HSCC meeting Castle Combe 16-17 April 2016
The temperature was minus 1C in the Paddock as the Wiltshire circuit on Sunday 17th April and frost covered the cars. The Historic Sports Car Club is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of its first race which was staged at this circuit in 1966. Martin had recommissioned the Chev after the 6 month racing lay-off a few days before, with little to do except replacing a defective fuel line and a dodgy Hitachi starter, replacing the fluids and a general spanner-check. Last year, the Chev clocked up 2500 road miles between circuits which Martin tells me is fairly good going for a Sixties muscle-car. Many thanks to Charlie Wooding, Joshua Barrett and Jeff Bloxham for the fantastic photgraphs (obviously copyright is theirs).
For me and most of my fellow competitors it had been 10 years since we had last been invited to Castle Combe, so there was a degree of erratic experimentation in the Practise session at 0830. After a lengthy spell behind the Safety Car, I ended up 14th on the grid : ahead of me the usual gaggle of Lotus Elans and Morgan Plus 8s. The first turn after the long and very fast starting straight is renowned and difficult Quarry Corner, which always attracts a hefty bank of spectators. With 27 Sixties sports cars on the grid, Quarry on the first lap, cold tyres and reluctant brakes, was always going to be exciting. In the Camaro I can take an unorthodox line and this time, narrowly avoiding a spinning Ginetta, it paid off.
The next 14 laps were full of action as the Chev caught and passed several cars which normally finish ahead. One advantage was the Avon straight where the Camaro was reaching 125 mph before hard braking for Quarry. The other advantage was the stability and outstanding traction of this car.
At the end, 11th place, 3rd-in-class and a I minute 24 sec best lap, an improvement of nearly 3 secs from the earlier session.
A great day and a wonderful season-opener. Once again, thanks to RPM for handing over a well-handling and reliable Chevrolet Camaro.