Radical

Tilling comes through for double win

After a difficult first year for the newly created Castle Combe Sports Racing Car Series, the series began this year with a continuation of the upward momentum the series showed late last year. The entry list looked promising, with plenty of returning drivers complemented with several new faces for this year.

One face returning was circuit favorite Simon Tilling, after shaking down his very quick Ligier CN prototype at Combe last year, he returns hopefully for the full Sports Racing Car season. For the first of their two 20 minute races it was Tilling who claimed pole, with the smaller Radical PR6 of Josh Smith sharing the front row with him. Nick Jones lined up 3rd in his Radical whilst long time local driver Norman Lackford completed row two.

At the rolling start Tilling used the superior power from his two litre Honda engine to blast into the lead, whilst behind him the drama immediately started as a small collision ensued going up Avon Rise between back markers Darcy Smith and Richard Gray, leaving Gray out of the race against the barrier and Smith severely delayed. The Safety Car was swiftly deployed at the end of lap 1, although the delay only lasted two laps before the action resumed at the end of lap 3.

From the green flag it became a race between Tilling and Smith, who raced away from the pack in their own private battle for the lead. After several laps Tilling began to stretch out a slight advantage from Smith, whilst behind him the battle for 3rd was heating up, with Chris Child finally passing Lackford on lap 10 after several attempts in the previous laps, quickly building a lead of several seconds.

Both Tilling and Smith now held a huge lead over Child in 3rd, although with the gap stagnant between the top two the order remained the same until the flag after 17 laps, Tilling coming home a comfortable victory from the plucky Josh Smith in second, only two seconds back at the flag. Chris Child was a distant third, 48 seconds behind Tilling, showing the exceptional speed of the top two. Norman Lackford came home a close 4th, whilst Nick Jones and Chris Vinall completed the top six in this opening Sports Racing Car Series encounter.

Towards the end of the day the Sports Racing Car grid returned to the track, although sadly because the meeting was running late to avoid breaking the track’s curfew this race had to be reduced from 20 to 15 minutes in length. Once again it was Simon Tilling on pole, with Josh Smith alongside him on the front row for the rolling start. The second row was the same as earlier also, with Nick Jones in 3rd and Norman Lackford 4th.

Despite it being a rolling start the old bad luck of Tilling’s at starts reared it’s ugly head again, as he bogged down in his Ligier and had to watch Smith race away into an early lead. Usually by the end of the first lap Tilling would pick off Smith for the lead, however this time around Smith held firm and even opened a lead of several seconds in the first few laps, as the first two separated themselves from the rest of the grid.

The man to watch further back was Darcy Smith, a experienced local driver who was renting a very powerful Radical SR8 for the weekend, and he quickly rose from the back of the grid to 4th position by the end of lap 2. Darcy Smith continued his charge up the field by passing another local favorite in Norman Lackford for the final podium place at Camp on lap 4.

A lap later and it was all change at the front also, as after making Tilling work for it he finally found a way past Smith for the race going into Quarry. The first three were now clear from the pack, as Smith kept the pressure on Tilling for the lead over the remaining laps, he simply didn’t have the power to take advantage of the vast gains he would make in the corners.

After 13 laps the chequered flag was brought out for race winner Simon Tilling, although in truth he was forced to work a lot harder for this double win that he probably expected after qualifying a second clear of the pack. Josh Smith impressed in both races on his way to a double runner up spot, whilst father Darcy Smith made it a family affair on the podium in 3rd. Norman Lackford,Nick Jones and Chris Vinall completed the top six in the second installment of this rapidly growing Castle Combe series. For more information please visit their website here. http://www.ccracingclub.co.uk/championships/sports-racing-series/

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Simon Tilling survives late scare to scrape Sports Racing Car win

After the action of the previous Pre-1982 Classic Formula Ford race, a contrast was provided next as the new for 2014 Castle Combe Sports Racing Car series took to the grid. Solely for the Sports prototypes which previously dominated the Sports @ GT series before complaints about the speed differentials and the amount of entries meant a split was announced for this year. Whilst the series has suffered growing pains in it’s first year with small grid the final race of the year provided plenty of optimism for next year as the series had it’s biggest and most competitive grid of the year.

After the morning’s wet qualifying session it was Tim Gray who took pole in his very impressive Spire GT-3 entry. Gray is a distinguished RGB and Bikesports racer and his Spire handled like it was on rails in the wet qualifying session and looked by far the fastest car on track to claim pole. Another newcomer to the series lined up 2nd, although the don’t lack experience with the circuit as the entry was from renowned Castle Combe Formula Ford racers Nick Jones and Kevin Mills racing. Mike Jenvey was yet another newer entry from an outside series in his self built Jenvey/Gunn TS6 and lined up 3rd with old circuit dominator Simon Tilling lining up 4th in his impressive Ligier JS49T.

