Professional race preparation and management

Reports > Castle Combe Easter Monday raceday

A damp start to the season at Combe

It may have been Easter Monday but morning practice was delayed by an hour and then run in streaming wet conditions. Despite this Josh Fisher was able to take pole for both Formula Ford 1600 races driving the Richard Hudson-Evans' Van Diemen JL14. Although the car had been available throughout 2017 and had been tested this was to be its first race outing. Steve Bracegirdle, not normally a fan of the wet, was surprised at the amount of grip to be had with his Van Diemen RF89 and was satisfied with his qualifying laps which saw him the fastest Class C car on both grids.

In Race 1 Josh led away from the line but immediately began losing power and falling back down the field, finally stopping at Bobbies on Lap 2. A 4 ingition switch had failed! Steve made a good start, lapped consistently and finished eightth, winning Class C and taking fastest Class C lap. In Race 2 with his engine restored to full power, Josh started well from pole, leading the first three laps before a grassy moment damaged part of the floor and lost him the lead. Although running strongly the JL14 doesn't quite have the pace of the RF99 (which almost won last year's Walter Hayes) so Josh had to be content with second place this time. Steve's race was almost a mirror image of the first except this time he managed to improve by finishing 6th overall.

In the well supported Hot Hatch field Graham Cox was out in his Renault Clio and qualified well in seventh place. On the first Lap however, Graham thought he detected a misfire and pitted. No problem was found so he continued, lapping competitively but finishing 2 Laps adrift. Steve Bracegirdle was entered in the Mini Cooper S for the Saloon Car race and, in wet practice, the car's power disadvantage was less of a handicap and Steve qualified well in 21st place in a huge field. Unfortunately Steve lost a few places on the first lap and with a saftey car period was unable to improve his position much in the race eventually finishing 23rd.

The team would like to thanks Mike Stokes of and Neil Ormston Photography for their images from this event.