Professional race preparation and management

Reports > Motors TV Race Day Castle Combe May 3 2015

Fisher wins and Higginbottom third at Combe

The Wayne Poole Racing team continued their winning start to the 2015 season with another class win for Josh Fisher in the Richard Hudson-Evans' Reynard 89FF at Castle Combe.

Joining Josh in the Formula Ford race were Steve Bracegirdle in his familiar Van Diemen RF89 and Andrew Higginbottom having one of his occasional outings in the team's own Van Diemen RF88.

Practice was held in warm and sunny conditions although it was a bit blowy. Josh qualified ninth with a 1m 11.64s, a little slower than at the previous race but well ahead of the rest of the Class C field. This was led to everyone's surprise (not least his own) by Andrew enjoying some dry conditions for a change. Following Steve in practice he was surprised at the grip available and being able to hang on and even close a little. At one point he got a little overconfident and had a quick spin but 15th in a 27 car field was an excellent result. Steve also improved his PB by a couple of tenths but with others improving by even more was left wondering if his weight disadvantage was playing its part.

With Pole sitter, Michael Moyers, getting into the 1m 9s it was looking as if Josh Fisher's long standing FF record was going to go but as start time approached dark clouds began to gather leaving Josh to contemplate both the safety of his record but also his improved chances in the race if it became damp. Car owner Richard Hudson-Evan's had no such thoughts as he was looking for his car to gain maximum championship points in Class C rather than outright honours!

By the time the race started the track was wet and getting wetter by the minute. Josh made a good start and although having to back out a little after getting on the grass through Folly still made it up to fourth in the opening corners. This became third as the leader went off at Bobbies, second on lap 2 and first on lap 3 as leader Ben Norton spun at Camp with Josh just able to take avoiding action (see photo).

As the race unfolded the Reynard was clearly a handful through the faster corners, particularly Camp, where the wider tracked Class A and B cars clearly had an advantage and were able to take a slightly tighter line and get a run across the start line. This was how Luke Cooper got past to demote Josh to second but immediately there was a safety car and on the restart Josh was able to get back ahead and pull away for a while. However, it was getting wetter and Roger Orgee's Van Diemen RF00 was able to reel Josh in and finally get past. However, Josh wasn't finished and had a run inside the Van Diemen at Tower on the last lap and was only just denied. Still, second overall, a Class C win and Class fastest lap were an excellent outcome and further strengthened his Class championship lead.

Andrew made a good start, held it all together and ran second in the opening laps. However, his Class C rival Glen Finn managed to nip past but thereafter Andrew held on, following closely and even set a faster lap but was pipped at the line, a second in arrears, for a well deserved third and 13th overall. Steve is no big fan of wet conditions and stayed out of trouble to finish on the lead lap in 22nd place.

At the last minute Steve had decided to give the team's Mini Coopr S an outing in the Saloon Car race. Never having driven the car before and finding the front wheel drive car quite a different prospect to his usual Van Diemen and Nemesis, practice was a bit of a trial by fire! In fact he was asking himself "what am I doing?" in the opening laps of qualifying and commented that all he could see were blue flags everywhere! However, once the race got under way and he found his rhythm Steve thoroughly enjoyed the experience starting 42nd and working his way up to 31st and setting a lap more than 3.5s faster than practice.

And finally Josh Fisher's FF lap record stands for a few more weeks.......