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Castle Combe - 1 July 2000


 Weather/track: Bright/dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Time
Lap Behind
kph mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 1:17.09 11   139.04 86.39
2 20 A Simon McDermott +8 1:17.30 11 0.21 138.66 86.16
3 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 1:17.92 9 0.83 137.55 85.47
4 21 C James Paterson +8 1:18.90 11 1.81 135.85 84.41
5 37 A Rick Lloyd +8 1:19.12 12 2.03 135.47 84.18
6 1 B Peter Horsman +8 1:20.31 11 3.22 133.46 82.93
7 14 B Grahame Walker +8 1:20.86 11 3.77 132.55 82.36
8 50 C Paul Burry +8 1:20.94 11 3.85 132.42 82.28
9 13 B Chris Acklam +8 1:21.25 10 4.16 131.92 81.97
10 45 C Andy Green +8 1:24.60 11 7.51 126.69 78.72
11 25 C Dan Ward +8 1:24.85 11 7.76 126.32 78.49
12 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:25.15 10 8.06 125.87 78.21
13 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 1:25.34 10 8.25 125.59 78.04
14 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 1:26.69 10 9.60 123.64 76.83
15 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 1:26.82 10 9.73 123.45 76.71
16 34 E Peter Sargeant +4 1:30.21 10 13.12 118.81 73.83
17 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 1:31.29 10 14.20 117.41 72.95
18 26 E Brian Jenkins +4 1:38.46 9 21.37 108.86 67.64

Castle Combe - 1 July 2000


Weather/track: Bright/dry
Pos No Class Driver Car Race time
Laps Behind
mph Best
on mph
1 29 A Keith Ahlers +8 12:52.40 10   86.22 1:15.81 6 87.85
2 99 A Matthew Wurr +8 12:53.15 10 00.75 86.14 1:15.97 7 87.67
3 20 A Simon McDermott +8 13:14.10 10 21.70 83.87 1:17.71 2 85.70
4 37 A Rick Lloyd +8 13:29.78 10 37.38 82.24 1:18.94 7 84.37
5 50 C Paul Burry +8 13:38.15 10 45.75 81.40 1:20.20 8 83.04
6 13 B Chris Acklam +8 13:40.84 10 48.44 81.14 1:19.33 3 83.95
7 1 B Peter Horsman +8 13:53.86 10 1:01.46 79.87 1:20.55 7 82.68
8 45 C Andy Green +8 14:10.58 10 1:18.18 78.30 1:22.87 8 80.37
9 39 C Simon Orebi Gann +8 14:11.97 10 1:19.57 78.17 1:22.67 8 80.56
10 25 C Dan Ward ** +8   10     1:23.11 7 80.13
11 55 B Philip McKelvey +8 13:03.05 9 1 lap 76.55 1:25.27 5 78.10
12 17 D Jack Bellinger +8 13:05.60 9 1 lap 76.30 1:24.13 2 79.16
13 7 D Mary Lindsay +8 13:07.94 9 1 lap 76.07 1:25.57 4 77.83
14 51 E Alan Wickenden 4/4 13:10.00 9 1 lap 75.87 1:24.82 5 78.52
15 71 D Kelvin Laidlaw +8 13:11.08 9 1 lap 75.77 1:24.94 8 78.41
16 34 E Peter Sargeant +8 13:46.11 9 1 lap 72.56 1:27.74 2 75.91
17 52 D Ian Hepburn +8 13:52.87 8 1 lap 63.97 1:30.58 4 73.53
Car 13 tme above incl 10 sec penalty for false start.
**Car 25 incorrectly shown on timing results as not classified.

Not classified

  14 B Grahame Walker +8 12:32.89 9   79.61 1:19.91 6 83.34
  25 C Dan Ward ** +8 12:49.96 9   77.85 1:23.11 7 80.13
  21 C James Paterson +8 10:51.03 8   81.84 1:19.66 4 83.61
  26 E Brian Jenkins +4 14:13.72 5   39.01 1:40.17 3 66.49

Castle Combe - 1 July 2000

Fastest laps

  mins:secs on kph mph
Lap record A Keith Ahlers +8 1:15.81 6 141.38 87.85
  B Chris Acklam +8 1:19.33 3 135.11 83.95
Lap record C James Paterson +8 1:19.66 4 134.55 83.61
  D Jack Bellinger +8 1:24.13 2 127.40 79.16
Lap record E Alan Wickenden 4/4 1:24.82 5 126.36 78.52

