First race at Castle Combe

17 June 2008

newsThe first race for us was Castle Combe because having a full to bursting customer diary, Mark had to work into the night for what seemed like years (exaggerated slightly by me - his wife and his children!) but still, we got there in the end - although he does fall asleep early in the evenings these days and I am considering getting sheep or a lot of rabbits to keep our grass down at home!

Anyway, after testing three days earlier at Combe, Mark was worried that the dry set up on slicks would not be good enough for the first race, so he decided to race the new car on road tyres, using a proven set up from last year. All through the night, it absolutely poured down with rain but stopped early morning and the skies continued to look indecisive throughout the morning however, by the time our session came round, the circuit was drying out and Mark went out for his first 2008 qualifier on the dry setup. This did work to his advantage and he took 3rd, just one place behind our star driver Nick Williamson in his ballistic Escort Cosworth.

The weather then improved and everyone was on slicks except Mark, although knowing that he would be at a disadvantage to the others towards the end of the race on his road tyres, he pushed hard right from the start. Unfortunately Nick had a problem leaving the start line and Mark was second into the first corner behind the very quick Lotus of Mark Funnel.

A few laps in and Nick was back and Mark let him pass to chase Mark Funnel but this was to no avail as both retired with mechanical issues - a great shame for both of them. Mark now in the lead got his head down and tried to escape the chasing pack behind. After leading under pressure from the speedy Rhys Lloyd for most of the race, all hell let loose as the slow starting super touring cars who were now going full steam ahead caught up and Mark then tangled with a fast Honda super tourer that had him at 90 degrees to the circuit at 90 miles an hour! This relegated Mark to second place and if that wasn't enough, on the penultimate lap, an unstoppable BMW M3 decided to punt Mark off entering tower corner. With the car well and truly beaten up but still running, Mark returned to the circuit to finish forth overall and second in class

All in all, this was a great return after the awful smash that prematurely ended our 2007 season - here we go again!

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