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Close racing continues at Castle Combe

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If the competition from the opening round is anything to go by, Bank Holiday Monday’s ‘Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600’ race will be another nail biter.

A phenomenal duel between Bridgwater’s Josh Fisher and Wellingborough’s Michael Moyers enthralled spectators who witnessed two drivers often separated by little more than trust, as the physical gap between their cars was non-existent.

On the road winner Moyers will be looking to make up for his demotion to second due to his track limits penalty, his point for fastest lap only partial consolation.

2016 champion Roger Orgee, from Langford, is likely to have his new Ray perfected after some initial braking issues, his 3rd place last time an indicator of the threat he is likely to be.

Luke Cooper from Yatton Keynell has the issue of a down on power engine, his Swift chassis performing exactly as he wants it, but struggling to make up for his horsepower deficit. Robert Hall and Nathan Ward can be also expected to feature.

The new ‘Castle Combe Hot Hatch Challenge’ race on Easter Monday put Bristol’s Mark Wyatt in the history books as the first winner, even though his Astra is used to being at the top of the circuit’s ‘Saloon Car Championship’. Overcoming an unusual fault with the car’s crank sensor in qualifying, Wyatt was a convincing winner over the Peugeot 205 1.9 GTi of Southampton’s Gary Prebble. Craig Tomkinson from Salisbury took advantage of the rule which allows any type of engine from the same manufacturer, the 2 litre lump in his Nova taking him to 3rd place at Easter.

Adam Prebble, brother of Gary, has taken a similar approach with his 205, which has a 16 valve, 2 litre unit, similar to fellow Southampton resident, Michael Harris.

The Prebble name was also prominent in the ‘Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship’, with Gary taking a dominant win in his SEAT Leon Cupra, well clear of Bill Brockbank from Stonehouse in his Ibiza Cupra.

Corsham’s Will Di Claudio is again looking the man to beat for the outright title, bringing his 106 Gti home in an amazing 3rd place overall and a clear class C winner.

Calne’s Simon Norris recovered from his slow start to bring his Colt Ralliart to a fine class B win, with Mark Wyatt second.

Class D for cars under 1500cc has brought out a pair of very evenly matched combo’s. Mike Good from Brixham in the former championship winning Corsa, campaigned by no less than three previous drivers, will be aiming to hold off Alex Kite from Dursley in his Citroen Saxo.

Calne’s Tony Hutchings and Charles Hyde-Andrews-Bird from Ditcheat will be hoping to get back into the class A action, up against Bath’s Dave Scaramanga in his VW Scirocco, with Keynsham’s John Barnard continuing to perfect his Astra VXR turbo.

The ‘Castle Combe GT Championship’ is evolving into a ‘super car’ extravaganza this year. Given the ability of his Chrysler Viper Oreca GT3 to win despite a spin, it would appear Tetbury’s David Krayem will be hard to beat this year. But with a Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 and a Nissan GT-R in the field, who can say for sure? One man always likely to surprise is former quadruple Combe FF1600 champion Bob Higgins. He is racing the family’s Ginetta G55, taking it to an impressive 4th place on his debut last time.

The ‘special bodied’ cars won’t want the ‘supercars’ to have it all their own way though. Portishead’s Oliver Bull is gradually evolving the Ford Ecoboost engine in his Vauxhall Tigra ‘Silhouette‘, Chris Southcott has to adapt the handling of his MG Midget to his new, heavier 2.4 Vauxhall motor and the fast starting Steve Hall needs a little more reliability from his Audi TT clone.

The saloon car contingent of the championship was headed by 2016 champ’ Chris Vinall from Axminster last time, Torquay’s Barry Squibb retiring with a puncture to his Evo and Adam Prebble also scoring a ‘DNF’ with his Rover Turbo.

Supporting the popular ‘Combe’ races are an eclectic range of double headers. The ‘MG Owner’s Club’ championship race is for production based classic and modern MG’s allowing only limited performance modifications. Expect to see almost every kind of post 1960 MG, from Maestros to MGFs.

Also due a pair of races is the Historic Sports Car Club’s ‘Classic Clubmans’ championship. These deceptively fast cars may be at least 37 years old, but could lap faster than anything else we might see. Watford’s Mark Charteris rung his 1.7 litre Mallock to a 1 minute 4 second lap time last year, an average of just under 100 mph!

Close to their pace will be the HSCC ‘Classic Formula 3’ cars for cars raced between 1971 and 1984. Many of the cars have illustrious histories and famous owners from the period. Richard Trott was the man to beat last year.

Monday's action starts at 8.30 am with qualifying, racing getting under way from 12.40 pm.

Admission prices are £15 for Adults and £10 for OAPs, whilst accompanied children under 16 are admitted free. ‘Paddock Transfer’ is free if the tickets are purchased in advance.

For further information, visit the Castle Combe Racing Club online at www.ccracingclub.co.ukwww.facebook.com/CastleCombeCircuit, or @castlecombeuk 

Posted on Tuesday 25 April 2017
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