Castle Combe Hosted Its Finals Weekend With Champions Crowned

Castle Combe Circuit welcomed several guest series to the circuit for the first time including the 750 Motor Club. They had several championships on the circuit’s finals weekend. 

First up were the 5 Club MX5s which featured a grid of 36 cars. It was team owner and regular racer Alistair Bray on pole, a position he could not hold onto in the race ultimately finishing down in fifth losing touch with the lead pack after an off. Serial winner Ben Short returned after missing the last round, winning the first two races of the day. The other two podium spots were taken by Ben Hancy and Steve Foden for the first two races. The third race of the day was delayed due to the grid being sorted at the last minute due to awaiting decisions from race two, the partial reverse grid saw Matthew Short on pole. Short would fall back to eighth by the flag, Bray moved up the order and had a close fight with Hancy and Ben Short. Bray would come out on top by just under four tenths from Hancy and Ben Short. The top three separated by just over a second. 

The 750MC Locost Championship featured a big grid, Simon Walker-Hansell overcame mechanical issues to put his Locost on pole which he converted to victory in race one. Championship leader Craig Land broke away from the pack behind to finish second with a trio of cars fighting for the final podium spot which went the way of Martin West. The second outing was once again full of slipstreaming. The lead changing several times in the opening stages as Land, Wall, Mark Burton, and Peter Hatfield all taking their turn. Quarry corner saw Burton and Hatfield come together spinning Burton out of contention, he did recover to eleventh whilst Hatfield retired with mechanical woes. The pack upfront were joined by Karl Ruijsenaars as he took his turn at the front. The decisive move came from Wall putting his Locost upfront, as the trio came around the last lap the red flag was thrown due to an incident on the start, finish straight between Jack Chapman and Paul Williamson. Wall was declared the winner with Land and Ruijsenaars behind. 

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Craig Land Photo Credit: Sam Nudd

Michael Pensavalle took a double victory in the M3-dominated BMW Car Club Racing encounters. Brad Sheehan slowed mid-race and Mike Cutt spun at Camp gifting Pensavalle a large lead in race one, ahead of Niall Bradley. Bradley repeated second in race two ahead of the flying Cutt from the back of the grid. Paul Cook and Kevin Denwood (Compact) were double class winners and Karl McMillan and Clive Watson shared the Cup class honours for 325 Ti’s.

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M2 Championship leader Graham Crowhurst: Photo Credit Sam Nudd

The Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship saw Felix Fisher as the man to beat, claiming pole and double victory in front of spectators for the first time this year. Title rival Luke did not finish race one after an off at Tower but went on to finish third in race two and ultimately took the title by just ten points from Fisher. Neil MacLennan and Robert Hall rounded out the podium in race one with Hall and Cooper joining Fisher in the second outing, after MacLennan was excluded. 

The Carnival was run for the first time in three years and Swift Cooper took a one-two with champion Luke Cooper beating Rob Hall. Former champion Adam Higgins returned to finish third, beating Chris Acton.

Luke Cooper: Photo Credit Sam Nudd

Gary Prebble added to his impressive win tally with two victories in the Saloon Car Championship. Simon Thornton-Norris’ Mitsubishi Colt chased him in race one, with Rob Ellick’s VW Golf taking third. Gary’s brother Adam came second in race two ahead of Tony Hutchings’ Audi TT. Mark Sutton took a steady pair of races to take the title in his class C MG ZR. 

Oliver Bull dominated by GT races with his Vauxhall Tigra. Tony Bennett’s Caterham was the best of the rest in race one and despite a spin in race two was crowned the champion. Jamie Sturges impressively took a pair of podiums in his Volkswagen Golf TCR. Bradley John’s Mitsubishi Evo stopped in race two, gifting second to the similar car of Barry Squibb.

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Photo Credit: Sam Nudd

Jordan Curnow’s Honda Civic avoided Hot Hatch carnage to win the category twice. Shaun Goverd passed the similar Peugeot 106 of Tony Cooper to take second in race one but has a spectacular engine failure in race two. Cooper took second from Will Self’s Peugeot 205. 

Richard Wildman’s race spec class A MG Midget won both Midget&Sprite Challenge races. Pippa Cow finished second in race one and beat Ian Burgin in their class E Austin Healey Sprite dice. Wildman finally passed Martin Morris on the final lap of race two in an epic class A duel. Cow and Edward Easton (Sprite) won both the races in class E and D respectively. 

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Photo Credit: Sam Nudd

Neven Kirkpatrick beat Steve Rideout in the Super Mighty Minis opener, with David Kirkpatrick third. Ian Slark recovered from a race one off to win the second encounter with the Kirkpatrick brothers behind. Paul Ogborn won both Mighty Mini races with Darren Nightingale, Matthew Baker and Graham Sheppard completed the podium.