A POOR qualifying performance didn’t stop reigning Castle Combe Saloon champion Simon Thornton-Norris from putting in an impressive display as he claimed another class win and second overall.

The man from Holt had his two fastest times from qualifying disallowed due to exceeding track limits, meaning he started Monday’s bank holiday race from ninth on the grid.

Despite suffering from a persistent electrical problem which threatened to cut the car’s ignition at any moment, Thornton-Norris began his charge through the field and had battled his way up to third by lap eight.

A pass on the returning Tony Hutchings – who was making his first start at the circuit a year after his car was written-off in a three-car crash – on the penultimate lap at Bobbies secured second-place behind Gary Prebble.

As well as claiming another Class B win, Thornton-Norris also set a new class lap record of 1.14.060, smashing the old time by almost half-a-second.

“In qualifying I had massive cutting out problems still and I took the car out on the road before the race, it’s got treaded tyres and a licence plate for that specific reason if I need to test,” said Thornton-Norris.

“I turned the boost down to half because the problem seemed to be worse the higher it was.

“I already made modifications by making the car lighter, changing steel bolts for aluminium, taking off the aerial, little things that all added up.

“If I get behind Gary [Prebble] I can put pressure on him, it won’t be easy but given the right circumstances there’s no reason I can’t beat him.”

Will Di Claudio, from Chippenham, claimed another Class C win in his Peugeot 106 GTi and fourth once again in the overall classification.

For Chippenham’s Luke Cooper, what started out as a promising day after qualifying second for the Formula Ford 1600 race ended in disaster when a broken piston on his engine meant he was unable to even make the start.

The 23-year-old is now in a race against time to have it fixed for the second BRSCC national round at Oulton Park this weekend, having taken a win in the previous round at Brands Hatch.

In the race at Castle Combe, polesitter Michael Moyers took a convincing win from double and reigning FF1600 champion, Roger Orgee, and Josh Fisher, who had won the opening round of the season.

Marlborough’s Archie Hine continued on his steep learning curve having only started racing cars this season and claimed seventh – his best finish to date.

In the HSCC Classic Clubmans Championship, Chippenham’s Jonathan Loader took his Tiga SC80 to two class wins as well as a fifth and fourth-place finish overall in the two races.