Lap Records

  mins:secs  on  kph  mph
5-Apr-99 A Peter Garland +8 1:16.36 2 140.36 87.22 
5-Apr-99 B Rick Lloyd +8 1:16.85 10 139.47 86.66 
5-Apr-99 C Chris Springall +8 1:21.26 9 131.90  81.96 
5-Apr-99 D Peter Horsman +8 1:22.12 6 130.52  81.10 
5-Apr-99 E Brian Jenkins +4 1:43.68 2 103.38  64.24 

Castle Combe Capers

Castle Combe - 1 July 2000

The Morgan Motor Company Challenge rolled into Castle Combe to take part in the circuit’s 50 th Anniversary Meeting celebrations with Morgans taking pride of place when they led the racing on Sunday in honour of a Morgan winning all those years ago. The circuit was festooned for a party with lots of displays and trade exhibitions. Mark Aston duly arrived in the new prototype Aero 8 and the Lloyds’ local Morgan branch parked neatly in a reserved parking area to show off the wide divergence of the marque.

As the more conventional custom of practice had to be observed on the Saturday before the fun could begin everyone duly lined up for scrutineering. Peter H. nearly disappointed his loyal fan club when he found himself stuck in first, facing the back of James Paterson’s trailer, rather than joining the scrutineering queue. Sarge came gallantly to the rescue and rocked the car gently backwards and forwards until it released allowing Peter to follow the other cars rather than find himself bailed up or in a potato sack on the back of the trailer.

Castle Combe seems to be a circuit which attracts mixed emotions from the drivers, some of whom dislike it strongly enough to stay away, some who remember unfortunate incidents and accidents which have taken place here and others who just enjoy the track. The track was a bit slippery at the Tower bend bit which required careful treatment but seemed to dry out as practice progressed.

For some, the track seemed to have changed since their last outing, in particular the Bobbies chicane which caused confusion to a number of drivers who were of the view (at least immediately before the entry) that it did not exist. But it did and they were probably hoping that their confusion would be overlooked but, as luck would have it, your reporter had positioned herself just at that point on the track and witnessed their every mistake. Indeed Matthew wurred in to the oxbow track run off arrangement just as she arrived and I am afraid to report that he subsequently wurred in at least once if not twice more. The trick (I am told) was to aim for the apex bollards on the entry bit and not for the straw bales at the exit bit. He was not the only one, so watch out as I might record your number next time! Matthew did complain about mist on his visor afterwards but did not relate its colour. However this, combined with an uncharacteristic slowness, put him in third place on the grid.

Matthew’s problems were compounded when he was black flagged for exceeding the noise limit on the track. Unfortunately the black flag caused a number of drivers some grief as they were unable to see which number (if any) was being displayed. Paul Burry slowed down, driving around until it disappeared while Chris Acklam and Simon O.G. came in to see if the flag was intended for them. Meanwhile Mr. Noise Tester was going into overdrive and called Keith Ahlers in as well, but not before he was able to record the fastest lap time to take pole position, always assuming that he could sort out the noise problem. With an incentive like that no-one was surprised that he did indeed manage so to do. Simon McDermott delighted himself by recording the second fastest lap time only 27 hundredths of a second behind Keith and 62 hundredths in front of Matthew. James Paterson and Rick Lloyd took 4th and 5th. Rick reported that his car felt a bit better but wondered about his own condition! Peter H. Grahame W. and Paul B. were next, obviously unwilling to be separated and wishing to continue their sparring from Mallory. Chris Acklam was miffed to find himself in 9th place, his excuse being an overweight car. Ha! Your scribe has another one to rank right up up there with gear selection and tyre pressure problems. Andy Green however was delighted with himself for qualifying well with a brand new engine, which he been unable to run in, and a dose of flu picked up in Poland. Next came Daniel Ward, another victim of the changed circuit, followed by Alan Wickenden, again 5 seconds ahead of the others in his class. Simon O.G. laid a few ghosts to qualify in a rather gentle 13th place, followed by Mary and Philip McKelvey, who confessed to being a little unnerved by the class A boys whizzing past him in tricky spots. He decided to take his mind off their shinanikins by learning some lines from Mary but soon gave that up as well. Sarge reported that his practice had been steady but he did manage to outqualify Ian Hepburn and Brian Jenkins, who was making his annual appearance in the Challenge Series and was moreover delighted to report that he had improved his time by 5 seconds since last year.

You may be wondering how the next 24 hours until the race were spent. As usual some people took their cars to bits and reassembled them in a more satisfactory manner, others adjusted their brakes, two tried to make their cars less noisy, others thought about tyres, Rick seemed to prop his car up sideways for some (apparently) necessary spanner work while others decided to watch some racing. All racing-related activity stopped as a delicate smell of barbecued food began to pervade the paddock and everyone took a well earned rest to eat and talk about the burning issues of the day – lap times, tyre pressures, grid positions, noise problems, the headlights on the new Aero 8, and the sausages: you are no doubt familiar with the conversation. Sunday dawned bright and dry so the tyre discussions were resolved and the Morgans swept out to start the day’s racing. Jack and Kelvin graced us with their presence but had to start from the back of the grid plus 10 seconds. The other missing competitors were sadly still missing.