With the dry and sunny conditions the complete opposite to qualifying a great race was predicted as those out of place after qualifying battled to improve their positions in the 20 minute race. The grid remained in largely the same order after the initial rolling start, although by the end of the lap the order changed at the front. Simon Tilling used the larger Honda engine in his Ligier and extensive circuit knowledge to blast into the lead and open a 2 second lead by the end of the lap.

Early on Tilling and Tim Gray were the pace setters with the rest falling away behind, although Mike Jenvey soon attempted to rectify this as he passed local man Darcy Smith in his Radical SR4 for 3rd on the inside at Camp on lap 2. The top 5 appeared to be strung out for this portion of the race, although the symmetry was broken on lap 6 as unfortunately Mike Jenvey pulled into the pits and was forced to retire his impressive Jenvey/Gunn hybrid. A lap later and Tim Gray began to get the wrath of the officials as he was shown the mechanical warning flag for the biblical noise coming from his Spire racer.

With the circuit now forced to heavily police it’s noise after being serviced with a noise nuisance order Gray was black flagged and forced to retire at the end of lap 8. With Gray and Jenvey out Tilling now had a huge lead over the new battle for 2nd between Darcy Smith and Nick Jones, although over the next few laps Smith was able to eke out a small gap to Jones. Behind their battle 4th place man Stephen Bracegirdle was slowing with a mechanical problem and was passed from 4th and 5th over several laps by firstly Chris Child and then a recovering Chris Vinall who spun to the back of the field on lap 1.

Simon Tilling was now beyond comfortable in his impressive Ligier VdeV racer, although he was at the center of the race’s late drama as he began slowing size-ably with only a few minutes left on the clock. His lead stood at 38 seconds but with Smith and Jones now catching him at the rate of 12-15 seconds per lap it seemed they might well be able to catch him. Going into the final half lap it looked like they might do it at the final corner, although Tilling just held them off enough to claim the victory by a whisker from Darcy Smith in 2nd with Nick Jones right behind him in 3rd.

Chris Child was 4th in his Nemisis with long time Combe racer Norman Lackford 5th before Stephen Bracegirdle limped home to complete the top 6. What had threatened to be a dominant victory provided late drama in arguably the best race of the season for this new Castle Combe Sports Racing Car Series. Hopefully many of the impressive newcomers from this race will return for more in 2015, and held give the series some much needed momentum after a difficult debut 2014 season. For more information on this promising new series please visit their website below.
http://www.ccracingclub.co.uk/championships/sports-racing-series/

Castle Combe Sports Racing Car Series August 2014 report

After the frantic nature of the opening Super Mighty Mini race, the pace was about to be seriously upped as the Castle Combe Sports racing car series returned after missing the last meeting. The series boasted it’s biggest entry of the year for this new series, with some old faces returning to spice up the racing also.

The conditions were truly terrible as these very quick sports racing cars took to the track for their formation lap. This itself proved a highly confusing moment as everyone thought they would only do one formation lap, although after aborted starts and a re-setting of the 20 minute race clock, the cars finally took the green flag after 3 formation laps. From the rolling start it was pole man Andy Crockett who rocketed into the lead whilst second man Norman Lackford dropped down after taking the start cautiously.

With the first four evenly spaced after 2 laps the only change to the status quo was a very quick returning Darcy Smith who took the lead from Crockett in his Radical SR4 at Old Paddock. Behind the first two the move of the race came from Chris Vinall who made a very late lunge from several car length’s back to claim 3rd at Tower on lap 4 in a move that could have easily gone wrong.

Darcy Smith subsequently opened a lead of several seconds over the rest by lap 5, by lap 9 the cars have thinned out slightly as retirements took hold because of the dreadful conditions and by the final tour on lap 14 Smith had opened his lead to 8 seconds to claim a far from easy victory. Andy Crockett came home a lonely 2nd whilst Chris Vinall completed the podium.

Circuit stalwart and local favourite Norman Lackford came home 4th from a lapped Steven Bracegirdle in his unusual Nemisis RWE98 GT and Robert Gillman who completed the top 6. The race was stunted by the weather which undoubtedly ruined the chances of a great race for this new for 2014 series, with the spectators being robbed of an epic duel between the “big banger” cars of Mike Roberts in his awesome Lola B2K/40 Le Mans spec car and local favourite Simon Tilling who returned with his new Ligier JS49T. These two in the dry would have been an incredibly race for the spectators although sadly the weather deprived everyone of this privilege.

