Sprinting in a Midget - Andrew Noakes - Motoring Writer

Looked at objectively, all motor sports are preposterous activities. Hillclimbing and sprinting might look more preposterous than most, given the time and effort required for a day’s competition which might, if you’re lucky, see you in action on the track for a total of five minutes.

But ‘speed events’ like these have their attractions: competitors run individually against the clock, so unlike circuit racing you can’t be innocently involved in someone else’s accident. That’s a major advantage if, like me, you prefer to drive your car to events and, hopefully, home again. Car preparation is easier and entry fees lower than in racing and, arguably, the paddock atmosphere at speed events is friendlier and more laid back. Last September I splashed down to a wet Wiscombe to see the MGCC Luffield Speed Championship in action (above) and was convinced.

So my trusty 1275 Midget – my main road car for the last three years – is now being transformed into a racer. Well, transformed is probably overstating it, because the ‘standard’ class of the championship permits few modifications and requires even fewer.

A roll-over bar is mandatory for open cars, as is a fire extinguisher and one or two other safety items. In recent weeks I’ve added a pair of bucket seats and four-point harnesses, a smaller Moto-Lita steering wheel and a K&N air filter I picked up on eBay. A tubular exhaust manifold was on the car when I bought it. To cope better with journeys to and from events, Midget race-prep specialists CCK (01825 733060) swapped the dynamo for an alternator, and I’ve fitted halogen headlamps and an oil cooler. Otherwise, GAC442K remains essentially standard.

The championship’s ‘Southern’ region begins with two sprints, at Rushmoor (9 April) and Longcross (23 April). The learning curve for my debut event is going to be steep: I’ve never even been to Rushmoor, let alone driven it…

Share this page