Professional race preparation and management

Reports > BankHoliday Raceday - Castle Combe August 26th 2013

Wins for Higginbotham and Bracegirdle

The sun shone on Castle Combe for a Bank Holiday race meeting for a change and fortune smiled on the Wayne Poole Racing team as they took an outright win, a class win and three other podiums.

In the Castle Combe Formula Ford Championship race Steve Bracegirdle went into the race just 2 points behind Class C championship leader, Iain Houston, and finished practice just a hundredth of a second behind his rival! Calum McHale was having another outing in his Mygale SJ01 and was pleased to post a 1m 14.3s just a little faster than his previous best. Pete Diccox lined up 23rd and disappointed not to have gone quicker, blaming himself for braking to early for Camp.

Steve had felt his Van Diemen squirming around a lot in practice so decided to fit new tyres for the race, which saw both him and Houston make good starts to come around on Lap 1 just ahead of Calum. They ran like this until Lap4 when Steve got a run on his rival through Folly and up Avon Rise. They went into Quarry side by side and, almost inevitably, rear nearside met front offside wheel which saw Iain spin off (to rejoin quickly) while Steve continued with a bent nose box and front tracking out of line. Calum quickly passed Steve at Tower and the Class A car began to pull away.

A mid race safety car was too short to allow the field to close up much although in the final laps Houston closed the gap to finish just behind Steve which left the pair tied for points in the Championship leaving it all down to the final race in October.

Meanwhile Calum had a steady race to the finish while Pete, having made his customary cracking start, pulled off at Camp on Lap 1 having seen smoke in his mirrors caused by a leaking rocker cover.

Steve Bracegirdle was out in the GT race with his Nemesis GT and qualified 4th with a 1m 08s just ahead of another Nemesis and some fast Ferraris. A good start was followed by the car bogging down a little but Steve held his line around Quarry to hold fourth  where he stayed until the end to take second in Class B.

Castle Combe, following the lead of other circuits, decided to put on a race for Pre 90 Formula Fords and a small, but quality entry, was reduced a little after a couple of 'names', including WPR's Tom Margetson and EMAX's Glenn Finn, pulled out. However, making a welcome re-appearance in the WPR team was Ford, Bridgend apprentice engineer Andrew Higginbottom who last raced for the team back in 2007. Following a couple of tests with the team at Llandow and Combe Andrew decided to have another race (this time in Wayne Poole's own Van Diemen RF88) to see if the desire and interest were still there. It seems that the answer must be yes as he went and won the race!

Practice went well enough with Steve and Andrew lining up just behind David Cobbold who had bought his Van Diemen RF89 out for this race. Pete Diccox lined up fifth and, as usual, made a storming start taking second on the run up Avon Rise and into Quarry behind Cobbold. As they all sorted themselves out  Cobbold and Andrew made a break as Steve and Pete  were embroiled with the other runners. Andrew hounded Cobbold for many laps and kept the pressure on the leader until Lap 7 when smoke started to appear from Cobbold's engine and Andrew swept past.

In the closing laps Steve began to close in on Andrew but was still three seconds behind at the finish. Pete hung on well to take fourth place.