The Lancaster Insurance MG Owners Club Championship are always popular a regular visitor to Castle Combe, with their latest double header round coming in this MotorsTV race day meeting. With the TV camera’s following both races everyone was keen to impress in front of an international audience.
As the grid lined up for their opening 15 minute race it was Andrew Rogerson who lined up on pole position, with Martin Willis sharing the front row with Rogerson. Simon Kendrick was the first of the MGF entries in third, whilst Adam Jackson and his MG ZR completed row two. As the lights went out it was Simon Kendrick who made the best start from third on the grid, although it wasn’t long before Martin Wills had stolen the lead, quickly building up an advantage of several seconds by the end of the opening lap.
The first lap started so brightly for Kendrick from 3rd on the grid, although it soon deteriorated as he first lost the lead to Wills, before losing 2nd place to pole man Rogerson at Camp to complete his opening lap decline. Things did not get any easier for Kendrick as he was soon being challenged for 3rd by Adam Jackson, whilst at the front Wills and Rogerson were extended their gap over the rest of the field.
Andrew Rogerson was clearly in a determined mood after his bad start, as he stormed inside Martin Wills for the lead at the Esses on lap 3, and quickly set about building a lead of several car lengths. In this middle portion of the race Rogerson set to work steadily building his lead to several seconds over Wills in a lonely 2nd position.
In the later stages of the race, attention switched from the lead to the building battle for 3rd, with Kendrick defending from Mark Baker and Jackson, who had recently lost his 4th to Baker earlier on in lap 9. A lap later and Jackson re-took 4th from Baker at Bobbies, whilst things soon got worse for Baker as he lost 5th to David Mellor going up Avon Rise.
Just as the race seemed set for Martin Wills, his 2nd place was briefly put under pressure as he suffered a disagreement with a back marker, forcing him to go off track and endure a grassy moment. Luckily for him his lead was significant enough that he was able to re-join with his 2nd position still comfortable. Comfortable is the perfect word to describe Andrew Rogerson’s victory. He cruised home to a comfortable opening victory, with Martin Wills equally comfortable in 2nd also. Simon Kendrick held on to his 3rd position at the flag, closely followed by Adam Jackson, David Mellor and Mark Baker in 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.
Unlike many series, the MG championship decides it’s second race grid based on the drivers second fastest times during the morning qualifying session, rather than simply producing the grid based on the results of the first race.This meant that for the second race it was once again Andrew Rogerson who claimed pole, with Adam Jackson this time sharing the front row with him. David Mellor lined up 3rd with Nick Golhar completing row two.
From the green light it was Adam Jackson who made the best start to take an early lead, although by the end of lap 1 Andrew Rogerson had once again taken the lead as he went inside Jackson for the lead. With the second race reduced from 15 to 12 minutes because of the tight scheduling issues of the day, it was clear Rogerson would need to quickly build an advantage to solidify his second win of the day.
At the back of the field there was excitement early on also, as Martin Wills was rocketing up the field after he started at the back because he strangely enough decided to change his car. He had decided to change from his ZR which took him to 2nd in race 1, to his MGF for this second race, however he was forced to start at the back because he hadn’t qualified in his MGF car.
During the opening lap Wills charged up from 22nd on the grid to 7th, before quickly passing Paul Wisbey for 6th at Camp on lap 2. In the early laps Rogerson set about building a lead of 1.5 seconds as Jackson was left trailing behind in second. The middle portion of the race saw an exciting battle for 3rd between Simon Kendrick,Mark Baker,David Mellor and Martin Wills, as they constantly changed position during the next several laps.
Wills carried on his charge up the field by passing David Mellor for 5th at Quarry on lap 6.He subsequently got lucky a lap later as he was able to pass Mark Baker for 4th after Baker ran wide at Camp, and things soon got worse for Baker as he spun off and into retirement at Tower later on in the lap. The drama wasn’t quite over at the front also as Simon Kendrick dramatically spun out of 3rd at Quarry, rejoining well down in 10th position.
From here it was all plain sailing for the leaders as Andrew Rogerson once again claimed a comfortable victory, with Adam Jackson was equally comfortable in his second position.Martin Wills inherited his final podium position after the Kendrick spin, something he held onto to the flag to complete his charge up the field from the back in his MGF. David Mellor came home 4th, Paul Wisbey was 5th whilst Stuart Plotnek completed the top six in this second MG encounter.
The series always provides entertainment to the Castle Combe crowd, and whilst this year their were two dominant victories for Andrew Rogerson, there were still some exciting battles behind Rogerson. The series always brings good support to Castle Combe, and for more information on the series please visit their website below.