Formula Ford

Orgee Claims Masterful Formula Ford Victory

The resident Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship has always been a fan favorite, with the series running since 1969, making it the longest running single make championship in the country. For this televised round, grizzly conditions greeted the drivers as they headed out to the grid. The threat of rain appeared imminent in the grey clouds above, ensuring a very greasy circuit for the drivers.

After qualifying it was Michael Moyers who claimed pole for Kevin Mills Racing in his Spectrum chassis, with the returning ex-champion Ben Norton taking second on the grid. Nathan Ward and Felix Fisher would share row two. At the start it was Moyers who made the best getaway from pole, as he claimed the early lead. The rainfall began almost immediately, with a light rain covering the circuit in a light layer of moisture.

Michael Moyers was able to build an early lead of several seconds from the chasing pack, although he undid his hard work at the end of the opening lap as he spun whilst putting the power down exiting the Bobbies chicane. His quick pirouette left him in on the fringes of the top six, as he worked to get back to the front. Ben Norton inherited the lead, with Josh Fisher having a remarkable opening few laps to rise from 9th on the grid to challenge Norton for the lead. Wet weather specialist Luke Cooper and Roger Orgee were all fighting with Norton for the lead in the early laps.

Ben Norton was just about able to hold on to his lead, although he was the next to throw away his chances of victory as the conditions caught him out at Camp on lap 4, with his spin onto the wet grass eliminating him from contention as he was forced to retire, as the talented Josh Fisher therefore inherited the lead.

With Norton’s car in a precarious position at Camp, the Safety Car was scrambled on lap 6 to safely recover it. This took no time at all, therefore the Safety Car was only out for one lap before returning to the pits at the end of the lap. Fisher set about building a gap to the rest, who squabbled behind him. His cushion didn’t last long however, with Roger Orgee and Luke Cooper challenging him for the lead on lap 8. A lap later and Orgee managed to breach Fisher’s defenses, taking the lead with a great move on the outside of Quarry.

From here Orgee was able to just about hold on for the remaining one and a half laps, as he secured his first victory of the season as he looks to avenge his final race title defeat last season this year. Josh Fisher will have been delighted with his second from 9th on the grid, especially as this season’s he’s racing a Class C 1989 Reynard car against much newer machinery. Wet weather specialist Luke Cooper was another driver in an older spec car as he claimed the final podium place.

Reigning double champion Adam Higgins came home a solid 4th, from the recovering Michael Moyers in 5th and Josh’s brother Felix Fisher in 6th. This was another entertaining race for the Castle Combe spectators, once again proving a great advert for the circuit own resident championship’s. It’s a shame however that the conditions were not better for the drivers as they struggled in the very slippery conditions. For more information on this amazing series please visit their website below.
http://www.ccracingclub.co.uk/championships/formula-ford-1600/

Hoad shocks Formula Ford paddock with easy victory

The Castle Combe Formula Ford championship fired back into life this opening bank holiday Monday, with the grid improving in quality over the off-season. The championship has been a fan favorite since it’s inception in 1969, and still runs strong in 2015.

With an influx of returning star drivers it was somewhat of a surprise to almost everyone when sporadic Castle Combe Formula Ford racer Jonathan Hoad took pole position in his ex-works Duckhams 1990 Van Diemen RF90. Hoad has spent all winter preparing the car, and spent lots of time testing the car also, which helps to explain his pole position. The resurfaced track was clearly to everyone’s liking as the pole was was only fractionally off the lap record, set in 2008.

Roger Orgee came come to winning the title last year, and started this year from 2nd on the grid, whilst the returning Felix Fisher and Nathan Ward completed row two.At the start it was the returning and seriously fast Josh Fisher that made the best start, rocketing up from 5th on the grid to challenge for the lead going into Quarry on the opening lap.

By lap 2 it appeared all the off-season work was paying off for Hoad as he quickly built up a lead of several seconds over the chasing pack behind, with a five car train behind him fighting over 3rd position in the early laps. Lap 5 saw the fight for 3rd splinter into two separate fights, with Fisher, Ward and Orgee fighting over 2nd, whilst ex-champion Ed Moore, reigning double champion Adam Higgins and Luke Cooper fought over 5th position.

A lap later and the breakthrough was made in the fight for 2nd, with Nathan Ward passing Fisher, who dropped to fourth a lap later after being passed by Orgee. At this halfway stage of the race Hoad was comfortable out front, with a lead of 2.9 seconds over the rest, who were squabbling for positions themselves. The two separate battle for 2nd and now 6th were still going on, with Higgins managing to bridge the gap and join the battle for 2nd.

