The 2018 edition of the Castle Combe Autumn Classic was short-listed for a major award at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards.
During a glittering awards’ evening at the Royal Automobile Club’s Pall Mall headquarters in London (Thursday 21 November), the Autumn Classic was one of three finalists for the ‘Competitive Event’ category for the inaugural year of the awards.
Against stiff opposition from a range of two- and four-wheeled events, the Castle Combe event was selected by a panel of expert judges as one of the UK’s three best competitive historic motor sport events of the year. The other two finalist events were the Chateau Impney Hillclimb (eventually crowned the outright winner) and the special VSCC Le Mans start at Silverstone to mark the Bentley centenary.
For an independent family-owned circuit, run by a small team, this is a huge accolade against some of the world’s biggest historic motor sport events. The Royal Automobile Club Historic Awards are a new development and are designed to spotlight the very best in historic motor sport across a number of categories.
Ken Davies, Chairman of the Castle Combe Racing Club, said: “For the Autumn Classic to be in the final three for this award is an amazing achievement for our small and hard-working team. We have been judged against the best events in the UK and have come out at the top! We are very grateful to the Royal Automobile Club and all the judges for recognising our event in this way.”
First run in 2012, the Autumn Classic was the idea of the late and greatly-missed Rodney Gooch and is now firmly established as a must-do date on the classic racing calendar. The race meeting consistently delivers glorious racing from grids full of cars of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The specially extended 2020 event will run over two days in celebration of the circuit’s 70th anniversary season.
Despite wet weather, the 2018 edition (which ran within the qualifying dates for the 2019 awards), was another runaway success from the dedicated team at Castle Combe. The event took in a host of classic car and owners’ clubs in the car parks and on-track demonstration sessions for rare and powerful racing cars from the sport’s history to make a superb day out in the manicured setting of Castle Combe, one of Britain’s longest-established race tracks.
Key elements of the 2018 edition were celebrations of 50 years of the Ford GT40 and its Castle Combe heritage with Ron Fry and the 65th anniversary of the last race at the circuit for Sir Stirling Moss OBE and his lucky escape at Quarry. Several GT40s took part in the demonstration sessions alongside other cars from the 95-year history of Le Mans.
Tom Davis, Head of Sales and Marketing and Event Co-ordinator at Castle Combe, said: “We were absolutely thrilled to be one of the finalists for this important award. There are many first class events on the historic motor sport calendar and to be recognised in this way is a huge achievement for everyone involved in the Autumn Classic. It is a fitting testimony to the ongoing growth and success of Castle Combe. We will try and win the award with the 2019 Autumn Classic and are already working on making the 2020 event even better!”
- More details on 2020’s instalment of the Castle Combe Autumn Classic will be announced soon. Head to www.castlecombecircuit.co.uk for more details.