On This Day: 18th July 1965

1965 Combe Sprint Article 1 1965 Combe Sprint Article 1

We ran our first ever 3 lap sprint at Castle Combe Circuit on this day in 1965.  The event was stopped early due to some local residents who objected and the future of the circuit was in jeopardy.  Two of our members saw fit to write into our magazine editor about the event all the same.  If you’re coming to our sprint at Castle Combe next week, perhaps you’d like to write something about that?  Thankfully, we are rather friendlier and have noise regulations to adhere to, which keeps us in better standing with our neighbours these days.

Round the Bend

During the lull in the commentary at our Castle Combe sprint, Doug Chalmers was handed a hastily written note by a Club member. I am not sure whether the intention was to remind him of our hill climb on the following Saturday or what, for it read “Don’t forget Dyrham on Sunday”. Fortunately, Mr. Chalmers keeps his own map and diary.

On the subject of our Sunday sprint at Castle Combe, it appears that this meeting, though finishing on time, may have further repercussions, as there is now a move afoot by the locals to stop racing altogether on this circuit. If you feel, as indeed you should, that this circuit should not be threatened, there is a petition going around from Kay Thomas for signatures. Yours would be appreciated.

What a wide circle of friends that bloke Cullimore has. If you want a trials field, and Autocross field, straw bales, stakes, or practically anything else you can think of, Jim always seems to know someone who can help, and whats more, can do so willingly. If ever we wish to appoint a public relations officer I could think of no better man. I almost wish we could drag him away from his beloved motorcycles more often to organise more car events, but I don’t think the motor cycle boys would stand for it.

Could we take a leaf from his book though and have Autocross with six cars on the track at once, like the sidecar boys, and perhaps have a handicap in the second half of the programme for half a dozen cars at once? What’s more, we could let them have four laps at a time then and still get through the programme. Now that would be worth watching.

Talking of Autocross, we really must give more support to our organisers in the way of Marshals. This is becoming a very fast sport now. We nearly had an incident on our hands when Jack Crates made his unpremediated high speed visit to the pits the other month and hit the Lilmo. A fortnight ago another equally experienced driver, Keith Ross did the same thing also just getting away without doing someone a mischief. Now Geoff Snow has done the LiLmo a bit of no good by inverting it and setting it alight. Incidents of this sort require prompt, efficient marshals, and plenty of them.

Nice to see Ken Ashurst and his charming German fiancee IIsa over on a short holiday from Switzerland. Ken was always a keen member and had a go at anything going. I hope the rumour that he will eventually settle down in Bristol is founded on substance. We can use another willing horse.

Does any member with his finger on the pulse of the accessory trade know where one can purchase an extending arm, about ten feet long, with a device on the end to tap on the back windows of cars in the fast lane of the motorway? I’ve tried using the horn, flashing the headlights, and all the other accepted methods of waking people up; but they don’t work you know. There must be an answer.

Thoughts on Past Events

There has been such a gap between the last magazine and this one that most, of the events of July are a bit old hat by now. Still I think that they are worth a brief backward glance.

The first one was the sprint at Castle Combe, notable for being the first Sunday meeting at the Combe, and also for being our first three lap sprint, and for having fine weather. Though great fun to compete in, sprints are not usually the best in spectator value. However the combination of free programmes and a fair share of hairy driving added to the entertainment, and it was really quite a pity that in deference to the locals, the meeting had to close when it could have gone on for a further hour without palling. Hard luck indeed for those who had to forego their second runs.

July 24th brought our second Dyrham Park Hill Climb for this year, and we were luckier with the weather this time than last. What a shame that Tony Marsh could not make it, but how refreshing it was to see some new cars on the hill. The ex David Scales Zagato Aston, though third in its class, was enormous fun to watch, noisy as blazes, and looking a real handful. This is the sort of car to bring in the spectators, who, surfeited with motor sport, seem to be getting a bit blase about our small, quick, but very stable cars. Congratulations to Ron Fry who at last knocked down the class record held for so long by Phil Scraggs light weight E type—and on a slightly damp course too.

August brought another first for the club. This was the staging of a combined grass track and autocross meeting at Dunkirk. In spite of having to satisfy both R.A.C. and A.C.U. regulations and stewards the meeting ran with commendable smoothness. There is no doubt that the motorcycles gave something to the meeting that the car boys seem to lack, and that was excitement and close racing. Of course with seven bikes or sidecars on the track at once one is almost bound to develop some sort, of battle somewhere down the field, and this in fact is what happened.

The casualty rate amongst the motor cycles was apparently very high but Jim Cullimore had it all arranged so that those who failed to finish in each race could have another go in a different event. Thus with races, followed by races for non-winners, followed by races for the non-winners in the non-winners races, there was an award for nearly everyone.

Amongst the cars the most sensational event was the inversion of the Y type Ford, which down and died on the bottom corner. Unfortunate also was Karl Schollar who was robbed of his chance to beat Dave Harris for F.T.D. by a bunged up petrol pipe. It was so well bunged that he had to get a tow home and get some air pressure behind it to shift all the rubbish. This event however has the makings of a good one, and with more entries next year could be one of our most popular days out.

1965 Combe Sprint Article 1

1965 Combe Sprint Article 1

1965 Combe Sprint Article 2

1965 Combe Sprint Article 2