Playing in the Park

The weekend just gone saw an eventful pair of club meetings at the Hagley & District Light Car Club’s challenging Loton Park venue in Shropshire. The weather wasn’t at its best so times were a little below what we would expect, there were several incidents (not all of them on the track) but the events were enjoyed by most.

'Cornwall Forever!' - Mike Tregoning took FTD on Saturday


Cornishman Mike Tregoning made the long trip from the Atlantic coast of the Dutchy worthwhile with a strong FTD on the 1st leg of the double-header. Mike set the day’s outright pace on the 1st runs with a 50.81s, which left him nearly 1.75s clear of George Bleasdale. George & Mike’s similar V6 Rover engined Pilbeam MP88s sounding glorious as they barked their way across the Shropshire deer park.

Third FTD fell to Sports Libre winner Mike Manning with his rallycross inspired 4×4 Puma as he survived a late charge from Mod Prod main man Andy Dunbar with his gismo-infused Westfield.

1/ Mike Tregoning (Pilbeam) – 50.80s
2/ George Bleasdale (Pilbeam) – 52.51s
3/ Mike Manning (Ford Puma) – 52.71s
4/ Andy Dunbar (Westfield) – 52.85s
5/ Andy McBeath (OMS 25) – 52.94s


Mike Manning took 3rd FTD


The majority of the front-runners from Saturday’s event were present again on Sunday, but they were joined by a somewhat greater selection of single-seater runners. Again, incidents and accidents took their toll on the event, including a particularly big shunt on the Cedar Straight just before the end of the day’s running. Great work (as always) by the Midland Rescue crew and the HDLCC team saw the event finally concluded just after 6.30pm.

As with Saturday’s event, Mike Tregoning was at the pointy end of the times, but he couldn’t catch Sunday-only runner Nev Rollason. Rollason set the only sub-50s time of the day with his OMS 25 to take his 1st ever FTD award.

In something of a works outing for the Empire Racing crew, Simon Fidoe took 3rd FTD en route to the 1100cc class win. As well as Simon’s Father Ian sharing the Empire 002, Dave Gardner brought Empire 001 up from Devon and shared it with the car’s constructor Bill Chaplin.

A successful weekend for Team Dog

Gary Thomas took 2nd in the 1100s and 4th overall in his Force-Suzuki, while the consistantly quick Jon Varley rounded out the top 5 with his lovely, historic BDA-engined March.

1/ Nev Rollason (OMS 25) – 49.82s
2/ Mike Tregoning (Pilbeam) – 50.19s
3/ Simon Fidoe (Empire) – 50.85s
4/ Gary Thomas (Force) – 50.87s
5/ Jonathan Varley (March) – 51.46s

The drama wasn’t over with the end of the timed runs however. Shortly after Our Correspondent (who was the commentator at the hill) had wrapped up the prize-giving there was a shock in store for those remaining in the paddock.

A TVR, which was being loaded onto its trailer in the upper paddock, made a bid for freedom. It went backwards through the paddock fence and charged the wall by the main entrance to the venue. Fortunately nothing was in its way (barring the wall) and damage was kept to a minimum. However, this is the 2nd time (that we know of) that an incident like this has occurred this year and we encourage all competitors & gofors to be especially careful when loading and unloading trailers on the steep inclines that are such a feature of our sport.

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