Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship - The finale of the Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship was a nail-biting event in which Simon Thornton-Norris (Mitsubishi Colt Ralliart) seemed to watch his championship hopes evaporate before late salvation enabled him to claim his third overall championship in the series.
Thornton-Norris started second and only needed to hold position to become a three-time Combe Saloons Champion. However, Thornton-Norris struggled as the lights extinguished to release the field for the season finale and the order was thus jumbled massively over the course of the opening lap.
Alex Kite was able to fly up to second (Audi TT) with Robert Ellick (VW Golf) in fourth, one place behind the pole-sitting Gary Prebble (Seat Leon Cupra). It was Adam Prebble (Vauxhall Astra) who led over the timing line after this fraught curtain raiser to the event, however by the time the field reached Tower on lap two the imperious Gary Prebble had climbed back to the head of the order with Kite in hot-pursuit.
Christopher Rawlings (VW Golf) ran a distant fifth, holding-off a frustrated Thornton-Norris with the lime green Colt of Neil Greenland (Mitsubishi Colt) and Haydn King (Seat Leon) in a close bunch in the middle of the top ten.
Greenland was soon forced into the pit-lane on lap five, followed by a luckless Dave Scaramanaga (VW Scirocco). Further down the order, the usually close-fought MG scrap between James Keepin (MG ZR) and Martin Chivers (MG ZR) this time for twelfth position, was somewhat more separated.
Whilst Kite did his best to disturb Prebble at the very front of the grid, Thornton-Norris was about to endure his own disturbance on lap eight as he slowed with an undiagnosed problem after tackling the rumble strips aggressively attempting to catch his rivals. A slew of retirements including Ellick and Rawlings had elevated King to sixth, dicing with Kevin Bird (Nissan 200SX) but both would also fall by the wayside before the end of proceedings.
Further drama in the final few laps elevated Kite to the lead and eventual victory as Gary Prebble hit problems in the dying moments of the race. A hobbled Thornton-Norris crossed the line sixteenth as the final classified finisher, but as Class B winner and thus a very relieved 2019 Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship champion. Matthew Parr (Peugeot 106 GTi) would finish fifth, the winner of Class C and 2019 class champion, but four tantalising points away from the overall trophy. Gary Prebble was clear Class A king, with Nick Mizen (Ford Fiesta) winning Class D for the year despite being beaten by Michael Good (Vauxhall Corsa) in the final event of the season.Posted by Lee Bonham on Tuesday 17 September 2019
at Castle Combe
18 April 2022