For the local spectators, one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the day was for the resident Castle Combe Formula Ford championship. This series always has tremendous competitor report and often produces scintillating races in arguable one of Britain’s most competitive Formula Ford championships. After a remarkable one-off return for previous champion Ben Norton at the double header meeting last time out, championship contenders Ashley Crossey, Roger Orgee and 2013 champion Adam Higgins were all looking to reassert their championship challenge in this race.
In qualifying it was Crossey who claimed yet another pole from team mate Nathan Ward whilst Orgee and Higgins had to be content with the second row after a wet qualifying session. A dry race however meant plenty of opportunities to challenge for the win, and Crossey grasped the first one with a great start off the line to grab an initial lead. The man on the move at the start was previous champion Ed Moore, who finally looked to have his Van Diemen JL013K sorted as he rocketed from 8th to lead at the end of lap 1 after diving inside Crossey at Camp to complete a first lap reminiscent of Ayrton Senna at Donington in 1993.
Next up to challenge Crossey was Adam Higgins, and he finally made a move stick on the inside at Tower on lap 3 to demote Crossey to 3rd. Unusually for a Castle Combe Formula Ford race, Moore was able to build a gap to rest of several seconds by lap 5 as he appeared to be cruising. He gap to the rest was short-lived however as the Safety Car was deployed on lap 6 to recover the Swift of guest driver Freddie Hunt, son of 1976 World Champion James Hunt, who had spun on oil and the Esses and was unable to continue.
By the end of lap 7 the Safety Car came in leaving Moore to defend his lead. Initially a two car break developed at the front consisting of Moore and Higgins, although the crucial moment of the race occurred on lap 9 as Moore also spun on the oil at the Esses, demoting himself to the rear of the top 10 as Higgins now led from the chasing pack behind. From here this 15 lap race turned into a 5 lap sprint as Higgins, Crossey, Ward and Orgee were fighting it out for the victory.
Lap 11 saw Ward make his way past team mate Crossey for 2nd and two laps later Ward went one better as he went inside Higgins into Quarry to take the lead. Ward’s lead was cut short however by a mistake at Bobbies on the same laps, which dropped him to 4th now. By the final lap the leading quartet had become a trio as Orgee drifted off the back of them as Higgins, Crossey and Ward battled for final lap glory.
A grandstand finish was all set up however the drama was provided slightly earlier than expected as Ward tried an ambitious move on team mate Crossey for 2nd on the inside at Tower, with the smallest of gaps for Ward closing up as he made significant contact with Crossey exiting the corner to spear both cars off into the outside tyre wall, thankfully without injury despite initial concerns. The removal of the Kevin Mills racing twins left Higgins free to take the victory, from a delighted Orgee in 2nd whilst Adam’s brother Richard Higgins continued his impressive rate of improvement to complete the podium.
Old circuit favourite Paul Barnes came through delighted with a 4th, his best result in years whilst Michael Bradley and Mark De Rozarieux completed the top 6 in another thrilling Formula Ford race at Castle Combe. Adam Higgins was delighted with his win and a 3rd for his brother will have made father and multiple ex-champion Bob Higgins very happy with their day’s racing. Crucially for both Higgins and Orgee their top 2 placing’s coupled with a non-score for championship leader Crossey means the title race is developing nicely heading into the final two meetings of the year.
For more info on this exciting local championship please visit the link below