Grand National Castle Combe Motorcycle race meeting 22nd – 23rd April 2023
SYMONDS SETS OUT HIS STALL
North Glos Road Racing Club paid their first of two visits to Castle Combe in 2023 over the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd of April.
The King of Combe would run to a new format for this year, the points scored in the six races across the two meetings determining who would take the crown. Reigning King of Combe Max Symonds got his defence of the title off to the perfect start, qualifying on pole position and racing to all three King of Combe/Phoenix Open race wins. Symonds was also unstoppable in the Bluebell Lakes Powerbikes, scoring three wins there too. One of the few riders able to keep the flying Yamaha R1 in sight was road racer Jamie Coward with four close second-placed finishes on his big Honda, he also tore to three wins on his Super Twin Kawasaki ER6. Fellow roads man and former 250 GP National champion Jim Hind was another to impress on his 1000cc Suzuki, taking two fourths and holding off a pack of riders for second in Sunday afternoon’s King of Combe encounter. Another King of Combe hopeful riding well was Bob Collins, who took four thirds in his first four races aboard his Fireblade and two Formula Prostock wins on a Suzuki, but an unfortunate Powerbike high-side ended his meeting on Sunday afternoon. George Edwards flew to all three IMS 600 victories from Ricky Elder, he was regularly lapping with some of the quicker 1000s in his King of Combe outings as well. Thomas Lawlor triumphed in the opening 250 GP National bout but Bobby Varey was dominant on Sunday, Lawlor and Chris Moore both had spells in front before being forced to settle for the podium placings by the vivid Varey Yamaha. Ant Hart and Phil Atkinson fought hard for the GP Originals race victories, Sunday’s battles were a highlight as Atkinson twice defeated Hart with a last-lap pass to avenge Hart’s win on Saturday. Dave MacKay narrowly took the first two Sound of Thunder spoils from Jamie Coward’s Kawasaki twin before taking a much more comfortable win on Sunday afternoon aboard the True Heroes Ducati, top Formula Prostock runner Nick Williamson chased him home ahead of Darren Rumley’s naked KTM. Local man Tyson Lewis proved good value with two Streetstock 1300 wins on his BMW, John Dudman’s R1 taking the other. The all-action Suzuki Bandits had little to separate Chris Edwards and Lee Marks all weekend, the score reading 2-1 to Marks. After Steve Moody prevailed in the concurrent F400 category on Saturday, the closely matched Tony Griffiths, Pete Gibson and Martin Thrower fought out Sunday’s races with Griffiths twice getting the verdict. The combined finishing distance between Elijah Everton and Chace Collymore across the three Junior Supersport thrashes was a mere 0.408 seconds, just 0.049 split them on Saturday as Everton somehow took all three victories. Top Ducati Desmo rider Dominic Cann was with them on Sunday. The evenly matched Mini Twins had a win for Mark Hughes and two for William Holland but Joe Woodward, Jonathan Smith and Nathaniel Manning-Morton were all in with a shout. Nick Sansome’s 250 Honda sealed the first Open 500 win before Steve Moody inflicted another slim defeat to Chace Collymore in the second race, True Heroes team rider James Cleary only just headed Collymore yet again to win in the meeting’s final race as the looming dark cloud finally emptied its contents with the race nearing its conclusion.
North Glos returns to Castle Combe on the 29th and 30th of July for more competitive racing action and to crown the King of Combe.words Stephen Carpenter EDP Photo News.
