MGCC Season Finale at Snetterton

The MG Car Club held its final races of the marque’s 100th-anniversary year at a bright but breezy Snetterton. 

It was the season-finale for most of MGCC’s championships: as well as race honours to fight for there were championship titles to settle on the Norfolk venue’s 300 layout. As usual the racers provided plenty of competitive action and engaged in spirited battles during the double headers for each of the five MGCC race categories.

Steve McDermid #77, Jake Fraser-Burns #17 and Stuart Tranter #220 dominated at the front of the MG Cup races.

MG Cup Powered by Cherished Vehicle Insurance

MG Cup celebrated the contest’s 35 years at its Snetterton season-closer with a special Saturday night hog roast and a big grid of 25 competitors.

There was a fresh look at the front of the field as Jake Fraser-Burns made his championship debut in his MG ZR 190 while the similarly equipped Steve McDermid was back for the first time since his race-winning outing at Brands Hatch’s season-opener. The pair, with Fraser-Burns on pole, took their places on the front row of the grid for race one. McDermid took the lead at the start and stayed ahead to lead Fraser-Burns home by 1.5 seconds. Invitation class entry, Stuart Tranter was third in his Rover 220 Turbo. Simon Lowery in fourth completed the Class C podium and was voted Driver of the Race by the race commentators.

Overall championship contender Ian Boulton was first to the flag in Class B, leading home his title rival and fellow MG ZR 170 runner Dan Ludlow. Class C’s Ashley Woodward, who led the overall points coming into Snetterton, could only finish seventh in class with a down-on-power MG ZS 180.

McDermid and Fraser-Burns again filled the front of the grid for race two with McDermid on pole this time. The duo again had a close scrap for victory. Although Fraser-Burns got ahead briefly, McDermid again emerged on top after 20 minutes of very entertaining racing.


After two hard-fought races Ian Boulton #74 emerged as MG Cup champion for 2023.

The MG B GT V8 of Russell McCarthy #93 leads James Wheeler #1 and Neil Fowler #86 around Murrays.

BCV8 Championship

Russell McCarthy was on fine form in his MG B GT V8 as he took pole position at the BCV8 championship’s penultimate meeting of the season. However, all was not well with McCarthy’s bright yellow machine and there was frantic activity in the paddock to change the gearbox and a half-shaft.

The work was finished in time and McCarthy was able to take his place on the grid for race one but dropped back to third at the start behind his similarly mounted rivals James Wheeler and Neil Fowler. McCarthy clambered his way back to first by half distance and went on to win despite having to fend off the close attentions of Fowler to the end.

Andrew Young in his MG C roadster took the flag in fourth place overall to win Class C, 3.5 seconds ahead of class rival Ken Deamer in his MG B GT V8. Babak Farsian’s MG B Roadster won Class B not far ahead of Simon Cripps’ MG B, after the class leader, Paul Eales, retired with a gearbox problem. David Strike was a comfortable Class AB winner in his MG B GT.

McCarthy wasn’t able to fight for a double win at Snetterton as he retired almost immediately from race two with a misfire. It left Wheeler leading Fowler in a close fight for the win. Fowler briefly got ahead but half a lap later had a lock-up and Wheeler retook first place. They finished in that order.

Young passed Oliver Wardle’s MG B GT V8 to seal a double win in Class C but he only held off his foe by three tenths at the end. Farsian again beat Cripps in Class B while Strike also became a double class winner.

Ken Deamer #81 leads a gaggle of Class C cars around Coram.

Mark Wright #8 took a comfortable win in the Cockshoot Cup Race 1.

Cockshoot Cup Championship

The Cockshoot Cup runners made a rare visit to Snetterton and had a championship fight to settle, chiefly between Class F’s Phil Rigby in an MG F and defending champion David Morrison in his Class B MG Midget.

At the front Mark Wright took pole for race one in his MG F Cup car with Morrison alongside him on the front row. As usual, the Midgets of Morrison and Keith Egar got rocket launches but Wright was able to maintain first place on the outside of Riches.

It set Wright up to win comfortably, despite a safety car interruption after Helen Waddington’s MG ZR 170 spectacularly blew up at the rapid Coram curve and the resulting oil spill led to several cars spinning or half spinning.

On the resumption of racing Egar and Chris Greenbank (MG F) got past Morrison who was focused on taking Class B victory. Wright went on to take the flag 3 seconds ahead of Egar and Greenbank who finished second and third respectively. John Payne finished second in Class B having recovered from a spin on the oil to beat Mark Bellamy across the line for the place. Payne’s efforts earned him the Driver of the Race award.

Rigby had a frustrating race. He had a spin at Coram while trying to recover after losing time as the field spread out at the safety car restart and could only manage this in class. Gareth Jones (MG TF) won in Class F.

