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Wednesday 07 October 2015

VSCC Pre-war Sports-Cars entertain at the Castle Combe Autumn Classic

Race Results and Photo Gallery of the Club’s Pre-war Sports-Cars Race at the Castle Combe Autumn Classic on Saturday 3 October are now live.
An ever-present in the programme since the inaugural event in 2012, the VSCC Race for Pre-war Sports-Cars again proved a hit with the crowds at this year’s successful rendition of the Castle Combe Autumn Classic, which took place in front of a strong crowd at the famous Wiltshire venue this past weekend.

Opening the afternoon’s Race Programme, our racers were invited to move their cars to the track at the start of the Lunch Break to form a public ‘Grid Walk’, with Spectators thrilled with the chance to get up close to the machinery.

Following a dominant showing in morning Qualifying Practice, Patrick Blakeney-Edwards looked odds-on to lead the way from pole and so it proved as he proceeded to lap all but four of the 24-strong field by the end of the 20-minutes in his imperious Frazer Nash Super Sports. His nearest challenger looked to be the Alta of Sam Stretton – making a welcome first outing with the VSCC in 2015 – before his early retirement on Lap 5 curtailed his charge.

The battle for the remaining podium places was a much tighter affair as regular ‘Set 3’ front-runner Andrew Mitchell in the HRG and Mark Gillies in Dick Skipworth’s stunning Aston Martin Monoposto could not be separated, with rarely more than a couple of seconds between them as they circulated, having fought off the early challenge of the always fast-starting Mark Brett in the Ballamy-Ford and Charles Jones’s MG L Magna amongst others. Trailing for the duration, the HRG finally made the telling move on the penultimate lap to take the Runner-Up spot ahead of Gillies, who went on to score a Pre-war Class victory later in the afternoon in the Jon Gross Memorial Trophy for Historic Aston Martins.

There was more ‘Chain-Gang’ entertainment further down the field too as Simon Blakeney-Edwards came out on top of a contest of a trio of well-matched Frazer Nash machines, ahead of Mark Groves and Paul Baker, whilst John Polson’s Talbot 105 overcame the Lagonda LG45 of Richard Reay-Smith, their battle of two great British Sports-Cars just one of a number of exciting disputes throughout a very entertaining race.

Besides the VSCC spectacle, there were also races for some of the our racing associates, including F3 (500s), Formula Junior and Fiscar – an unfortunate four-car tangle at Quarry brought their race to a premature end with significant damage to the ex-Stirling Moss Le Mans Aston Martin DBR1, although thankfully no drivers were hurt – as well as popular grids for historic Jaguars and Austin Healeys.

Away from the track, the day also boasted some impressive displays, including the famed BRM V16 Grand Prix car – alas only a static exhibit – and a tribute to Ivor Bueb, a Le Mans 24 Hour Race winner from 1955 who developed his skills at the Wiltshire track, alongside a great number of Car Clubs who gathered to form a fantastic display in the so-called ‘Club Village’.

We would like to extend our thanks to Castle Combe Racing Club for hosting us once again and all the Officials and Marshals at Castle Combe Circuit who ran the day. We also thank our racers, with particular mention of ‘Set 3’ champions, John Guyatt and Lesley Macalpine, who again worked so hard not only to assemble another wonderful grid of Sports-Cars to take part but also again provided such warm hospitality in the Paddock on the day. Finally we would like to thank Club Member, Paul Weaver and family, who kindly managed the Club’s Spectator Pre-war Car Display in ‘Club Village’ on the day.

Results and a selection of photos from the VSCC Pre-war Sports-Car Race are now available at the event page (CLICK HERE)

Full results from the day can be found at the Timekeepers’ website (


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