Uk Racing

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.

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’s%20Cup:%20Donington%20Park%2026%20April%20Race%20Report&passive=1&r=9&t=282

For more information in this series please visit their website through the link below

Castle Combe Whitsun Race Day Report 2014

The third Castle Combe race meeting of the year promised to be a good one with a wide variety of racing to keep the sizeable crowd’s attention. This packed race day began with the opening race for circuit debutant the 750MC’s thriving Tegiwa Civic Cup. Although the series is still relatively new the series has already garnered a reputation for full grids and close racing.

From the start it was the older Civic of 2nd man Bernard Galea who shot into an early lead from pole sitter Robert Baker. Galea’s lead didn’t last long however as Baker took the lead by the end of lap 1. Galea was clearly not going to let him get away easily and was challenging for the lead over the next few laps. Behind them the battle for 3rd was no less intense as Rich Hockley finally found a way past Marc Kemp after a frantic few opening lap battling over the position. With a few stranded cars on track the Safety Car was called on lap 5 before coming in 2 laps later.

The Safety Car intervention left only a few minutes left from the original 15, leaving little opportunity for any changes for position. Rich Hockley subsequently torpedoed this theory by passing Bernard Galea for 2nd at the Esses on lap 8, before rapidly eroding the comfortable lead of Baker’s. Unfortunately the crowd were denied a grandstand finish as the time ran out just before Hockley could challenge Baker for the win. Galea completed the podium in 3rd.

Next up was the resident Castle Combe Sports Racing Car Series, a new series for 2014. From the rolling start local man Norman Lackford who took an early lead from Andy Crockett. After a intense initial few laps things ended in tears on lap 8 when Crockett tried an ambitious move going into Bobbies, with the subsequent contact being enough to eliminate both from the race. This left distant 3rd man Chris Vinall with a comfortable lead, possibly karma for spinning at the Esses on lap 3 avoiding a slow Crockett, as Vinall cruised to a comfortable victory in this 20 minute race of attrition from Richard Gray, a lap down in 2nd, and Antony Weeks in 3rd.

The third race of the day was the centrepiece of the day, the 90 minute Dave Allan Trophy handicap race, featuring a talented grid ready to compete for the win. From the rolling start the front row men of Tim Woodman and Phil Keen raced away from the pack. Woodman’s lead didn’t last long as experienced GT racer Phil Keen took the lead at the Esses on lap 2. The race claimed an early retirement as star turn Matt Neal retired his Honda Jazz on lap 4, leaving the crowd disappointed they didn’t get to see the driving ace in action for longer.

By lap 13 Keen’s lead had grown to 10 seconds as the penalties began being handed out for corner cutting. One of those affected was the monstrous Audi A8 Quattro of duo Jon Nicholls and Ollie Millroy, things soon got worse for the team as their car was forced out of 6th with cooked front brakes.

After the leading five took their scheduled 3 minute pit stops on laps 36 and 37 the order remained largely the same until the flag. After 70 laps it was the Andrew Smith/Phil Keen Ariel Atom that claimed a dominant victory by a lap over soloist Tim Woodman in his Caterham 7. Completing the podium was the Desmond Smail/Richard Meins Honda Integra . The final handicap results were somewhat different however as it was the Smail/Meins Integra that claimed victory from the Smith/Keen Ariel Atom and the Leigh Sebba/Tasmin Doyle Morgan +8 completing the handicap podium.

After the Dave Allan Trophy Endurance race the fans were then treated to the complete opposite as the resident Formula Ford Championship took to the track for a 15 lap thriller. Ash Crossey made the best getaway from the line to take the lead, opening a opening lap lead of roughly 2-3 seconds. The man on the move at this point was championship leader Roger Orgee, who was charging through the field after a qualifying problem forced him to start from the back.

A 4 car train was battling for 2nd early on, only helping Crossey in his escape. Things got interesting behind him however as reigning champion Adam Higgins was in the process of passing former champion Ed Moore going into Quarry on lap 9 before Moore lost it himself and spun off, re-joining well behind the pack. All of this helped Crossey build a insurmountable 5 second lead which he would hold to the flag, cementing his status as the championship favourite right now. After some frenetic battling behind Crossey it took a last lap move on Farm straight to clinch 2nd place for Nathan Ward with Adam Higgins taking 3rd.

Race 5 was for the always popular Aero racing Morgan challenge. It was no surprise to see Morgan expert Keith Ahlers on pole position, yet a warm-up lap miscommunication meant he started the race from the pit lane. This left Roger Whiteside and Phillip Goddard to battle for the lead early on. The fight for the lead didn’t last long as Ahlers completed his charge on Dean straight by lap 5. Before he hit traffic Ahlers was able to leave the others trailing to the tune of 4 seconds a lap as he asserted himself at the front.

The interest in this centred behind Ahlers as the battle for 2nd was finally resolved on lap 9 as Phillip Goddard passed Roger Whiteside exiting Camp Corner. As Goddard quickly shed Whiteside the entertainment was then provided by the fight for 4th place. After a frenetic couple of laps the battle was eventually decided as the charging Jonathan Edwards took both Robin Pearce and Tony Lees at Bobbies to snatch the place on lap 12.

