BHR Cadwell – 23rd/24th September
Challenge Series Final Rounds
The final two rounds of the 2017 Morgan Three Wheeler Club Challenge Series were contested at this super weekend of racing. A packed paddock and plenty of activity. Cars, drivers, passengers and racing numbers swapped all weekend, making it difficult to work out who was who!
Three 5 Speeders were competing against eight of the older cars in the Challenge Series races and the older cars were racing in the B3 events. A total of six races over the weekend for our cars with one or two minor mechanical mishaps.
Saturday report by Jonathan Garside
Arriving at Cadwell just before 10am on Saturday morning I was amazed to see how full the paddock was practically all space taken up. Over 240 entries including 50 sidecars and 11 Morgans. Other clubs especially the VSCC would give anything for an entry of this size, but then I am sure value for money in entry fees and the number of rides per entry is a lot to do with BHR’ success.
Morgans were able to enter two B3 races as well as the Morgan Challenge on each day, the 5 speeders only able to race in the Challenge series as their engines are over the 1300cc capacity limit, but have a dispensation to race in the Morgan only events.
The Morgan entries comprised the 8/80 JAP engined cars of Hamish Bibby and Paula Heaney in Greg’s car, Bill Tuer and Mia Simons-Weston, Maggie taking a rest this weekend. Chas Reynolds was a late entry (what’s new there!) with Alistair Rew in the passenger seat. In the Matchless camp was Tom Cowley driving Cathy’s car with Maggie Bridge passengering. The F types were represented by Dave Hodgson’s IOE F2 , Phil Bridge with Sue Clews’ IOE F Super passengered by Becky Washington. Our new Comp Sec Tony Pearson was campaigning his SV F2 with Jackie Scruton alongside in the B3 races and wife Charlene keeping him under control in the Challenge event.
Entered in the Challenge event only were the 8/80 JAP engined car of Nigel and Sarah Challis, 5 speeders of Austin Smith and Julia Perry, Rob Pike and Petra Rarko, and John and Jackie Scruton. Also in the Challenge event Danny Hodgson and Bronte Pearson took over Dave’s car but they campaigned the Buckland in the B3 races.
Practice was fairly uneventful the only problems noted were to Tony Pearson’s brakes which had a broken brake pipe, which was replaced by a new one made up by a garage in Louth, and Tom Cowley busy changing sprockets and juggling with assorted chain lengths. Oh the joys of two speeder racing.
Prior to racing commencing the weather turned quite chilly under leaden skies, but did brighten up later in the afternoon.
Whilst wandering around the paddock assorted MTWC members were noted including the formidable Yorkshire duo of Brian Woods and Cliff Dearden. Richard White, and Chas Pilbeam were on the prowl too. Keith Cook brought his 8/80 powered racer which he hopes to compete with next year and very nice it looked too. It was especially nice to see Sue Clews who was keeping an eye on her F Type racer and was seen chatting with Chris Western, the original builder of the car over 40 years ago.
The first B3 race saw all the Morgans, except the 5 speeders, entered amongst a sidecars and B3 cyclecars with a total of 32 on the grid. The Morgans and B3 entries were in a batch at the back of the grid as they were in a separate class, but nonetheless it made for a busy and exciting race over 4 laps of the full circuit. Hamish Bibby and Bill Tuer were going at it hammer and tongs catching various sidecars until half way round the last lap when the chain on Hamish’s car cried enough and broke a link. Bill took the class win and only failed by 5 secs to win overall. Chas Reynolds took a fairly lonely 3rd spot 32 secs behind followed by Tom Cowley a further 15 secs adrift in 6th. Phil Bridge was next Morgan in 9th place, and Tony Pearson and Dave Hodgson battled further down the field ending up just 3 10ths apart in 10th and 11th respectively. Danny Hodgson in the Buckland was in 5th place just over a second in front of Tom Cowley. Overall fastest lap went to Bill Tuer.
Race 12 of the day was the Morgan Challenge race over 4 laps and included the 5 speeders and Nigel Challis. There were 3 Morgans on the grid which not in the programme. They were Hamish Bibby, Bill Tuer and Chas Reynolds and amazingly they finished in that order. However this told us nothing of the battle between the first two who were neck and neck throughout with Hamish just winning by .half a sec. Chas and Nigel had a similar battle Nigel leading all the way until the last few yards when Chas prevailed by just over a tenth of a sec. Nigel later found unexpected tappet clearance on the o/s head with fuel pouring out. Austin Smith was the first 5 speeder in 5th place followed by Danny Hodgson, Phil bridge Rob Pike John Scruton ans Tony Pearson. Tom Cowley unfortunately retired on the last lap with carburation problems.
The remaining event for Morgans on the Saturday Race 16 in the programme was for the same field as Race 4. Again we had Hamish Bibby and Bill Tuer attempting to get through the field but their battle was short-lived with Hamish retiring on lap 3 with carburettor problems. Bill finished in 2nd spot 5 secs down on the leading B3 outfit a Nourish Weslake, however he did put up the fastest lap. Chas was next Morgan in 11th overall, with Phil Bridge, Dave Hodgson and Tony Pearson all finishing within 3 secs of each other. Danny Hodgson finished in 6th place in the Buckland complete with a 5s penalty for gaining an advantage, i.e. cutting a corner, but he denied all knowledge!
Sunday report from Cathy Quinn,
Sunday started with Tom [Cowley] in the same place as the night before, fixing the Morgan leaving the Pearson’s to believe he had been working on it all night! All the Morgans received some last minute fettling and some last minute changes of passengers. Jackie Scruton joined Tony Pearson, Nick Clegg joined Dave Hodgson and Petra joined Phil Bridge.
It was a very busy grid for the first mixed three wheeler race but Bill and Hamish found their way through the traffic to challenge at the front, the other Mogs mixing it with the BEARs outfits.
The Sunday Morgan race was reversed grid with the racers starting at the back. There was chaos at the start and Rob Pike was out in front leading the way up Charlie’s. Tom passed the race leader into Park and held the lead for three laps. He was caught by Bill and Hamish who came charging past after being stuck in traffic. As first and second was decided, the battle was on for third place with Chas catching Tom, with Cathy and Lesley both cheering on in the grandstand. Third place was a photo finish, Tom just pipping Chas, Nigel Challis finished 5th followed by Danny Hodgson, Rob Pike, Austin Smith, Phil Bridge and Tony Pearson. The camaraderie was great in the paddock and fun was had by all!
For the last race there was a big three wheeler grid but only 3 Morgans took to the track: Bill, Ham, and Chas, and also Danny in the Buckland. Hamish and Bill started from grid positions 34 and 32 so they had lots of BEARs traffic to negotiate which was very chaotic! Bill finished 3rd, Hamish 5th, Chas 7th and Danny 8th.
During this race Hamish completed the fastest lap with a time of 1:55.66 which was in fact the fastest three wheeler lap of the weekend! An exciting finish when Bill was a transponder’s width away from beating Hegarty on the line.