MGs at the Jefferson 500! Vintage Racing Action at Summit Point Raceway

Photo for MGs at the Jefferson 500! Vintage Racing Action at Summit Point Raceway

A host of vintage racing MGs gathered together at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia the weekend of May 16-19, 2013. A special event was happening, the 20th Anniversary of the Jefferson 500 vintage race, sponsored by the Vintage Racers Group. The MG Vintage Racers had also decided to make the Jefferson 500 their annual “Focus Event” which added to the record turnout of MGs.

The MGVR Focus Event is their equivalent to NAMGAR’s annual GT. The Grand Marshal for the event was racer Brian Redman of Sebring, Targa Florio, and a lifetime of racing fame. Brian started the event twenty years ago with his good friend, Bill Scott, who’s family still owns and operates Summit Point Raceway.

JeffersonGeorge Shafer Demonstrates 2-Wheel Cornering

Entries of MGAs for the Focus Event totaled a whopping 21 cars spanning all MGA varieties from 1500s to Twin Cams and everything in between. Additionally, both coupes and roadsters were represented, truly something to see for every MGA lover! Just as impressive was the distances from which the drivers came. Three cars came from Canada, one from Minnesota, as well as others from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut, and I’m sure I missed a few. One driver, David Nicholas, who recently wrote an article in the January/February issue of MGA! about his return to his MGA racing roots flew in from Hawaii to give a new motor a run.

JeffersonMark Palmer in #185

The MGAs were clustered together in Group 5 and the weekend started with a general track practice day on Thursday. Both Friday and Saturday consisted of a morning qualifying session and an afternoon race. Additionally, on Saturday evening the special MGVR all-MG Focus races were held. For the regular Group 5 race sessions, the MGAs were pitted against other vintage cars, such as Elva Couriers, Austin Healeys, Triumphs, and a Porsche. The highest MGA finish was a fourth place by Mark Palmer in the Saturday afternoon race. Mark was followed by Chris Meyers and David Conrad in their MGAs.

JeffersonMGVR Focus Race Winner Chris Meyers

For the MGVR Focus race only MGs were entered and the MGAs ran in Race 1 along with the T-Series cars. Chris Meyer and Mark Palmer again led the MGA field and swapped positions a few times during the race. This time Meyers edged out Palmer and they finished first and second respectively, followed by William Bartlett in third. For those interested in a complete listing of the results, they are located on the VRG website.

JeffersonJim Holody leading Mark Brandow & David Conrad

What I took away most from the event was the overall camaraderie shown by all the fellow racers and just how genuinely everyone enjoyed racing their cars. There were certainly all levels of MGA racers out there, from very highly prepared cars with full racing motors and all the latest goodies, to mildly prepared street MGAs (with the added requisite safety equipment, of course). As we cover MGA vintage racing in future issues, we will endeavor to profile a few of these cars and show some of the differences in their preparation.

 

Photos by M M "Mike" Matune, Jr.

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Last updated on July 30, 2013.

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