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August, 2015:

CASTLE COMBE – Round 5 – 8th August 2015

IMG_7087The Fifth Round of the Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Sportscar Championship took us to a hot, sunny and grassy Castle Combe Circuit.  We had been given the big grassy paddock to share with BCV8 and Peter Best.  A bit of a walk to the scrutineering and race admin but as we had a later practice and race it didn’t really matter as we could start engines and drive there.

Friday evening had been a bit of a surprise for me as on the 12th I would be celebrating a landmark date, not only did the bombs go off 70 years ago this week in Japan but in a Hospital in Clapham, London I had arrived.

I suspected something was happening when a few of the drivers said ‘so it’s your birthday’ and looked at me knowingly.   I soon realised that the little gathering we normally have was going to be exceeded when 35 drivers and their friends arrived at the Castle Inn in Castle Combe for a sit down meal.  Apparently the late entries had lost out as numbers in the allocated room had quickly reached 35 and the late entries had to put up with the bar.

We all had a lovely meal, pre booked by the sneeky Event Organiser Spencer.  After the meal I was presented with a lovely birthday cake, luckily without seventy individual candles on and a lovely card with a gift for a little trip away.  Thank you all very much for your kind words and good wishes……….

We awoke on the Saturday morning to bright sunshine and the makings of an excellent meeting.  The Thoroughbred race was mid-afternoon on the calendar, and the race was amalgamated with the Peter Best MG Cup.  PBI hadn’t been able to purchase a grid so as the full grid holds 42 I could see no problem in giving some grid space to them.

The BCV8 race was further on in the calendar so those doing both TSCC and BCV8 would have a full afternoons racing. By the time the TSCC race arrived the temperature was around 27 degrees.

There were 22 drivers entered for Thoroughbreds and 14 for Peter Best and for most the qualifying went well. Spencer McCarthy only managed a couple of laps before his half shaft expired but borrowed one from Neil Fowler for the races. Babak Farsian had an engine issue which needed surgery before he could race and a lot of running around for parts.  Roy Chamberlain had an ongoing engine issue and retired unable to race.


Simon Cripps gained overall and Class E Pole and sat alongside Neil Fowler.  Row two Spencer McCarthy (one full lap no wonder his half shaft broke!!) alongside Rob Spencer.  On row three Ian Prior and D Class Pole Russell McCarthy out again in the Terry Savory car.

Row four, James Wheeler in the ‘little’ V8  and Jonnie Wheeler in the ‘big’ V8 having a car swap.  Row five, Ken Deamer and Class C Pole Jon Ellison.  Row six Class B Pole Peter Samuels and row seven Babak Farsian alongside Mark Scott.

Row nine Rob Roodhouse and on row twelve Kathy Sherry and Martin Barrow. Row fifteen, Alan House and on row sixteen Steve Lockhart and Michael Hunter and on row seventeen Philip Lambe and finishing the Thoroughbred field on row eighteen Clive Gimson.


CC15_8551From the lights Neil Fowler got the better start with next Rob Spencer, Spencer McCarthy and then Simon Cripps behind, with Ian Prior and Jonnie Wheeler a second or two further behind the order as they crossed the line to start lap two.

Next across the line heading Class D Russell McCarthy with James Wheeler driving his dads car and Class C leader Jon Ellison then Ken Deamer.  Class B, Peter Samuels and Mark Scott next with Babak Farsian and Kathy Sherry in the Morgan next then the E type of Martin Barrow.  Rob Roodhouse, Steve Lockhart, Phil Lambe, Alan House, Michael Hunter and Clive Gimson finishing the Thoroughbred  drivers field.


Neil led from the off with for the first lap Rob Spencer tucking in to chase by the second lap Spencer McCarthy had taken Rob and held him off for four laps before Rob managed to power past, Rob staying in second position to the flag.

CC15_8580Behind the front action Simon Cripps and Ian Prior had a great dice for seven laps before Simon pulled himself up the field to third overall as Spencer McCarthy fell down slightly, having forgotten to adjust his suspension, to battle with Ian.  Simon falling off on lap 13 his race finished and Spencer regaining third after a few exciting laps bouncing around with Ian.IMG_7146

Jonnie Wheeler out in James’ car deciding that the action was a bit hairy at the front so had a few close laps with D class boys, wanting to give the car back to James in good order.

Fantastic race, led from start to finish by Neil Fowler who was driving his socks off. Behind the remaining Class E cars were all up front and chasing hard but by the finish Neil had amassed a 9.841 gap to second placed Rob Spencer.

In the bag, great race, Oh dear Neil you should have won it but…… a total of 15 seconds penalty for exceeding track limits.  That put him down to fourth overall.


