Into the fray at Knockhill…

Historic Racing News

A couple of weekends ago I made the trip north for the Classic Sports and Saloons race at Knockhill. It’s not often that our MGB gets an outing, what with the cost of historic racing seeming to double every year. However, Scotland’s premier circuit is close to home, is cheap(er) in comparison to most other tracks and, of course, there’s the weather. It can be sunny across the rest of Scotland, but at Knockhill there’ll be a 50mph wind and torrential rain, which just adds to the mix.


The meeting was of course great fun, although we (or to be precise, me) were somewhat off the pace. We didn’t seem to be going any slower than last year, but MG Midgets, Alfa Suds and Hillman Imps were all making us look even more amateur than we are. A quick chat to Mr Yokahama revealed that our three-year-old tyres might have accounted for the lack of speed… What fastidious preparation we did…

To add to our severe lack of grip – and to think I just thought that the track was a bit slippery – we later found out our brake piston had gone, rendering our brakes even more useless than the tyres. Nevertheless we’re off later this month to sample the twists and turns of Knockhill once more, and we’re hoping to at least be in the midfield.


One thing that struck me last time out was just how sparse the crowd and entry list were (only seven cars lined up for the Scottish Formula Ford 1600 Championship). But there were more than 20 cars entered in the Classic Sports and Saloons race, for production-based machines built between 1947 and December 31 1979, which is a relatively wide spectrum of historics however you look at it.

Lap times ranged from 1min 11sec to under one minute. Under a minute for classics I hear you ask? Well, two Morgan +8s were lapping in the 57sec range. There always have and always will be cars (and drivers) that are much faster than the rest, and the class system goes some way to addressing a runaway championship.


To put a 57-second lap into perspective, another car to achieve that time over the weekend was an Escort Cosworth in the Saloon and Sports Car Championship race. Unless I’m missing something these cars are extremely trick. There’s nothing like good preparation, but it would be interesting to see just how correct these cars are to period. The problem is that if Knockhill were to get snotty about which cars were allowed to race, there would be a very small grid come race day. We’d certainly lose those historic cars whose crews were rumoured to have been remapping the engines late one evening with their laptops…


That aside, Knockhill classics have done extremely well over the past few seasons. To regularly get grids of up to 30 cars is a triumph, especially in Scotland where there just aren’t enough people racing. What’s more these meetings are extremely well organised by the Scottish Motor Racing Club and in particular Chris Edwards, who we’ve nudged to the edge and clean over on a number of occasions, and are attended by some great, like-minded people. That’s why we’re going back, not because we enjoy being lapped by Morgans.

By the way, if you’re reading this Nic Boyes then I’m with you on the rain dances come the next meeting, even if we aren’t getting new tyres…

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