Egar jumped Wright at the start of race two and the pair had a fascinating place-swapping battle for the win which went in Egar’s favour. Egar also set a new outright Cockshoot lap record and received the Driver of the Race award.

The championship mathematics were that Morrison would retain his overall title with a class win, and that’s what he again achieved when he took the flag in fourth place overall. Rigby though did what he could with a class win of his own, beating Gregory Elgood who had to drop out late on with a misfire.

Morrison’s two Snetterton class wins meant he had eight wins in a row – a maximum in the championship where eight of the 10 results count – after having to sit out the two races at Oulton Park’s season opener as his gearbox was leaking oil.

David Morrison #1 retained his Cockshoot Cup championship crown.

Martin Morris #6 took overall victory in both Midget & Sprite Challenge races.

Lackford Engineering Midget & Sprite Challenge

Martin Morris – back in his maroon Class A Midget due to damage to his blue-liveried version – was dominant out front in the Midget & Sprite Challenge at Snetterton and won both races of the double header.

The fight for the championship in this season-closing meeting was chiefly between Class D Midget pair Hugh Simpson and Barnaby Collinson who was just behind on points. Simpson’s Norfolk weekend didn’t start well as his gearbox broke on his qualifying out-lap. Amazingly, he was able to to take part in the races having had a gearbox loaned to him…by his title rival, Collinson.

Simpson managed to jump from the back of the grid to head the Class D runners on lap one of race one, but then – running at race speed for the first time that weekend – he locked up and ran off track. It left Collinson with a clear on-track class lead ahead of Simpson and that’s how they finished, the result shrinking the points gap between them.

Pippa Cow and Richard Bridge, running in P2 and P3 behind Morris, once again had a thrilling place-swapping battle for the Class E win. Cow pipped Bridge by a tenth at the flag for the class triumph and second place overall.

Morris once again dominated race two while Cow and Bridge once again had a close battle for second overall and the Class E win. Cow again prevailed and received the championship’s Driver of the Meeting award.

The championship battle however was resolved almost immediately in that second race as Collinson slowed because a distributor lead detached and he was only able to rejoin the action three laps down. This left Simpson set fair for the title and, having jumped to second in class from the back of the grid on lap one, he passed Andrew Caldwell for the class lead on lap two and won the class comfortably in fourth place overall. The championship was his!

Hugh Simpson #14, Midget & Sprite champion 2023.

Tylor Ballard #88 MG Trophy champion 2023

The Holden MG Trophy

The MG Trophy races at Snetterton featured a high-quality five-way battle at the front. Adam Jackson and Fred Burgess returned to the MG ZR 190 Class A contest to join habitual frontrunners Graham Ross and Doug Cole plus Cadwell Park’s in-form man, Sam Meagher.

At the start of the first race the front five quickly became three as poleman Meagher spun at the first turn and Jackson had to run off the track in avoidance.

Ross had taken the lead at the start and stayed ahead for the duration while Cole held off an attacking Burgess before Burgess dropped away late on with an exhaust breakage but still finished third. Jackson set fastest lap and recovered to fourth place before parking with a driveshaft failure. 

James Cole dominated Class B after establishing a clear early lead and he beat newly crowned overall champion, Tylor Ballard, by six seconds. Ballard, after claiming the title at Cadwell last time out, ran the number one and a special gold champion’s windscreen sunstrip (a surprise gift from Graham Ross) on his car at Snetterton.

Tony Wigley, who finished fifth in Class B, was awarded Driver of the Race.

Ross said: “In qualifying I looked at the times, 1.2s behind, and I thought ‘this is going to be a struggle’. But I made a good start. I thought that was my only way if I was going to maybe win it or control it if I could get to the front. 

At the start of race two Ross again led from Doug Cole while Jackson immediately vaulted from 10th on the grid – after traffic problems in qualifying – to run fourth behind Meagher, with Burgess completing the front quintet.

Ross looked good for a double win but spun at Murray’s. This let Meagher – who’d passed Cole early on – into the lead but with Cole on his tail. Cole got by to lead with a lap to go thanks to a fine move at Riches were he lined up on the outside line of the defending Meagher then cut back to out-accelerate him on the inside at the corner’s exit.

It meant Cole won his final race before retiring from full-time racing and, adding to the celebration his son James doubled up on Class B wins holding off Ballard and Scott Bugner. Cole Sr also got Driver of the Race. Jackson, meanwhile, pitted as his driveshaft broke , the other side this time, and the grease in the boot went onto the exhaust filling the car with smoke.

Doug Cole #99 took victory in the last MG Trophy race to be run by the MG Car Club.

It’s all change now for the MG Car Club’s championships. After six decades, the club has regrettably taken the decision to withdraw from race organisation and the championships will be going there separate ways in 2024. It’s a very sad time for the club which, like the MG brand, is steeped in racing history but the racing will go on with different organisations. More news anon.