The fight was far from over however, yet by lap 17 the dispute was resolved as defending into Camp corner Edwards left his braking too late and went straight into the tyre wall and out the race. After this the positions were fairly spread out until the flag after 30 minutes of racing, it was Ahlers who claimed a comfortable victory from Goddard in 2nd and Whiteside in 3rd.

Next up was the revamped Castle Combe Sports @ GT championship which has continued to provide exciting racing so far in 2014. This race contained some added spice as pole man Gary Prebble was forced to start from the pit lane as his clutch broke in qualifying. Therefore the early laps were led by Barry Squibb in his Mitsubishi Evo who quickly built a substantial lead from the rest. Things soon went downhill for Squibb however as he slowed with car problems, with the inevitable passes from Ilsa Cox and Gary Prebble taking place at Quarry on lap 8.

Cox’s lead was short-lived however as Prebble took the lead later on that lap. Cox’s fortunes also took a hit as she was forced to retire from a comfortable 2nd on the exit of Quarry on lap 10. From here it was comfortable win for Prebble, who also took the all time wins record at Castle Combe with this 36th victory from Bob Light. Perry Waddams and his TVR Tuscan claimed 2nd with Nick Holden and his Ariel Atom completing the podium.

The seventh race of the day saw the Tegiwa Civic Cup cars venture on track for their second race of the day. With the top 8 from race 1 reversed for this race action was almost guaranteed. It was Andrew Gaugler who claimed an early lead. It wasn’t to last long for him as he was mugged by the charging Rich Hockley at Camp on lap 2. Immediately race 1 winner Robert Baker smelled the opportunity and demoted Gaugler to 3rd on the pit straight.

Adding to the excitement were the first falling of rain drops on lap 4 although they were not substantial enough to cause significant challenge to the drivers. The rain intensified slightly by lap 9 yet Hockley was already around 1.5 seconds clear from Baker and duly claimed his 1st victory of 2014 from Baker and Gaugler.

The penultimate race of the day was for the Castle Combe Saloon car championship, ever popular as always. From the line it was the impressive Charles Hyde-Andrews-Bird who took the early initive. After clearing Mark Wyatt for 2nd Tony Hutchings went hunting for Bird ahead. Hutchings was denied the pass on track however as Bird dramatically pulled off at the end of the pit straight on lap 5, leaving Hutchings lonely ahead of the pack from here on out. He subsequently romped to a comfortable victory of 9.2 seconds over an equally lonely class B winner Mark Wyatt in 2nd and Tony Dolley in 3rd.

The last race of the day was for the Lackford Engineering Midget and Sprite challenge. The series is always popular at Castle Combe and an exciting finish to the day was predicted. The drama began before the start even took place as Martin Morris was forced to start from the back not 2nd after replacing his gearbox after qualifying. After a rocket getaway it was 5th man James Dunkley who stole the early lead, meanwhile behind him Morris amazingly managed to go from the back to 3rd on the opening lap alone.

Back at the front it didn’t take series benchmark Paul Sibley long to re-assert his dominance as he dived inside Dunkley for the lead at Quarry on lap 2. Now in front he quickly built an 8 second lead with the race set for a stalemate. This was quickly avoided however as the circuit began drying, with Dunkley then taking seconds out of Sibley’s lead over consecutive laps as he clearly favoured the drying conditions.

Dunkley was challenging for the lead by lap 9 yet couldn’t quite find a way through before Sibley re-asserted his buffer as he warmed to the conditions. Sibley therefore took a challenging victory from Dunkley in 2nd and Martin Morris completed the podium in a great recovery drive to 3rd.

This signalled another exciting Castle Combe race meeting coming to a close with the next race meeting taking place in 2 weeks time on Father’s Day, the 14th June. For more details on that meeting and any other Castle Combe events please visit their website here.
For any further info relating to the official results of this meeting please visit the TSL Timing website here it will provide all the stats you need.

Castle Combe Howard’s Day Meeting report part 1

With the late arrival of Easter this year the new 2014 Castle Combe car racing season finally got underway this Easter Monday with a packed programme full of British manufactures in memory of previous circuit saviour and long time owner Howard Strawford, who tragically passed away before the start of the 2013 season.

The decent sunny weather helped draw in the crowds for the first meeting which began with an old favourite, the Dunlop Mini 7 championship. These original Mini’s always produce top quality racing and the first of their two 10 lap races was eagerly anticipated. Pole man Gareth Hunt slightly jumped the start which allowed second man Andrew Deviny to claim the lead off the line.

At the end of the first lap Hunt slowed suddenly and retired soon after with what appeared to be a transmission or gearbox issue. After this Deviny was able to just about hold off the challenges from behind to claim the victory, from Ashley Davies in 2nd and Graeme Davis in 3rd, both close behind at the finish. Ross Billison was 4th from S class winner Ian Deviny in 5th and it was Keiran McDonald that rounded out the top 6.

