Hickton,West Share Pre-93 Touring Car Victories at Combe

The opening race after the lunch break kicked off the TV portion of the race meeting, with MotorsTV beginning their afternoon’s live coverage. First up was the SVG Motorsport Pre-93 Touring Car Championship, which for their two races here at Castle Combe were joined by the Burton Power Blue Oval Saloon Series and the Toyo Tires Pre-05 Production Touring Car Series to complement the grid.

For the opening 15 minute race it was Kevin Willis who took pole position in his BMW M3, with the leading Blue Oval runner Olly Allen sharing the front row in his Ford Fiesta. David Hickton qualified 3rd whilst Andy West would share the second row with him in 4th. The drama began at the start when Olly Allen dramatically jumped the start to take an early lead, whilst behind him 6th man Demetris Neophytou stalled his Ford Fiesta, unfortunately was rear ended by a back marker.

With debris on the pit straight the initially the Safety Car was called out at the end of lap 1, although soon after the red flags were unfurled as the ambulances arrived. Both drivers were okay, and after the debris and cars were taken away, the grid was reformed for a shorter 10 minute race, rather than the original 15 minutes. For the second start the two front row men made decent getaways, with the initial lead fight being between Olly Allen in his Fiesta and David Hickton, up from the second row in his BMW M3.

Pole man Kevin Willis was already losing touch to the first two in a solitary 3rd position, although it didn’t look as if it would stay that way for long as the hard charging Ray West in a similar BMW M3 had already risen from 11th on the grid to 4th by the end of lap 2. After a stout defense of the lead from Olly Allen he eventually had to concede the lead to David Hickton as he dived inside Allen at Quarry on lap 3.

Later on in the lap it became clear as to why Allen may have conceded the lead as a significant amount of smoke began billowing out of the rear of his Fiesta, although for the time being he remained comfortable in 2nd. As early as lap 4 it became clear the top four were in a class of their own, with the rest of the field lagging well behind. Hickton made sure to build a significant advantage once he hit the front, with his lead only being extended with the demise of Allen and his smoking Fiesta on lap 5.

With Allen’s retirement Kevin Willis was promoted to second, however he lasted barely a lap in 2nd before he was passed in a tremendous round the outside move at Westway from Ray West, who then set about building a gap and cementing himself in the runner up spot.

With it only being a 10 minute race there was only time for eight laps, but that was more than enough for David Hickton to claim a comfortable victory, with Ray West completing his charge from 11th to claim 2nd, whilst Kevin Willis looked slightly off the pace in the final podium place.Andy West finished 4th in his Honda Civic, whilst John Edwards-Parton won the Blue Oval Saloons class with 5th overall, whilst Andrew Sheraton completed the top six.

Much later in the afternoon the series returned to the grid for their second race, although one again it was reduced from 15 minutes down to 12 this time thanks to a tight race day schedule. The finishing order from race one decided the grid for this second encounter, leaving David Hickton on pole from Ray West, with Kevin Willis and Andy West completing the second row.

At the front the status quo remained in the opening laps, although by this time attention had shifted to the incredible Olly Allen, who after retiring from the opening race, charged up from his 18th spot on the grid to 4th by the end of the opening lap. From here it would prove to be very difficult to make any further progress, although he looked in inspired form in the opening laps.

On lap 3 Allen marked up his next target as he began challenging Kevin Willis for 3rd, a move he finally made stick on the inside going into Quarry corner on lap 4. It was at this middle portion of the race that the leading duo of Hickton and West began to build a gap to the rest of the field, as they looked to begin their own private battle for the lead.

Olly Allen had solidified himself in third position, however unfortunately for him his James Bond inspired smoke screen returned on lap 6, and he was soon forced to retire with an expensive looking engine blowup, although not before spinning on his own oil at the Bobbies chicane beforehand. Engine blowup’s would prove to have a key outcome on this race, as a spectacular blowup for a back marker at the Tower/Bobbies complex wrong footed leader David Hickton in the prodigious smoke, leaving Ray West with a perfect opportunity to steal the race lead once both emerged from the smoke exiting Bobbies.

From here until the chequered flag several laps later both West and Hickton fought for the victory, although and moves from Hickton would prove unsuccessful as Ray West claimed a opportunistic victory to share the day’s spoils with David Hickton in 2nd. Kevin Willis was once again off the pace in the final podium spot, with Andrew Sheraton coming home 4th in his BMW E30, as John Edwards-Parton once again won the Blue Oval class in 5th overall, whilst Philip Comer completed the top six in his monstrous Jaguar XJS.

The two Pre-93 Touring Car Championship provided some entertaining racing, especially in the later second race, it’s a shame however that both races for the series were reduced as it would of been nice to see the races develop over the full 15 minutes, something time constraints didn’t allow. I’m sure many would like to see the series back another time at Castle Combe to full show the potential for good racing the series has. For more information on this series, please visit their web page below.
http://classictouringcars.com/champ_pre93.html

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