Double win for Luke Cooper in Castle Combe curtain raiser

Fresh from winning in the National championship at Silverstone, Luke Cooper added two Castle Combe FF1600 successes to his 2018 tally in the Easter Monday Race Day.

Cooper was beaten to both poles in his Swift SC16 by reigning Combe champion Josh Fisher, who ended his National weekend early due to damage sustained to his Van Diemen RF99 in the second race.

He was racing a JL14 chassis at Combe for the first time, but the change of car didn’t seem to hamper him as he romped to pole by almost a second in wet conditions.

But in the first race, Fisher wasn’t as successful – getting jumped by Cooper and Michael Eastwell on the first lap then retiring a lap later with a broken ignition switch.

Kevin Mills Racing Spectrum driver Eastwell stayed with Cooper for the first half of the race, but couldn’t get any closer than half a second, with Cooper eventually winning by 1.697 seconds.

Bradford on Avon’s David Vivian finished third in his Wiltshire College-run Spectrum 10B, with Paul Mason and Tom Hawkins completing the top five.

A mistake by Cooper on the first lap at the second part of the Esses after running wide onto the slippery off-line part of the track, which Eastwell copied, lost him the lead to Fisher. But he got back past on lap four of 10, getting momentum after Fisher ran off briefly himself. After that Cooper was in control and took his second victory by three seconds.

Eastwell’s mistake dropped him to fourth behind Vivian, and it took a lot longer until he reclaimed his podium spot.

Paul Mason, Stephen Bracegirdle and Joshua Mason, who’s racing in FF1600 to gain license signatures so he can race in BRDC British Formula 3, were fifth, sixth and seventh. The other two finishers failed to remain on the lead lap.

Hawkins and Shaun Macklin were in the battle for fifth with Paul Mason before a collision at Bobbies put both out of the race.

The results meant Paul Mason also took both class B wins.

Cooper leads the Combe standings by 10 points from Eastwell, who is entering a part-season in the championship, with Vivian a further three back in third. Fisher is down in eighth, although he too is not planning to contest the full season.

Results round-up
Race 1 (10 laps)
1 Luke Cooper Swift SC16 15m07.114s
2 Michael Eastwell Spectrum 011C +1.697s
3 David Vivian Spectrum 10b +8.980s
4 Paul Mason Swift SC94 +29.030s
5 Tom Hawkins Ray GR11 +34.489s
6 Shaun Macklin Swift SC92 +36.495s
7 Joshua Mason Van Diemen RF80 +54.999s
8 Steve Bracegirdle Van Diemen RF89 +59.261s
9 Michael Phillips Swift SC87 +1m05.377s
Ret Alex Rivett Swift SC92
Pole: Josh Fisher Van Diemen JL14, 1m23.628s
Fastest Lap: Cooper, 1m21.341s

Race 2 (10 laps)
1 Cooper 12m04.555s
2 Fisher +3.066s
3 Eastwell +4.362s
4 Vivian +10.787s
5 P Mason +35.246s
6 Bracegirdle +53.834s
7 J Mason +54.208s
8 Phillips +1 lap
9 Rivett +1 lap
Ret Hawkins
P: Fisher, 1m24.588s
FL: Cooper, 1m11.209s

Championship Standings
1 Cooper 48  2 Eastwell 38 3 Vivian 35  4 P Mason 33 5 Bracegirdle 28 6 J Mason 28 7 Phillips 25 8 Fisher 20 9 Hawkins 16 10 Macklin 15

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