Cheng’s first race

Here is a priceless gem of history from the annals of a leading light of our series, Cheng Lim. Here is a photo of his first race at Castle Combe in 1986. Give it lots of LIKES and he will send us lots more. Yes please!
Cheng says “Well in my first season I did 5 races before I trashed it at Gerrards in Mallory Park. I was off the track so often, they called me Farmer Chang! In that race I got so far off the circuit that I went round the back of a Marshall’s post ! Yes that’s me in #67. Do you like the fireproof Arran sweater? In those days you just needed to cover your arms!
“It was the 750 MC Kit Car Race so I have come full circle!  In practice it had hailed and snowed and rained but I could follow the cars round the corners and blast then down the straights so I thought it would be easy! I started about 5th on the grid but when the lights went green, loads of them went past me either side, on the grass and everywhere!
“Sadly because of poor preparation (inexperience and ignorance I guess!) the clutch slave ran out of fluid so when I lost the clutch and also being off the circuit ( probably behind the Marshall’s post!) I retired!
“Good learning point though. I started my checkover process after that and have never forgotten it!”

Bernie and the 130 mph day in 1997

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

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.

Silverstone 4 April 2020 – race report

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