Busy weekend ahead at Castle Combe with 25 races and over 450 racing cars

The weekend of June 16 and 17 looks set to be one of the busiest in the Castle Combe circuit's long history, with a programme jam packed with 25 races and over 450 racing cars taking part.Saturday has a 'Lotus' theme, with three races for that famous marque, oneof which is a 90 minute endurance, complete with pit stops and driverchanges.Sunday is 'Anglo/Japanese race day, with huge numbers of Mazda MX5s enjoyingseveral races, along with championship races for the Toyota MR2 and variousother 'Nippon' machines. Sprinkled throughout the weekend are the allimportant double headers for the circuit's home championships for saloons,single seaters and sports GT cars.Less than 2 weeks after their last outing on 'Jubilee' Monday and faced withtwice the laps of a normal race meeting, the predominantly local driversfighting for Castle Combe championship honours face considerable pressure.Familiar with that kind of intensity, particularly after the last race,which many felt was the best they had ever seen, is Saltford's Steven Jensenwho secured his first win of the year in the circuit's Formula Ford 1600championship.Although Jensen has a nine point championship lead the three other racewinning drivers are snapping at his heels and one tiny error could changethe complexion of the standings completely.Much of Jensen's opposition comes from his own Kevin Mills Racing teammates. Roger Orgee, from Langport, is numerically the closest and was thefirst round winner in his Van Diemen, whilst on the other side of the garagelurks 3rd round victor Nathan Ward from Coventry, in a similar Spectrumchassis to Jensen.Some 18 points behind, but potentially the greatest threat, is Bratton's BenNorton in the Wiltshire College Spectrum. With three fastest laps to hiscredit and the 2009 champion's season opening results not at all typical ofhis potential, the others will be hoping the rain the Spectrum hates mightkeep Ben at bay.Not to be forgotten are Yatton Keynell's Luke Cooper in the Swift SC10 andKMR's 4th A class driver, Chepstow's Nick Jones.In class B, 17 year old James Raven from Portsmouth is emerging as a newstar, whilst David Cobbold has already clocked up a massive C classchampionship lead.With four different winners from the first four races, Formula Ford atCastle Combe is closer and even more competitive than it's ever been, sospectators are in for a double treat this time.In the Castle Combe Saloons, Corsham's Will Di Claudio is another mangradually extending his championship lead, the class B Peugeot 106 drivereasily able to win his class at the moment. His competition comes from hispotential to run at the very front, making the up to 3 litre class A drivershis immediate threat and the under 1400cc class C a bone of contention forchampionship points.So far, Charles Hyde-Andrews-Bird from Ditcheat has had to share the babyclass wins with Russell Akers, so hence lies 4 points adrift. But one smalldose of unreliability could change things completely.The class A drivers make life more difficult for themselves meanwhile bysharing their class wins and points a little more evenly, with Calne's TonyHutchings in the Audi TT and Southampton's Adam Prebble in the Rover Turboon two apiece.Bridgwater's Tony Dolley is back on form with his Peugeot 206, but still hasthe likes of Bristol's Mark Wyatt in the Astra, Mark Funnell from Trowbridgein the Mini and Melksham's Rob Ballard in the SEAT Leon to contend with.The fascinating story of the Vadabar Sports and GT championship at the lastmeeting was the return of Trowbridge's Andrew Shanley in his RadicalProsport. The interest lay in the fact the car had been sold and then boughtback, Shanley immediately on the limit with it to win class B and take afine second place behind the omnipotent Jade 3 of Tony Sinclair.Simon Tilling's class defeat by Shanley will make things more tricky in thepoints battle with Southampton's Gary Prebble in the Mitsubishi Evo, who isyet to be troubled by the BMW E63 M6 of Vadabar M.D. Doug Watson fromBlagdon. The complex new machine should be amazing once sorted.Bath drivers Des Andrews and Guy Parr have their Megahart and Nemesis run bythe Dursley based Wayne Poole Racing team.Josh Smith from Weston Super Mare is the lone 'Invitation' class driver inhis Radical PR6.Simon Jones from Oldbury on Severn is one of a number of drivers with a verybusy Saturday. As well as a pair of 20 minute races for the Lotus EliseTrophy race, many of the Lotus drivers will also contend the 90 minute LotusCup UK race, some of which will be broadcast on Motors TV.It's difficult to comprehend the number of drivers in the various Mazda MX5races, which provided first class entertainment upon their visit last year.The Toyota MR2s are almost as prolific, whilst the Nippon challenge providesmore diversity with Subaru, Honda, Suzuki and Nissan supplemented by otherAsian makes such as Hyundai and Daihatsu.Saturday's action starts with qualifying at 08:30. Racing gets under wayfrom 12.35.Sunday gets under way with qualifying at 08-35, with the first race at10.20.Admission prices are on Saturday, £10 for Adults, £5.00 for OAPs, PaddockTransfer free and on Sunday, £15 for Adults, £7.50 for OAPs, £2-50 forPaddock Transfer, whilst accompanied children under 16 are admitted free onboth days.For further information, visit the Castle Combe Circuit online at www.castlecombecircuit.co.uk, built by Racecar

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