Luke Cooper extends successive home CCRC Formula Ford wins to six at Castle Combe’s TCR UK extravaganza weekend…
19th July 2018
Another day in the sun for Cooper as glorious weather bathes down on Wiltshire’s Castle Combe Circuit
Chippenham’s Luke Cooper further cemented his Championship advantage by taking his sixth successive CCRC Formula Ford triumph at Castle Combe’s inaugural TCR UK meeting over the weekend (July 14-15).
The youngster was again the man to beat in the Castle Combe Racing Club Formula Ford 1600 Championship sponsored by Melksham Motor Spares, bagging pole position by 0.177secs from Josh Fisher – last year’s CCRC FF Champion – before eventually proceeding to notch up the victory and take the fastest lap.
The race was initially red flagged when Tom Hawkins ran into trouble and on the re-start Cooper lost out to Bridgewater’s Fisher, before eventually re-taking P1 a few laps later and leading thereafter to the chequered flag.
Fisher finished 1.6secs back, with David Vivian from Bradford on Avon completing the podium.
“I am absolutely ecstatic,” said Cooper on Saturday following his latest CCRC success. “It has been an amazing year so far. I couldn’t really have asked for much more here – six out of six, I am really happy with it.”
“I was a bit fortunate with the red flag because I was quite a long way off the leader at that point,” he admitted. “The red flag brought us back into it. I didn’t get the best of starts though and Josh got a very good start and was able to pull out a bit of a gap on the first couple of laps. But I was able to catch that back up and then get passed him and got into the lead. Once I had broken the tow, I was able to put in consistent lap times and pull away.”
“Overall it has been a bit of a dream year to date at Castle Combe. We have been really fast in the Avon Tyres Formula Ford National Championship as well, but have not been as fortune with the results. Still we have taken a win there and it has been brilliant for the team, the car and me. It has been an amazing year so far,” added Cooper, who later followed up his CCRC Formula Ford win with a third, eighth and a tenth in the three Castle Combe Formula Ford National races – all won incidentally by Championship leader Niall Murray.
Meanwhile, pole sitter Barry Squibb piloted his Mitsubishi Evo 9 2200 to victory in the Castle Combe GT Simonstone Championship, finishing 12.1secs up on Steve Putt. Tony Bennett was third – and also took the class B honours – ahead Stanton St Quintin’s Alan Hamilton, only 0.530secs back after the 15 laps. Westbury on Trym’s Tim Woodman, Bristol’s Paul Arber, Bath’s Stephan Lansley and Wesbury’s Adam Hall were ninth, twelfth, 13th and 16threspectively – the latter claiming Class E honours.
In the 32-car strong Castle Combe Saloon Car National Windscreen Championship, Gary Prebble moved up into P1 on lap 7, before bringing his Seat Leon Cupra 20v T home 3.8secs ahead of Calne’s Simon Thornton-Norris.
Melksham’s Neil Greenland was the Class B winner in seventh, while Adrian Slade – also from Melksham – took home gold in Class C (and 12th overall). Class D went to Bristolian Matthew Parr in his Citroen Saxo.
As for the TCR UK Touring Car Championship, Huddersfield man Dan Lloyd won both races for WestCoast Racing, although he was demoted to second in the first after picking up a one second penalty for ‘driving in a manner incompatible with general safety’. That handed pole man Oliver Taylor the inaugural race win, 0.432 secs up.
Of the rest, Bristol’s James Colbourne did the double in the Teekay Couplings Production GTi Championship (with Chipping Norton’s Martyn Walsh both times ‘best of the rest’), while Adam Southgate won two of the Toyo Tires Porsche Championship races and James Coleman took the third. Steve Roberts won the first BRSCC Mazda MX-5 SuperCup race, before James Blake-Baldwin bagged gold in the second and third races. Michael Watton took a clean sweep of wins in the three Speed Group F1000 Championship races, with Steven Daily the double victor in Nankang Tyres BMW Compact Cup and Tom Stoten bagged a lights-to-flag victory in the sole SRCC Sports 2000 Championship race in his Gunn TS11. In total there were 22 races over the two days.
The racing now resumes at Castle Combe on August 11-12 with the BRSCC Caterham Race Weekend.
Tickets are on sale now, with further details at www.castlecombecircuit.co.uk
Images courtesy of Steve Jones
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