Castle Combe Results 260714

Castle Combe 26th July 2014

Marking the first time in decades since 500’s appeared in number at the circuit, six cars were lined up to experience the wide open spaces of this part of Wiltshire. Richard de la Roche was to share his Cooper with son Peter making for seven drivers in total. It was quite spooky that the number given to Ted in the Mark IV Cooper, 24, was the same as the last time the car had been here, then in the hands of Peter Collins.

Once through scrutineering noise levels were also measured, and although two of us were on the limit, we all passed.

The organisers, Bristol Motor Club, had given us paddock positions right by the assembly area entrance and arranged for us to fire up and move to the start line with virtually no waiting time, much appreciated.

First practice was very much an exploration and voyage into the unknown for our little cars more used to the confines of a hill climb course. Spotting the entry to the chicanes was not easy but at least the escape roads gave a way out.

Practice runs
It fell to Peter de la Roche to be first car out, as the double driver. Proving just how fast he is with a time of a shade under 81 seconds, he was easily the quickest of us all by over 3 seconds. Equipe Ross-Sharpe had problems, Tim’s Cooper Mark 9 playing up and he failed before the finish whilst the Mark IV of Ted came back on the recovery truck. The primary chain had parted and the final drive chain had jumped off and become jammed between the gearbox and clutch sprocket damaging the former and wrecking the latter. Alistair and John Dent helped Ted get the car running again but Ted felt he would like a closer inspection of the gearbox before risking it at high speed. The organisers were kind enough to let him transfer and double drive the Mark IX for the remainder of the day.

The second practice saw good improvements now we knew the layout but yet again the recovery truck paid us a visit. This time it was carrying the de la Roche Cooper which was minus the right rear wheel. The drive shaft had sheared flush with the hub as he took off from the line!!

Timed runs
The remaining five of us hoped that the gremlins would now stay away for the afternoon. This was almost the case and times for Jan, Ted and Time fell further with each outing. For Mike the second practice time proved to be just out of reach loosing the engine for a few seconds on the first run but doing ok on the second.

The gremlins put in one further appearance when a valve spring broke on Jan’s Norton but he was still to be the fastest 500.


Pos Name Car Run 1 Run 2 Best

Words and pics by Mike Wood & Alan Hartfield

1 Jan Nycz Staride-Norton 84.90 84.22 84.22
2 John Dent Cooper Mk VIII-JAP 89.08 86.16 86.16
3 Mike Wood CBP-JAP 91.07 86.32 86.32
4 Ted Sharpe Cooper Mk IX-Norton 90.39 88.93 88.93
5 Tim Ross Cooper Mk IX-Norton 104.36 99.49 99.49

Jan takes the start and Dents, Pere et Fils, babe magnets.