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|Combe Championships as Close as Ever!|
|3 Aug 2015 12:48|
Whilst there is very much an ‘MG’ theme to the Castle Combe Circuit’s ‘Summer Race Day’ on Saturday August 8, it’s the local championships which take pride of place in the ten race programme.
As is often the case, the circuit’s three diverse championships are finely balanced, just over half way through the season.
In the Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600 championship Michael Moyers from Wellingborough is now the ‘fastest kid on the block’ and although his 64 points puts him 3rd in the championship table, his 18 point deficit to Langford’s Roger Orgee is not as great as it might appear. Having won the last two races, Moyers’ non score at the opening round is rapidly looking less of an issue than it was, though with every race counting towards points this year, a ‘DNF’ by him or any of the others, could put paid to the championship title.
For both Orgee and Moyers, who also happen to be team mates in the Kevin Mills squad, reigning champion, Adam Higgins from Chippenham, is a big threat. Like a dog who never gives up on his bone, Higgins has a fighting spirit which will be difficult to suppress over the remaining part of the season.
At the last round, Orgee managed to slightly extend his points advantage over Higgins, but Moyers eat into both their scores. With a potential 24 points available at each race, the title battle is still wide open and there are also five other drivers equally as hungry and still with a mathematical chance of claiming the big prize.
Another ‘Kevin Mills’ team member, Coventry’s Nathan Ward, is one of those, lurking with just one point less than Moyers but needing some strong podium finishes to get right back in the hunt. Perhaps the most impressive position in the table is the 5th place held by Bridgwater’s Josh Fisher, who heads class C for cars built prior to 1990! One point behind him is his brother, Felix, hampered by a track limits penalty last time. Yatton Keynell’s Luke Cooper is another giant killer, holding 7th in the standings, despite his down on power class B Swift. Finally, Melksham’s Ed Moore, perhaps the most experienced driver in the field, needs some luck after showing his old form is still very much intact, but let down by ongoing mechanical issues.
The circuit’s ‘Saloon Car Championship’ has two drivers neck and neck on points who don’t actually race against each other. The championship allows drivers to score points in their respective classes to count towards the overall championship. So Bristol’s Mark Wyatt and
Russell Poynter-Brown from Compton Martin lead classes B and D respectively and are tied on equal points. Currently, Poynter-Brown would take the title as he has one more win than Wyatt, but with 4 more races left to run, that situation could change dramatically. What is for sure is every lap will count and the slightest slip by either driver will have large consequences for their title hopes.
Wyatt has the benefit of a new engine in his Astra, which gave him an even greater edge over closest rival Bridgwater’s Tony Dolley last time out, whilst Poynter-Brown’s Corsa had the Suzuki Swift Gti of Arthur Marks from Kingsbridge rather too close for comfort.
Meanwhile, up front, Southampton’s Gary Prebble finally brought his SEAT Leon Turbo to a win, ahead of the Audi TT of Calne’s Tony Hutchings last time, setting a stunning new lap record in the process. Hutchings is still just ahead on points and the rest of the season now looks like it will be a battle of the horsepower available in these two massively powerful cars.
Just as powerful, but suffering a number of setbacks at the last meeting as development changes to the car didn’t work too well, is the lovely VW Scirocco of Bath’s Dave Scaramanga. The Renault Meganes of Chippenham’s James Winter and Charles Hyde-Andrews-Bird from Ditcheat are two more tasty A class cars, always in the hunt.
Class C has Adrian Slade from Devizes yo-yoing between maximum and minimum points each race, either winning and dominating or failing to score. His Peugeot 106 is therefore some way behind on points to the MG ZR of Bristol’s James Keepin, who in contrast has been a model of consistency.
Hero of the circuit’s ‘Sports and GT Championship’ must be Southampton’s Adam Prebble, who took his ancient Rover Tomcat saloon to 3rd overall at the last meeting, thoroughly deserving his ‘Driver of the Day’ award. Although a couple of non-finishes this year have kept Prebble out of the title hunt, the fact he can outrun cars such as the sophisticated BMW M6 of Blagdon’s Doug Watson, must be some consolation.
Prebble has not been alone in his toil to score points though. Many of the leading drivers in the championship have suffered a variety of issues as the year has evolved. Torquay’s Barry Squibb looked like clocking up a much needed win at the last round only for his Mitsubishi Evo to fail him again.
Bristol’s Oliver Bull converted a poor start into a second place last time in his Ford powered Vauxhall Tigra Silhouette whilst Tetbury’s David Krayem will be looking for a reliable run in his Ginette G50.
Championship sponsor Avatar is well represented with it driver, Dylan Popovic, topping the points, but another class win from Brighton’s Ilsa Cox in her SEAT Leon Cupra, could see her close the gap. Cricklade’s Nick Holden is back to entertain with his Aeriel Atom.
The circuit’s occasional series for ‘sports racing’ cars makes a welcome return with a variety of fast machinery. Salisbury’s Nigel Mustill has his awesome Riley TDC, whilst Chepstow’s Nick Jones enters his successful Radical SR3 RSX. One of his opponents will be Bristol’s Neil Harris in the Nemesis Prototype.
The MG ZR is a popular car in the circuit’s saloon car championship but has a race of its own with the MG Trophy, for 3 different classes of the cars ranging in power from 160 to 190 bhp. The last Trophy race at the circuit was in 2007. Marlborough’s Ray Ferguson is one of the more local drivers in his class C car.
Other ‘MG’ races are for the ‘BCV8’ championship, which caters for all types of MGB and C in various classes and the MG Car Club Thoroughbred Sportscar championship. As well as all the obvious MGs, other classic British marques include Jaguar, Aston Martin, Triumph and Morgan. The MG Metro Cup is somewhat of a contrast and provides a relatively low cost option for MG enthusiasts.
In total contrast is the ‘VAG Trophy’, which as its acronym suggests, looks after cars from VW, Audi, SEAT and Skoda, with consequent variety.
Saturday's action starts at 8.30 am with qualifying, racing getting under way from 12.15pm and carrying on until around 6:30pm.
Admission prices are £15 for Adults and £10 for OAPs, whilst accompanied children under 16 are admitted free. ‘Paddock Transfer’ is free if the tickets are booked in advance.
For further information, visit the Castle Combe Racing Club online at www.ccracingclub.co.uk, www.facebook.com/CastleCombeCircuit, or @castlecombeuk