We are already at meeting seven of the 2018 series and this year of NG Road Racing has proven to be stunning season with full grids and great racing in all classes so far. The season got off to a stuttering start after Brands Hatch was cancelled due to the "Beast from the East" but since then the grids and racing have proved how strong racing is in the UK at present.
The focus for many here will be the King of Combe where all the fastest riders of the weekend will mass for a shot at the prestigious title. It looks like it will be a battle between two men...... and they are both local boys!. Stroud based Dan Cooper the three time winner is back after loosing out last year and has brought his BMW S1000R to the game. His main challenger, and NG's top man of 2018 is Josh Day from Cirencester is on a ZX10R who holds the current King of Combe title.
Cooper is on a winnning run after coming away from the recent Aberdare meeting unbeaten. Day too is on fire on the short circuits and heads up both the NG Open and Powerbike series. Expect a host of other Superbike riders to be putting the pressure on as Chris Pope, James Kiff, Nick Williamson, Allistair Haynes, Mark Compton, Michael Blank and Shaun Hennessey are all confirmed on the grid. The meeting is about so much more than the big races. There is a whole raft of NG classes with a highlight being the 600's where Sean Montgomery, Kayla Barrington, Aaron Ridewood and Alex Jones will be once more joined in battle.
In the 250 GP ACU National series Philip Atkinson head the entry, but ex champ Andrew Sawford is having a one off outing so could cause Phil a headache. Bruce Dunn,Thomas Lawlor, Simon Hunt and Paul Metcalfe will also be in the hunt. Keep an eye out for Travis Vince running the famous number 38 TZ 250, he is son of the most successful Combe competitor of modern times Darrell Higgins. Travis has been a regular on the 2018 NG Cup podium....a win here would be special. The 125 National series is all about Gavin Mills he been on the top step of the podium ten times so far this year.
As I said though, there is the full range of classes so there is something for every racer and race fan with two full days of action on and off track at this the Castle Combe Grand National meeting.....sit back and enjoy....
Castle Combe Circuit
This 1.85 mile circuit was developed from the RAF base that was opened in 1941, but was decommissioned just 7 years later in 1948. 1952 saw the first bike race meeting take place with John Surtees taking the 500 race, just three years before becoming World 500cc champion.
The circuit has remained with pretty much the same layout over the last 66 year, but for the introduction of a couple of chicanes. It has seen all the greats race here on four and two wheels from Moss to Senna, and Surtees to Sheene. And remember is also the ONLY circuit in Europe that you can walk all the way round as a spectator and continue to watch the racing on track.
NG's Fastest Rider at Castle Combe
Josh Day holds the figures for the fastest NG lap here at Combe from July last year, circulating in 1 min 9.76sec on his ZX10R Kawasaki, which equates to an average of 96.23mph.
Adding extra interest to the weekend
NG Road Racing is again running and promoting the British National series for Hartsmere Logistics 125cc and Dymag 250cc GP machinery. This is the only place in the UK that you will see these ex-GP machines racing for a full British Championship title backed by the ACU (The sports governing body in the UK). We also have the Ducati Desmo Due Series and the ever growing Suzuki Bandit challenge along with the Formula Prostock runners.
Plus for sidecar fans we have the FSRA British F2 Sidecars and their new sister class the Pre Injections for the older outfits.
Words : Russ Gardner | NG Road Racing Media Officer
Images : EDP Photo News | www.edpphoto.co.uk www.ngroadracing.org