Peter Richards and Ian Rogers are set for historic racing at Morgan Park.
Peter Richards and Ian Rogers are set for historic racing at Morgan Park.

Still plenty of revs left

A CAR which sat under a house at Murwillumbah for 33 years will be in action for the first time at a Historic Queensland Race and Regularity 2011 meeting at Morgan Park Raceway this weekend.

The MGB was rated the fastest of its type in the world when it was raced by Dr Iain Corness from 1968 to 1974.

At that time, he raced at Lakeside, Surfers Paradise and Lowood in Queensland and interstate at Oran Park.

Ian Rogers bought the car in 2008. He said Dr Corness and his wife Carole sold the car to Murwillumbah twins Peter and John McCabe in the 1970s.

“Peter was killed in a lightweight MGB at Lakeside in 1977 and John promised their mother he would never race the car,” Rogers said.

“John died of cancer in 2008 and I missed meeting him by three days. I bought the car from his widow for $20,000.”

While $20,000 might seem a lot for a car which had been under a house for 33 years, Rogers said you couldn’t buy history.

“I have been interested in MGs since I was a little tacker. I also drive an MG on the road,” the retired builder said.

He has spent $20,000 so far on restoring the MGB and is keen to find out how it compares with three or four other cars from the era this weekend.

Rogers expects to reach a speed of around 160 to 170kmh.

“I will be happy to run about middle of the field, I want to have some fun with no damage (to the car),” he said.

If he wants to be closer to the front of the field, Rogers concedes he will need to build a high-tech motor.

“I can’t get that til I get some more money,” he said.

Rogers will compete in the historic sports cars, group T class in a field of eight, including three MGs.

His mate Peter Richards will be in a 1970 Marcos 3L in the historic sports cars group Sc, in a field of 17.

Richards bought a car he describes as virtually a wreck off the internet in 2006 from the United Kingdom and it landed in Australia for $8000.

He has spent another $40,000 on restoration but is not desperate to win.

“I want to be competitive and consistent,” he said.

“The Marcos is a street car made by one of the boutique manufacturers in the United Kingdom which no longer exists.”

Originally from the UK, Richards is a director of an engineering company which works in oil, gas and mining.

He has two ways to relax – historic racing and long-distance running.

He said the running kept him sharp for motor racing.

“I do all my own work on the car except for body and paint work,” Richards said.

The mates know many fellow drivers have moved to the Warwick area in retirement.

They might be in Warwick four or five times a year for events at Morgan Park Raceway but neither plans a move – their wives don’t want to venture west of the Great Dividing Range.

“We moved from Adelaide to be on water at the Gold Coast and she doesn’t want to move away from water,” Rogers said.

As for Brisbane-based Richards, his only chance of a family move to Warwick would be if a Myer Centre was built in the town.

There will be 243 vehicles from five states at Morgan Park this weekend. Qualifying will be held this morning, with racing this afternoon and tomorrow from 9am-3.30pm.

Tickets can be bought at the gate. There are excellent spectator spots on the hill overlooking the track.

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