The opening round of the 2023 MG & IBS season kicked off with some big absentee’s from the grid. Phil Chester’s GT V8 the most notable absentee with the car not ready in time relegating him to his MG F. While we also saw Simon Elliott unable to make the round while Mike Roddy in his TWR XJS Jaguar joined the field and Trevor Lindsay from South Australia made the trip across. Reigning champion Michael Trathen proudly in the #1 MG Midget was back as well while Robin Bailey entered but was unable to make it until Sunday.
Qualifying saw Michael Roddy claim pole position ahead of Keith Ondarchie, Trevor Lindsay, Mike Trathen and Danny Ciarma rounding out the top 5. Notable performances in qualifying included John Illingworth in his MG ZS in 8th, Henk Zwartaveen in 11th and first of the classic MG B’s amongst the 23 qualifiers.
Mike Roddy didn’t have it his own way off the start with Keith Ondarchie getting ahead, Lindsay and Trathen in close pursuit/ Early on the battle was tough as we saw Geoff St John Cox and Tony Vollebregt progress forward while John Illingworth slipped down a couple of position. Phil Chester had good momentum moving into the top 15 and pushing in his MG F. The home of horsepower put some challenges for those stuck behind the horsepower hero’s throughout the field.
Ian Cowie pulled into pit lane in his TR8 Triumph on lap 4 while shortly after we saw Alister Ondarchie in his TR7 pull off the track. While all this happened Phil Chester moved his way into 12th while Alana Ondarchie moved into 9th, up front Ciarma and Wood in their GT V8’s were line astern in 4th and 5th. As the last lap commenced we saw Keith Ondarchie come to a halt in the Stag which left Mike Roddy to sweep to glory ahead of Lindsay and Trathen
Sunday’s first race saw Robin Bailey start rear of grid while Henk Zwartaveen got so excited he got a jump start which added 5 seconds to his race time. Trevor Lindsay and Mike Trathen got the jump on Roddy while Rodney Gibb in the big ZT V8 moved his way up to be just outside the top 5 early on, as the race went on he slipped to 7th but still that is still an improvement. Alister Ondarchie made a bold drive to be up to 15th from rear of grid as Bailey found himself at the front now with Roddy. Roddy took a few laps for his tyres to come on and just as they did Bailey came into the bits with a fuelling issue. Keith Ondarchie made strong progress and inside the top 10 but the podium was out of reach.
As the race came to a close Roddy took a commanding win ahead of Lindsay and Trathen again. Keith Ondarchie the big mover up to 5th while brother Alister cemented himself in 10th with a stellar drive in the TR7.
The finale saw a hard starting Ciarma and Ondarchie push early on, Roddy again needing his tyres to come to him while Trathen and Wood stuck behind close by. On the second lap we saw Alister Ondarchie again come to a halt while running in the top 10 and a lap later Peter Rose pulled off with a misfire in his MGB. Lindsay had hit the lead up front ahead of Ciarma and Ondarchie as Roddy pulled off with a misfire and electing to not risk any damage. Zwartaveen pushed hard in his MG B and had to pull into the lane with mechanical dramas. Up front Lindsay took the win from Ciarma, K.Ondarchie, Trathen and Wood.