Bernie Chodosh has been in the garage organising the display of his 450 empty racing oil cans and found a photo which I enjoyed. Bernie in his yellow ’58 Corvette is muscling up the inside of #30 red and white ’63 Vette driven by his mate Jeff Barley. Bernie’s Corvette is the same car that sons Simeon and Adam drive with us… #8 in jet black.
The boys’ eagle eyes noticed the drivers are wearing no gloves. Shock horror.
The date? Most likely 1997. In which case Bernie was there on a historic day…
In August 1997, the outright Castle Combe circuit record was re-written in the most spectacular style. The BOSS series, open to a wide range of powerful single-seater racing cars, was headed by Nigel Greensall in a former Grand Prix Tyrrell 022 entered by Paul Stoddart’s European Aviation Racing team. Greensall, a regular racer and winner at Castle Combe in a wide range of cars, rose to the challenge and smashed the circuit record by lapping in 50.59 seconds, an average of 130.93mph. It was a stunning display that thrilled the bumper Bank Holiday crowd and would make Greensall the all-time fastest driver in the circuit’s history. The arrival speed at Old Paddock was 178mph and about 145mph turning through the corner; back up to just over 170mph down into Tower, which was a third gear corner. The peak speed on Dean Straight was 179mph before Camp.
Read more about the circuit that day at https://www.nigelgreensall.com/castle-combe-the-first-60-years/
Castle Combe Circuit opened in 1950, and the first meeting was staged on 8 July by the Bristol Motorcycle & Light Car Club. Over the next few years, the circuit attracted star names such as Stirling Moss, Mike Hawthorn, Roy Salvadori and John Surtees. Castle Combe has staged many different motorsport disciplines over the years. Nigel Greensall’s 1997 lap record was never beaten because a tragic accident involving the death of a spectator forced the owners into installing two new chicanes in order to slow the cars down. The new layout was slightly longer at 1.85 miles (2.98 km), and was completed over the winter of 1998-1999.
An extraordinary assortment of fabulous race cars turned up for the first race of the 2020 season at Silverstone on Saturday, the 4th of April 2020 despite the manifold dangers and deterrents of the Corona Virus lockdown. The racing was run under the MUK “2 metre distance” rule announced on April 1st, so we were to expect a smaller number of prangs on track and less jollity (arm wrestling, kissing, applying the strength of two people to one breaker bar, dancing of Scottish reels, jostling round the tea urn and giggling at each other’s trophies etc.) in the paddock.
There were half a dozen cars new to the grid. Alistair Baptie with his MGBV8, Benito Chiarelli from Nottingham with this extraordinary AMC Rambler Hot Shot Pimped Special, David Hughes with his newly built Cobra, Hugh Pelling with a newly built Cobra, Jon Mann in his red and blue # 43 NASCAR turning up with Kevin Borland and in his red #8 Budweiser NASCAR. Lee Maddox brought his Pontiac Ascar out as did Recky Reck with his Ascar. The pride of the new cars was probably the 1957 Chevy Corvette of Thomas Feraud.
The E-Racing simulation of the quallies and racing were so skilfully done that nobody noticed that the entire event was virtual – both in the sense of being electronically generated and in the sense of being a creation of this writer’s vivid imagination. The official results came out with the nota bene “Race results by Excel RAND function, by order of the Virtual Clerk of the Course whose decisions are final” but this did nothing to dampened the joy of participation of the 34 drivers. Of course another novel feature was seeing each driver getting the car off the trailer and prepped without any help, social gatherings being prohibited.
Read more, including full results for every car, in the pdf version at