October 4th – Castle Combe Grand Finals – Round 9

Having won the championship last round I guess the pressure was off but of course I still wanted to win! Forecast was rain for the morning and sun for the afternoon and again the forecast was right!! (can’t believe it!!)

Qualifying
Quite a wet Qualy and lots of understeer in Quarry and oversteer in Tower but I got a half decent lap in early on then struggled with a few other cars in the way and managed a final fast lap of 1:36.118 and put it on class pole nearly half a second up on Adrian Slade who would be lining up behind me on the grid in his Green MG ZR.

Race – First Start – Red Flagged
Thankfully the sun came out and dried the track up. I got a brilliant start, the lights went out almost immediately as the last one lit up and I think it caught a few people off guard and I managed to pass a few of the bigger cars in front. Coming into the Esses I saw a large plume of smoke and coming out of the Esses was presented with Mark Wyatt facing the wrong way in his Astra! I followed Tony Dolley in the Orange 206 to the left and stuck behind him. As we completed the first lap the red flags came out and as we got back to the Esses the worst had happened. Arthur Marks in his Suzuki Swift had gone head on with Wyatt’s Astra. Seeing the cars smashed up like that and Arthur sat slouched in his completely destroyed Swift really makes you think about what can happen. Thankfully both drivers are ok and Arthur stayed over night in hospital but was released in the morning, bruised and sore I’m sure, but making a swift recovery.

Race
Didn’t get such a good start this time but still in the class lead and I formed up behind Geoff Ryall in his 106. I noticed we pulled a decent gap to the guys behind after the first lap and then managed to pass Geoff into Tower. I was hoping to be able to close up on Rod Apperly in front and have a little race but he was too fast for me 🙂 Rod pulled a gap in front and there was a decent gap behind me for the rest of the race. It was probably the most serene race of the year for me!

So Castle Combe Saloon Champion for 2014!! I can’t quite believe it. I think this was probably my best years racing. I’ve had some great racing with the guys in my class and there’s been some good battles with others. And best of all its all been clean racing! I’ve had a brilliant year and I can’t thank everyone that’s helped me enough, and of course thank you to all the Marshalls that volunteer their time to allow us to race, the incident on Saturday really drives it home that we couldn’t do it without you. An extra special thank you to my brother Jay for all his help, I wouldn’t have been able to do it all without you!!

round9

Final Overall Championship Points (after dropped points)
1. David Rose 85
2. Tony Hutchings 81
3. Tony Dolley 80
4. Carl Loader 73
5. Rodney Apperly 68

Class D Points
1. Dave Rose 85
2. Arthur Marks 65
3. Chris Morris 55
4. Russell Poynter-Brown 36