Castle Combe Circuit’s annual Motorcycle Grand National extravaganza once again descended on the Wiltshire venue on 31 August-1 September, bringing with it a vast array of racing, stars and historic displays related to this much-loved two-wheeled motorsport.
On track, there was no less than 30 spectacular club races throughout the double-header event thanks to NG Road Racing; the non-stop action keeping the hordes of bike enthusiasts gripped from start to finish. Click here for full results.
But the Grand National is much more than just a race meeting, with equal levels of excitement to be found out in the scenic grounds that span the 1.85-mile circuit.
Always attracting some very familiar faces in the world of bike racing, this year saw the likes of Carl Fogarty, Graeme Crosby, Steve Parrish and Tommy Bridewell all being present for the two days to chat, sign autographs and offer their merchandise to the fans.
Fogarty, Crosby and Parrish could also be found in an intimate talk on the Saturday evening, where they discussed plenty of their past antics both on and off the saddle, not least Carl’s achievement of clinching the first-ever 100mph average speed motorcycle lap at Castle Combe almost exactly 30 years ago.
Talking of turning back the clock, the Grand National was also a chance to celebrate 50 years since the legendary Barry Sheene last raced and won at Combe; an anniversary celebrated with the appearance of several of his old competitive machines (some of which were even ridden on a parade lap by the aforementioned star riders in attendance).
On a more poignant note, this year’s event was solely dedicated to one individual: Castle Combe Circuit’s friend and colleague, Rodney Gooch, who tragically passed away in April of this year. Rodney was the driving force being the motorcycle goings-on at the venue for several decades, kick-starting the impressive two-wheeled calendar that now descends here each year.
To mark the occasion, the fabled ‘King of Combe’ trophy – this year going to the talented local rider Josh Day – was given away by none other than Rodney’s wife Janet, daughter Jess and son Daniel.
With next year marking the 70th anniversary of the circuit, you can expect plenty more thrilling action in 12 months’ time. In the meantime, stay tuned to www.bikesatcombe.com for further updates.