Whilst the Co-ordSport CSCC Tin Top team were flying the flag at the Birkett at Silverstone, the rest of the series were in action at Castle Combe on 24th October, for the penultimate round of the 2020 CSCC season.
This was the last day of 'summertime’ and with the timetable placing our race last in the schedule, lights would be required. With this event being announced just six weeks before, as a replacement to races at Le Mans it was necessary to share the grid with fellow racers from the CSCC Motorsports School Turbo Tin Tops Series. It meant an exciting race was in prospect with a full grid of 42 cars, the first time we would see the latest generation of forced-induction hot hatches race head to head with their naturally-aspirated Co-ordSport Tin Tops Series cousins.
The Co-ordSport Tin Toppers held the advantage following qualifying, possibly helped by the heavy rain on what is regarded as a power circuit. Jonathan Dee led a Honda 1-2-3 in his Integra Type R DC2, 0.3 of a second ahead of Eric Boulton in his new FK2-shape Civic Type R, with the Hutchins Father and Son duo third in their Civic Type R. The Co-ordsport support truck was there to support a number of drivers needing essential spares and parts following qualifying.
Jonathan Dee lead a Co-ordSport Tin Tops Honda 1-2-3 in qualifying.
If competitors thought it was wet for qualifying the rain got heavier for the race, this is not always a bad thing, many drivers relish the opportunity of a wet race, it’s a real leveller of talent over horsepower. Sadly, pole man Jonathan Dee ran into problems on the green flag lap, a cooling fan failed causing the car to overheat and enter limp home mode. He had to make for the pit lane for a quick switch off and back on. He staged an almighty comeback drive, all the way from 41st back up to 6th, before catching a puddle into Camp and finding the barriers for the first time in his racing career.
Eric Boulton took full advantage of his inherited pole position, leading the capacity 41 car pack into Quarry Corner after fending off the pace setting Turbo Tin Tops Part-Box Fiesta ST of Lisa Selby through Avon Rise, who had made a great start from the second row. Selby and Co-driver Harris had carefully built their Fiesta over the preceding 12 months, with support and products from Co-ordSport and Part Box, to qualify 5th in the cars second outing surprised even them.
The Part-Box Fiesta ST of Lisa Selby/Toby Harris set the early pace in Turbo Tin Tops.
Eric Boulton led all the way in his Civic until he made his compulsorily pit stop on lap 13. But it was Tom Mensley in his Renault Clio 172 who emerged in the lead following the pit stop cycle, with Boulton on his tail. Tom had made a great start from sixth on the grid, slotting into second position behind the Honda into The Esses on the opening lap. He shadowed Boulton throughout the first stint, but crucially his in-lap was 5 second quicker than Boulton’s and his out-lap was four seconds faster, allowing him to leapfrog the Honda once the pit stop cycle had ran its course.
A coming together when attempting to lap cars into Bobbies put an end to Boulton’s chances of reversing the situation, finishing runner up to Tom Mensley, though he still claimed Class A honours in the cars debut race. Third were Tom and David Hutchins in their EP3 Civic Type R. David had taken the start, and whilst he couldn’t match the pace of the leading pair he maintained a cushion from the chasing pack, Tom doing the same all the way to the chequered flag.
Tom Mensley's pace during the pit stop cycle saw him take a lead he wouldn't relinquish.
Thomas Horton took fifth overall and the Class C honours after a great drive in his Ford Fiesta, his first class victory of the 2020 season. He had been on fine form all day, qualifying the now reliable Ford at the top end of the grid in very tricky conditions. Richard & Richard Jason Field in their Proton were victorious in Class D, with Adam Brown taking Class F honours in his classic XR2 Fiesta, his second class victory of the day, following earlier success in the Future Classics race. Wayne Rushworth made a winning return, taking the Class E win in his Ford Puma, at his local track.
The CSCC Co-ordSport Tin Tops Series will be back in action this coming Sunday at Mallory Park on November 1st, as part of a full grid, for the season finale.
Photos courtesy of David Stallard: https://www.davidstallardphotography.com/
Video compilation by Marc Peters: https://youtu.be/cBPuYQDu2OY
Full race results are available on the TSL website: https://www.tsl-timing.com/event/204364