Another lights to flag drive from Russell McCarthy in the Class D soft tuned V8.  (It’s for sale)CC15_8773

Not so easy though as he was hounded for thirteen laps by James Wheeler in the soft tuned V8 of his dads.  James never more than half a second behind was all over the back of Russell but was just unable to pass until on lap thirteen the engine just ‘gave up’ too much it said as he smoked into the side of the track just past the start finish line.

Behind Ken Deamer was content to watch the proceedings but had slipped back by some eleven seconds at the flag having a great dice with Jon Ellison.  Ken still picked up second in class even after finding the barrier in practice and sorting out some bodywork repairs.

Finishing the field were the TR6 of Rob Roodhouse and the E type of Martin Barrow after a great race ended up just six seconds between them with Rob taking third in class.


Again Class C Poleman Jon Ellison led the class from lights to flag.  CC15_8558He had a great battle for the
complete race with Class D Ken Deamer.

Mid field Kathy Sherry had a lonely class race but plenty of action with the Peter Best guys.

Back of the class though was great, Phil Lambe, Michael Hunter and Alan House CC15_8574and off and on the addition of B class Clive Gimson.  Phil, Michael and Alan had a race long battle, Phil heading the pack and Alan following until lap six when Michael dived through to stay station to the flag.


 CC15_8560Yet another lights to flag class win.  Peter Samuels led the class, last of the un-lapped finishers.

Behind Mark Scott had a good second  with Babak unable to catch him despite trying hard getting a little closer having sorted the engine problem but having an exhaust issue which finally gave up on lap nine.

CC15_8942Steve Lockhart and Clive Gimson having lonely class races but a few close laps with other classes.

IMG_7346Congratulations to Rob Spencer for taking the Win and Class E from Neil by default,

To Russell McCarthy for Class DIMG_7329

MeTo Jon Ellison for Class C

IMG_7318To Peter Samuels for Class B


Pam McCarthy, Championship Coordinator


Round four of the Championship took us to the MGCC Premier meeting of their Calendar on the Silverstone Historic GP circuit.  A warm up for the British GP?

I am sure as drivers you probably enjoy using this circuit but as a spectator Silverstone is difficult as there are limited areas to view a significant area of track.   The Thoroughbred race was different and not dominated by the top class.  By the Thoroughbred practice the track had dried out from the morning damp conditions  and overall Pole went to E class Rob Spencer.

The normal E class drivers of Russell and Spencer McCarthy and Simon Cripps had decided to bring out their B class cars to give them an airing and second overall was Russell and third Spencer. Class B had an amazing 13 entries.  Colin Jones and Roy Chamberlain had problems in practice and came in early but the remainder of the 29 field all seemed to be OK for the race.      (Pam)


Russell McCarthy claimed honours in the Thoroughbred Sports Car Championship race, after a fiercely entertaining outing.   Jordan Spencer returned to the track in his third appearance of the day, to SS15_7326immediately grasp the lead from sixth on the grid. As Jordan toured, father Rob followed, eager to displace his son. Before long, Rob found his way into the lead, soon followed by McCarthy.

McCarthy was certainly the man on the move, when his new second SS15_7355place sitting turned into the lead. From here he refused to relinquish his commanding role, to lead Rob Spencer across the finish line. Simon Cripps claimed himself a third place finish, whilst Ken Deamer strengthened his championship lead in fourth. Peter SamuelsSS15_7395 and Jordan Spencer completed the top six, whilst Deamer also collected Driver of the Race.

Ian Prior had been a front runner, however after seemingly suffering a mechanical issue, he was forced into retirement in the closing stages.
MGCC Race Report

Donington Park, MGCC 31st May Round 3

The first race start was quickly red flagged in the Thoroughbred Sportscar Championship, when two drivers were sent off the track at Hollywood.   After medics and officials attended to the scene, the chaos was cleared and everyone deemed to be well.

A delay from the stoppage meant the restarted race was shortened to 12 minutes from 20 due to time constraints. At the restart we weren’t disappointed, as action came in abundance. 

Spencer McCarthy and Simon Cripps used their front row start to their advantage, asDN15_2706 they battled for supremacy on the run towards Redgate. As the pair exited the first corner, it was McCarthy who led the way, however Cripps was far from settled in second place. As the pair rounded Schwantz for the first time, they toured side by side for the remainder of the opening lap.DN15_2797

The start of lap two saw Cripps able to edge ahead, as McCarthy trailed in a menacing fashion. Before long, McCarthy was able to sneak ahead once more, to hold the lead for the duration. Cripps chased for as long as possible, under his MGB GT V8 suddenly slowed, dropping him to third place.DN15_2806

As Cripps salvaged what he could, Ian Prior was promoted to second place.

Ken Deamer collected fourth place overall and a Class D victory, after a tantalising tussle with Russell McCarthy for class honours. Deamer was also awarded Driver of the Race for his sterling efforts.

MGCC Race Report