WILL Di Claudio overcame treacherous conditions and a damaged clutch to claim his first outright victory of the season in the Saloon Car Championship at Castle Combe.

Wet and difficult conditions greeted the drivers on bank holiday Monday where Saloon championship leader and the most successful driver at Castle Combe, Gary Prebble, once again started from pole in his Seat Leon Cupra with Di Claudio second.

The Chippenham man's Peugeot 106 GTi was fortunate to even make the start of the race after his clutch broke in qualifying, but it was he who took the holeshot off the line before Prebble retook the lead into Quarry.

By the second lap Di Claudio had got to the front and began to gap Prebble from reigning Saloon champion, Simon Thornton-Norris, in his Mitsubishi Colt.

As the rain got heavier and traffic came into play, the gap between the front two got ever smaller and was down to half a second with two laps to go.

A mistake from Prebble coming out of the fast right-hander of Camp on to the pitstraight dropped him back and Di Claudio was able to take overall victory and the Class C win, with Prebble second and the Class A win, with Thornton-Norris third and claiming the Class B win.

"The clutch went in qualifying meaning I had no drive so we had to do a professional botch job," said Di Claudio.

"We were a bit lucky that it rained because if it was dry I don't think it would have lasted. I was driving thinking it could go at any moment.

"I started to lose pace because of the traffic and standing water, because it's quite a light car when it hits standing water it's losing power.

"It was just about concentrating and I did make a couple of mistakes."

Chippenham's Luke Cooper was left to rue a missed opportunity for a win in the Formula Ford 1600 race after falling foul of the tricky conditions when he aquaplaned into the barrier at Tower on the opening lap of the race.

Cooper had qualified his Swift SC16 second behind Josh Fisher and ahead of series championship leader Michael Moyers and had been leading before hitting the barrier.

A crash for Michael Eastwell - who was driving his new Spectrum - in almost the same place the following lap brought out the red flag.

Fisher led from start to finish in the restarted race with Moyers second and Rob Hall in his Ray GR16 third, while Marlborough's Archie Hine took his Van Diemen JL12 to an impressive fifth in the tricky conditions.