Professional race preparation and management

News > Promising performances at May 28th Classic Saloon Raceday


The third round of the Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship looked set to be the team's strongest showing in ages, but ultimately it lead to heart-break and disappointment. Making a late entry in one of the team's Mygale class-A racing cars, Josh Fisher (ex-Formula BMW, British F3 Scholarship Class, BRDC Stars of Tomorrow), was making his return to Formula Ford racing at Castle Combe four years after winning the opening race of the 2003 season. Fisher was immediately on the pace in Thursday's testing and looked set to be challenging the front runners in Bank Holiday Monday's race. Regular drivers Pete Diccox (Van Diemen RF89 #71), Matt Devenish (Van Diemen RF89 #82) and Tom Margetson (Reynard FF89 #83) were all back in action again. Diccox, who was testing alongside Fisher on Thursday, required an engine change before the race, carried out expertly by the WPR team. Circuit conditions for practice were wet and blustery, but that didn't stop Fisher from instantly exchanging pole times with Moore and McKillop. At the end of the session, Fisher was second fastest, just 0.719s behind Moore. Matt Devenish (Van Diemen RF89 #82) topped the class C qualifying times, posting a 1.33.342. That time would place Devenish on the outside of the second row for the afternoon's qualifying race. Tom Margetson (Reynard FF89 #83) would line up a few rows behind in 12th and Pete Diccox in 20th. At the start of the Qualification Race, Matt briefly edged into 3rd, but running wide at Camp on lap two lost several positions. On the final lap Matt tried to pass Alan Slater into the Esses, but didn't make it stick and so opted to settle for 8th and a place in the main feature race. However, on the run down to the next corner (Tower) the brake pedal dislodged itself and Devenish was forced to ditch the car into the infield. With 26 out of the 28 cars finishing the Qualifying Race it meant Devenish would have to line up as a reserve. By contrast, both Tom Margetson (14th) and Pete Diccox (21st) drove impeccably and made it into the afternoon's main race. For the main race, the circuit couldn't have been in a worse condition. In the previous event, a BMW touring car blew an engine through Camp corner (final turn) and trailed an oil slick all the way to Quarry (turn two). To add to the problems a downpour started twenty minutes before the cars went to the grid, ensuring a slick circuit. Starting on the outside Pole position, Fisher had the unenviable task of having to start on the line of oil. Despite the disadvantage Fisher was the fastest away and led comfortably over the rise, from Combe stalwart Ed Moore. Thereafter it was a master class by Fisher, who neatly steered the Mygale through the puddles and continuing rain, pulling several seconds over the chasing pack. Fisher continued his stunning form, passing back markers with ease, until Lap 9 when an electrical fault with the car brought him into the pits and he was forced to relinquish the lead. To cap a disappointing weekend, Pete Diccox (Van Diemen RF89 #71) crashed at Tower corner with 4 laps to go. No harm came to the Combe veteran, but the car did sustain damage to the left front suspension, which the team will have repaired before the next round on June 23rd. Tom Margetson (Reynard FF89 #83) was the only Wayne Poole Racing driver home, in 23rd place. Tom made the most of the wet conditions to pass several cars on the way to 6th place in class C and to claim more valuable points. While the overall results didn't reflect the hard work put in by the team and its drivers, it surely won't be long before the first win of the season.