During the early 1980’s Simon Lewis was a regular spectator at Castle Combe where the biggest attraction used to be Formula Libre events run for any car built to known regulations.
At the top end of the entry would be vehicles that had run in Grand Prix like Alo Lawlers McLaren Cosworth DFV M30 resplendent in it’s original colours and bearing the name of it’s original driver Alain Prost,
or Formula 5000 vehicles like Tony Trimmers Lola Chevrolet T330,
and once in a while something extremely exotic like a Can Am 2 Lola Chevrolet T530 would appear.
A car with a large engine was not a pre requisite to be a contender to win as Eddie McLurg found out when he beat the big boys driving a 2 litre Formula 2 March BMW 822 Formula 2 car to victory in May 1989.
When he turned 18 Simon started on the long path to becoming a book mogul, surprisingly he specialised in automotive books with a business called Simon Lewis Transport Book Shop.
As and when resources allowed Simon turned to competing in rally events running against £50,000 Subaru’s in an comparatively archaic gargantuan Rover SDI after three seasons the enlarged to 4.5 litre / 274 cui Rover V8 was put into a Ford Escort shell for a season.
When that project proved fruitless Simon moved to circuit racing at Castle Combe with a Rover Montego Turbo and then with some success he ran the Rover 220 Turbo seen above.
Simon has also tried his hand at Grass Track racing with an MG Maestro, that vibrated so bad in top gear that the bits of roll cage in Simon’s eye line ‘became almost invisible’,
and at hill climbing with a Kawasaki powered Morrish built in Cornwall.
(# 6 Roger Orgee Van Diemen RF00 & #17 Alex Drabble Swift SC92)
Inspired by the reaction to a thread on The Nostalgia Forum Simon has taken a leap of faith and decided to sponsor a new Mono Libre series at Castle Combe in 2011.
(Winner of the first race #85 Peter Bragg Nemesis Mygale)
With a snappy title THE SIMON LEWIS TRANSPORT BOOKS FREE SINGLE-SEATER SERIES is open to any open wheeler that can pass the 108 db noise test.
(# 3 David Cox Ralt RT3)
An interesting array of single seaters took part in the first race was on July the 18th, I caught practice the day before and look forward to seeing the next races on July 24th.
If you have a single seater that can pass the 108 db noise test and is in need of exercise you could do worse than make enquiries at the Castle Combe website.
Hope you will join me in wishing Simon and his series all the best.
Thanks for joining me on this Simon Lewis Transports Books Free Single Seater edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, join me again tomorrow for a Grand Prix edition of Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !