Reports > Spring Bank Holiday races at Castle Combe - Podiums for Olly, Guy and Des
25th April & 2nd May at Castle Combe - now with extra photos
The 2011 Castle Combe season began with race meetings on consecutive Bank Holiday week-ends on the 25th April and 2nd May. The WPR team were represented by Steve Bracegirdle and Darren Houldcroft in their Formula Ford Van Diemens, Guy Parr and Des Andrews in their GTs and Guy again in the CC Saloon race with his 'new' Fiesta. Olly Bull took part in the first meeting in his familiar Swift SC92 while Guy Parr and team boss Wayne Poole gave the team's new Mini Cooper an airing at the second meeting.
In qualifying for the first Combe FF race of the year Olly Bull managed 13th (fourth in Class B) while Steve Bracegirdle continued his promising testing form with an encouraging 21st and second in Class C. Darren Houldcroft posted a good 1m 17.6 s for 5th in Class C. In the qualification race Steve went very well to come home 6th and first Class C runner over the line with Darren 13th.
In the final, Olly scored a good 8th place (3rd in Class B) but Steve and Darren both unfortunately had separate accidents on the final lap after both made poor starts and spent the race trying to catch up. Steve suffered a bent push rod while Darren had significant damage to the right rear corner.
In the Castle Combe Saloon event Guy Parr qualified his Fiesta 17th in a huge 37 car field and 6th in the popular Class B. After a steady start Guy passed a few cars in the busy mid field to finish a good 16th overall.
Practice for the GT race went well with Guy Parr lining up 4th in his Nemesis GT and Des Andrews 7th in his Megar Hart - an encouraging performance on its first outing. Des maintained his starting position to the finish while Guy dropped to the rear of the field at the start and fought back to 8th by the finish.
In the final race of the day - an Open event for Sports and GTs Guy qualified first and Des second. In the race Guy finished second with fastest lap with Des third so two WPR drivers on the podium. The meeting was also notable for the fact that WPR had cars running in all three of the popular Castle Combe Championships and are probably the olny team to have done so.
On May 2nd the GTs appeared early on the programme and Guy and Des qualified 5th and 11th respectively. In race 1 Guy went very well to claim third overall with Des improving to 10th. In race 2 Guy retired on Lap 7 with brake problems while Des brought the Megar Hart home in a good 7th place.
In the Motors TV Open race Guy had qualified the Nemesis 4th but brake problems from the earlier GT race meant a DNS. However, Wayne Poole, having being allowed to practice at lunch time in the team's Mini Cooper, took up his place at the back of the grid and managed to complete the race although a little outpaced by the much faster cars on the grid.
In Formula Ford practice Steve managed 22nd (4th in Class C) while Darren was 30th having only completed one lap with gear selection problems. The FFs also had two races and in the first Steve held on to fourth in Class to finish 20th while Darren made up a few places by the flag to come home 24th. In race two the story was much the same with Steve and Darren finishing 20th and 22nd respectively.
In the Castle Combe Saloons Guy Parr practiced in the team's Mini Cooper rather than his Fiesta and qualified 24th. However, having already done three races plus practice sessions in the GT he decided not to race in the final two saloon races.
Thanks to photographer Chris Bound for the photos. Copyright to these images is retained by the photographer and more photos can be viewed and purchased at http://www.photoboxgallery.com/chrisbound