Wayne Poole Racing - The storyThe name Wayne Poole Racing has been a familiar and successful presence at Castle Combe for many years. Team members, including Wayne himself along with Kevin Nash and Tom Margetson, have recorded many successes at the track and regular driver Pete Diccox has been racing Formula Fords at the venue for twenty years. Although the team has been most closely associated with Formula Ford there have been forays into other formulae and in recent years it has enjoyed success in GTs
But how did it all start? Wayne, originally from Luckington, just up the road from the circuit, was introduced to motor sport by his karting father and actually won his first ever race in a 100cc National kart. Further successes in karts were rare but a day at the Castle Combe Racing School in the mid eighties started a love affair with Formula Ford that has endured to the present day. Wayne even bought the Royale RP26 that he used at the school but later swapped it for a Van Diemen RF85 and continued to compete in Formula Ford through the nineties, largely at Combe and including some national championship events until 1999 when, with Metro racer and Combe regular Kevin Nash, Wayne Poole Racing was born. In those early years the team ran Wayne, Gary Marsh and Pete Diccox in Van Diemen RF88s and Kevin’s Metro supported by mechanic Andy Curry.
Nowadays the team is run by Wayne and wife Lynn with a team of mechanics led by Kevin and Andy along with Chopper, Rob, Jack and other helpers often drawn from the Wiltshire College with whom the team has a close relationship. Another fixture with the team is friend and associate, Tom Margetson who has made a big contribution both as driver and engineer.
Although a club racing team Wayne Poole Racing have always prided themselves in their professional approach and aim to be the best turned out team in the paddock and with the best looked after team members. At some of the larger meetings the team (drivers and mechanics) can number up to 25 with catering managed by Lynn and assisted by Rita Diccox. In fact, the name Lynn Poole Racing has sometimes appeared on the cars and entry sheets when Wayne has been away, working overseas! The team’s presentation is completed with banners and signage from Simon Bingham and a popular web site maintained by hillclimber Chris Bennett.
One of the team’s biggest successes in recent years has been to take a Zetec engined Formula Ford Mygale SJ01, convert it to take the Kent engine and then develop it in to a race and championship winning car. Success didn’t come overnight. Wayne originally raced the car himself but found it hard to get to grips with at the same time as running a large squad of drivers. An intensive development program was undertaken by the team with new driver Josh Fisher and gradually it all came together to win the Castle Combe championship outright in 2008.
The team doesn’t only concentrate on the mechanical side though. Many novices have been introduced to circuit racing in one of the team’s cars and drivers from other foumulae have been introduced to Formula Ford in the same way. With so many experienced drivers on the team, driver coaching and development has become another key ingredient of their success
Although Castle Combe is the team’s ‘home’ circuit they often venture further afield. Brands, Silverstone and Anglesey are frequently visited and testing often takes in the Llandow sprint track. The Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone each November is a regular pilgrimage for the team, often running as many as 9 or 10 cars and sometimes with ‘celebrity’ drivers who, in the past, have included Danny Watts (now Le Mans LMP2), Oliver Jarvis (DTM Audi) and Steven Kane (BTCC) and few can forget Peter Dempsey’s storming 2008 drives through the progression and last chance races to take fourth in the final in a team Van Diemen RF89.
Highlights for the team in the ever popular Castle Combe Formula Ford Championships have been the 2000 Class B Champion (Wayne himself in a Van Diemen RF88), 2008 overall and Class A Champion (Josh Fisher Mygale SJ01), 2008 & 2009 Class B Champion (Felix Fisher Swift SC92) and 2009 Class C Champion (Tom Margetson Reynard 89FF). Outside the world of circuit racing the team also engineered Chris Bennett’s Van Diemen RF89 to win the Formula Ford class in the 2010 HSA Speed Championship.
In fact 2008 was a standout season with the team taking clean sweeps at Castle Combe in Formula Ford races by winning all three classes on two occasions. 2008 was rounded off in style with the team taking second, fourth and sixth in the final at the WHT. Motor Sport is often about ‘what might have been’ but it remains a source of disappointment to Wayne that the team only just missed out on taking all three class championship titles in 2008.
A recent addition to the roll of honour has been Pete Diccox’s outstanding achievement award from the Castle Combe Racing Club celebrating 20 years racing at the circuit in Formula Fords.
Looking forward to 2011 the team are looking to build on their first wins in GTs (with Guy Parr’s Nemesis in 2010) break new ground with a couple of ‘firsts’ for the team. Guy Parr will be out in the ex Jason Cooper Ford Fiesta in the Castle Combe Saloon Championship and the team will be running their first lady driver, Denise Bracegirdle, in Formula Ford. With the team’s strength in depth and long experience don’t be surprised to see multi championship successes in the future!