Castle Combe Tiedeman
Trophy Round 1
Exceptionally low rainfall in September
Things were looking good for the Tiedman Trophy Monoposto Championship. The dry and warm weather throughout September pointed towards record breaking times, flat out dry running and bbq’s in the paddock. But all changed with the month. On Saturday morning, bang on 7.00am, we were all greeted by initially the pitter patter on the awnings with rain. As one who had the only real wet week this summer as holiday, I can only apologise for bringing this rain cloud with me. This set in for most of the morning.
Castle Combe in my opinion is one of the most difficult circuits in the U.K (It was even better before the chicanes). Extremely quick with very tricky/bumpy braking areas which always puts a smile on your face if you nail it. Many of the greats from the past have graced this tarmac. Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Colin Chapman, Roy Salvadori , John Surtees, Ayrton Senna and Jim Blockley have all wowed and terrified the crowds over the years.
22 cars set off at this early hour into the gloom, red LED lamps flashing beneath the rooster tails of water punching 20 feet into the air. As far as I could tell the session ran relatively incident free for the conditions. Robin Dawe and Oli Sirrell led the way with their silky smooth styles putting the little grip and traction they had onto the asphalt. A mono classic car was the car to have this morning - nice and soft with an easy throttle application, Robin eventually heading the times even with a misfire due to water filling the carburettor bowls. He and Oli benefitted from a clear track around them.
Jason Timms and Chris Lord were next up, Jason grabbing the car by the scruff of the neck in contrast to the leading classic cars, twitching as he applied the power down. Chris Lord drove like Robin and Oli,flowing around the track with style in the FF2000 RF82 Van Diemen.
Of the known incidents or problems for the rest of the field, Chris
Woodhouse struggled with a reluctant Toyota power plant. Many of the expected
front runners appeared to be stuck in a bunch, so having no clear ground
to put in the expected lap times. Stephen Palmer spun to the inside of
the track exiting Bobbies and Avon wets, as good as they are, are not
tires to be used in mud and so travelled no further.
By the time the race started the rain had eased off but the track was still very wet. Castle Combe procedures dictate that the grid follows a pace car during the pace car lap. This was VERY slow, so much so that drivers complained after that they could get little heat into the tires and brakes. All I spoke to couldn’t get out of first gear.
Eventually the race got under way, Robin Dawe and Jason Timms getting away extremely well. Rounding off the lap Dawe led Timms and Sirrell who were separated by only 4/10ths second and John Lord punching above his weight in the Historic FF2000. Two of the expected front runners were delayed on the first lap, Malcolm Scott spinning and Neil Harrison taking to the grass in avoidance. Neil didn’t help his cause by spinning again on the opening lap and a further 2 times during the race. 4 spins in 10 laps would probably finish anyone’s race. The race at the front was between the flowing Robin Dawe and the prickly handling Speads of Jason Timms. They were shadowed a couple of seconds back by Oli Sirrell who was never out of the equation. The man on the move though on lap 5 was Terry Clark. From somewhere he found some astonishing speed, almost 5 seconds a lap quicker than the leader. On lap 7 he moved into 2nd place just 1.7 secs behind Dawe. Things were about to get interesting. Timms maybe had a moment as he dropped a few places allowing Sirrell to chase Clark but then Clark went missing. I can only assume he had a coming together with Nigel Davers's Speads on the circuit. Nigel Davers retiring to the pits and Clarks return was minus a front wing and right front corner on the back of a truck.
From there on in Dawe won, followed by Sirrell. Keith Linforth made up 15 positions to finish 3rd and the 1st Mono 200 car home. Chris Lord 4th and the first 1800 and Timms the winner of the Mono Moto class. Malcolm Scott was 6th, 2nd in class followed by the unhappy Chris Woodhouse in his sick Dallara 3rd in Mono 2000 class.
Matt Jordan finished 8th overall and 3rd in classics, Rowan 9th and winner of the invitation class. Craig Hurran rounded off the top 10 in his Jedi and 2nd in class. Lee Cunningham and the recovering Neil Harrison 11th and 12th. Geoff Fern 13th and 3rd in Mono Moto. James Ledamun 2nd in the invitation class finished a lonely 14th ahead of Damon Bland.
Nick Anstruther won the family battle to finish in 16th. Graham Gibson ran alone in 17th pursued by spinner Phillip Anstruther. 19th went to the debutant Mark Hamilton who finished well improving on his lap time - Mark only passed his ARDS the previous week and was driving Kevin Couling's FR.
Non finishers were Terry Clark and Nigel Davers due to the assumed incident
between them. Stephen Palmer's race ended on lap 5 with another spin at
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.