Professional race preparation and management

2009 Race Reports

Silverstone Walter Hayes Trophy Nov 1st 2009 - RACE REPORT

The WPR effort at the 2009 running of the Walter Hayes Trophy began with heat 4 where Olly Bull qualified a good 7th and in the race finished an excellent third in front of some experienced runners including a couple (!) of Derek Dalys and Mike Edgar. In Heat 5 the Fisher brothers lined up third and fourth with Josh (in Tom Margetson's Reybard 89FF) heading Felix in his familiar Fisher family Swift SC92 which Josh had run at the Brands Festival a few days earlier. In the race the positions were reversed with Felix coming home fourth ahead of Josh in fifth. Four WPR drivers lined up for Heat 6 with Jim Morris qualifying a good sixth (just behind triple WHT winner Joey Foster) in his last outing in his Van Diemen RF05. The experienced Peter Barrable was guesting in the WPR Mygale SJ03 and qualified 9th. Ash Clifford and Darren Houldcroft qualified 11th and 18th respectively in their Van Diemen RF88s. Barrable made a good start and was up to 4th by Lap 2 where he stayed to the end. Other positions remained pretty static in the race with Jim finishing 5th, Ash 10th and Darren 18th.

With all the other drivers making it through to the semis, Darren Houldcroft was the only WPR driver in the Progression race but had to retire on Lap 2.

Bull, Morris, Barrable and Clifford appeared in the first semi final with Bull easily getting through to the final in 11th place while a good drive saw Clifford finish 20th just two places off a place in the Final. Jim Morris had to retire after 4 laps. Peter Barrable was holding a steady mid field placing until his retirement on Lap 11. The second semi saw Felix Fisher finish a strong second with Josh taking fifth and, remarkably, the fastest lap.

With Bull and the Fisher brothers all making it through to the final hopes were high for another good team showing particularly as the track had largely dried out. Unfortunately Josh had to retire on Lap 2 and Olly was caught up in a huge mid field scramble coming home 21st. However, at the front Felix put in a fantastic performance and was involved in a race long fight at the front of the field with American scholarship driver Connor De Phillippi and Robert Barrable. Running third, on Lap 4 Felix made a super pass on Barrable at Brooklands for second and then went into the lead as De Phillippi made an error. However, after leading laps 4, 5 and 6 and setting fastest lap, De Phillippi and Barrable re-took first and second places but the final podium position was still an excellent result.

Mention should also be made of Felix Fisher in the FF2000 race where he qualified second in a Van Diemen RF83 and scored an excellent win in the race.

Castle Combe Saturday October 3rd 2009 - RACE REPORT

To Castle Combe for the Formula Ford Carnival and the final meeting of the season at the popular West Country circuit. A busy time for the WPR team with cars entered for the GT and both Formula Ford races. Starting with the GTs, Des Andrews was an unfortunate non starter following engine maladies during pre race testing on the Thursday before. However, following his recent good run at Anglesey, Guy Parr was out again in his smart Nemesis, qualifying well and having a good run to the finish in 12th place.

For the Formula Fords the day was wet and the track very slippery, only drying out later in the day for the final of the Carnival. The team's main aims for the day were ensure that Felix Fisher took the Class B Championship and Tom Margetson sealed the Class C championship. To aid Tom's efforts, last year's overall Champion, Josh Fisher, was drafted in to one of the team's Van Diemen RF88s in order to prevent Tom's main rival (Julian Heap) from taking maximum points. The strategy worked well in practice with Josh taking the Class C pole (and 10th overall!) from Heap with Tom just behind. Also in Class C Ash Clifford qualified well, 5th in Class with Pete Diccox and team first timer Chris Miles (pictured right in testing) further back. In Class B Felix Fisher and Olly Bull qualified third and ninth respectively in their Swift SC92s.

Conditions were still very wet for the start of the Castle Combe Championship FF race and initially things looked good for Felix with his Class B rival,Marcus Allen, starting at the back of the grid. However, despite making a good start and maintain his position his rival Allen crossed the line 9th at the end of the first lap and proceeded to charge up to the leaders, taking second by Lap 7. For the Championship Felix needed to follow Allen home but this was looking difficult from 5th on Lap 8 but a big effort over the remaining laps saw Felix make up two places to take the final podium spot and secure the Class B Championship. Also in Class B Olly Bull stayed with the leaders and enjoyed a race long battle with several Class A cars to come home an excellent fifth and third in Class B. ,

In Class C Josh Fisher made a good start and was never headed taking fastest Class C lap along the way. Heap made a poor start, dropped back and finally retired at half distance. This left Tom Margetson, who had initially been running second in Class, free to finish third and take the title much to the delight of the whole team. Ash Clifford unfortunately got caught up in a first lap melee and retired on the spot while both Pete Diccox and Chris Miles did well to finish in the appalling conditions.

