44 HSCC RECREATION WHEN: APRIL 16/17 WHERE: CASTLE COMBE
This was a year of celebration for the Historic Sports Car Club as it marked its 50th anniversary, and the Castle Combe weekend in April was the key point of the season.
Topping the event was a recreation of the grid for the race that started it all: the first Griffiths Formula race at the Wiltshire track back in May 1966. The original grid was reformed using the same cars wherever possible and cars of the same make and model when the 1966 cars could not be located.
Remarkably, Bernard Worth (Ferrari 166 Mille Miglia) and Ian Dussek (HRG 1500) still own the same cars half a century later while fellow 1966 racers Fred Damodaran, Stephen Curtis, Robert Barrie, Mike Ward, Chris Drewett and Ivan Sharrock all returned to Castle Combe to join the celebrations. The parade lap was flagged away by Penny Woodley, who did the same job back in 1966. PL
Jason Pritchard and Phil Clarke set out to retain the Mintex MSA British Hillclimb Championship in 2016 and by the end of July it seemed that their campaign was in tatters. Three nonscores in a row – two offs and an engine failure – put them completely on the back foot and only maximum points on the Isle of Man double-header could rescue their season.
On a spectacularly challenging event it was a tall order and a late gearbox drama threatened to kill their hopes completely, but Pritchard kept his head under intense pressure.
Clarke was typically assured on the notes and they pulled off the escape of the season. Between the beginning of April and the start of August they scored nothing, but on the daunting island roads they put it all back together when it counted most.
Two Manx maximums left them only needing a modest score on the Trackrod and they duly did just that to retain the title against the odds. PL