin Soames Super Aero, which was sliding around every corner, but they looked to be having some fun!
Hamish took the Morgan honours, with Bill second.  Austin enjoyed his first race with sidecar outfits and was pleased to have successfully passed quite a few on the 6 lap race.  However, passenger Julia Perry had heard a rattle on the last but one lap and was concerned – not that it had slowed Austin as the lap times showed the final lap to be their fastest, by almost 2 seconds!
Once back in the paddock a hunt for the source of the rattle began.  After checking over everything that seemed to clunk at the front end Austin lifted the rear section to find the drive belt trying to cut its way through a shock absorber.  Stripping out the seat backs and bulkhead revealed the outer guard to the bevel box pulley had come off (the source of the rattle) and the drive belt had slipped across, only to be stopped from coming off completely by the shock absorber.  The cause of the problem was due to the bevel box being slightly skewed, which was probably the consequence of a weld failure at the rear bevel box mounting, which had recently been repaired.  Fellow 5 Speeder owner David Wynne had planned a pleasant afternoon watching the racing, but instead spent most of it helping Austin try to fix the problem.  After many many failed attempts everything was eventually lined up with great precision (Thanks Dave Wynne!) and the belt ran true.  Phew, at least one 5 Speeder could continue to fly the flag on Sunday.
No such joy for Jim Edwards, who noticed his front nearside wheel was creaking.  It turned out that there were cracks in the brake drum flange at a number of wheel spokes.  Jim decided not to risk things any further.
Hugo Pickup drove in the Saturday B3 races and endured baptism of fire.  Not helped by spongy brakes he collided into a sidecar outfit at the tight left hander into Rocket, and faced the wrath of the Clerk of the Course.  Damage was confined to the offside front wheel and a bent tie bar, which was duly straightened with yank from a tow rope.
The two buzzing hornets of Bill Tuer and Hamish Bibby ran without any apparent fault and made for a great spectacle as they carved in formation through the sidecars in all of the races.
Sunday arrived and so did Chas Reynolds to bolster the depleted Morgan contingent.
Austin Smith was happy with his 5 Speeder after a run around the paddock and was soon on the track ready for the Sunday Morgans and B.E.A.R.S. race.  The sighting lap went well, the lights went red, the lights went off, Austin revved and dropped the clutch and all of Saturdays efforts went to waste as the drive belt went slack as the bevel box had moved under the load.  Race over.
Mike/Hugo Pickup were suffering starter motor problems and after much pushing, failed to get their engine started from the race assembly area and didn’t make it to the start grid.  They did get it running later and went well in the Sunday B3 races.
Chas Reynolds’ race turned out to be a non-event as he dropped to a single cylinder, but plodded on to finish, despite being lapped twice.  It turned out that a wire had come loose in the black box (ignition).  The non firing cylinder sucked methanol into the engine oil, so an oil change was the order of the day, but the Morgan Supersports then ran great for the Sunday B3 races.
Danny Hodgson was enjoying a good weekend and avoiding troubles, but maybe some of that was thanks to Bronte multitasking in the passenger seat.  Bronte’s jobs included watching the temperature gauge and switching on the cooling fan if needed, holding the gearstick in fourth to stop it jumping out and also looking out for white patches on the nearside front tyre.  Unfortunately for Danny, tyre wear wasn’t to be the problem.  On the last but one lap of the last B3 race of the meeting the nearside front wheel came adrift when the 25 year old stub axle sheared at the Corkscrew!
Very scary, but fortunately the F Type racer safely came to a halt on the grass.
Bill and Hamish battled it out all weekend, with Bill taking most of the honours, but in the last B3 race made an error on the last lap, which let Hamish through to win.
The next and final round of MTWC Challenge is at Cadwell Park on 29/30 September, so hopefully there is plenty time for all the necessary repairs to be completed and there will be a healthy grid of Morgans ready to race, fingers crossed!