A Day Out With #TeamAli

Hello again, this is a guest post by Mark Eakin, as most will be aware a lot has happened since Ben flew home from Monaco, including moving house and attending British GT’s, Mark was going anyway and as he is a great friend of ours and enjoys writing when he has time, Mark was the only person to ask, so here is his writeup of his race day out and all the drama that went on at Siverstone and what has been happening since with Ali Rushforth’s car……

Sunday May 31st was a very early start for a 4am departure to head north to Donington Park for the latest round of the MG Trophy. It was my first trip to Donington for anything other than music festivals so I was extremely excited to spend the day with Ali Rushforth and the rest of #TeamAli.

The day started off with the Qualifying race. The results of this race determined the grids for race 1 and 2. Thankfully the rain had stopped by the time the cars started up and headed out onto the track but that wasn’t to last very long before we all got a good soaking again.

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Ali managed to get out and get a couple of timed laps done before having to come back into the pits with a small gearbox issue. This was a fairly simple fix but sadly by the time it was sorted there wasn’t enough time left before the chequered flag to get out again.

By the time Race 1 came around, the track had started to dry out but some cars (including Ali) still went out with half dry, half wet tyres on the cars. Ali was starting in P24 down at the back of the pack and so had it all to play for. By the time they all came round at the end of lap 1 he had already climbed up a few positions and this was to be the trend throughout the race.

At the end of the 20 minute 1st race Ali finished P12 overall and P7 in his class, not bad at all. 🙂 picture 2picture 3

Between the first and second race there were some small issues to fix on the car, and this is where I realised there’s a bit more to some motorsports than just the racing. Ali had a problem with the battery not charging up properly and within a few minutes walking around the other garages, had managed to find someone to lend spare parts to try and get the car back into action. This is something I hope (but doubt) goes on right up to the top levels of motorsport.

Once the car was fixed and running again, there was a bit of time to relax and watch some of the other racing happening before Race 2, which included; MG Metro Cup, Equipe GTS, MGCC Cockshoot Cup and a few others.

Race 2 was a bit of an anti-climax to say the least, all the cars got round lap 1 but then as they came round for lap 2 we noticed that Ali was nowhere to be seen, the next thing we know is the race has been red flagged and we can hear the commentators saying that a couple of cars have come together. As it turned out Ali had been nudged off the track onto the grass, at which point he became a passenger as the grass was still wet and brakes didn’t help. As he came to rejoin the track there was contact with Robin Walkers car which got rolled over. Both cars had to be recovered from the track, thankfully the drivers came out with a few bumps and bruises.

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Apart from the sad end to the day, it was still fantastic for me to spend the day in the garage with TeamAli, and I hope to do it again in the not too distant future! For anyone that has never been to a MG Trophy event, I thoroughly recommend it for a great days racing (cheap tickets too!). Now for a bit of reaction from the driver himself:

Q: What news was there in the aftermath of race 2? Is there any repercussions for the next event?

The only repercussions really are whether we’ll actually be at the next event.

Q: How was the car when you arrived at home and were able to assess the damage? Is it fixable?

A mess!! Any photos that may have been published might show the car to have cosmetic damage, but the actual damage is very extensive; Sub-frame is damaged beyond use, Front panel, Chassis leg, Steering rack, Bottom arm, Wheel, Wing, Headlights, Bumper, Bonnet

Q: Do you expect to be racing again at MG Live at Silverstone?

I’m trying to be, but money is the deciding factor. As I’m sure people will know, someone kindly thought it’d be worthwhile to set up a funding page & as it stands, over £400 has been raised.

The car is in with the body shop & the £400 will go some way to help the repair bill from them.

Add to that the cost of the parts that I don’t have or haven’t managed to do a deal on & we’re looking at a total around the £1100 mark.

That’s before I consider the £400 MG Live entry & possible £220 test fee (if we enter) to make sure the car is ok.

 

If you would like to help Ali get racing again, you can by following this link: http://www.gofundme.com/Get-ali-racing

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