Only Olly, Tom, Ash & Pete decided to enter the Carnival and Ash did well to out qualify Tom but with his car unable to be readied in time for the heat he had to miss out but was given a place at the back of the grid for the final. Olly having qualified well in fifth had a good run in the heat to finish 4th with Tom coming home 15th and Pete 21st. In the final Olly made a great start, getting up to third only for his throttle cable to break causing his immediate retirement. Ash put in a storming drive getting up to 7th by Lap 2 and was looking to finish well but a mechanical on the last lap saw him retire. Tom, having made contact with another car(s), decided to exercise some discretion and retired on Lap 3 while Pete soldiered on to finish 13th.

Castle Combe Monday August 31 2009 - RACE REPORT

The Castle Combe August bank holiday Monday race meeting on August 31st saw the usual WPR team regulars out for another round of the 2009 Formula Ford Championship. Wayne Poole was back in his Van Diemen RF88 once more in an attempt to support team mate Tom Margetson's bid for the Class C title. At an exclusive test day the week before Olly Bull (pictured right) and Ash Clifford had got in some last minute testing ahead of the event and were hoping for good runs.

Practice went pretty much according to plan with Felix Fisher qualifying second overall and Tom Margetson taking Class C pole in 15th place. Behind Tom were Ash and Wayne (third and fourth in Class), both comfortably ahead of Tom's Class C rival Julian Heap. Olly Bull managed a reasonable 1m 12.9s in practice for 11th but disappointed to be a second behind the other Class B front runners.

The race was eventful from the start. With the usual frenetic first lap plus one or two fast starters it all came to a head at the Esses with the result that a spinning Andrew Harris triggered a chain reaction which saw Julian Heap and Wayne Poole coming together. Heap retired on the spot with Poole following him into retirement a lap later. This allowed Josh Barnett through into the Class C lead which he was to hold to the finish. Margetson was able to continue in second place where he stayed to the end putting him into a comfortable if not certain position for the title. Ash (pictured left) lost a lot of time and with a misfire did well to keep going and take a good third place in Class C.

Meanwhile back at the front Felix was involved in an exciting four way battle for the lead which went on until the flag. Despite holding the lead on Laps 2 and 7 Felix wasn't in a position to draft by on the final lap and despite a last ditch effort at Camp had to settle for a good second place which also puts him in a good position for the Class B title.

Of the other WPR drivers Olly Bull had a quiet run into tenth place with Pete Diccox managing to finish on the lead lap.

Castle Combe Sat August 8 2009 - RACE REPORT

The Castle Combe Summer Racing Carnival over the week-end 8/9 August was going to be a busy week-end for the team with 7 Formula Fords out. For this race the team was officially entered under the Lynn Poole Racing banner to mark the success and hard work that Lynn and the rest of the team had achieved while team boss Wayne was away overseas. However, Wayne was not only back but also runing one of the team's Van Diemen RF88s (see right) in an attempt to support Tom Margetson's Class C championship bid. The meeting was also to see the debut of new team driver Matt Horwood in his ex Danica Patrick Mygale SJ01 who was also going to run in the Sunday Club FF National championship round.

Practice was a mixed bag for the team with Felix Fisher (Swift SC92) heading the time sheets for most of the session despite completing only 5 laps before a coil lead became disconnected but he would still line up on the front row. Olly Bull in his similar Class B Swift SC92 qualified a satisfactory 10th but looking for more in the race. Tom Margetson, driving with plenty of confidence after his recent class wins, qualified his Reynard FF89 on the Class C pole but omminously only a fraction ahead of his Championship rival, Julian Heap. Of the rest Ash Clifford had the misfortune to break a battery lead before he was able to complete a lap, Matt Horwood suffered from an electrical problem (but lined up 20th), Wayne Poole found his car jumping out of gear (26th) and Pete Diccox (32nd) put in a respectable 1m 17.23s but was disappointed not to get into the 16s.

