Cooper continues Combe clean sweep with lights-to-flag race one win

Luke Cooper claimed a lights-to-flag victory in the opening Castle Combe FF1600 Championship race of the Carnival bank holiday meeting, continuing his clean sweep of wins this season.

Cooper, driving for Future Inns/Swift Cooper, quickly took control of proceedings from pole to lead all of the re-started race.

Kevin Mills Racing’s Michael Eastwell challenged Cooper on the opening two laps before Cooper pulled out a gap to the Spectrum. Eastwell then retired after seven of the 10 laps due to clutch issues.

The race, sponsored by Melksham Motor Spares, had to be re-started after Tom Hawkins crashed early on. Drivers took their original grid positions for the re-start. Hawkins was unable to take part in the reconvened race.

Roger Orgee (Ray) had a good launch at the re-start to move into third place, ahead of Hugo Bentley-Ellis and David Vivian.

The trio were nose-to-tail throughout the race and, despite Bentley-Ellis’s best efforts, kept in the same positions until the latter stages of the race.

Then at the Quarry right-hander Bentley-Ellis and Orgee made contact with Bentley-Ellis picking up damage to his nose cone and Orgee going off into the barriers. Both were able to continue.

It meant that Bentley-Ellis finished 8.367s behind Cooper to claim second place with Vivian completing the podium.

Orgee survived the off at Quarry to finish in fourth place.

Soloheat/Souley Motorsport’s Paul Barnes claimed victory in Class B by three-tenths of a second from Swift Cooper’s Paul Mason as the pair finished fifth and sixth overall.

Steve Bracegirdle, driving a Van Diemen for Wayne Poole Racing, finished in seventh ahead of Alex Rivett’s Swift.

Race 1 Results

Pos Class Driver Car Gap
1 A Luke Cooper Swift 11m55.794
2 A Hugo Bentley-Ellis Spectrum +8.367
3 A David Vivian Spectrum +11.435
4 A Roger Orgee Ray +15.287
5 B Paul Barnes Swift +36.073
6 B Paul Mason Swift +36.304
7 C Steve Bracegirdle Van Diemen +47.214
8 B Alex Rivett Swift +1:04.841
DNF A Michael Eastwell Spectrum 7 laps
DNF A Tom Hawkins Ray 0 laps
DNS A Josh Fisher Van Diemen

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