Challenge Series 2018 – Round 5 at Donington Park
The VSCC played host to Round 5 of the 2018 Morgan Three Wheeler Club Challenge Series running under ACU rules. Simon Edwards campaigned his Super Aero in 2 VSCC Races and won awards in each.
History was made when a 5 Speeder won the Challenge Race, admittedly by a mere 4/100ths of a second.
Twelve three wheelers entered but misfortune hit Tom Cowley during practice and Sue Darbyshire retired at the end of lap 1 after dropping a valve. She was leading the race at the time. Iain Stewart and Phil Bridge, driving Tony Quinn’s Touring Mod. MX2 also failed to finish.
We’ve got quite a few reports from competitors. Click on the logo next to the one you want to read:
Chas. Reynolds shares his thoughts on the day
The entries for the Morgan Only Race at Donington on 24/06/18 were very low. My 2 Speeder racer was out of action (due to a broken crankcase). So, to make up numbers – I entered a standard 1930 LTOW 2 Speeder which I had recently bought at auction. This Morgan had not been running for more than 10 years, but after some intense re-commissioning it fired up beautifully for the first time 2 days before the race. My practice session was taken very gently as the car had only covered 5 miles distance in the previous 10 years. Although it was the only standard car entered, it showed some promise. Looked like it might have had a bit of fun with Cathy’s F-Type (touring modified) and maybe even annoyed Jim Edwards in the Mark Walker / Super Aero Racer.
The start of the race was decided with the slowest at the front and fastest at the rear. This is great with vehicles having a speed difference of about 10% and it makes for an exciting start. But with the massive variation in performance between Standard, Modified and Racing Morgan’s and a speed difference of around 100%. That start felt a bit scary.
I have racing at Donington for more than 25 years (my fastest lap being 1:34 @ 74.2 mph) and I don’t intimidate easily. However, when those lights went out – that grid suddenly looked very angry. Especially when viewed from the slowest vehicle sitting on the front row – about to be gobbled up. I made a reasonable start, but quickly realised that if I hit the clutch to change into 2nd. there was a high risk of my car or its wheels getting “rear ended” by the ensuing mass. So, I stayed in first gear until the bulk of the grid had shot past. But that was far too long and I damaged the engine (probably bent valves). So my race was over in less than 10 seconds.
A split start could have been good. Allowing the slow group to depart 5 seconds ahead of the faster ones. But hey – in hindsight it was all great fun and I remember thinking (for the first time) how glad I was that there were only 12 entries.
Phil & Lesley Reaney did a sterling job (as always). Credit also to the track marshals who suffered all day in the blistering temperature in their thick fireproof overalls.