THE Castle Combe circuit’s 2014 season gets under way on Easter Monday and, as last year, the opening meeting will be run in memory of the late Howard Strawford, the man who rescued the Wiltshire track from oblivion and who died last year.
Likely to be a ‘Howard’s Day’ favourite is the Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600 championship, in association with Drive South West, where the Chippenham-based Riadro Racing squad had a somewhat surprise championship title last year for Adam Higgins.
That leaves them on target to eclipse the record of team principal Bob Higgins, whose three titles in a row from 1981 were achieved before son Adam was born.
Another title-winning team is Motorsport Events, whose team boss and driver Ed Moore, from Melksham, has the 2004 and 2007 trophies in his cabinet.
With the reinvigorated form his Van Diemen JL013K showed at the end of 2013, he could well be a dark horse.
The Saloon Car Championship has a new sponsor, ‘On-Pole High Performance Consultancy’, and includes Calne’s Tony Hutchings, a former champion, in his Audi TT.
Class C opens up victory possibilities for the likes of Chippenham’s Martin Chivers in the MG ZR, as last year’s champion Corsham’s Will Di Claudio is running customer cars.
There is a big change to Sports and GT racing at Castle Combe, with the true Sports Racing cars getting their own six-round series supported by www.performance-cars.net.
The highly modified saloon and sports car based machines have their natural home in the Sports and GT Championship in association with Blast Events/Bristol Gas Supplies.
The visiting Mini Se7ens and Miglias are crowd pleasers having been at the circuit since 1967.
The Se7ens is the UK’s longest running one-make motor racing championship having been introduced in 1966 as Formula Mini 7with 850cc engines, later increased to 1000cc.
Howard’s Day will witness the 250th race win by a Mini, with each championship having two races.
The MG Owners Club race sees a wide variety of the marque’s models, which celebrate their 90th anniversary in 2014. Competing in two 15-minute races are plenty of MGBs, a few Midgets, lots of MG ZRs (see how they compare with those in the circuit’s saloon car championship) and MGFs in their own classes.
Monday’s action starts at 8.35am with qualifying, racing getting under way from 12.35pm.
Admission is £15 for adults and £10 for OAPs,while accompanied children U16 are admitted free.
Paddock Transfer is free if the tickets are booked in advance.
Visit the Castle Combe Racing Club online at ccracingclub.co.uk, facebook.com/CastleCombe Circuit, or @castlecombeuk
Castle Combe reports, reaction & pictures in next Thursday’s Gazette & Herald and at gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport
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