Today I am reviewing some of the competitive events covered on GALPOT over the past 12 months.
The GALPOT motor sport year started with the Cross Trophy a production car trial organized by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club at the farm belonging to Duncan seen at the wheel of his air cooled chain driven GN in the photo above.
Above Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Vice President Richard Craddy presents yours truly with the Cross Trophy and Mug.
(Photo Courtesy Martin Baker)
I’m not to sure how I ended up competing in my land ladies 20 year old Volkswagen Passat but I am pleased I did, I got a welcome dose of beginners luck and ended up winning the event out right ! Unfortunately the Passat was replaced soon afterwards and I am not too sure how I’ll defend my trophy next year.
When I met ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell in the back of a bus on my way to Race Retro I became totally infected with his enthusiasm for Drag Racing, at the end of May I managed to catch up with Chris and his classic sling shot dragster Backdraft at Shakespeare County Raceway. Catching him popping a wheeley proved quite difficult so I am looking forward to catching him again next year.
I got to see several events at Castle Combe courtesy of Simon Lewis of Simon Lewis Transport Books including the Tour Britannia event which featured a cracking race between the front row starting ex New York cabbie Danny ‘spin and win’ Sullivan in his Porsche 911 RSR and the ex private airline pilot and Formula 5000 champion Ian Ashley who started on the back row of the grid in his Caterham Super 7. I still pinch myself when I am reminded the 1985 Indy 500 winner visited our local track this year !
A couple of weeks later I returned to reality with a bump when I entered a Kia Picanto in the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Gymkhana held in the hills of the Welsh border just out side Chepstow. The little Picanto had a huge weight advantage over the Passat but had absolutely zero traction in the long grass. My run of novice success was over I came in 10th out of 11. But I still had fun sitting in the passenger seat of Alan’s Hawk HF3000 seen above which finished one place ahead of me.
At the end of July it was back to Castle Combe again courtesy of Simon Lewis for the Britcar 2 hour endurance race. What an experience it was with the early leaders eventually giving way to the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 being shared by Phil Dryburgh and John Gaw who set a new record for most laps covered in a single race at Castle Combe. I believe this was also the first time I have seen a Ferrari win a race outright in person.
Three weeks later I was back at Castle Combe for the August Cup meeting which was overshadowed by the death of Pete O’Shea who suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his Formula Ford car. The meeting was hastily rescheduled after Peter had been taken away. A cracking weekends racing ensued as if to do the memory of Peter proud. There were several Caterham races featuring race long wheel to wheel battles through out, but it was the Formula Fords who celebrated their fallen comrades life with the most scintillating display of all as Rob Hall, seen leading above from Felix Fisher and eventual winner Ben Norton, were joined by Steven Jensen in an entertaining four way shoot out.
On another diversion this time twixt airport and home I managed to visit my local short track Mendips Raceway for the first ever, last time I saw anything like this was over 30 years ago and most entertaining it proved as the ever present short track conundrum about inside lane of inside lane was repeated again and again. Liam Rowe is seen getting airborne above going for the inside lane.
For my final two visits to Castle Combe this year I volunteered to be a marshal. At the Wessex Sprint I was assigned to the start line team responsible for ‘staging’ the cars. I loved every ultimately exhausting minute of it. Shame I only got to take photo’s during the occasional unscheduled breaks but if you love motor racing I can’t recommend marshaling highly enough as a great way of getting close to the action.
Over the August Bank Holiday I made it up to Oulton Park for the first time since the early 1990’s, the facilities and track have been considerably improved since my last visit but the circuit still has the same atmosphere. The feature race of the meeting was the Derek Bell Trophy race for the open wheelers dating from the 1970’s back to the late 1960’s. Michael Lyons in the Chevy powered F5000 #64 Lola T400 lead for most of the race but towards the end Richard Evans giving away a 3400 cc / 200 cui advantage managed to line Micheal up for a clean pass in his Formula Atlantic #54 March 79B a couple of laps from home and hold on to win the race.
I was a corner marshal for the Regency Laundry Pegasus Sprint during my last visit to Castle Combe for the year, again this proved to be a very entertaining way to get close to the action, the TVR’s seemed particularly difficult to drive, while ‘stood down’ from marshalling duties I managed to take a couple of photo’s of the cars in action of which, as a previous Volvo 144 owner, I found the example driven by John Dando particularly appealing.
So there it is my motor racing year started by winning a cup in a muddy field and ended as a corner worker in the sunshine at Castle Combe with all manner of entertainment in between. Life can’t get much better than this can it ?
My thanks to BPMC treasurer Martin Baker for the use of his photo.
Many thanks for joining me on this Motor Racing edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be reviewing the 2011 GALPOT Fridays. Don’t forget to come back now !
PS Don’t forget …
Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz
Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards
Set 1 Sports & GT Cars
Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition
Set 3 1934 Season
Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s
Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars
The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.
Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.
The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.
Which set will you choose ?
The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.