Sadly for Higgins, just as he joined the battle for 2nd, Orgee distanced himself from the bunch as he solidified himself in 2nd place, which in turn splintered the battle for 2nd into smaller battles for the lower placings in the top six. Into the final lap and Jonathan Hoad cruised home to a dominant lights to flag win in the opening round of the 2015 Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship, 3.3 seconds clear of Roger Orgee in 2nd. Nathan Ward completed the podium whilst Josh Fisher was lucky to survive late race contact with a back marker on Dean Straight on the final lap, as he could have easily lost a wheel after touching another car. He survived however and came home 4th,although Fisher can at least take solace from the fact he broke the long standing Class C lap record by a huge margin, beating the time set by former front runner Matt Rivett, set remarkably in September 2001. Adam Higgins and Felix Fisher will be slightly disappointed with 5th and 6th places respectively.

This opening round was a dominant masterclass from Jonathan Hoad, although with both Josh and Felix Fisher promising to return for more of the championship this season, alongside Adam Higgins, Nathan Ward and Roger Orgee who will look to knock him off his perch this season, Hoad will have his work cut out to remain on top as the season progresses. It shall be very interesting to watch how the season unfolds. For more information on this exciting championship please visit http://www.ccracingclub.co.uk/championships/formula-ford-1600/

Chris Stuart survives carnage to take Pre-82 Classic FFord race

Carrying on the Formula Ford theme of the day’s Castle Combe Championship finals race day, the Pre-1982 Classic Formula Ford Championship grid took to the track for their 20 minute race. The sizeable grid was headed by Andrew Smith on pole with long time series front runner Stuart Kestenbaum alongside him on the front row. Simon Davey lined up 3rd with Ted Pearson completing row 2.

From the start it was Stuart Kestenbaum who made the best getaway to steal the early lead with the rest following on behind. It took until lap 3 before pole man Andrew Smith was able to claim the lead from Kestenbaum at Quarry. Things soon got worse for Kestenbaum on the exit of the corner as he was demoted to 3rd by an opportunistic Simon Davey. The major talking point of the race occurred a lap later at Quarry as the top 3 were all eliminated in one incident, with the rest scrambling to find a way through the carnage in front of them. It appeared leader Andrew Smith spun with Simon Davey and Stuart Kestenbaum also collecting him and leaving all three strewn on the grass run off on the outside of Quarry.

In the aftermath of the leaders collision it was Ted Pearson who now led, however he had lost his nosecone in the melee and it was clear from his heavily blocked radiator that he’d been grass cutting in avoidance of further contact at Quarry. Despite the large amount of grass in the radiator Pearson was able to continue for another lap in the lead, before a gear linkage failure forced him to slow at Hammerdown and coast round into retirement. Chris Stuart was the new leader after making rapid progress from 6th on the grid whilst also benefiting from others mistakes. Stuart opened a small lead over Kevin Howell and Kevin Mansell in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Kevin Mansell sensed a chance at the victory and dived inside Kevin Howell for 2nd at Tower on lap 7. It seemed Howell might of had a potential problem as he then lost 3rd on the next lap Philip Michael Wrigley. Any hopes Mansell had of claiming victory were ruined with a spin at Bobbies on lap 9, as he dropped from 2nd to 7th. Going into the final laps a scintillating battle for the lead was developing between Stuart, Michael Wrigley and Roger Newman. Newman was the man on the move as he stole 2nd from Michael Wrigley at Quarry on the penultimate lap, although he was unable to wrest the lead from Stuart. So after a dramatic Pre-82 Classic Formula Ford race it was Chris Stuart who outlasted the rest to claim the victory, with Roger Newman and Philip Michael Wrigley completing the podium.

Kevin Howell recovered from his late race spin to claim 4th with Leandro Guedes taking the iconic Jesus Saves Van Diemen RF79 to 5th whilst the Wrigley family could be happy with Matthew claiming 6th to join Philip Michael in 3rd. All in all, it was a very interesting race with plenty of action, in other words a proper Formula Ford race. For more information on the series please visit the link below.
http://www.classicformulaford.com/

Adam Higgins claims second Combe Formula Ford title in final race of season

The Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship has been hotly contested all season, with the three consistently stand out drivers of 2014 all in contention for the title going into last weekend’s final race. After the dropped scores had been applied it was reigning champion Adam Higgins who went into the race with a 1 point lead over Roger Orgee, with young star Ash Crossey an outside contender 14 points behind.

