After the Championship Finals meeting the previous day, Castle Combe finished it’s season off with a nostalgic feel as the circuit transported itself back to the early years of the track in the 1950’s and 1960’s with the third annual Autumn classic meeting. After the previous two Classics were runaway successes the circuit made sure the third running this year the event was the biggest and best yet.
With copious demonstrations from various local car clubs at different portions of the circuit and bright sunshine above the opening HSCC Millers Oils Historic Formula Junior grid took shape on the circuit before the start. On pole was previous Historic Formula Ford champion Westie Mitchell in his De Tomaso with Jon Milicevic alongside him in his older Cooper T59. Row 2 was shared by Carlin GP3 mechanic Jack Woodhouse and Steve Jones in 4th.
Once the lights went out in this 20 minute race it was Jon Milicevic who made the best start from the outside of the front row to snatch the early lead from Jack Woodhouse in 2nd. From here the opening lap was relatively sedate as the first six were evenly spaced at the front. Things were soon changing however as Woodhouse immediately began closing the gap to leader Milicevic on lap 2. From here it seemed Milicevic was able to respond as he re-built his lead over the next few laps as Westie Mitchell in 3rd began closing on Woodhouse.
Sadly for the spectators the gaps stayed largely the same over the next portion of the race, with the only changes being the increasing of the gaps between the top 3 in traffic late on. This also was helped as Mitchell seemed to have an intermittent problem which slowed him momentarily on the pit straight on lap 15. A lap later and Jon Milicevic cruised to victory from Jack Woodhouse in 2nd and Westie Mitchell who completed the podium. 4th went to Richard Smeeton as Steve Jones was 5th and Laine Martin completed the top 6.
Whilst the race was not the most exciting way to begin the Castle Combe Autumn classic meeting it did give the large crowd a chance to watch a high speed demonstration of these classic Formula Junior racers and the considerable talent of winner Jon Milicevic, it’s just a shame he didn’t have to work harder for his victory.
For more information on this series please visit the websites below.