Castle Combe Race Report

A Perfect 1-2 for the team at there local track.


Castle Combe Race Report 8th & 9th August
Yet another eventful weekend for the Hawthorns/Neil Garner team and the no: 1 car. Qualifying took place on the Saturday and we decided to enter all three drivers knowing that as the race was only 90mins, only two of us would drive. Jay went out first so that we could get the maximum benefit from the fresh tyres but we had been struggling with set up since we arrived on the test day and frankly were no further forward in finding a solution. We tried everything we knew between the full soft and full stiff settings but nothing seem to work better than the full stiff we started with and that just didn’t seem right being that Combe is a very bumpy circuit!! Anyway, we decided to stay with full stiff with a view to riding the bumps and just kept our fingers crossed that nothing disastrous would happen, a slightly scary approach but needs must, etc etc. Jay popped in a 1.10.8 which was very respectable, so Jan and Rod just saved the tyres and cruised around for their 3 laps so as to meet qualification requirements. We ended up 4th in class and 12th overall on the grid as our main opposition achieved some great times, one of them posting a 1.09.1 !!!!
Sunday was race day and as Britcar were the star attraction for the weekend, there was a free for all grid walkabout prior to the race start. Jan started the race and was due to run for 45 mins after which Jay or Rod would take over dependent on our then race position. Jan did exceptionally well and maintained our grid position but we were still 4th in class and something had to be done. At the halfway point we decided to put Jay in the car as he had the better chance of running down the 3rd placed car and at least get us a podium finish. As it turned out, luck was going to play the major part in changing our fortunes as one by one and for a verity of reason ranging from time penalties to accidents/offs, we started moving up the order. The leading class 3 car then seemed to have an engine issue and before we knew it, we were 1st in class and down to 7th overall, and that’s how it finished, unbelievable really, for we didn’t expect any of that to happen.
We left Combe with another maximum point’s haul that helped our Championship position no end as at the moment we have 78 points out of a possible 80 and could in real terms be leading both the class and overall GT championships, having said that, the leading class 1 Porsche 997 RSR has also got 78 out of 80 so we have some serious competition there, still, at least it’s a Porsche !!
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