Lining up on pole was the perennially unlucky Nathan Ward, who has been in a position to win a lot of races this year but for a multitude of reasons has been prevented from doing so. Roger Orgee was the first of the title contenders in 2nd, with Ash Crossey lining up 3rd from title rival Adam Higgins in 4th. From the start it was pole man Nathan Ward and Adam Higgins who made the best starts off the line, with the top 3 of Ward, Higgins and Orgee making an early break on lap 1 from the pursuing train of Crossey, Michael Moyers and Richard Higgins.

By the next lap Ward had opened his advantage to roughly 2-3 seconds whilst it appeared Adam Higgins was now holding up those behind him including Roger Orgee directly behind him. From here Higgins and Orgee eased away slightly from those behind him, being led by Crossey, over the next few laps to solidify themselves in their own private battle for the title.

By lap 6 Ward has built his lead to a massive 4.4 seconds over Higgins behind, who was still only just holding off Orgee behind him. A few laps later and the pressure finally told on Orgee in 3rd as he suffered a small off and was passed by Ash Crossey, which also let Higgins off the hook now in 2nd. After this an almighty battle developed for 3rd between Crossey, Orgee, Moyers and R Higgins by lap 11. A lap later and Orgee’s title hopes were finally dealt a hammer blow as he went off for the second time, this time dropping to 7th as Crossey was now well ahead of the rest in 3rd.

Back at the front and now Adam Higgins was well clear in 2nd and Orgee was struggling he seemed to set loose in the final 5 laps as he set a string of fastest laps to reel in Ward in the lead. Going into the final lap of the season Higgins was right with Ward for the lead, and his finally completed his fairy tale afternoon as he slid inside Ward at the Esses to take the lead at the death as he motored home to his third victory of the year and his second consecutive title, which leaves him only one short of distinguished father Bob Higgins accolade of three consecutive titles between 1981 and 1983.

Higgins was clearly overjoyed with his second title as he jumped up and down in the car throughout the slowing down lap, with Ward gracious in defeat with 2nd whilst rising star Ash Crossey completed the podium. Combe debutante Michael Moyers was an impressive 4th with the hugely impressive dominator of Class C David Cobbold came home 5th with Adam Higgins brother Richard completing the top 6. Orgee came home a very frustrated 7th but was magnanimous in defeat.

Adam Higgins proved in this race alone why he deserves to be the 2014 champion, and as it seems the Higgins family will be back in 2015, you would have to be a brave man to bet against Adam Higgins claiming a third consecutive title, although he will face stiff competition from the likes of Roger Orgee and Nathan Ward especially.

For anyone interested in supporting or even competing in the series next year please visit the link to the series
http://www.ccracingclub.co.uk/championships/formula-ford-1600/

Castle Combe Formula Ford August Report

The second of the resident Castle Combe series came onto the track next, as the circuit’s Formula Ford grid trickled out for the start of their 15 lap race. The aim of this race would surely be just staying on the track with their light cars in these tricky conditions. With this being the penultimate round of the championship their was added pressure on the drivers in contention for the title.

It wasn’t one of the title contenders who took pole as the always fast Nathan Ward claimed pole from championship leader Roger Orgee in 2nd. On row 2 were the returning old favourite Felix Fisher and another title contender is Ash Crossey. At the start Ward took an early lead and set about building an opening lap lead of 1 second. From here things only improved for Ward as he built his lead to 4 seconds by the end of lap 3. It appeared Ward had pace no one could match in the early stages, which was strange as the race was slightly processional at this point which isn’t seen often with this series especially.

The first 5 were spread out by lap 6 as Ward kept building his lead to around 7.5 seconds by the end of lap 7. On lap 9 the conditions finally caught out one of the front runners as title contender Ash Crossey suffered a lengthy off and dropped well down the field to 9th. By the next lap it became clear he was now on a mission as he quickly clawed himself back to 7th and began scything into the gap between him and Ed Moore ahead in 6th.

By the later stages Ward has now maintained his lead at around 12 seconds, a staggering amount which he held to the end in what was the most dominant Castle Combe Formula Ford victory seen for several years . Roger Orgee settled for 2nd and a decent haul of points from one-off returning driver Felix Fisher who completed the podium. Reigning champion Adam Higgins would have been slightly disappointed to lose ground to Orgee in the title race with 4th, with brother and team mate Richard Higgins outlining his recent improvement with a consistent 5th. Finally despite the frantic charge Crossey was unable to challenge Moore for 6th who just held on at the flag.

The championship will go down to the final meeting although with dropped scores to be taken into account it suggests the title race will be between leader Roger Orgee and reigning champion Adam Higgins. That race should be worth a visit to Castle Combe for the 5th October meeting alone. For more information on this scintillating series please visit – http://www.ccracingclub.co.uk/championships/formula-ford-1600/