Castle Combe Intermarque Silhouettes race report

The Avon Tyres/Image Wheels intermarque silhouettes had a couple of late withdrawals, namely Fabio Luffarelli (with covid) and Phil Spinks (engine issues). The rather smaller entry nevertheless showed good quality. 

A combined grid with the WRDA championship meant that the circuit was quite busy as 25 cars took to the track for qualifying. Most of the cars were on wet weather tyres, but a dry line soon appeared. Just as a couple, including Russell Humphrey, dived in to change onto slicks and then it started raining again. Through it all Lewis Smith emerged quickest overall in his Mercedes, over two seconds quicker than the fastest two WRDA runners (namely Chris Everill and David Krayem in their potent Ginettas). The next of our cars was Daniel Smith in his Mercedes, followed by Reuben Taylor (Peugeot 206cc) and Russell Humphrey (Tigra). The Westfields of Damien Longotano and Nick Crompton sandwiched Paul Knight, who was the leading senior in his Tigra. The rest of our drivers qualified in the order of Colin Smith (Ginetta), Philip Young (Mitsubishi), Eric Boulton (Tigra), Mick Robertson (Corrado), Jon Price (Tigra) returnee Baz Johnson (Pontiac) and Scott Aprigliano (Peugeot). Another returnee Keith White had a mechanical issue and only managed one lap, but local knowledge allowed him to join in. 

Sensibly the two series had a split grid with the intermarque setting off at the front. Straight away the two Smith brothers surged ahead in their Mercedes, opening up an early lead over Knight. With Reuben Taylor slowing and pulling off after just two laps, Humphrey emerged in 4th with Colin Smith close behind. The Ginetta driver made the overtake on lap 3, as things started to settle down. White made steady progress up the order and looked like he might catch Boulton for sixth, but Eric then upped his pace to keep the red BMW behind. Further back there was an entertaining little battle between Robertson, Aprigliano and Young. The gaps ebbed and flowed depending upon lapped traffic. 

Meanwhile at the front it was status quo as the two Mercedes traded fastest laps, with Daniel getting the quickest time. Knight drove well to take third overall and first senior home. Colin Smith seemed happy with fourth, followed by Humphrey, Boulton and White (second senior home). Robertson, Aprigliano and Young were separated by a few seconds. Our ten finishers were all on the lead lap, as we lost Johnson and Price who both retired. The leading WRDA finisher was Longotano in 11th with his Westfield after Everill retired. 

The grid draw for the second race saw the first six reversed, which promoted Boulton to pole position. Again the fast starting Smith brothers surged through with Lewis taking the lead by the end of lap one, as Daniel came through in third. By lap two Daniel was in second, but all eyes were on Reuben Taylor as he quickly moved up to third on lap 3. Lewis seemed to have everything under control as he kept the gap to his brother at around 3 seconds, then on the last lap he went missing. It transpired that a suspension part broke which speared him towards the tyre wall. Fortunately there was not much damage. This meant that Daniel took the win, with Taylor holding off a late charge from Boulton. Knight again took senior honours in fourth, closely followed by Humphrey. White had a fairly lonely run to sixth, whilst the battling trio of Robertson, Aprigliano and Young again finished close together. Price was the final finisher, as Colin Smith retired on lap 7 and Johnson was a non-starter. The two Avon Tyres “driver of the race” awards went to Aprigliano and Young, who both enjoyed their battle. Lewis Smith had the consolation of setting the fastest lap this time. 

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