On Saturday 4 July Castle Combe Racing Club will stage one of the UK’s first race meetings since the COVID-19 lockdown was enforced in mid-March, writes Ken Davies.
Receiving tremendous support from its members, the club has organised an 8-event card of double-header races for Formula Fords, Hot Hatches, Salooncars and GTs, all competing in the club’s four in-house championships, but no spectators will be allowed.
Castle Combe Circuit and Racing Club had been planning to celebrate the venue’s 70th anniversary in 2020, together with the 45th birthday of the GT Championship and the Saloon Car Championship’s 25th, but the Coronavirus pandemic has delayed the start of the racing season by 3 months and meant that for the foreseeable future, the strict COVID-19 regulation implemented by the governing body – Motorsport UK – will be enforced throughout the sport.
These control measures mean that until further notice all races are run without spectators as well as reducing the number of people drivers and teams are permitted to bring to just essential support personnel. Marshals too will have reduced numbers around the demanding circuit’s 14 marshals’ posts and social distancing protocols will be enforced in the paddock area and on both sides of the ARMCO barriers.
Disappointed Circuit fans and racing enthusiast will still be able to keep in touch with live action at Castle Combe Circuit on the 4 July via live streaming on the Castle Combe TV website and Facebook page, spearheaded by the venue’s regular lead-commentator, Chris Dawes.
Developed on the site of a WWII airfield, Castle Combe is one of the few private motor racing circuits among the seventeen tracks in the UK and provides 8 national car racing meetings each year organized by its own racing club.
But if a modern recreation of the very first meeting at the Wiltshire circuit on 8 July 1950 had been planned for the celebrations, sheer coincidence could not have made the comparison much closer – seventy years later: * No spectators; * Club members only racing; * 8 races total.
2020: 4 x saloons, 2 x sportscars, 2 x single-seater races.
1950: 1 x saloon, 4 x sportscars, 2 x single-seaters +1 motorcycle races.
History often repeats itself, so despite the current Coronavirus difficulties, motor racing enthusiasts are looking forward to the next 70 successful years at Castle Combe Circuit.
© Ken Davies