There’s no getting away from the fact that Castle Combe’s most iconic set-piece is the Avon Tyres footbridge, an aspect of the Wiltshire circuit that’s remained in place and untouched since 1954…or so it was thought. New evidence proves that Avon’s sponsorship of the bridge actually began a full two years earlier in 1952, which in turn means that the current hoardings will have to be modified to suit.
The news that the relationship between Castle Combe and Avon Tyres (quite possibly the longest in motorsport history) actually began a full two years earlier than was first thought was something of a surprise, though one which has prompted the tyre maker to bolster its association with the circuit yet further. This means that, as of this month, Avon’s branding will now also be found atop yet another footbridge, the one located between Quarry and the Esses.
It goes without saying that Castle Combe and Avon have long been perfect bedfellows, the former known as one of the country’s fastest and most technically demanding tracks, the latter respected for its range of high performance rubber. While the relationship between the two entities is well known (Avon originally used the facility for advanced testing), the news that it was in fact a full 2 years older than first thought came as complete bolt from the blue! The discovery itself was made by Pete Stowe, Castle Combe’s chief archivist and a man known for his attention to detail.
“It was certainly an unexpected turn of events and one which I struggled to believe when Pete first informed me,” explained Graham Marshallsay, MD of Castle Combe. “Not only does it underline the shared history enjoyed between ourselves and Avon Tyres, it has served to make the relationship even closer still.”
Far from a source of embarrassment, news of the discovery was warmly received by both Avon and the rest of the circuit team, Avon having subsequently announced that it will invest more time and resources into its Castle Combe branding over the course of the next 3 years. In practice this means that there will be more visible branding, banners and flags, and that all track support vehicles will be fitted with AVON rubber. It cements a relationship that’s as long standing as it is iconic, and points ahead to the future – it would take a brave individual to bet against the pairing lasting for many years to come.
Shane Wride of Avon Tyres was swift to thank Pete before going on to announce his own satisfaction with the association, saying, “Avon’s sponsorship of Castle Combe really is a remarkable achievement, particularly when you stop to consider how much the world of motorsport has changed since 1952. We’re delighted to be able to continue working with such an important local business – here’s to another 65 years!”
2017 sees Castle Combe host its busiest ever calendar to date, with race meetings and car shows taking place on almost every weekend between now and October.
Phone: 01249 782417 Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7EY
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