Combe spoils shared by Brian Chandler & Sam Smith

Sam Smith scored his first win of the season at Combe. Photo: Jon Elsey

Forty-eight Mk1s made the trip to Castle Combe yesterday for rounds five and six which produced four fast and furious races that certainly didn’t disappoint the Wiltshire circuit regulars.....

Downham Market’s Sam Smith set the early pace in qualifying just edging out the fast improving Paul Bishop to claim pole. Go4it racing’s Kevin Brent was the last man to make the A group cut which meant that son and father, Carl and Steven Andrew, occupied places 1 and 3 in the B group grid, separated only by debutant Matthew Cox.

However, Smith couldn’t take full advantage of being on pole, and lost the lead to Suffolk’s Brian Chandler on the first lap. Chandler seized the opportunity and couldn’t be caught, winning in what passes in MX-5 circles as a ‘comparatively comfortable’ 3.376 seconds from Darron Lewis. At the other end of the field, William Wood, Matt Tasker, Kevin Dengate and Kevin Brent filled the last four spaces and thus faced demotion for round six, along with the unfortunate Laurie Grant who was a DNF.

The B race winner was Steven Andrew who claimed the bragging rights from son Carl, who finished third, two seconds behind another championship newcomer, Nick Ponting. The podium trio were joined by Courtney Milnes and Graham Colby in gaining promotion to the A group for the afternoon’s second encounter.

Brian Chandler made another good start to the second A race but had to concede the lead to his East Anglian rival Sam Smith on the twelfth lap. Smith held on for the last three laps to win by just .830 seconds. Championship leader Simon Baldwin completed the podium to claim what could be ninety-six invaluable points in his title quest.

Spurred on by the ignominy of their relegation, Kevin Dengate, William Wood and Matt Tasker fought back to claim the podium positions in that order in the second B group thrash. The trio were some way ahead of the rest of the pack, who were headed by Russ Lindsay. Russ, under the tutelage of Ben Short, is improving race by race. Another driver who is continuing to progress at each meeting is Alex Soar and he came away from Combe with the ‘Driver of the Day’ award.

With rounds five and six now behind us, Simon Baldwin is still at the top of the points table, although his lead has been cut to a paltry four points from Darron Lewis. The table could look a lot different after the double header at Rockingham on 13th June when the dropped scores will come into play.

The full results for Combe, including all the lap by lap analysis can be viewed at CASTLE COMBE RESULTS  

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