Castle Combe 19th July 2008  -  Dunlop Motorsport News Review

In response to driver’s wishes, this year we would be racing on just one day. It still gave people the chance to stay over if they wished to, but it was not compulsory.

Race day dawned dry with a fair amount of cloud, but no rain was forecast. Practice was fairly standard, although the track was very busy with 42 cars. Poor James Lindridge was out almost immediately with a recurrence of his ECU problem from Silverstone. Rod annexed pole position by almost two seconds from Joss Ronchetti, with Tim Maddocks third. Gareth Porter lined up fourth from first time visitor Martin Davies in a four wheel drive Sapphire Cosworth. Andy Thompson was sixth, running his Seat in class A this time, with Richard Brent seventh. Andrew Williams, Ron Kiddell and Rick May rounded out the top ten.

With rolling starts this week, it was an impressive sight as 41 cars charged towards Quarry corner on the opening lap. David Kift had non-started his Peugeot with engine problems. Rod soon opened up a gap to Joss who was being hounded by Tim. On lap four we noticed our cars lap times start to increase, was there a problem? It later transpired that fifth gear was getting noisy so Rod started to avoid using it. We kept him informed of the gap, which fluctuated between four and six seconds. Joss later admitted that he had a slight misfire, and Tim confessed to over revving his engine! So the first three remained static, with Martin Davies working his way into fourth (which earnt him the Ford RS club award), closely pursued by Andrew Williams. Gareth Porter hung on to sixth from a fast closing Keith Butcher. Andy Thompson had a steady run to finish eighth with class D victor Richard Brent next. Paul Dickinson completed the top ten.

Ron Kiddell pulled off when he accidently knocked his ignition switch and Rick May was an early retirement with an overheating engine. Peter Crewes and Dave Clark were the other non finishers, whilst class E was won by Gerald Dale from Ken Welch and a misfiring Bill Richards. The tin top section went to Darren Ferguson in his Peugeot 205, from Pete Winstone and Danny Cassar.  The driver of the race awards went to David Usher in DMN and Mr. Winstone in the tin tops.

Race two was without Maddocks, May and Graham Richardson. Graham was unlucky to pop a driveshaft on his way to the grid. Again the rolling start was very orderly, and despite the gearbox problem Rod set off in the lead. Such was his determination that he even lowered his lap record on lap two…so who needs fifth gear? Mind you as the race progressed we started to hear that the clutch was not working. As before we kept him informed about the gap back to Joss, who again had a slight misfire (talk about walking wounded). The black Sunbeam came under some late race pressure from Keith Butcher, who was really motoring with his Nissan super tourer. Keith’s charge only failed by 0.478 of a second, but he did earn the driver of the race award. Martin Davies ran well to take fourth again, whilst Andrew Williams just held off Gareth Porter for class C honours. Paul Dickinson found a way past Andy Thompson to be best Seat (and 7th overall), with Ron Kiddell closing in fast from his back of the grid start.

Nick Hayes came home tenth, just pipping Peter Taylor who had sorted out his boost pressure problem. Peter won the RS club award in this race, whilst Mark Hoskin received the Quaife award for best turned out team. Richard Brent slipped back to 13th overall, just behind Cris Hayes, although the red Peugeot was miles ahead in class D. Gerald Dale again took class E honours, although Peter Crewes made good progress to second in class. Darren Ferguson was top “tin top”, with Danny Cassar the runner up this time after Pete Winstone retired. Gary Chappell took the Cannon’s award, primarily for not hitting any one!! (only joking Gary).

Another good day for DMN, which was well received by the sizeable crowd. Next round is at Brands Hatch on August 24th, again with the Dunlop Great and British package.