Season Reports Part 1 MGB - Mark Hope
The Dutch Historic Championship for pre66 Touring Cars and GT’s was where “Betty B” spent her 2019 racing season. She did 11 races at 5 different circuits in 3 different countries. Thanks to the fantastic pre-season and pre-event preparation from all at EDF Motorsport and engine and Craig Taylor who builds her engines the 2019 season was her most successful to date as she chased the NKHTGT Championship competing in the GTS 11 category.
The season opener was at a very sunny Paul Ricard at the end of March. Sharing a grid with Masters Historic Racing on such a fast circuit meant that Betty was going to struggle on outright speed but her nimbleness in corners meant that she was not totally outclassed and after 60 mins of racing she came home 2nd in class and 11th overall.
The next round was at Zandvoort. Betty has always gone well at this circuit and she did not disappoint anyone on this outing either. She managed to do a 2m 11.9s lap, her fastest ever around this wonderful circuit, and managed a 3rd and 2nd in Class and showed that she really was going to be a 2019 Championship contender.
After this Betty headed to Spa. The weather was unbelievably hot and temperatures of 38 degrees proved challenging for many. Betty rose to the task and again set her fastest ever lap at this circuit in qualifying, followed by P3 and P4 in class in her two races.
Betty then had the luxury of a 7 week break from racing and Eddie and D.T. at EDF Motorsport and ace engine builder Craig Taylor went to work pampering her She was treated to a new gearbox and a thorough overhaul before she headed to Assen. Nothing is spared in the way this grand old lady who is now 55 years old is treated. Yet again Betty went faster than she has ever been at Assen and in both her races was second in her class. Unfortunately Erwin Van Lieshout’s Porsche 911 was proving to be a little bit too quick for her, particularly in the wet where the 911 excelled.
After Assen Betty was again back racing at Zandvoort. The NKHTGT Championship was now really beginning to come to the boil and a wet track again played into the Porsche’s hands. However second in class in both her races meant that Betty left Zandvoort lying 5th Overall in the Championship and 2nd in the GTS 11 Class.
The season finale was at Dijon. Unfortunately the weather gods decided to intervene and Betty did not get one single dry lap during qualifying or her two races. A p3 in class in race 1 meant that she could no longer win the championship as she went to the grid for the last race of a very long hard season. A very wet and greasy track was a big challenge for Betty and played into the hands of Erwin’s 911 yet again. He sailed off into the distance to claim the GTS 11 Class and more importantly the NKHTGT Championship. However after two spins Betty managed to finish P3 in class., which meant she finished the 2019 season 4th overall in the Championship and 2nd overall in the GTS11 Class.
Betty now gets a well earned rest whilst Mark gets to go to Holland to pick up the end of season silverware. Happy days.