Hot Hatch Series in association with Pro Alloys - Qualifying - The impressive grid that turned out for the inaugural running of the hot hatch series returned for the second coming, with 22 cars on the starting list.
Gary Prebble took to the track with his usual impatience, getting on the pace right from the get go and setting the early time to beat. This time though, the winner of the first race found better form in qualifying trim, with the familiar yellow Vauxhall of Mark Wyatt stealing pole from Prebble early in the session. Fellow class A competitor Craig Tomkinson set about chasing Prebble’s time in his Nova, whilst simultaneously defending his P3 from Prebble’s team mate Mike Harris of the 205GTi fan club.
Matthew Bawtree was having a storming session, qualifying ten places ahead of his nearest class B rivals. Bawtree drove his Honda Integra, a car with legendary tin-top racing pedigree, to a credible P5 ahead of another Honda in the hands of Sam Stride. Best of the class C drivers was saloons campaigner Izaac Channing, putting his 106 7thon the grid.
Hot Hatch Series in association with Pro Alloys – Race 2
As the 2nd race in the new series got under way, only one driver failed to make it to the grid; James Blake who’s MG ZR had a gearbox full of neutrals.
The race started in bizarre circumstances. Before even the last red light had come on, Craig Tomkinson decided he was ready to go and set off in the mother of all jump starts. He slid between the front row pairing and powered off towards the Avon Rise. The remaining drivers in bewilderment must have somehow convinced themselves it was them being tardy, and also started the race before the red lights had been extinguished. Tomkinson readily accepted he would get a 10 second penalty and carried on regardless, maintaining the lead for the first 5 laps before losing it to the 205 GTi of Gary Prebble, who had edged ahead of the pole man in the startline confusion.
Two laps later, Tomkinson fell to third after being by passed by Mark Wyatt. The more powerful Vauxhall soon caught up with the leading Peugeot and began to stake his claim for the lead. There followed a masterclass in race craft from Gary Prebble, showing just why he’s won more races at Combe than anyone else… ever.
Gary shut every door the nose of the yellow Astra tried to force open and even skilfully navigated courses around the back markers to buy him time. Prebble valiantly clung onto the lead for 12 out of the 15 laps before Wyatt eventually found his way past and on to victory. Prebble took the second podium step without challenge from Tomkinson, who managed to keep hold of his third place trophy even with his 10 second jump start penalty added on.
Michael Harris, Matthew Bawtree and Sam Stride finished 4th, 5th and 6th respectively after a great race long battle, swapping positions multiple times throughout the race.
The next 4 cars across the line had also been in 15 laps of close combat, with Paul Hatton, Izaac Channing, Neil Greenland and Steve Webb crossing the finishing line with a fraction over a second between all four.
The new series has already produced some thrilling entertainment and promises even more as the drivers develop new rivalries and closer then close class battles. Don’t forget your popcorn on 29th May for the premiere of ‘Hot Hatch 3’!Posted on Monday 8 May 2017
at Castle Combe Circuit
30 August 2021