Castle Combe July 16/17 Preview

Still maintaining one of the largest grids on average this season within the BRSCC, the Quaife Fiesta Championship has only been allowed a month’s break before jumping head first into the second part of what is so far turning out to be a cracking season. This weekend, it’s the mighty Castle Combe that all 4 classes are faced with challenging, a circuit that provides close and exciting racing and never allows drivers to relax for one moment.

It really couldn’t be closer at the top of the Class C points for the much loved Ford Fiesta ST. Right now, it appears as though Specialized Motorsport have a stranglehold on their competition with both Simon Horrobin and Sam Priest sitting pretty at the head of the table. As for how close it is, they’re dead level after dropped scores, however counting back on victories it would be Horrobin ahead with 4 this season, including sweeping the last 3 races in succession. Simon’s young teammate has certainly pressed him all the way, so whilst these two are great friends and colleagues off the track, on it they’ll just be another rival to each other.

But what of the chasing pack behind them? It’s only a 22 point spread from 3rd down to 9th with a large group of quick drivers all mixing it up together. Reigning Fiesta Junior champion Aaron Thompson must feel as though he’s a world away from his two victories early in the year at Snetterton and Silverstone, but it’s those wins that keep him propped up in 3rd in points. Just behind and 5 points back, it’s neck and neck between Nick Sanderson and Alfonso Skrizcka, the latter snatching his first podium last time at Snetterton, while the former has been consistently putting it on the front row and amongst the top 5. With 6th placed Kevin Stirling absent from this round, this will be a prime chance for Nathan Edwards and the ever improving Ryan Faulconbridge to steal points away, while Jam-Sport team boss Jamie Going will hope he can do the same to rekindle his form from last season.

Also in the mix and one never to count out is reigning champion James “JJ” Ross. The Silent Assassin made his long awaited return at Snetterton and instantly proved why he was still to be feared with two podiums. Given how dominant he was here last year, that could be a sign that the top step beckons to him once more. Other drivers you can count on hoping they’ll perform strong include Rockingham podium scorer Myles Baker and recent returnee Joshua Watkins. Along with the remainder of the usual suspects, Castle Combe also sees the return of 23 Racing with Jason Powell embarking on his first Fiesta weekend of 2016. We wish him the best of luck!

Over in Class D is where you’ll find our overall points leader, Alastair Kellett. The Irishman has only failed to win one race due to a retirement at Silverstone, yet every other this season he’s seen the flag and taken it first every single time. Right now, there seems to be no stopping him however this hasn’t prevented his nearest rivals from trying. Former Mini racing champion Jamie White has been a sensation since his debut at the second meeting and uses all that front-wheel-drive experience to full effect pursuing Kellett.

Stuart Robbins and John Cooper have taken to the new cars very quickly after they duked it out for Class B honours last season. We mustn’t forget our two rapid lady racers in Jessica King and Dana Freeman, the former taking her maiden win at Silverstone in the wake of Kellett’s DNF. Jess was also the class and overall points leader for a while before Kellett’s results put him back on course. Freeman, meanwhile, has been constantly improving and finding pace every weekend. A disappointing end to both women’s Snetterton’s weekend thanks to a first corner incident means they’ll be gunning for glory this weekend.

The rest of the contenders in the field are filled out by the valiant remaining drivers in Classes A & B. In Class A, it’s really been all about Peter Dendy-Sadler as he strives to claim the title over his rivals. They come in the shape of John Bateman and Tim Bennett, who will hope that Castle Combe is good to them and provides the results needed to help close the gap. As for Class B, it’ll be left once again to the duelling pair of Kieran White and Luke Bannister to once again pick up where they left off and battle their way to the flag.

This weekend’s weather looks warm, yet overcast but with almost no chance of rain. Despite the higher temperatures, could the predicted cloud cover lead to a drop in track temperatures? This may or may not benefit some drivers depending on setup preference and driving style. Nonetheless, it’s expected to reach a high of 20 degrees through both days. A full breakdown of the forecast is available via the Met Office here – CASTLE COMBE WEATHER.

Also, the final instructions, supplementary regulations, timetable and full entry list for this weekend at Castle Combe is available here – CASTLE COMBE RACE WEEKEND.

Scott Woodwiss

Comments are closed.