The ancient valley in which Filching Manor nestles reverberated with the sounds of revving engines and the occasional squealing tyres as the Centre hosted its first Autosolo on the old Go-Kart track.
The Centre has been organising Naviscats in recent years and a few years ago regularly held Autotests and now it has re-entered the world of motorsport with an Autosolo. Similar to an Autotest the Autosolo involves forward direction only – so no reversing around cones or backing into garages. That makes for a faster event as the entrants negotiate the cones laid out, in this case, on an actual track.
The MGCCSE Competitions Secretary, John Morgan, was our lead on the event and with the help of the Sevenoaks & District Motor Club arranged for the event to take place. The Centre had visited Filching Manor a couple of times in the past few years and viewed its collection of historic vehicles and the Campbell collection. We have also been following Karl Foulkes- Halbard’s efforts to run Malcolm Campbell’s Bluebird K3 water speed boat. It was hoped to run it at Bewl Water this year but that is looking unlikely now. The boat, and the vehicle collection, were open for viewing on the day and there was a lot of interest in it from those taking part.
These events require no special equipment and any vehicle can take part – MotorsportUK’s Street Car initiative were present at the event in support of the Centre’s and help promote it. It’s an entry level motor sport event and all you need is a MotorsportUK RS Clubman’s licence which is free to obtain online.
The proof that anyone can take part came in the form of club chairman, Tim Morris, who entered with his MGF.
“I’ve had a go at Autotesting, gymkhanas and naviscats with the centre but this was the first time for an Autosolo so I just had to take part. Not having done anything like this for a good many years I was a bit worried about it but in the end, I needn’t have for it was absolutely safe and the marshals dotted around the track all did a great job. I’m not the fastest driver and at one point had the slowest time but it was satisfying to then improve on that in subsequent runs – as I say in the video – “shaving off those seconds!”. I was quite pleased that I wasn’t, as expected, quite bottom of the results list!”.
Tim’s video can be seen on the MGCCSE YouTube channel along with another one showing the event generally to give some idea of what it was like.
The Sevenoaks & District Motor Club were putting in better performances than us MGs so it was no surprise their times were markedly faster but there were different categories including just MG ones.
The winners were as follows and you can click on the button below to see the overall results.
Best MGCC performance – Martin Neal (Austin Healey Sprite)
Fasted time of the Day – Charlie Lower (MX5)
Fastest Lady – Emily Atkins (Mini Cooper R56)
Class A – (Pre 1955 MG & Historic) – Colin Mckay (MGTD)
Class B – (1955 to 1981 MG & Historic) – James Rainford (Lenham Midget)
Class C – (Post 1981 MG) – Steve Rackley (MGF)
Class D – (Production cars up to 1400cc) – Cameron Montlake-Mees (Honda Civic)
Class E – (Producton cars over 1401cc) – Tyler Baker (Alfa Romeo GT 3.2)
Class F – (Production 2 seat sports cars) – Lorenzo Wojtanowski (MX5)
Class G – ( kit cars, specialist cars etc) – Zac Lower (Caterham 7)
Thank you to John Morgan and the Sevenoaks & District Motor Club, Austin Banner for the results co-ordination, Karl Foulkes-Halbard for use of the track at Filching Manor and all the marshals and timekeepers who helped on the day.
If you fancy having a go then keep an eye out for the next MGCCSE autosolo. Meanwhile here are some more images from the day courtesy of Liz Morris, Tim Morris and Austin Banner.