At the start Felix was jumped by a fast starting David Vivian but saw an opportunity at Qaurry on the opening lap to slip by into a lead that he wasn't to lose. Not that it was easy because by Lap 4 Ben Norton had got up into second place and began closing on Felix. After the race both drivers admitted they had been driving absolutely flat out but Felix was able to match the Class A car's times to secure the win. Behind, Olly Bull was embroiled in a fierce mid field scrap and was able to finish 8th overall and third in Class B. However, the real excitement of the race was in Class C where Tom Margetson, having made his customary good start and got a gap to Julian Heap, had his Championship rival on his gearbox by Lap 5. Coming into Camp, Heap made a move to the inside and, with Margetson giving him room (see left), slipped by to take the Class lead. Tom wasn't about to give up and on the next lap got alongside at Quarry only for Heap to run over Tom's nose and lose a lot of time and places in the ensueing tangle. This left Tom with a straightforward run to the Class win followed, quite closely as it turned out, by none other than an overheating Wayne poole who took second from a fast recovering Heap who snatched third on the last corner. Phew!

Ash Clifford's day went from bad to worse as he found his engine unwilling to pull cleanly over about four thousand revs - possibly a legacy of his battery problems earlier in the day- and pulled off without completing a lap. Matt Horwood had a clutch problem and retired on Lap 9 while Pete Diccox had trouble with people going off in front of him but managed to stay in touch with the pack and finish on the lead lap.

Of all the WPR team only Matt Horwood decided to get some extra track time and take part in the National race on the Sunday when he achieved his objective by finishing the race and staying on the lead lap.

Castle Combe Sat July 18 2009 - RACE REPORTS

The Castle Combe Great & British Motorsport Festival over the week-end 18/19 July saw the Formula Ford brigade out on the Saturday for their single race of the week-end. In practice Felix Fisher (Swift SC93) headed the time sheets for most of the session but found it getting very slippery towards the end and dropped to third in the order. Tom Margetson (Reybard FF89) also found the grip going away and came in to check but still qualified an excellent 11th overall with a 1m 13.3s and way ahead of the next Class C runner in 20th place! Olly Bull (Swift SC93 pictured right) was still struggling with the handling of his car, after an off in Thursday testing, and lined up just behind Tom in 12th. Ash Clifford (Van Diemen RF88), his confidence growing race by race, qualified third in Class C, only just behind the second in Class. Pete Diccox (Van Diemen RF89) had a mirror work loose during practice and was confident he could go quicker in the race.

In the race the first three on the grid (Ben Norton, Marcus Allen and Felix Fisher) got away well and proceeded to drive away from the field. Until Lap 7 that is because as he went past the pits Felix lost all drive to the wheels and had to pull off. Olly Bull's race only lasted until Quarry when he was caught in the middle of a poack of cars with nowhere to go and had to retire with a damaged nose and a puncture. This incident bought out the safety car and in the confusion behind the leaders Chris Acton ran into the back of Tom Margetson's Rerynard as they crossed the start line. In a sign that perhaps Tom's often miserable luck has changed for the better he was able to continue undamaged.

So, on new tyres, Tom was able to maintain his position well ahead of all the other Class C runners as well as a lot of A and B cars too. With the retirement of a couple of cars ahead of him plus a couple of the faster Class A cars getting past Tom maintained his place to come home 11th overall and an easy winner in Class C with fastest lap as well. Ash Clifford spent most of the race running in a comfortable third in Class about 4 seconds adrift of second place man Julian Heap. However, a moment by Heap on the last lap promoted Clifford to an excellent second in Class for another WPR one two. Also on new tyres Pete Diccox made great improvements on his practice times, putting in 4 laps in the 1m 16s to come home 21st overall.

This result means that Margetson has closed to within 5 points of Class leader Julian Heap in the Championship.

Castle Combe Sat/Sun June 13/14 2009 - RACE REPORTS

The Castle Combe Classic Festival over the week-end 13/14 June was another of the popular 2 day events with the FF1600 Championship runners getting a race on each day. The Wayne Poole Racing squad had team boss, Wayne Poole, present for the pre race test on Thursday and the Saturday event although business commitments prevented him from attending the Sunday races. The team had plenty to keep them occupied with Formula Ford regulars Felix Fisher, Olly Bull, Tom Margetson, Ashley Clifford and Pete Diccox being joined, for the Saturday race only, by Charles Postins on a flying visit from the USA who concluded a last minute deal to run one of the team's Van Diemen RF88s. In the GT race the team had been hoping to have both Guy Parr's Nemesis and Des Andrews' Sleek ready but in the event the Sleek had to be scratched and Guy offered Des a run in the Nemesis.

