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Castle Combe 27th August 2012 – Race Report Round 7

The seventh round of the Motoring Classics Thoroughbred Championship for 2012 came to Castle Combe for a Bank Holiday meeting run by the Castle Combe Racing Club.   This was a shared grid with the Thoroughbreds and BCV8 Championships in the hope of getting a full grid and a cheap entry.

The grid holds 42 so it was hoped that we could get a reasonable showing.   There were 17 BCV8 drivers entered and 17 Thoroughbred drivers entered which sounds very good but as ten drivers were in both TSCC and BCV8 Championships the actual number of entries was 24 so we had not quite broken even on the grid purchase.  The cars were mostly MG’s with the exception of the two Morgans of Kathy Sherry and Tony Lees, the D Type Jaguar Replica of John Wilkes and the invited Marcos of Richard Evans who wanted a test run prior to his visit to Spa in September.  On the day only 23 arrived with an engine problem from Brian Playford and an injury to TSCC Chairman Colin Jones who had been trimming an Oak Tree when it jumped on his foot making it impossible for him to walk or drive.

The weather on Sunday was lovely.  Quite a few of us arrived for a relaxing day prior to the meeting and enjoyed warm sunshine and mostly cloud free skies.    However the forecast for Monday wasn’t too good as there was a high chance of rain and in the morning we had a few heavy showers prior to the 11.19am qualifying but qualifying itself was rain free.

PRACTICE

All drivers finished practice successfully even though the track was very wet and a few drivers had some good wet weather tyres. All except John Wilkes who had just had a newly rebuilt engine in his D Type but had a terminal problem and he only managed five laps before having to park up and wait for the recovery truck.

Overall Pole went to C Class Rob Spencer with a 1.25.414 five seconds in front of D/C Class Ian Prior with a 1.30.365. Row two D/C Russell McCarthy 1.34.713 alongside newcomer and guest AB Ben Rushworth with a 1.36.080.

On Row three B class James Wheeler with 1.36.483 alongside Joe Parrington with a 1.40.200.  Row four Tony Lees in his Morgan on a 1.40.254 alongside Neil Fowler with a 1.40.768 and on row five Mike Harris with 1.41.951 alongside the Marcos of Richard Evans on 1.42.002.  On row six Bob Luff on 1.43.923 alongside Kevin Swann on a 1.44.092.

On Row seven Jonnie Wheeler on 1.44.189 alongside John Wilkes vacant spot.  On row eight Max Cawthorn on a 1.44.935 alongside Babak Farsian on 1.45.031 and on row nine John Yea on 1.45.054 next to Kathy Sherry on 1.45.362.

Row ten Jonathan Upchurch first time out in the Championship on a 1.46.169 alongside Guest driver David Lamyman on 1.47.021 with Ben White on 1.50.133 and Terry Savory with 1.53.663 on row eleven and finishing the field Kai Wood Davis on row twelve with 1.59.788.

On the line up for the race however, we were missing Tony Lees and Kathy Sherry the two Morgan drivers, Tony having engine problems in the Morgan Challenge race and Kathy I believe deciding the wet conditions for the race were not to her liking.

THE RACE

The grid assembled for race nine at 17.24 a change from the agreed timetable as we were initially due to race at 15.30.  At 15.30 it was cloudy but dry but by 17.24 the rain had been steadily falling and the paddock and track were flooding. The field lined up and went off on the green flag lap with clouds of spray coming up from the tyres and arrived back at the start line to assemble for the start.

Lights changed and off they stormed with Ian Prior taking immediate lead and Russell McCarthy and Rob Spencer tucking in on his tailpipe.  Up through Quarry with the grid forming a ball of spray with the crowd unable to distinguished who was who.

On the return to Camp corner Ian was on a charge with Rob and Russell a few lengths behind all pulling out a gap on the rest of the field.

Next, James Wheeler and Richard Evans in the Marcos with Joe Parrington, Neil Fowler and newcomer Ben Rushworth all in line.

Jonnie Wheeler, Mike Harris and Kevin Swann next with Babak Farsian, Max Cawthorn and Bob Luff.    John Yea and Ben White with Terry Savory, Jonathan Upchurch, David Lamyman and Kai Wood Davies finishing the stragglers on the wet track in the torrential rain.  All doing well to make it round without incident.

By the return on lap two the field had strung out and Ian and Russell had pulled out a five second gap to third place Rob Spencer.  However, by the third lap Russell had found the grass and lost some time, still in second place but now Rob had him in his sights.  Russell pulled himself back up to Ian by lap five and was close enough to challenge when again he caught the grass and this time the majority of the field had passed before he could rejoin.  Rob Spencer now with Ian as his goal gradually pulled him in and dived past on lap thirteen to steal the Overall in a well deserved victory in the difficult conditions.

Russell pulled himself back up to third by lap ten but on the approach to Camp lost power and spun out and into the tyres, his race finished.

James Wheeler now in third driving a lonely but good race with newcomer Ben Rushworth in fourth, crowd pleasing on each exit of Camp corner sliding each time across the track.

Two trains of cars one headed by Richard Evans leading Neil Fowler, Joe Parrington, Jonnie Wheeler first then a couple of seconds further back Kevin Swann, Babak Farsian, Max Cawthorn, Bob Luff and Mike Harris and John Yea all managing to keep together and make the best of a very wet race.

BCV8’s Terry Savory out for the first time in 2012 brought home the A class(s) with David Lamyman next and Kai Wood Davis finishing the field.

Congratulations to the Overall Race winner Rob Spencer, and

Congratulations to all Class Winners as follows:

Class D TSCC  Ian Prior

Class C TSCC Neil Fowler

Class B TSCC James Wheeler

Class A TSCC Bob Luff

 

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