Wiltshire Formula Ford star, Luke Cooper, once again flew the flag for the local contingent at Castle Combe’s May Day Madness meeting (Monday, May 7) as glorious sunny weather shone down on the Wiltshire Circuit.
The Chippenham youngster, who won the opening two Howard’s Day Easter FF1600 races last month, was again in impressive form bagging pole position by 0.428secs from last year’s CCRC FF Champion Josh Fisher.
Cooper then made the most of pole at the start and led from start-to-finish, eventually bringing home his Swift SC 16 1600 3.970secs up on Bridgewater’s Fisher, while Dorking man, Matt Rivett, took the final podium spot after Felix Fisher, younger brother of Josh, spun late on.
“It’s amazing,” said Cooper after his third win in a row at Castle Combe in the CCRC FF Championship sponsored by Melksham Motor Spares. “It was a really difficult race, even though it may have looked easy from the outside. I managed to open up a gap on the first couple of laps and was then just able to maintain that for the rest of the race.”
“I was pushing it on every single lap, and with the hot weather, everything started to overheat, but I managed to keep the car at a fast speed,” added Cooper. “It is a great start to the season for me with three wins out of three here – and my fourth in total at my home track. Hopefully I can keep going this way now.”
Meanwhile, Will di Claudio was another local winner, the Bath man doubling up in the Track Attack Nippon Challenge, beating Curbridge’s Chris Southcott by 2secs in the truncated first race of the day, with the safety car deployed following Rich Hockley’s smoky exit on Dean Straight in his Honda Civic Type R. Di Claudio then did it again in the second race – the tenth and final one of the meeting – with another lights-to-flag triumph in his Peugeot 106 GTi 1700, although this time he was almost 30secs up on runner-up Robert Buckland.
In the Castle Combe GT Simonstone Championship, Craig Dolby dominated in the spectacular Volvo S 60 of Salisbury’s Nigel Mustill, although Portishead’s Oliver Bull was second, just fending off Andy Southcott – less than two tenths the difference after late charge by the latter.
Josh Harvey also took silver for the local racers, the Westbury resident only 0.211secs shy of Southcott at the end of the Castle Combe Hot Hatch Challenge sponsored by Pro Alloys, while in the Castle Combe Saloon National Windscreen Championship it was Calne’s Simon Thornton-Norris who kept eventual winner Gary Prebble honest. Somerset’s Charles Hyde was third demoting Chippenham’s James Winter – who led early on – to P4 on the penultimate tour.
Of the rest, Simon Singh Khera and L Khera took victory in the Dave Allan Trophy, with James Ramm the winner in the Jaguar Saloon & GT Championship race and Greg Jenkins and Alex Comis taking an outright win-a-piece in Super Mighty Minis.
The racing now resumes at Castle Combe on Monday May 28 with the Combe Carnival Race Day.
Tickets are on sale now Adults £15.00/Seniors £10.00 Accompanied under 17s FREE. Further details at: https://castlecombecircuit.co.uk/race-days/combe-carnival-race-day/28/5/2018/
Images kindly supplied by Steve Jones of Autosport
Phone: 01249 782417 Castle Combe, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 7EY
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