Morgans at Mallory
- a decade apart
My Mum's birthday lunch stopped me from getting along to Mallory, to watch the Morgan Challenge on 28th April- but I did get full results via the Unofficial Race Series Newsletter.
In fact my first ever race - a Morgan race - was at Mallory, on the 22nd June, 1986 and I thought it would be interesting to compare the two races, 10 years apart.
Firstly, the competitor list is entirely different. I was somewhat surprised as there are a number of Morgan racers who still compete today who were around on the track 10 years ago.
The fastest lap that year was 55.4 seconds by Grahame Bryant in a 3.5 litre Plus 8. This was a well developed car at the time - he used to spend more on the suspension than 1 did on my car (not such a remarkable statistic in today's Morgan racing). The 'rear' of the grid was well supported by standard 4/4's - and I even got away with only bring lapped once with a best lap of 1:09.5. I was not last either with 2 finishing behind me plus Jim Deacon failing to make the start.
This year we saw a best lap of 51.64 - almost 5 seconds ahead of 1986 during the 12 lap race (the 1996 race had gained 2 laps) and the slowest car put in 1:02.37 - the timing must be more accurate too! So in other words, allowing for the different race length, he who finished 21st this year would have come in 12th in 1986 and Grahame Bryant would have come 10th this year.
Missing for this year's race is the 'Spencer Formula' handicapping system. This took various data related to the cars, and the computer then reclassified the race results accordingly. This was very exciting normally involving a wait of some weeks to discover the real results! On handicap the 1986 race was won by Kelvin Laidlaw, and I beat Rick Bourne by one place into 6th.
I also see that 4/4's no longer make up any spaces on the grid which is a real shame, but I know from experience that the speed differential is now just too much (25 seconds between the 1986 final placed 4/4 and this years winner per lap) - how about a slow race for the old 'back of the grid club' 4/4's !
© Chris Dady 1996