New series to al­low for ad­di­tional de­mand as Sa­loons in­ter­est con­tin­ues to grow

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Lee Bon­ham

Cas­tle Combe Rac­ing Club has launched a new Hot Hatch series for its 2017 sea­son to cater for non-turbo saloon cars.

The CCRC Hot Hatch Chal­lenge will run across four of the club’s meet­ings next year, with each event fea­tur­ing one 15-minute qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion and a 20-minute race.

The Chal­lenge will fea­ture four classes, with all front wheel cars with 2.1-litre en­gines or be­low el­i­gi­ble.

With high lev­els of in­ter­est in the club’s Saloon Car Cham­pi­onship, the series has been launched to com­pen­sate for any over­flow and to give cars that are no longer el­i­gi­ble for the Sa­loons cham­pi­onship a cat­e­gory to com­pete in.

Com­pe­ti­tions di­rec­tor of the CCRC Steve We­ston said the series will also fill a gap on its sched­ule cre­ated by the demise of the Sports Series, which fea­tured only three run­ners in its fi­nal meet­ing of 2016.

“The new series is an op­por­tu­nity to try and en­cour­age some of the older cars to re­turn and join the present cars that don’t nec­es­sar­ily have an op­por­tu­nity to be com­pet­i­tive, with the high bud­gets of some of the front run­ning and turbo cars in sa­loons,” We­ston said.

Sev­eral cur­rent Saloon Cham­pi­onship en­trants were en­thu­si­as­tic about the pro­posed new series. James Keepin, who runs an MG ZR in the cur­rent cat­e­gory, said: “It should give the op­por­tu­nity for the spec­ta­tors to see some dif­fer­ent kinds of cars rac­ing.”

For­mer Sa­loons cham­pion Will Di Clau­dio, was also hope­ful the new series would see some di­verse ma­chin­ery re­turn to Combe.

“There are driv­ers want­ing to do Sa­loons who can’t get in, and it will be good to see some older cars re­turn to the cir­cuit,” he said. “I’ll hope­fully en­ter my Peugeot 205 GTI, all be­ing well.”

We­ston high­lighted the pos­si­bil­ity for the Hot Hatch Chal­lenge to act as a feeder to the cur­rent Sa­loons com­pe­ti­tion.

“The main saloon cham­pi­onship has proved ex­tremely pop­u­lar with re­serves on sev­eral oc­ca­sions, and we felt we could run the new series as al­most a feeder to the main cham­pi­onship,” he added.

“We will see how it goes but the main thing is that the Chal­lenge should be an in­ex­pen­sive and fun series to en­ter.”

Well-stocked Sa­loons grids means new Hatch series for ’17

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