As I’ve said from the beginning, I intend to pretty much diary my pit lane and paddock antics this season while Ben does his around Europe, its fast turning into a double edged sword as the 1st weekend in May comes ever closer as Ben leaves May 1st for Barcelona, the flip side is I am sure that I will meet a wide variety of new friendly faces, from differing walks of life and plenty of interesting conversations to be had.
As the MG Trophy Championship starts on May 2nd at Brands Hatch, I thought it would be a good time to catch up with Ali Rushforth and find out a bit more about what goes on in the final run up weeks to a season start.
I, for one am so overly excited for this so while I was at it I wanted to know how Quali work and the points system, hopefully I’m not alone in that I have more enjoyment when I understand more about a formula and as I have confessed previously the MG Trophy is a new one for me so i’ve shared this also as I know I’m not the only newbie this year!
Q) How’s the season’s preparation going?
A) Very well, there wasn’t a great deal that needed doing as maintaining the car is a constant process. There’s a few bits and pieces I’d like to change on the car to aid the evolution of it but these are niceties not necessities.
Q) How excited are you for the season ahead?
A) Very!! I think I’ve said before that I had considered a year off in order to concentrate on Lewis starting karting but after recent visits to race circuits to run other drivers, my enthusiasm has been reignited and now I can’t wait for the season to really kick off.
Q) How’s the car looking and more importantly sounding?
A) She is under-going a bit of a make over and even if I do say so myself, she looks amazing and will look even better when the final touches are added.
Q) Any chance of testing likely to happen?
A) Probably not although I may try and run the engine for a bit before round 1 following a top end rebuild.
Q) Apart from yourself and the car, what else have you got to get ready?
A) Finances, Logistics of getting everything/one there, Sponsor tickets, Food/Drink, Hospitality equipment, Personnel, Accommodation.
Q) I notice the car is a she, does she have a name?
A) Was originally Maria-Grace as to keep the initials MG, however I decided to follow what F1 Stock Car drivers do and name her after my wife, so its Becky.
Q) OK so I see there is a mountain of things to tick off the list before setting off for Brands Hatch , at what point can you get into the zone so to speak and think/concentrate on a good Quali for a great race win?
A) I’ll probably be in racing driver mode when I go to bed on the Friday evening following a cycle around the track.
Q) The BIG question….are you going to win the championship this year?
A) I’ll be giving it a damn good go again. This year however sees class C of the MG Trophy being the most competitive in it’s history with 20 cars in that class alone entered for Brands Hatch. The points system means that any driver in any of the classes could become overall champion so we may find the classes with fewer drivers are able to score consistent points throughout the year. Rest assured though that I’ll be giving it 110% from the first green light of the year.
The MG Trophy Championship will be over 12 rounds :-
1 & 2 – May 2/3rd Brands Hatch Indy
3 & 4 – May 30th Donington
5 & 6 – June 20/21st Silverstone GP
7 & 8 – August 8th Castle Combe
9 & 10 September 12th Oulton Park
11 & 12- October 10/11th Snetterton
Qualification is done over 20 mins, the results of which the overall fastest lap gives you pole position for race 1 and the 2nd fastest lap time gives positions for race 2.
Points Awarding System :-
1 point – Fastest Lap in each class
1 point – Pole Position in each class
Race points are awards as follows – 1st (20), 2nd (17), 3rd (16), 4th (15), 5th (14), 6th (13), 7th (12), 8th (11), 9th (10), 10th (9), 11th (8), 12th (7), 13th (6), 14th (5), 15th (4), 16th (3), 17th (2) 18th and all other 1 point.