A Tale of Two Safety Cars . . .

Posted by Nathan Ward on September 2, 2010 at 11:20 AM


After a very promising pre race test day, I was hoping for a wet race day. The wet test day had given plenty of time to find a perfect set up for both full wet and drying conditions. However, once again the weather system which exists solely over Castle Combe decided to change its mind and the race day was to be fully dry.


The Formula Fords were on track for qualifying at 9.05, meaning that the track was still not up to its maximum grip level. I was able to start the session from near the front of the pack and was intending to set a couple of fast laps before getting stuck in backmarkers. This proved to be a very beneficial plan as after two laps the safety car was deployed whilst an accident was attended to. At this point I was on the front row of the grid overall and in provisional class pole. Unfortunately, the ever efficient Castle Combe marshals were able to clear the stricken car in under 3 laps and the session continued. I struggled with traffic for the remainder of the session and eventually settled for 6th position overall.


Being the first race of the afternoon, we were given the opportunity to take part in a grid walkabout during the lunch break. So after a quick debriefing following qualifying I broke out the polish cloth and set to work.


I wouldn’t like to say “best looking car on the grid” but when numerous other people make the comment for me, I am not going to disagree. With the crowds surrounding my immaculately prepared Swift SC95 I was left to talk to supporters and was even interviewed by the race club commentator.


Anyway, back to business. The spectators were asked to leave the circuit and the grid was very soon back to normal. The rolling up lap seemed to take forever as the snake of cars wriggled its way around the circuit. With all cars on the grid, the red lights illuminated and extinguished with all cars making a good getaway. A combination of a good start and a brave move around the outside of the first corner saw me move into 4th position and then join a race long battle with two fellow class B drivers. The top 5 then made a commanding lead and it looked like the race was sewn up. An accident on lap 6 meant that once again the safety car was scrambled and the whole field bunched up yet again. At the restart, the car in front of me was slow to get away which left me vulnerable on both sides to a gaggle of cars. I was able to fend of the majority of them but in the process one had come through. Despite my best efforts, I was unable to retake the position and eventually crossed the finish line in 5th position.


This was another fantastic overall result which has moved me up to 5th place overall in the championship. With only one round remaining, this looks like being a very closely fought championship





“Just behind Allen was Coventry University student, Nathan Ward putting in another good performance in his Swift SC95. Ward is definitely one to watch at Combe in 2011 if his performances continue on this upward spiral.”


Castle Combe Race Report

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