Josh Fisher (Van Diemen JL14) was challenged throughout The Big Race Weekend by brother Felix (Ray GR05) and Luke Cooper (Swift SC16), as has thus far been the narrative of the 2019 Formula Ford season at Castle Combe. However, the issue of track limits would be a key facet of the July double-header in which Josh Fisher was able to pull himself a slight margin at the top of the points table.
The start of the opening race on Saturday was to prove decisive, with Cooper making a tardy start and allowing Felix Fisher to force his way from third on the grid to second by the time the squabbling pack approached Quarry for the first time. Their early battling allowed Josh breathing space the others could ill afford him, and he would be relatively unchallenged from this point forward.
Harry Cobbold (Ray GR10) should have been the nearest challenger to the three form-men of 2019, but his own poor start meant he fell to seventh by the end of the opening lap, but he was soon able to usurp his father David (Van Diemen RF89) to run sixth.
As the Felix Fisher/Luke Cooper eight-wheeled Formula Ford special set about reducing the margin to the hare-like Josh Fisher, a tremendous race for fourth involved Chris Acton (Ray GR08), Tom Hawkins (Ray GR11) and the recovering Harry Cobbold, with David Cobbold not too far adrift either.
Behind the frantic front-order, Matthew Hallam (Spectrum 011c) ran a lonely eighth, with Adam Higgins (Firman 17) and Bob Higgins (Firman 17) rounding out the top ten in tandem until the end of proceedings. Narrowly outside the top ten Paul Mason (Swift SC94) and Shaun Macklin (Swift SC92) headed-up Class B, separated by just under two seconds after ten laps. Alan Slater (Nike Mk4) finished fifteenth at the top of Class D.
At the front of the field Cooper was slipping away from the flying Fishers, gearbox issues leaving him having to manhandle his recalcitrant Swift through each gearchange. Josh Fisher managed to hold Felix at a five-second distance when the flag finally fell.
Hawkins climbed to fourth after a topsy-turvy battle throughout the duration of the event, followed by Class C winner David Cobbold, with Harry falling behind his father and Acton tumbling down to seventh on the penultimate tour.
With Felix Fisher forced into early retirement, the second episode of Formula Ford drama on The Big Race Weekend featured a tremendous dice between the earlier hamstrung Luke Cooper and Josh Fisher.
Fisher looked set to repeat his dominant win of the first race, but Cooper was in fine form and after wrestling his way ahead of Felix Fisher (before his subsequent downfall) set about the race-leader. On lap eight Luke and Josh spent the best part of half-a-lap overlapping before Cooper emerged victorious.
On lap nine Josh attempted a daring manoeuvre around the outside at Tower but was denied. Whilst Cooper looked set to have finally undone the Fisher freight-train, a five second penalty for track-limits would deny him victory and hand Josh a two-point championship advantage.
Harry Cobbold was once again unable to capitalise on his qualifying form, and slipped from fourth to ninth by the time ten laps had been completed by the swarm of 1600cc Formula Ford machinery. The biggest beneficiary of Cobbold’s misfortune and Felix Fisher’s dearth of luck was Chris Acton, who managed to hold on to a podium position despite being harassed by a determined Hawkins. Chris was also awarded driver of the day for his efforts which was chosen by the commentators.
David Cobbold was Class C victor again with a tremendous top five reasserting his pace in the dependable Van Diemen RF89. Adam and Bob Higgins followed with Hallam again rounding out the top eight. With Macklin retiring, Mason scored Class B success with a top ten drive, and Slater rounded out the order with his second Class D success of the day and taking 2 seconds off of his own class D lap record.
The Castle Combe Racing Club Championships (CCRC) now continue next month with Combe Countdown Race Day on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26th.Posted on Thursday 11 July 2019