At the start, Chris A and Peter H seemed to suffer from a bit of premature enthusiasm but all got away to a clean start when the lights eventually went green. Keith had a good start and led the pack into Quarry. Matthew’s script had him tucked in behind Keith at the start but Simon forgot his lines and got there first. Matthew read him the story at Quarry and overtook him. From then on Keith led the race with Wurr chasing all the way. Ahlers kept his concentration and his car on the track. Matthew was nervous about flooring the throttle near mean Mr Noise Man unless he was within a silencer’s distance from Keith but had a few goes at the leader. Keith continued to hold his line and nerve. Simon decided to defend third place leaving 99 and 29 to their own battles.

Once again, Rick Lloyd spent much of the race tussling with his own car rather than those of his fellow contenders as he continued to grapple with his suspension modifications pioneered at Mallory. On the penultimate lap, Chris Acklam had the audacity to pass him and Rick shut his eyes and passed him right back to finish the race in 4th place. Chris himself really fought his way up the grid starting in 9th place and then after a few hectic laps making it into 5th place by lap four where he finished despite a brief sojourn in 4th place and yet another class win.

Grahame Walker had a storming start into fifth place which he held until the confident Acklam overtook, having perhaps shed a few hundreds of kilos since qualifying. Grahame was to remain fifth until there was (what is perhaps best described here as) an incident, when there was a coming together with the hard-charging James Paterson at Camp which sadly left them both stranded.

Our Esteemed Champion, for that is what he commands to be called, had a fair start but then blew it by rank over (ie bad) driving on laps 1 (a tankslapper out of Tower enabling Chris and James to escape), 3 ( a scenic diversion onto the grass after Old Paddock Bend enabling Paul Burry and Andy Green to escape) and, in all probability, a good few other laps he has not yet been in a position to admit to your hack. Andy Green graciously allowed Peter to retake him into Camp to finish the race a creditable 8th. Simon OG used the race to continue to lay his personal ghosts when he overtook Daniel Ward at Folly to finish 9th and, more importantly, intact.

Unfortunately, whilst Daniel continued around the track to another solid finish, this event appeared to elude the eagle eyes of the officials who left him stranded as “not classified”. Perhaps their attention was gripped too much by the aftermath of the Graham/James incident, for as the yellow flags were a-waving rather prettily on the approach to Camp, they were furiously taking the numbers of the cars “overtaking” a crawling Brian Jenkins as he was slowing to a premature halt. Specifically, number 45, and it was only the quick thinking of Simon OG pre-empting the Officials’ wrath after the race by reporting what had really happened that saved Andy Green, for it was he who was at the helm of number 45 at the time, from a right proper dressing down, or worse.

Phillip McKelvey had an excellent start making up four places by the end of the first lap then Daniel sneaked past on lap 3 and Simon on lap 4. Phillip managed to hang in behind Simon and stayed there until the flag.

Jack started at the back with a 10 second penalty for not bothering to turn up on qualifying day but caught up with the back of Alan W. on the first lap. Perhaps the others just took pity on him, but not Alan who appears to share with Jack Championship aspirations and kept him firmly at bay until the 4th lap when the old warhorse got past and began to harass Mary instead. Eventually he stormed past Mary on lap 6 when she appeared to wave at him in a Coulthard type of way. Jack then took on Philip McKelvey, finishing less than 2 seconds behind him to take yet another class win and fastest lap. Probably the Morgan drive of the day. And so, with Ian Hepburn shepherding the last of the Morgans safely home, the race finished.

But not the drama. The Officials, perhaps slightly miffed at having their moment of glory in admonishing Andy snatched from them when it seemed almost in the bag, resorted to their plan B. This involved summoning Chris Acklam to the Fuhrer’s Bunker and fining him 10 seconds for creeping the start. On seeing him not breaking down in a pathetic whimpering heap but merely, with upper lip fully stiffened, apologising, they determined then to endorse his licence. Quite outrageous and unprovoked. Major Acklam saluted smartly and returned to his fellow inmates in the knowledge that they had not broken him, that he had only revealed his rank and number, and had lived to do battle again.

What fighting spirit our Morganeering racing heroes have. But what will the sortie over Silverstone hold for our intrepid and gallant warriors? Tune in next week(ish); same time, same channel.......

Ruth Horsman with thanks to Jimbo