In the practice session Felix Fisher put one over on his main 2009 opponent Ben Norton (actually running a class above) by taking pole with a 1m 11.8s lap. Olly Bull was tenth with his similar Class B Swift SC92 still not handling quite to his liking. The competitive Class C saw Ash Clifford qualify an excellent second quickest on a 1m 14.6s with Tom Margetson third but reporting a slight misfire and only completing 7 laps. Pete Diccox got into the low 1m 17s following some recent practice sessions with Tom (pictured right). Charles Postins spent the session acclimatising himself with the car to start on the back of the grid but expecting more to come in the race.

Although Norton took the lead at the start Felix Fisher managed to get past on Lap 3 but could only stay in front for a lap before Norton moved back ahead, a position he was to hold to the end but with Fisher remaining close behind all race and having the consolation of taking the Class B win. Olly Bull made a good start and moved up a few places by the end to finish 7th overall. In Class C Tom Margetson's race followed a familiar pattern, a great start and then.......... Well this time the excellent start was followed by a move to take the Class lead just ahead of waved yellows for an incident which was to bring out the safety car. Knowing the where the incident was Tom made sure he completed the pass before the first waved yellow but the officials thought otherwise and after the race was over penalised Tom a highly unusual 2 seconds (itself implying some uncertainty) which dropped him to a disappointed second in Class C. Ash Clifford had another good run ahead of a pack of Class A and B cars to take third in Class C. Charles Postins and Pete Diccox finished unlapped and in close company with Charles setting a very encouraging best lap of 1m 16.38s. So a good race with all WPR cars making it home and Felix and Ash setting fastest laps in their Classes.

For Sunday's race the field lined up in Saturday's finishing order. Both Felix and Olly were hopeful of improving on their previous day's performances with Olly having softened up the back of his car in an attempt to dial out the oversteer he had been experiencing. Although Norton made a good start to lead the opening laps and initially opening up a small advantage over Felix, the black Swift SC92 slowly reeled in the leader so that by half distance he was right on the leaders tale. The following laps saw a textbook application of intense pressure with Fisher making runs at Norton up the inside and round the outside (pictured left). The pressure soon took its toll and Norton spun off at the Esses leaving Felix to take a well earned win and fastest Class lap. Olly Bull, with the car more to his liking, started 7th, which became 6th after Norton's departure, and finished in that position after a rather lonely race without any other runners for company.

In Class C it was clear that a very determined Margetson was going to be hard to beat. His signature storming start was copied by Ash Clifford and the pair headed the Class for a couple of laps (Ash pictured right ahead of Julian Heap) until Ash clipped the back of Adam Higgins' car which punctured his front tyre and bringing about his immediate retirement. Tom came under heavy pressure from Class C Championship rival Julian Heap but he wasn't to be denied and came home a worthy Class winner. Pete came home a lap down (although the official results say different) after a steady run.

In the GT race Des Andrews practiced in mid field (13th overall) in the unfamiliar Nemesis but set a good 1m 12.3s fastest lap. In the race itself Des drove well (pictured left) come home 10th and set a very good fastest lap of 1m 09.9s. For the Sunday race Des benefitted from some retirements and more familiarity with the car finished 5th overall and third in Class B. An excellent result.

Castle Combe Monday May 4th 2009 - RACE REPORT

Another Bank Holiday Monday and another round of the popular Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship. With team boss Wayne Poole away overseas on business the team was again overseen by Lynn Poole ably backed up by Andy, Rob and the rest of the support crew. Unfortunately both GT cars were 'hors de combat' for this meeting but should return soon. So it was the regular Formula Fordsters Olly Bull, Felix Fisher, Pete Diccox, Tom Margetson and Ash Clifford who were entered for the event.

Practice went well for Felix and Tom who led classes B and C respectively 2nd and 21st overall. Olly Bull was still trying to get the handling of his Swift to his liking and was 14th with Ash and Pete further back. Ash only managed five laps due to a radiator leak, which got on to his tyres leading to a few spins and so was hoping to move up the order in the qualification race. Pete discovered an oil leak after practice and decided to exercise discretion and withdraw from the race.

