INTERMITTENT rain failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowds and the drivers at the fifth running of the Bristol Forklifts Autumn Classic race at Castle Combe on Saturday though the outcome of a number of races was no doubt affected.

Star guest David Brabham, the former F1 driver, Le Mans winner and son of legendary triple world champion, Sir Jack, demonstrated one of his late father’s cars from 1965, a Brabham BT11 single seater.

Julian Bronson, from Bristol, also showed off his Scarab F1 car, fresh from its win in the Richmond Trophy race at the Goodwood Revival for front-engined Grand Prix cars.

The HRDC’s 'Coys Trophy' race for Touring Cars built between 1958 and 1966 endured awful wet weather and a safety car period on its first visit to Combe.

The Minis proved to be the car to have in the treacherous conditions, with a number of drivers unable to see due to misted-up windscreens.

Among those was Duncan Pittaway, from Dundry, who retired his ’65 Plymouth Barracuda after it became undriveable.

Peter Crewes, from Torquay, in the Cooper S led for most of the race until retiring with a broken alternator, allowing the pole team of James and Richard Dorlin to take the victory.

The rather more unsuitable 4.7 litre Ford Falcon Sprint, driven by Chris Clarkson, from Westbury on Trym, took sixth place.

Former ITV F1 pundit Tony Jardine drove his Mini Cooper S to seventh in the 45-minute race, whilst 1998 Le Mans winner Andy Wallace was 11th in a MkII Jaguar.

The 'Silverline' Historic Formula Junior championship race was won comprehensively by Peter De La Roche in his BMC Mk 2.

Another winner by a mile was Sam Stretton, taking the Vintage Sports Car Club’s race for Pre-war sports cars by some 23 seconds.

The Allan Cameron Healey Drivers Club Invitation Challenge for 3000’s, 100’s and special-bodied Sprites comprised two 20-minute races, with the usual contingent of drivers from the Bristol area featuring strongly.

The front row for race one was occupied by youngsters, with 19 year old Jack Rawles on pole in his dad’s 3000 MKIIa and Jack Chatham, from Avonmouth, alongside in the 3000 shared with his brother Oliver.

Mike Thorne, from Abbotts Leigh in Bristol, was third fastest in his MkI 3000, with event sponsor Bronson, from Bristol, qualifying Steve Bicknell’s Healey 3000 fifth overall.

The Healey 3000 of Dave Smithies, from Flax Bourton, broke its gearbox as soon as fellow pilot Chris Clarkson took over in qualifying, ending their day.

It was Chatham who made the best start, but as rain began to fall heavily, Rawles made an audacious pass at Camp, going in to win by 1.5 seconds from Chatham.

Thorne retired after making a slow start, whilst Bronson made a great start and finally took fourth.

Race two and the decider saw David Grace, the man who has won four of these races at Castle Combe, make a flying start from fourth on the grid, leading into Quarry, but hounded by Oliver Chatham and Rawles lying in wait.

In the next three laps, Grace had dropped back to third, with Rawles finding a way back through to the front and taking a narrow win from Chatham by .596 of a second. Grace was a lonely third with Bronson retiring.

The FiSCaR 'Inter-marque' race was again won by Steve Boultbee-Brooks in his Aston Martin DB3S, who also won the Jon Gross Memorial Trophy race for Historic Aston Martins.

Bristol’s Tim Pearce ran well in his AC Ace Bristol to 12th overall and second in class.

Anthony Green, from Devizes, competed in the Historic Aston Martin race driving a post-war Aston Martin DB 2, crossing the line 10th overall and fifth in class.

The Jaguar Enthusiast’s Club’s Norman Dewis Trophy race for pre '66 Jaguars was watched enthusiastically by Dewis himself, the 96 year old legendary Jaguar test and development driver recalling his last race at Castle Combe in the early 1950s in his home-built 500cc race car known as a DNC.

The Bristol Aeroplane Company Motor Sports Club Challenge Trophy race for 500cc Formula Three cars was another where rain played a part.

Pole man Brian Joliffe, aged 79, spun out of Camp, the red flag bringing proceedings to an end on lap eight.

Richard de la Roche, who led from the start, was declared the winner, with Ted Williams from Bristol being pushed off on the last lap after running strongly in seventh for most of the race in a Cooper Mark IX.