Race Report – Castle Combe 28th May
a stormy night on Sunday the day started wet but with a possibility of drier weather to come. We were out on the track for
qualifying at 09:15 am so that meant an early start. We had spent some time since the last race fitting lights to the front
of the car to help make it more visible when lapping slower cars, this is always tricky when there are such differences in
speed between the different classes of cars
The track was still wet by the time we lined up in the paddock for the start of the
session although it had stopped raining. Out on the circuit I found some parts of the track were beginning to dry out, this
makes life interesting as you have to try and remember where the wet areas are and where you can push harder. We had set the
car up for wet weather and I was beginning to wonder if we had made the right call. Once I’d got the first three laps
done to make sure we qualified I started to push the car harder, I found that the Dunlop wets we were using worked really
well in these conditions but I had to try and find some wet lines on the straights to avoid overheating the tyres. At the
end of the session I felt I had a good time but thought I could have gone faster. Checking the timing sheet I found we were
on Pole! A first at Combe.
was dry for the race but the clouds were looking threatening – A dry set up for the car but it would be ‘exciting’
if it rained….
took my place on the grid, it was nice to see a clear track in front of me. The Escort Cosworth was alongside in 2nd,
the benefit of 4wd had put it ahead of all of the Class A cars, it was going to be an interesting first lap. I made a better
start for a change, the two leading Class A cars got past on the power up to Quarry, I slotted in behind the Cosworth in 4th.
I nipped past and took 3rd on the exit. So at the end of lap 1 I was in 3rd place and keeping place
with the Jade of Guy Woodward. Rob Clarke made an excellent start and I could see him in my mirrors. The next few laps were
good fun, Rob was gaining and passed me on the entry into Quarry, he nearly lost it on the exit and it slowed him a little.
We were side by side going up to the Esses but I had the inside line, and managed to out brake him – back to 3rd. Rob tried the same move at Quarry a lap or so later, this time he came in too fast
and could not make the move stick. He had a huge slide on the exit but managed to avoid a spin, and I took back the place.
We were now in amongst the slower cars. Coming Bobbies I managed to close right up on the 1st and 2nd
place cars who were badly baulked by one of the Red 360 Ferraris. As we got on to the straight up to Camp the Ferrari was
in the middle of the track. I went left and the other two went right. If the
slower car had carried on straight it would have been a great move…. The Ferrari veered left and drove me off the track
on to the grass. The car took a huge jolt as it hit a divot but carried on. I managed to get back on to the black stuff without
spinning. I carried on but there clearly some damage to the car. Rob Clarke and the Mallock both got past I caught back up to the Ferrari at Camp, s I turned in to the corner I knew there was going to be trouble
as the front end did not want to go were I wanted it to. Huge understeer put me on the grass at the exit but once again I
was lucky and did not spin it. As I recovered I saw the pace car was out and fell into place behind the Ferrari, still in
5th place. Next lap round I saw the 23 sign from one of the race officials and knew that the damage to the car
must be bad enough for them to call me in. In the pits Steve and mark Set about making the bodywork (That was left) secure
with the races best friend – gaffer tape. All this seemed to take for ever but I got back out again convinced I was
in last place. The pace car pulled off and I spent the last two laps trying to at least get the car home.
to the fantastic work of Steve and Mark and the fact that the pace car was out we only lost a lap. I finished in 12th
place overall and managed to get a point for 6th in class. We might need that one point by the end of the season
as Rob had a great race and finished 3rd overall.
to the car was not good, the whole of the lower front was missing, including the dive planes and splitter, no wonder it was
under steering. We now have 4 weeks to get the damage sorted out before the next race…..
a shame Ferraris don’t have mirrors. Perhaps once you have spent all that money on the car the extra cost is just too