Next up was the first of two 15 minute Lancaster Insurance MGOC races, with the swarm of MG ZR’s expected to dominate the race. Ben Palmer claimed pole from Lee Sullivan, both in ZR’s, with both making good starts yet it was Palmer who had the ideal line for the first kink at Folly and therefore took an early lead. Initially Palmer and Sullivan were squabbling for the lead before Sullivan began to slip away as he began to be challenged for 2nd by Andrew Rogerson on lap 2.

Rogerson finally made his way past into 2nd on lap 4 but by this point Palmer had already opened a comfortable lead. Behind the lead three the excitement of the race was the battle developing on lap 6between Gary Smith, Fergus Campbell and Vince Pain for 4th. The battle wasn’t slowing them up however as the sucked 3rd man Sullivan into their battle by lap 8, the same lap Pain took Campbell for 5th on the inside going into Quarry. Pain was the man on the move as twice on the final lap he made up places by taking Smith for 4th at Folly and then going inside Sullivan into the Esses for 3rd in a masterful race for him. In front however Ben Palmer cruised home to a comfortable lights to flag victory from Andrew Rogerson in 2nd and Vince Pain in 3rd. Lee Sullivan was 4th, Gary Smith was 5th and finally Fergus Campbell rounded out the top 6.

Something new for 2014 at Castle Combe is a new six round Sports Racing Car Series, a new series aimed at giving both the sports prototypes and GT cars from the Sports and GT championship fair races and chances to compete with similar levels of competition. As with most new championships the first race saw a small grid for the 20 minute race. After Alan Hamilton pulled off on the formation lap it was sadly only left to 5 cars to start the race. Pole man Norman Lackford made the best start from the rolling grid as 2nd man Andy Crockett initially struggled. Crockett soon made up for it however as when the Safety Car came out to retrieve Hamilton’s car at the end of lap 1 it was Crockett who led.

The Safety Car went in after only 1 lap on lap 2 at which point Crockett and Lackford resumed their battle. Lackford finally took the lead on the inside at Tower on lap 5 however the gap between the two ebbed and flowed as Lackford was unable to shake Crockett completely. Behind them Robert Gillman passed a slowing Neil Harris for 3rd on the start/finish straight on lap 15. Back at the front the battle for the lead came to it’s conclusion as Crockett pushed slightly too hard going into Tower on lap 15 and spun off into retirement. This left Norman Lackford to take a comfortable victory over a lapped Robert Gillman in 2nd and Richard Gray in 3rd. This race was the perfect validation to the old racing cliché you only need two cars to make a motor race.

Next up was the first of the two 10 lap races for the more powerful Dunlop Mini Miglia championship. These original Mini’s boast 1300cc engine compared to 1000cc engines for the 7’s. There was drama before the start as pole man Aaron Smith was out before the race even started with an unspecified problem. This left Daniel Wheeler alone on the front, therefore it was no surprise he made the best getaway to take an early lead as behind him Kane Astin in 3rd made a shocker of a start as he was swallowed up by the chasing pack.

It didn’t take long for the order to change as Richard Casey took 3rd from Niven Burge on the inside at Folly on lap 2. Astin soon recovered from his poor start and was swapping the lead with Wheeler several times between laps 3 and 5. Soon this changed however as David Drew moved up to 2nd on lap 6 as the 4 car train for the lead held station for a few laps. Amazingly Rupert Deeth joined the lead battle in a remarkable race for him as he made his way up from 15th to 3rd on lap 9 and then passed Drew at the Esses on the final lap to steal 2nd. Daniel Wheeler claimed the win from Rupert Deeth in 2nd and finally David Drew in 3rd.

The halfway point of the meeting was reached with the first round of the eagerly anticipated 2014 Castle Combe Formula Ford championship. Many of the contenders from 2013 returned and first blood went to Ashley Crossey who planted his Kevin Mills Spectrum on pole from team mate Nathan Ward in 2nd. Crossey came on strong during the year yet at this point it’s unclear whether he will compete in the full championship or not, therefore it appeared a crucial confidence boost if he could grab an early win. Pole man Crossey made a good start likewise 2013 champion Adam Higgins up from 5th, meanwhile Roger Orgee fluffed his start from 3rd. The first lap is usually frantic and this was no exception as Nathan Ward out braked himself at the Esses before re-joining and promptly retiring at Bobbies all on the opening lap.

Crossey had a big early lead yet behind him first Orgee then Higgins passed 2004 and 2007 champion Ed Moore for 2nd and 3rd on laps 4 and 5 respectively. Crossey was suffering with a misfire however and was soon caught and passed by Orgee on the inside at Tower on lap 6. Crossey showed his strength however as he re-took the lead at Quarry on lap 10. By this point Higgins had joined the battle and promptly took 2nd from Orgee up Avon Rise on lap 11 before repeating the trick on Crossey for the lead a lap later, with Orgee following him through into 2nd. The drama wasn’t over however as Orgee made a move inside at the Esses to steal the lead from Higgins, who then tried a last lap lunge at Camp which didn’t come off. Behind him however his brother Richard Higgins showed him how to do it by completing his Camp lunge at Crossey to steal 3rd on the last lap.