Castle Combe Report

Tuesday August 15, 2023 at 3:47pm
Castle Combe Report

The feeling coming into the NG RACING/ COMPLETELY MOTORBIKES Round 5 at the Fast Wiltshire circuit was of great expectation, with several wild card riders entering, the King of Combe on the line, the return of the classic bike parade and regular championships to be decided all looked good for a mega race meeting.

Saturday was dry ready for the first qualifying session which was the Bluebell Lakes Powerbikes that set the scene for what to expect for the weekend.BSB runner Charlie Nesbitt was out on the Hawk Honda and setting the pace with a pole setting lap faster than Dan Coopers lap record ,1:08.445 to claim the front row Max Symonds was next to him 1:09.458 and TJ Toms on dad Kevins old Honda Fireblade track day bike 1:10.865 completed the front row.

Race 1, Nesbitt made the most of his pole position and got the Honda into the lead followed by Max Symonds , TJ Toms and a returning Josh Day to make up a high-speed train chipping away to put a gap in the rest of the grid. Nesbitt put down a series of 1:08 second laps to break the tow from Symonds who had TJ all over him on the Fireblade Day back on form just behind them. Nesbitt eased the Honda to a 7.5 second win over Symonds, Toms 0.210 back in 3rd Day 0.504 in 4th .

Race 2, Nesbitt was again the pace setter with Toms getting the better start from Day and Symonds Quickley getting into his fast rhythm of 1:08 laps gradually breaking the pack and unfortunately Toms Honda cried enough on lap 5 and retired giving Day second and Symonds still hanging on for 3rd

Another win for Nesbitt of over 8 seconds and another 1:07.795 for the lap record.

Race 3 Rain had well and truly set in, Nesbitt elected not to go out, Thruxton BSB in two weekends time, and TJ on a repaired machine and Symonds with Day on the front row. But fast starter from row 2 was Dan Nelmes from Day and Shane Faber, Symonds dropped to 4 th , by lap 2 Toms from the back of the grid was up to Sixth and lapping riders at ease setting his sights on the leaders. On lap 7 he was past Faber and Symonds, then Nelmes a lap later and 8 seconds from the leader Day,lap 9 and the gap was 3 seconds and under a second as the last lap started taking the lead at Quary and winning by 0.930 seconds, one of the rides of the day!!!

The Phoenix Open /King of Combe backed by IMS and Adam Jeffery Flooring  

Qualifying was again Nesbitt on pole with a 1:08.404, Symonds next on the R1 at 1:09.619 and Toms pushing the Fireblade to a 1:10.231 not bad for an old track day hack!!

Race 1 With the points for the King of Combe firmly in control of Max Symonds with a maximum 3-win 75-point haul from April the rest were going to have their work cut out or lady luck to intervene!!

Nesbitt got the start he needed to be first up Avon rise from Symonds, Toms, Day and Edwards on the 600 R6 , Symonds was throwing everything at Nesbitt but the relentless pace of the Honda was gradually pulling out a slender lead. Toms was fending off Day until lap 5 when he slipped past and set about Symonds. By that time Nesbitt had a healthy lead of 5.8 seconds at the flag Symonds clinging onto second by 1.8 seconds from Day and Toms.

Race 2   was all about Nesbitt and the Mastermac / Hawk Honda, no Toms the bike was under repair from the Powerbike race, from the start all Symonds and Day could do was watch as Nesbitt set a scorching pace lowering the lap record on lap 2 and again on lap 5 to 1:07.2 before setting an amazing 1:06.918 that no one could live with.

Josh Day was really getting back to the form that won him 4 Kings of Combe keeping Symonds at bay for second Daniel Nelmes and George Edwards following on through.

RACE 3 With the rain still coming down and Charlie Nesbitt already packed away, Max was clear in the King of Combe points to be crowned before the lights changed but the race for second still open between George Edwards and Shane Faber 7 points separating them.

Day made the start but with Edwards on his tail the wet conditions helping the smaller R6 and teammate Ricky Elder R6 making fast progress from the 4TH row and having a huge battle with Dan Nelmes who had the escape of the meeting with a massive moment coming into camp almost hi siding the R1 and running on the grass by the pit gate and pit wall!! And still held on for 4th

The luckless TJ Toms again retired after starting from the back of the grid again and up to 4TH before mechanical problems struck, Edwards was pushing Day under a second between them and looking like he could take the lead but back markers spoiled a grandstand finish Day on the top step of the podium on an emotional return to racing.

Edwards second place gained enough points to stay second overall in King of Combe from Faber, Symonds play safe cruising home in 5TH and his second crown and lifting the Rodney Gooch trophy


The delicately balanced 600 open with Ricky Elder holding a slim lead over George Edwards was always going to be a tough few races with a quality field entered

Edwards was top of qualifying with a 1:11.657, Mikey Hardie next on 1:12.216 and Lucca Allen on the GP2 Kalex Honda 1:12.630 on his first visit to Castle Combe

RACE 1 Edwards got the start with Allen in tow the pair setting a blistering pace and had already gapped Ricky Elder in third by 3 seconds! Edwards was lapping at his qualifying times and his local circuit knowledge keeping Allen at bay to the tune of 2.2 seconds at the finish and over 6 seconds to third place Elder

Race 2 Edwards, Allen and Elder were the front row for race 2 , Allen having problems on the warmup lap and having to start from the back.

From the lights Edwards again, hole shot the grid and put over 3 seconds into the pack being led by Elder with Michael Rees, Bevan Plumley and Mikey Hardie in an intense 3-way struggle for the minor places.

Ewards was lapping at over 2 seconds a lap quicker than the majority of riders and cutting through the traffic with ease to win by over 11 seconds from Elder, Plumley 3rd and the first of the clubman class, Allen eventually finished 7th.

Race 3 wet overcast conditions were the order of the day which delighted Ricky Elder being a wet weather person, but not so much when Edwards made the now the normal rocket start with Elder right on his tail pipe the pair were a high-speed ball of spray less than a second apart for the whole race. Allen had made progress from grid 3 and was getting some wet setting to take to the next round of BSB but was adrift by over a minute!!

With the lapping of back markers Edwards pulled out a 2 second lead at the flag and moved Infront of Elder in the championship points standings, Plumley was again the top clubman and took the championship with 2 rounds remaining.

Dave Mackay and Charlie White for True Heros Racing took the race wins in RE Performance Sound of Thunder 2 wins to 1 for Mackay

Local wins went to Tyson Lewis in the TW TECH Streetstock 1300 with a clean sweep of 3 wins. As was the case for William Holland in the SMW SuperTwins 3 wins as well.

The Holland train was mildly derailed in the TW TECH Mini Twins when he looked like dominating by local rider Justin Garrett in race 2 and Nat Mannning Morton in race 3.

The 4 parades of some classic bikes made a welcome return to the circuit adding a different sound to the meeting probably near to the noise when Castle Combe held its first bike meetins in the 50s and 60s

Plus the local hero and current BSB Leader Tommy Bridewell was on hand to sign almost anything and have more selfies taken as well as having great chat over commentary.

Words: Martin Bennett

Pictures: Colin Hill:

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