Tylor Ballard

Race Report – Cadwell Park – 30 July 2023

The MG Trophy competitors gathered at the scenic Cadwell Park circuit for rounds 7 & 8 of the 10 round 2023 championship and had a great day of close and competitive racing in fine weather.

The Lincolnshire venue with its spectacular fast turns and undulations is appropriately nicknamed the ‘Mini Nurburgring’ and the Trophy has seen it’s fair share of dramas during previous visits to the venue. This time around there were intense battles in both Class A and Class B but the real drama came two days after the meeting when the championship points table was published. One of the drivers did the maths and realised that Tylor Ballard had amassed sufficient points to secure the 2023 championship title. Tylor, supported by Simon, his father, have battled through many setbacks during the years since Tylor started racing with the championship in 2017. His victory this year is richly deserved and will be applauded by his fellow competitors.


Class B cars initially dominated qualifying with Jack Woodcock and Tylor Ballard setting the pace until the Class A cars had fully warmed their slicks. Sam Meagher then headed the timesheets until Graham Ross annexed the top spot on his 11th tour. Not to be outdone Meagher put in a storming final lap to claim pole by 0.444 seconds leaving Ross P2 and Doug Cole P3.

Woodcock and Ballard continued to push each other for the Class B pole, Woodcock finally claimed the spot with a time just 0.026 seconds quicker than Ballard whose session was compromised by an alternator problem.. Cal Moore qualified well and secured the 3rd fastest Class B time.

Fergus Campbell was 8th quickest in his borrowed ZR170 and Jack Meagher was P11 on his first visit to Cadwell Park.

Race 1

Ross claimed the race 1 win after an intense battle with Meagher and Cole.

Sam Meagher, who moved up to Class A earlier this season driving an MG ZR 190 previously raced by Ross Makar was delighted to take pole position for both races which were sponsored by Charles Warner MG of Lincoln. 

Maegher led for much of the opening race. Although he got a good start he missed a gear, which allowed Graham Ross to get ahead but Meagher reclaimed the lead halfway around the first lap.

Ross, now happier with his car’s handling than earlier in the year, shadowed Meagher for many laps with Doug Cole in third, the top three running in close formation. Then, at two-thirds’ distance, Ross got on the inside of Meagher into The Mountain and Meagher slid onto the grass which left Ross in the lead and Meagher resuming in third place behind Cole. The trio finished in that order with Ross grateful to have ended his run poor luck at this venue. Second-placed Cole received the Millers Oils Driver of the Race award.

Ross said: “Cadwell being Cadwell, I genuinely thought the only place I was going to get a win out of this was off the start. I didn’t make a great start but Sam missed a gear so by the first corner I was in front but then on the back straight I defended and he drove past me, I was just too slow.”

“Then I thought I’m going to have to hope he misses a gear or something falls into my lap, but he was driving really well.”

“But [nearer the end] I noticed that in some of the slow corners he was struggling for grip; coming out of Gooseneck the sharp turn left, he was struggling for traction out of there. My car seemed to be quite good, so I could gain on him there.”

“So I thought, his tyres are going off, if I can just get up the inside of him there I have a chance. I managed it and we were side by side into The Mountain. I don’t think Sam knew I was there because we touched a wee bit. I got the turn and that was it. I got lucky and made the best of my opportunities. I really really enjoyed it.”

“It’s the third time I’ve been to Cadwell and it’s the first time I’ve actually completed a race here. I never even completed practice last year.”

Jack Woodcock leads the Class B pack.

Jack Woodcock won the Class B race just 0.027 seconds ahead Tylor Ballard who was happy to add more valuable points to his championship tally. Cal Moore repeated his qualifying performance and brought his ZR170 home P3 in class.

Race 2

More close competition throughout the day between Meagher, Ross & Cole in race 2.

The same Ross-Meagher-Cole trio fought for the overall win in race 2 though this time Meagher, again starting from pole, got a poor start and Cole led from Ross followed by the recovering Meagher. 

With overtaking at Cadwell not easy, they circulated in that order for a time. That was until half distance when Graham Ross spun into the grass at Gooseneck and was rather at a loss to explain his error. “I thought I was doing the same thing every time [at that corner],” Ross said, “the car just broke away instantaneously.” He resumed in fifth place and that left Meagher on leader Cole’s tail.

Doug Cole claimed P3 in Class A in race 2.

But at Park on the next lap Meagher touched the back of Cole which put the leading MG ZR 190 off and nudging the barriers. Cole was able to resume albeit in P9. That left Meagher free to take his first win while Ross and Cole recovered to second and fifth overall respectively, P2 and P3 in class. Ross got the consolation of the Millers Oils Driver of the Race award.

The Class B fight was a role reversal from race 1 as Ballard started ahead of Woodcock and was able to lead throughout to claim the class win. Matthew Harvey claimed P3 after Cal Moore retired on lap 10.

“Over the moon, it’s great,” Meagher said of his victory. “It was a bad start but it was nice to compete with the boys at the front. I tapped Doug by accident, I can only apologise for that. But I’m over the moon to get the first win. It’s my first win, ever!”

“[My start] was horrendous, I dropped down to about sixth, so I had to fight my way back though the field.”

“[With Cole] I just went a bit too hot into the corner, just a racing incident I think.”

“Keep [the car] as it is now, it’s going fast, so see how we go at Snetterton.”

Cal Moore #66 Class B P3 race 1 & Matthew Harvey #20 Class B P3 race 2

Words by Graham Keilloh. Photographs by Dickon Siddall.