Next up on track for the penultimate race of the Championship Finals Raceday was the Castle Combe Formula Ford Carnival, a regular end of season one-off race for victory which has been going since 1996. This year’s entry was abit smaller than previous years although most of the championship regulars wheeled out their cars for one final race in the season. Nathan Ward was once again on pole in his Spectrum with the talented returnee Luke Cooper alongside him in his older Swift SC92 model. Michael Moyers was 3rd with Roger Orgee completing row 2.
At the start it was the two Higgins brothers who made the best getaway’s as Richard rose quickly from 6th on the grid whilst recently crowned Combe Formula Ford champ Adam shot from 8th, after he only completed 1 qualifying lap for this to save his car for the earlier final round of the Formula Ford championship. Nathan Ward managed to retain the lead however, until lap 2 when a determined Roger Orgee passed him on the inside going into Tower.
From here it seemed both Orgee and Ward had the edge on the others for pace as they opened a small gap back to Combe debutant Michael Moyers in 3rd by lap 3. Later on in this shortened 12 lap affair Orgee showed he was aiming to avenge his earlier title loss as he opened a lead of just over a second, whilst behind him Ward was now fighting Moyers, Adam Higgins and Luke Cooper for 2nd place. Unfortunately this battle was split apart on the next lap as contact between Moyers and Higgins at the Esses delayed the rest, and left Moyers with sidepod damage that was enough to force him into retirement at the end of the lap.
Now Nathan Ward was free of those behind him he once again set about challenging Orgee for the lead in the last few laps, although it seemed he was unlikely to find a way through. Behind them, a great battle for 3rd was now developing between Adam Higgins, Luke Cooper, Jonathan Hoad, Ed Moore and Richard Higgins. The final few laps were set to be frantic and unfortunately things once again ended in tears, as Richard Higgins was dumped off the track after a last lap collision.
Back at the front and Roger Orgee salvaged a Carnival win from his earlier title loss whilst Nathan Ward came home a close 2nd. Completing the podium was 2013 and 2014 Castle Combe Formula Ford champion Adam Higgins. Luke Cooper was 4th in his return to the circuit, with Jonathan Hoad bringing home his iconic Duckhams Van Diemen RF90 racer 5th whilst ex-champion and serial winner Ed Moore completed the top 6.
Whilst this year’s Carnival failed to live up to the glory days of the race in the mid-2000’s this year’s race was yet again a classic with a great battle between Orgee and Ward for the lead and even further down every podium place was hotly contested. The Carnival brought the curtain down on an amazing 2014 Castle Combe Formula Ford season, my only hope is that the action and level of entries can be sustained into 2015, with maybe even a few more faces to challenge at the front although that may simply be wishful thinking.
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