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50 years of racing for the HSCC was celebrated at this Castle Combe meeting. Who would have thought in 1966 where Historic racing and the HSCC would be in 2016 ! All championship formula were invited to the ‘party’ over the Saturday and Sunday. Yes, the Paddock was very busy but the club and competitors coped well with the whole situation…..the icing on the ‘birthday cake’ being the glorious April weather on the Sunday.


A dry and sunny morning welcomed everyone for qualifying. The B class group was headed by last season’s champion, Clive Wood, who was the only B class driver into the 1m 12’s. With no Adam Patterson or Dave Facer entered it was Barry Webb and Adam Wheeler who led the push for class position, with Barry taking 2nd from Adam by four-tenths….a sign of the battle to come. Excellent 4th fastest was Phil Hart which, by the way, meant 2nd, 3rd and 4th were all in Mallock Mk16’s. Just a tenth behind Phil was Alan Davenport followed by Ian Mitchell, John Muirhead and Stephen Littler, who was fully recovered from last years health probs.

The A class was also headed by last season’s champion, Mark Charteris, with a 2 1/2 sec cushion. With notable absentees, John Harrison and Ray Mallock, the next three grid slots were hotly contested by veteran Malcolm Jackson, Alan Cook and welcome returnee Spencer McCarthy. They qualified in that order covered by only 1/2 a second. In an excellent 5th slot was newcomer Peter Belsey having his first drive in Dad, John Belsey’s Haggispeed Mk10. Great to see a new driver and to welcome back an Haggispeed to the grid. Familiar faces, Steve Chaplin – Phantom and Mike Lane – Mallock, were close behind in 6th and 7th. Peter Carter in his Phantom qualified 8th and last in class was Mark Hales in recently deceased David Child’s Centaur who managed less than half a lap before his diff broke. Mark Hales’ huge experience ensured he would be allowed to start from the rear of the grid.


Mark Charteris started cautiously due to gearbox worries and this allowed Malcolm Jackson to lead the first lap followed closely by Spencer McCarthy. The untidy start claimed Steve Chaplin and Alan Cook, who ran into Steve, eliminating both cars. We also lost Mike Lane on the first lap with drive-train problems. The A class was further reduced with the loss of Peter Carter who had mechanical issues. At the front Malcolm led Spencer from the recovering Mark Charteris, then came Peter Belsey running superbly in the Haggispeed.

The B class battle was led by the fast starting Clive Wood who had a handy advantage over the impressive Adam Wheeler who, in turn, led Barry Webb and Phil Hart. Then a gap to the next close group of John Muirhead, Alan Davenport and Ian Mitchell with Steve Littler still staying in touch.

As Mark Charteris increased his pace he closed on Malcolm and Spencer, passing Spencer on lap 3 and taking the lead from Malcolm on lap 5 with a great move starting with a fast exit from Camp and finishing the pass at the entrance to Quarry.

Malcolm and Spencer had a thrilling dice with Spencer eventually securing 2nd place on lap 11 but the two of them were never far apart. A class eyes were also on Mark Hales as he drove through from the back of the grid to finish 4th overall. Peter Belsey came 5th after a really fine drive in the Haggispeed.

Class B again provided close racing although Clive won comfortably. Behind him Adam and Barry battled for 2nd, Barry eventually passing Adam on lap 10. Adam continued his podium form with another fine 3rd place.

Phil Hart continues to impress in B class finishing a good but lonely 4th. Ian Mitchell, John Muirhead and Alan Davenport all raced hard for 5th in class for almost 10 laps. As the race progressed John Muirhead secured 5th in class, having conquered an electrical fault which saw him further back than usual. Alan Davenport had a good drive to 6th in class clear of the battling duo of Ian Mitchell, in his self built IM MK1 and Steve Littler, Mallock MK18b, who finished just three tenths apart at the flag.


A superb days racing in glorious April sunshine. Great to be back at the Combe circuit, which has had a lot of the track resurfaced since we were last there.
We also had new lap records in A and B classes set by the two class winners, Mark and Clive. Just a bit of early season reliability issues in A class being the only disappointment. Driver of the day – Mark Hales for his drive from the back of the grid.  Mechanic of the meeting – awarded to John Muirhead’s team for battling with ‘naughty’ electrics.
Sheila and Kerry provided everyone with a really excellent refreshment programme – our Classic Clubmans hospitality marquee is such an important part of our racing weekend – a big ‘thank you’ to them for all their hard work. I even saw the HSCC chief scrutineer having tea and cake !!

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PHOTOS:  RACING – JEFF BLOXHAM jeffbloxham.com


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