WILTSHIRE driver Simon Norris has claimed the Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship after a tense final round at the weekend.

The Holt driver only needed to finish the race to take the overall title, but problems began before qualifying when it was found his Mitsubishi Colt had developed a head gasket leak.

After qualifying tenth in a damp session and with the engine turned down, the 37-year-old had made his way up to sixth by the end of lap three in the race before he began to drop down the field.

The problem centred on a cable coming lose forcing Norris to complete the remainder of the race stuck in fourth gear, but after a tense 12 laps he crossed the finish line in seventeenth to claim the title.

“I’m relieved especially after finding out about the head gasket leak,” said Norris, who also took the Class B title.

“I decided to turn down the power and had a display to keep an eye on the temperature and it was fine so I tried to race as that was the best way to get through it.

“I got past Hayden King into Camp corner but when I got into Quarry there were no gears early in the race.

“A cable had popped off the bottom of the shifter, it’s been fine all season but I was stuck in fourth and I was trying to put it back in but I couldn’t so I had to finish like that.

“Things couldn’t have gone better this season though with a new car against very competitive competition and I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Gary Prebble took victory in the race ahead of Class A champion Dave Scaramanga and Will Di Claudio, who after taking the Class D title before the race was debuting his Peugeot 106 in Class C with great success.

“It was good for the first few laps but I think we had a problem with the differential and Geoffrey Ryall was catching me up which was a little disappointing but we’re looking good for next year,” said Di Claudio.

Norris’ main rival in the championship Ryall finished fourth in the race and despite not taking the overall title did manage to clinch the Class C championship in his Peugeot 106.