Castle Combe Countdown 29th August
Castle Combe Countdown Race Meeting 29th August 2022
BTCC Thruxton Circuit 28th August 2022
FORDS FEAST AT THRUXTON AS COOK SERVES UP RACE THREE
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship paid its second visit of the 2022 season to the sweeping Thruxton circuit over the August bank holiday weekend for rounds 22, 23 and 24. Scoring his first pole position in a Ford Focus, Dan Cammish headed current Thruxton maestro Josh Cook by 0.017 seconds. Championship hopefuls Jake Hill and Ashley Sutton made up the second row whilst series leader Colin Turkington languished in 15th, two spots behind closest title rival Tom Ingram. Cammish held the lead at the start of race one whilst Cook came under fire from Sutton, Hill and Gordon Shedden at the Complex. Neither Cook or Sutton were willing to give in at Seagrave, the resulting contact sending Cook sideways and plummeting down the order. Shedden took advantage of Sutton’s loss of momentum to move ahead and the pair settled into second and third places behind Cammish, who had been gifted a big lead by the skirmishes. The Ford man managed the gap over the remainder of the 16 laps to take his first win for Napa Racing, Shedden coming home in second from Sutton and Hill. Championship chasers Ingram and Turkington scored with ninth and tenth place finishes as Cook salvaged three points for thirteenth but had eyes for so much more. Cammish again converted pole into the race lead at the start of race two whilst a great launch from teammate Sutton got him alongside Shedden for second, making the place his own at the Complex. Just behind, Rory Butcher had a run at Jake Hill for fourth but Hill bravely held on around the outside of Noble. Sutton started to pressurise Cammish for the lead on lap two, setting the fastest lap in the process, but Cammish clung on and soon stretched out a small margin until, on lap 13, he was instructed to cede the win to title contender Sutton, pulling aside at Allard. Shedden took his second podium finish of the day with third and Cook regained more of his lost race one positions with eighth. An all-WSR BMW front row formed up for race three, Stephen Jelley and Turkington benefitting from the reversed grid draw which saw ball number 11 drawn, Michael Crees and Cook made up the second row with Cook looking to grab a top result after his race one contact. The two BMs led the way off the line but Cook was in determined mood, outdragging Crees when the lights went out before usurping Turkington for second at Village and then taking a good look at Jelley’s lead into the Club Chicane. Cook made the move stick the next time round and set off towards his third victory at the circuit this year. Turkington soon passed his teammate Jelley for second, which is how they finished. Jelley was reeled in by the squabbling pair Rory Butcher and Sutton in the closing laps but held on, Sutton having charged through from eleventh on the grid. Turkington now leads the points table by six points from Sutton as the championship heads to Silverstone for rounds 25, 26 and 27 on the 24th/25th September Words Stephen Carpenter EDP Photo News.
Grand National Castle Combe 20th – 21th August 2022
SYMONDS TAKES IT TO THE MAX
Symonds Racing BMW rider Max Symonds was unstoppable at the Castle Combe Grand National meeting held over the weekend of the 20th/21st August. After qualifying on pole for the King of Combe and second behind Aaron Ridewood in the Powerbikes, Symonds saw off each of his rivals to emerge victorious in all six races and bag the King of Combe trophy for the first time. One of Symonds closest challengers was Dale Thomas aboard a 600cc Suzuki. Returning after a lengthy break, Thomas showed he had lost little of his speed with pole and two wins in the 600s as well as chasing Symonds home in each of the King of Combe encounters to take home the silver medal. One of the rides of the day on Sunday came from National 250GP rider Bobby Varey. After fluffing the start and falling to the rear of the field, the brightly hued Yamaha set off on a charge. Varey caught leader ‘Tommy 2-Stroke’ Lawlor with less than two laps to go and battled past on the run to Quarry to seal a great win. words Stephen Carpenter EDP Photo News.
