STORM FORCES CANCELLATION AT CASTLE COMBE
Storm Katie strikes Wiltshire track and flooding forces Howard’s Day off
To widespread disappointment, Castle Combe’s traditional Easter Monday seasonopening race meeting – Howard’s Day IV, remembering circuit saviour Howard Strawford – was abandoned without a wheel having turned in anger.
Storm Katie, which dominated the Bank Holiday weather, had inflicted the worst of her wrath overnight, leaving major flooding between Quarry and Old Paddock corners, but more seriously waterlogging the track margins at the eastern end of the circuit.
The event marks the first time in the circuit’s history – dating back to 1950 – that a meeting has been rained off.
Dunlop Mini Se7en competitors were due to be on track first for qualifying at 0830hrs, but remained in the assembly area for three hours while marshals and the circuit crew, using a pump, endeavoured to make the circuit ‘raceable’.
A statement from organiser Castle Combe Racing Club read: “It is with sincere regret we have abandoned today’s race meeting on safety grounds due to flood water on the track. Meeting abandoned at 1130hrs after valiant efforts by circuit staff and marshals.”
CCRC chairman Ken Davies added: “Ironically, the circuit was bone dry by 1145hrs, but had a car gone off sideways or even straight on into the waterlogged grass we could not have guaranteed the safety of its driver or marshals. For that reason we had no option but to take the decision.”
Former competitor Davies confirmed that, while there was no leeway within Castle Combe’s 11-day calendar to reschedule the event – set to celebrate the CCRC’S 10th anniversary – an alternative fixture for the Mini Se7en and Mini Miglia rounds has been tentatively agreed. The lost races for the resident FF1600, Saloon and GT championships will be made up with doubleheaders later in the season.
Spectators who had bought tickets have been offered full refunds. While many Combe competitors are based within striking distance of the venue, Caterham Supersport racer Finlay Hutchison had travelled from Dundee specially to take part in the event.
Waterlogged grass and run off left the track too dangerous
Marshals used machinery
Minis waited for hours
Circuit flooding was bad