Wow, what a scorcher. Our Castle Combe weekend, on 16th/17th July was right up there with the hottest meetings we've ever had (who remembers Brands Hatch in 2018 and Spa in 2019?).
Our compliments to the preparation taken by drivers, Marshals and the many other volunteers and staff it takes to run a meeting, with shade, water and leaf blowers all utilised and not many more mechanical breakdowns than we'd usually expect.
Grids in some cases were lower than we usually expect, but that's become the theme since energy costs rose, but those who were there, enjoyed some great action with few safety cars and just the one short Code 60.
The hundreds of bottles of cold water, that members helped purchase through their donations, was well received by the Marshals on post and in the paddock, thank you. Marcus, from the CafeBar, who kindly allowed us to chill the water in a spare fridge he had.
All races from this meeting were live-streamed on our Youtube channel and main Facebook page. You can replay these now.
Saturday's modern series races are here:
Sundays classic, live-stream video is here:
Not only do we have full live-streamed video from the races, we are also blessed with Marc Peters solo efforts, Marc puts together his own, high definition footage, from all areas of the circuit and paddock. Just a few minutes long, these highlights videos are a must-see, we love the slo-mo's. We're sorry there is no Motorsports School Turbo Tin Tops footage this time.
Saturday's short highlights:
Sunday's video compilation, well worth a few minutes of your time:
David Stallard has taken the very best photos available, from the few vantage points now open to photographers. Expect a little heat haze and brown grass to enhance these already brilliant shots. Photos and merchandise are available to buy individually, or you can contact David for an offer on every photo he took of your car.
Saturday's photos, in time order:
Sunday's classic photos, qualifying and races for every session:
Full results are here, to see all details, including pit-stop times, please click on 'view pdf book' for your series.
In no particular order, here are a few observations from the event:
The TrackRoadRace New Millennium Series enjoyed a thrilling chase right to the very end. Dominic Malone's E90 M3 bogged down at the start, beginning a race-long chase after the Chris Boardman E36 M3, who had built a sizeable lead, handing over to Mark Smith. Smith caught the lapped Alex Heynes, driving his similar E36 M3 very well. I suspect neither realised they were on a different lap, this certainly helped Malone close the gap. The pair were clear before Malone got an excellent exit from Camp in the closing laps, kicking up the dust at Folly, making the move stick before Avon Rise. Less than a lap later a red flag would cruelly reverse the position after counting back a lap, although both drivers were full of smiles.
Adams and Page Swinging 60s Group 1 saw 36 cars pack the circuit, with battles up and down the field. The start, in particular, was worth watching, whilst the chase after serving pit-stop winners penalties was particularly entertaining, by Matthew Howell and Sam Polley.
Both the Co-ordSport Tin Tops and Advantage Motorsport Future Classics races featured some brilliant overtakes and fair racing in the opening laps between leaders. Adam Brown (Fiesta) and Danny Cassar (Integra) in Tin Tops and Mark Chilton (Skyline) and Alex Taylor (RX-7) in Future's all proving that it's possible to travel alongside through multiple corners without 'opening the steering' aka running off the road. No damage, respect shown and smiles all round, excellent.
Mintex Classic K resembled a drift display at times, the Dunlops wilting under the intense heat. Alexander Hewitson threw the big Healey around, much to the commentators delight, eventually taking the honours. A spin, then a brilliant fight back to the lead was undone after a schoolgirl/boy error of a short pit-stop, took the win from the Ridgway's Elan. Still, once again there were smiles all round and no complaints.
There were sadly four, sizeable accidents over the weekend, with three of these being solo excursions to the scenery, the heat perhaps a contributory factor. Thank you to the members who asked after their fellow competitors, there are sadly some injuries and an extended hospital stay. We have been in touch with all drivers since the weekend.
The circuit has invested in recent years in Recticel barriers, these are the big, red and black foam blocks placed at strategic places in front of tyre barriers and Armco. A number of cars appeared to bounce harmlessly off them, saving repair bills. Of course, if a 1300kg car/cars make contact at high speed, that energy is transferred to the last line of defence, the armco barriers and posts holding them. When the posts snap, it's a physical and time consuming
job to replace them and make the circuit safe for us all again. Despite having time in hand, this ultimately lost us the Motorsports School Turbo Tin Tops race on Saturday, with three posts broken in the preceding race, taking an hour to replace. The last handful of minutes of
the Speedpanel A2 Modern Classic race on Sunday were cut short, after a solo off broke a further 5 posts, just a few metres away from the same location, at Old Paddock, emphasising the importance of repairing the barriers correctly. The circuit reports that this location hasn't been struck hard for at least ten years!
The Turbo Tin Tops drivers have each been contacted and received a financial gesture and explanation, for what is mercifully a rare event (a CSCC race cancelled).
The drivers from the Dodge Viper badly damaged in a crash wanted to pass on their sincere gratitude to all those who helped them. In their own words I would like to again thank the medical team and marshals for their handling of the incident and thorough examination after the crash, and I would particularly like to thank Damian, Toby and Lisa (CSCC volunteer committee members) and the marshals that stayed on until 8:00pm to help load the car onto the trailer, with the help of what appeared to be the entire Amspeed race team. Without their help we could not have loaded the car!
We look forward to seeing many of you at Oulton Park in five weeks time, where we still have space in most races. Then, in seven weeks time, all series are back in action at your favourite, Donington Park, with all races live-streamed there. Please enter both meetings now, if you haven't already done so.