For more information on this growing series please visit – http://www.ccracingclub.co.uk/championships/sports-racing-series/

Radical Clubman’s Cup MSVR Castle Combe Report 02/08/14

After the lunch break, the first race was for the Radical Clubman’s Cup, a stepping stone in the Radical progression from the entry level SR1 cup to the higher profile SR3 Challenge or even European Masters series. Although the grid was not the biggest last weekend the series always provides close racing and plenty more was expected from their two races over the course of the day.

After qualifying it was Dan Vaughan in his SR3 that was on pole, from young hot shoe Oskar Kruger in his smaller PR6 model. Row 2 consisted of Steve Burgess in his SR3 from Brian Caudwell in a similar SR3 in 4th. From the start it was Kruger who made the best start although he was challenged for the lead by the fast starting Ben Dimmack, up from 8th on the grid, although some questioned whether he made too good a getaway. Into Quarry things got frantic however as 5 cars collided, although several were able to continue. The amount of stranded cars left the organisers with no option but to red flag the race to allow the stranded cars to be recovered safely.

After a 10 minute delay the cars began to line up on the grid again for the re-start, which had now been cut from 20 minutes to 15 in order to try make up time for the Castle Combe Saloons to have their race at the end of the day. At the re-start things carried over with Kruger quickly demoting Dimmack from the lead at the Esses on the opening lap. Kruger was clearly on a mission as he built up a lead of several seconds over the next few laps, and things got even more comfortable for him when news filtered through on lap 4 that 2nd man Dimmack was to have 10 seconds added to his race time for a jump start.

From the mid race point the depleted field were evenly spread out until the finish as Kruger came through for a comfortable victory, from Brian Caudwell in 2nd whilst the time penalty for Dimmack demoted him from 2nd on the road to 3rd in the overall result. John Macleod came home 4th in his SR3, whilst Brian Murphy and Richard Stables completed the top 6 from a truncated opening Radical Clubman’s Cup race.

For the second race later on in the afternoon, the grid was back up to full strength after the multi car accident in the opening race, with the front row order reversed this time around as the opening race winner Oskar Kruger claimed pole from Dan Vaughan, whilst similarly to race 1 Steve Burgess was 3rd from Brian Caudwell completed row 2. At the start it was Kruger and Burgess who made the best getaway’s to take an initial lead in this once again reduced to 15 minutes race.

Race 1 standout Ben Dimmack was at it again in race 2 as he came through to an initial 2nd place, although by lap 4 Burgess was beginning to seriously challenge Dimmack for the place as Kruger sprinted away into the distance up front. Dan Vaughan made a bad start and spent the early portion of the race attempting to make up some of the lost ground. His challenge for 4th place ended in tears on lap 6 as he passed John Macleod for the position before almost simultaneously spinning at the Esses, and into subsequent retirement.

http://www.msvracing.com/umbraco/imagegen.ashx?image=/media/2012/img_6798.jpg&height=600&allowupsizing=false&compression=90&format=jpg

The Safety Car was immediately deployed on lap 7 as it was deemed the car was in a dangerous position, although it only took 2 laps to recover the car before the Safety Car went in again. From here Kruger picked up where he left off before the Safety Car as he quickly restored a lead of several seconds over the rest. Behind Kruger Dimmack was had to defend courageously against Burgess behind him, although on the penultimate lap exiting Camp corner Burgess found a way through on the inside to claim 2nd, a position he would hold to the flag. Kruger was again dominant as he took a second victory of the day from Burgess and Dimmack. John Macleod came home for double 4th place from Brian Caudwell in 5th and finally Brian Murphy who completed the top 6.

These races were entertaining for the spectators although a few more cars on the entry list would have really enhanced the races last weekend, although in peak holiday season a dip in a usually much larger entry list is to be expected. All of the MSVR series who raced at Castle Combe last weekend would definitely be welcomed back by the spectators next year.

Credit for the excellent photos go to

http://www.radicalsportscars.com/au/readnews/?news=2014%20Radical%20Clubman’s%20Cup:%20Donington%20Park%2026%20April%20Race%20Report&passive=1&r=9&t=282

http://www.msvracing.com/cars/radical-clubmans-cup.aspx

For more information in this series please visit their website through the link below
http://www.radicalsportscars.com/au/?loadnews=regional