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24th August Race report

The gap closes

 

The race on 27th August at Castle Combe was also 25th year Anniversary GT Race. We were the first qualifying session at 8:45 am – far to early for motor racing. The race schedule had the class A and B cars in a separate race to the class C and D cars, this was good news as we have had several problems dealing with the slower cars in previous races. It came as a surprise to see all four classes qualifying together.

 

Qualifying

With 30 plus cars on the track it was hard to find the space to get a clear lap in so I hung back as much as I could on the approach to Camp to create a gap ahead hoping that the rest of the lap would be clear, this worked on lap 6 and I got in a 1’07” lap. On lap 8 I came up behind the yellow Ferrari of Keith Sprules as we passed the pits, I hung back till after the apex of Folly then as Keith moved left on the exit I pulled past on the run up to Avon Rise. As I drew level the Ferrari moved from the centre of the track to the right edge – forcing me on to the grass at 140mph. Luckily the grass was dry and I did not spin.

Back at the pits I found more damage to the font end, a ruined splitter and a cracked front. A discussion with Keith ensued, seems he didn’t see me…

I don’t know what it is with me and Ferraris???

 

We were the feature race for the pits walk about at lunch time. This is a great idea and seems to be really popular with the spectators, I lost count of the number of kids I lifted in and out of the car so they could sit in it and have their photo taken. Let’s hope some of them grow up to take part in future Combe GT races

 

Race

My qualifying time was good enough for 7th on the grid with Rob less that half a second ahead in 6th and John Ali in 8th. I made a bad start with too much wheel spin. And found myself sandwiched between two cars on the drive up to Avon rise. This got a little too close with Jon Ali giving me a little tap to let me know he was there. Once round Quarry for the first time and in 7th place I set off after Rob and reeled him in over the next couple of laps. His car was clearly not at its best as I was having to lift early to avoid hitting him in the corners. When he had a major lock up on the way into Quarry I was within inches of joining him in the seat of his car. I hung back slightly on the following lap till the approach to Camp. As Rob braked I ran up the inside towards the apex of the corner. By the time Rob saw me he had already turned in so I took to the grass again, I never thought I would be able to pass at full speed on grass around Camp corner (Note to self; Perhaps rallying would be a better option for next season) Once passed Rob I slowly built up a lead and was looking settled for a 6th place finish however on lap 13 I managed to pass the class A car of Guy Woodward who was recovering fro a Spin at Bobbies . The race finished with a 5th place – 4th in class.

 

We are now only 1 point behind Rob in 2nd place in the Class Championship with just two races left.

 

Next Race Donnington Park 1st/2nd Sept in the Radical Challenge