MG "High Five" Tag Team Race
By: Greg Prehodka
(Note: please click on the pictures below to see a larger version - hi-res pictures also available)
The Vintage Sports Car Club of America injected a huge amount of FUN into its “Fall Finale” races at Lime Rock Park, Ct. this October 6-7, by orchestrating an “All MG Tag Team Handicap Race”! This was a special race, in addition to their usual “Scratch” Races”. MGs were the featured marque, and as a bonus they were given a special “All MG” handicap race. Based on “lap times”, the handicapper assembled eight teams of three MGs each with about equal potential to win. Teams were mostly mixes of MG T’s and MGA’s, with each team also having to supply a designated “High Five” tag team runner. For the start, the first group of 8 MGs took the green in the normal manner, completed five laps, then came into the pits. Jim Warren – on the winning team – recalls the start: “As the opening leg for the winning team, I started on the inside of the front row. When the green flag dropped, an unidentified TD on my outside got a jump on me, grabbed the lead going into Big Bend, and held on for the remainder. Steve Schultz in MGA #60 and I had been swapping slipstreams all weekend and I was not too surprised to find him putting me behing him after lap one. The three of us proceeded in order as a three-MG freight train until our final lap. I almost passed the two in front of me as they ducked into the pits at the end of our 5 laps and came to a stop. I caused a bit of front tire squeal trying to avoid Steve’s rear bumper, but managed to pull in and “High Five” Jean Weissenborn, our team runner. The rest is history.”
As the teams first MGs came in and stopped in the designated area, each driver gave a “High Five” to their team’s runner, who then ran to the team’s second MG parked on the false grid, giving that driver a “High Five” slap. With that slap, the teams second MG went out for its five laps. Repeat for team’s 3rd MG which took the checkered flag, with a total of 15 laps for the team race. This provided exciting entertainment of watching MGs coming and going and runners racing on foot with each other to tag off their team’s next car with runners often running neck and neck with each other in a foot race! And instead of the usual scratch race - where we usually know who is most likely to win – this was truly a “race to the finish”, as the winning team won by only a few car lengths with everyone cheering their team on! Part of the winning strategy was to get a fast runner! And for a couple of racers, it became a test of their ability to count “Five laps”, as they did SIX laps before pitting – putting their team out of contention to the dismay of their teammates! Overall, it was great fun for racers, runners, and spectators alike and all agreed that it should be done again in the future. The winning team of three MGA drivers – grinning ear to ear - were rewarded with bottles of champagne to celebrate their victory. It consisted of:
- ’57 MGA - Jim Warren
- ’59 MGA - Jim Weissenborn
- ’60 MGA - Storm Field
Storm later reflected: “What a super fun event! The handicapping was spot on with about four teams charging the finish line together. Jim Weissenborn’s wife was our runner and I think it was her efforts that put us in the lead! I have to say that both Jim’s on our team drove like men possessed and I have no trouble crediting them for our sterling performance. I was just glad to be part of the weekend! Kudos’ to all who arranged the race program and thanks to all the fellow MG racers who couldn’t have been nicer or more fun to race with!” And fellow team winner Jim Warren: “This was one of the most satisfying events I’ve run in quite some time – the wacky MG relay race was great fun!
Other comments on the event: John Schieffelin racing his ’39 MGTB: - “The Tag Team race was really fun – it loosened up the atmosphere, gave everyone a chance to shine, and encouraged more people to get to know each other.” Chris Meyers racing a MGA: - “The MG team race was well run with several cars bunched near the front at the checkered flag. Everyone who participated, or watched, had a great time! Jodi Schieffelin – (“High Five” runner) “I had a blast doing this – I wanted to have more cars to tag!
So, as the sun set on this beautiful part of northwest Connecticut, with all the fall colors bursting out on the rolling hillsides, MG racers and crews left with many happy memories of the weekend!
The above article and pictures are available for publication.
See our Press Release Archive for a shorter version of this article.
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