In the qualification race Olly Bull had a quiet race to finish a good third while Tom was delayed by someone else's accident at Quarry, dropping right back and spent the rest of the race clawing back his lost places. Ash had a quiet race in the slightly damp conditions but was clearly saving the best to last..........

The main race took place in dry but overcast conditions. Felix and Olly tried hard against strong opposition coming home 6th (and 3rd in class B) and 10th respectively. Tom made another of his storming starts, making up a lot of places on the opening lap which he held to the end of the race to finish 2nd (with fastest lap) in Class C. However, the star of the race was Ash Clifford who, finding the dry track more to his liking and starting from 33rd on the grid, had a cracking opening lap and continued to pick off cars lap by lap. This really strong drive saw Ash record his best lap in a fantastic 1m 14.74s and come home 18th and third in Class C. Well done!

Castle Combe Monday April 13th 2009 - RACE REPORT

To Castle Combe for the first round of the 2009 Castle Combe FF1600 Championship. Wayne Poole Racing were back in force with one car in Class A (Jim Morris in his Van Diemen RF05), two in Class B (Felix Fisher and Olly Bull, both in Swift SC92s) and four in Class C (Pete Diccox Van Diemen RF89, Tom Margetson Reynard 89FF and Darren Houldcroft and Ashley Clifford both in Van Diemen RF88s). They were joined by Des Andrews with his Sleek who was running in the Castle Combe GT Championship.

This wasn't the first race of the year for WPR as the day before Jim and Ashley had been racing at Silverstone where Jim scored an encouraging 4th place and Ashley had been going well prior to an off at Woodcote. However, all was back ready for a gloomy and foggy practice at Combe on Monday morning where a number of drivers were finding the cold conditions meant that grip was in short supply unless their set up was spot on. The top 10 were very close in practice (except for Andrew Jones on pole who was fortuitously running wet settings) and Felix Fisher ran well, despite a problem with a rear suspension bearing, to set 7th fastest time. Another tenth quicker would have seen him fourth on the grid - it was that close. Olly Bull was disappointed with 14th but reckoned there was more to come once further set up improvements could be made. One of the stars of practice was Tom Margetson who, with a little help and a tow from Steve Jensen was 18th and comfortably quickest of all the Class C cars. Jim Morris was 21st while the other star of practice was Ashley who, in only his second race, qualified 4th in Class C with an excellent 1m 15.639s. Pete Diccox was finding the track slippery and ended up 35th and Darren Houldcroft was hampered by only getting 5 laps of practice and wound up 39th. In the GTs, Des Andrews unfortunately encountered engine problems after 1 lap of practice and was unable to start the race.

With the top 10 in practice going straight through to the feature race, 5 WPR drivers lined up for the qualifying race. Tom made another of his storming starts to finish the first lap in 2nd place which he held until lap three when he crossed the line at the head of the pack following the demise of Bob Higgins. However, with a swarm of Class A cars for close company (pictured right #85) it was too much to ask to keep in front until the end but a fifth place ahead of all the Class C (and Class B!) cars was an excellent result. Olly too, had made a cracking start but arrived at Quarry on the first lap squeezed between the other two leaders and it was really the choice of a big accident or a small accident. Choosing the latter Olly ended up with a mangled nose box which was interfering with the steering and so pulled off at the esses.

Jim had also started well and was running 7th in the early laps and was set for a good finish until a broken clutch cable dropped him to the back of the field at the end of the race. Ashley (pictured left #82) held his position in the pack to finish 15th but more tellingly his fastest lap was much quicker than those around him so once the consistency comes success shouldn't be far behind. Both Pete and Darren made up some positions and finished 20th and 23rd respectively and both making the feature race.

With Jim Morris not making the main race as first reserve it was Felix Fisher who made a reasonable start and finished the first lap in seventh place. However, he got caught up in a squabbling pack of Class A and B cars and was shuffled back to 9th and third in Class C by the end. But the story of the race was Tom Margetson. Running comfortably in seventeenth place and easily ahead of his nearest challenger in Class C, Tom went into the final lap looking assured of the Class win. But it was not to be as the perenially unlucky Margetson's engine began misfiring allowing Julian Heap's similar Reynard past for the win. They say luck can be cruel and so it was as Tom's engine cleared just after he was overtaken but with insufficient time left to recover. Still second in class was some consolation.

Ashley was looking forward to another good showing but a broken throttle cable on the first lap ended his race while Pete and Darren (pictured right #73 & #80) ran steadily to finish their races unlapped.