BTCC Croft 25th-26th June 2022
LLOYD’S DREAM DOUBLE DELIGHT
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship made the journey up the A1 to Croft, near Darlington, over the weekend of the 25th/26th June for rounds 13, 14 and 15 of the 2022 season. The venue has traditionally favoured the rear-wheel-drive cars and that tradition was maintained as the WSR BMW of Colin Turkington sped to pole position by 0.027 seconds from the Team Dynamics Honda Civic of Daniel Rowbottom. Making up the second row were Excelr8 Hyundai i30 pairing Daniel Lloyd and Tom Ingram as 0.076 seconds covered the top four, a remarkable turnaround for Turkington and Lloyd after their car-wrecking incident at Oulton Park just a couple of weeks ago. Meanwhile, championship leader Josh Cook languished down in 20th position, bemoaning a lack of straightline speed. As expected, Turkington held the lead off the line of race one whilst a great getaway from Lloyd placed him second into the first corner. The BMW’s vulnerability on cold tyres showed as Lloyd pounced on Turkington at Tower for the first time, challenging around the outside then cutting inside to make the move stick on the run to the Jim Clark Esses. Lloyd survived two safety car restarts and withstood huge pressure from Turkington on the last lap to take a fairytale victory. Rowbottom completed the podium after resisting multiple attacks from Ingram on the second restart. Cook salvaged a point with 15th but Ingram cut his championship lead to just two points. The reduction of Hybrid usage for Lloyd made little difference to the Yorkshireman in race two as another peach of a start saw him lead the pack away. Lloyd’s dream day continued as he held the lead throughout to grab the win despite intense scrutiny from teammate Ingram and Turkington. Ingram, having jumped Rowbottom at the start, passed the BMW on the opening lap through the Jim Clark Esses, striking before Turkington’s tyres came up to temperature. Cook gained four spots from his grid position to come home in 11th but lost the championship lead to Ingram. The draw for race three saw ball number 12 pulled out of the bag so Gordon Shedden was handed pole position for the last race of the day with Cook completing the front row, Stephen Jelley and Tom Chilton making up row two. The front row starting Hondas held off the BMW of Jelley into Clervaux with Shedden ahead, the Team Dynamics man gapping the field to win his 52nd BTCC race by 2.5 seconds and cap his recovery from a race one DNF. Cook seeing off a train of cars for second ahead of Rory Butcher, Jelley, Jake Hill, Turkington and Ingram. Ingram leads the championship by 3 points from Cook heading to Knockhill after the championship’s summer break on the 30th/31st July.Words and Pics Stephen Carpenter EDP Photo News.
BTCC Thruxton May 2022
A WINNING RECIPE FOR COOK
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship made its first of two visits in 2022 to the high-speed Thruxton circuit over the weekend of the 28th/29th May. Bath racer Josh Cook hustled his BTC Racing prepared Honda Civic to pole position from the BMW 330e of Jake Hill, with the Ford Focus of Dan Cammish starting from third – 0.081 seconds covering the trio. The rear-wheel-drive traction advantage off the line from his BMW allowed Hill to edge ahead of Cook on the run to the Complex at the start of race one but Cook muscled past when they got there and wasn’t to be headed for the remainder of the 16 laps, Hill keeping him honest to finish 0.9 seconds behind. Race two followed a similar pattern with Hill again outdragging Cook when the lights went out but this time Hill’s grasp of the lead lasted until the Club Chicane when Cook hung it out around the outside to grab back a lead he wasn’t to lose, heading Hill home by a narrow 0.487 seconds. The reversed grid draw for race three saw Cook starting from seventh, his BTC Racing teammate Jason Plato sat on pole alongside the Ciceley BMW of Adam Morgan. Plato slipped back at the start as a pair of BMWs headed the field, Morgan resisting race-long pressure from 4-time BTCC champion Colin Turkington to take the win by 0.599 seconds. Third in all three races was reigning champion Ashley Sutton aboard a Ford Focus, who finished right with the lead pair in race three, his consistent scoring moving him up to second in the championship table behind new leader Cook – who has now won four of the last six races. The series moves on to Oulton Park on the 11th/12th June and returns to Thruxton on the 27/28th August. Words and Pics Stephen Carpenter EDP Photo News.
Honda Test Castle Combe Circuit 2022
Honda had a successful pre test for Isle of Man TT at Castle Combe Circuit 26 – 27 April 2022 with John McGuinness and Glenn Irwin.