2008/7 Race Reports
Walter Hayes Trophy - Silverstone November 1st & 2nd 2008 - RACE REPORT
Wayne Poole Racing had assembled their strongest line up of cars and drivers for quite a while at the 2008 running of the Walter Hayes Trophy and hopes were high for a good showing. Getting the meeting underway with Heat 1, Felix Fisher (Swift SC92) started from pole after finding the track particularly greasy in qualifying. However, a poor start dropped him back to 3rd which became fourth after a tap from behind. The rest of the race was spent swapping places with James Nash but a solid fourth place guaranteed a reasonable starting position for the semi. In Heat 2 Jim Morris (Van Diemen RF05) qualified superbly to line up sixth in strong company. A good start saw Jim running fifth in the early laps but a spin and a safety car period saw all the good work disappear. Jim decided to go for it and, throwing caution to the wind, passed cars every lap which saw him rise to sixth by the end and a good starting position for the semi. After the race Jim felt that it had been his best race to date.
In Heat 4 Josh Fisher (Mygale SJ03) lined up third on the grid and take a fairly uneventful and trouble free second place. In pre race testing Tom Margetson (Reynard FF89) had three out of his five sessions stopped with oil and then wet conditions (not his favourite) prevailed for practice which meant he lined up 12th in a very strong field. Stuck in the mid field pack Tom was unable to make much progress and finished 13th and with a lot to do in the last chance race. Two WPR drivers appeared in Heat 6. Experienced racer, Olly Bull (Swift SC92 pictured right) was taking part in his first WHT and hoping for a good run. A good qualifying lap saw Olly start from 5th place, improve to fourth on the first lap but he was then punted off at Copse by someone lunging up the inside. With damaged suspension it looked initially as if his event was over but spare parts were found and after a lot of work he was ready (albeit with even lot of work to do) for Sunday's races. Team newcomer Ben Leslie (Van Diemen RF89) was having his first ever Formula Ford race after a couple of outings in Formula Firsts with the Silverstone Racing School on the Stowe circuit. A quiet practice saw Ben line up 15th but a splendid race (including a lap 6 seconds faster than his best practice lap!) was rewarded with seventh place and a good starting slot for the semi.
So, with a best ever 4 drivers already through to the semis, WPR were on course for a successful event. Things were looking even better on Sunday morning when it was announced that the previous year's winner, Peter Dempsey, was going to drive WPR's spare Van Diemen RF89, which although far from being the most modern car in the field, was reckoned to be in with a chance in the cold and damp conditions especially in the hands of a star driver.So, starting from the back of the grid for the progression race alongside Olly Bull, an electrifying perfomance (in a car he had only first sat in a couple of hours earlier) saw Dempsey carve his way through the field, fifth by Lap 3, third by Lap 6 and take the winning lead on the last lap. All this despite a mid race trip all of the way through the gravel at Brooklands dropping 4 places in the process! Eclipsed only by Dempsey, Bull also had a sensational race getting up to second at the end of the first lap, briefly take the lead and settling for third at the end.
So to the last chance race where Dempsey and Bull were joined by Margetson. With only the top 6 finishers going through to the semis Tom (pictured left) made another of his good starts and initially held second place but in the very slippery conditions slowly dropped back and out of the qualifying positions to finish a disappointed 9th and just out of the semis. For Peter and Olly history again repeated itself with Peter assuming the lead on Lap 6 by which time Olly had risen to seventh in a very crowded midfield pack which became sixth at the end and a place on the last row of a semi. This now meant that WPR would have no fewer than 6 cars in the semi finals.
After the excitement of the first two races much was expected of the first semi. Peter Dempsey again didn't disappoint and another storming drive saw him storm through (a much stronger field this time) to take fifth on the road although a 10 second penalty, incurred in the rough and tumble of spinning cars and yellow flags, dropped him to 7th but still a good starting slot for the final. Josh Fisher again drove quickly and sensibly, keeping out of trouble after an excellent start to take second place. An unfortunate Ben Leslie made a poor start and was unable to make up time against strong opposition and missed the cut. Still, an encouraging debut nonetheless. So to Semi 2 with Felix Fisher (row 6), Jim Morris (row 9) and Olly Bull (row 18). A poor start and spin dropping him to the back of the field brought an unfortunatre end to Jim Morris's week-end which had promised so much. A good start saw Felix come through seventh at the end of Lap 1 which became 6th by the end. Olly got bogged down in the jostling mid field pack but was able to make it through to both seventeenth and a place in the final.
It was almost dark as the cars lined up for the final with the four WPR drivers all hoping to keep out of trouble and make their way to the front of the field. It almost worked! Josh Fisher made a good start and slotted in just behind the leaders in fifth place. As the race wore on with a couple of the leaders spinning out and by picking off another Josh was up to second place. A safety car period near the end prevented Josh mounting a final challenge to the eventual winner Conor Daly. Peter Dempsey (pictured right about to make up another place) made swift progress during the early laps getting up to eighth on Lap 2 after starting thirteenth! Progress then became much harder against some of the best cars (and drivers) around but even with the interruption of the safety car 4th place at the end was an almost miraculous result. Felix Fisher, starting 12th, made a good get away finishing Lap 1 in 9th and was then engaged in a titanic battle with a group of front runners all the way to the end finishing a very creditable 6th. Starting from near the back of the grid Olly Bull made steady progress to come home 22nd but with a lot of experience for another challenge next year.
With WPR cars finishing the final in second, fourth and sixth places the 2008 WHT was the team's most successful appearance in this important event yet.
Castle Combe October 4th 2008 - RACE REPORT
Looking at the entry list this was going to be a busy day for Wayne Poole Racing with 7 cars entered in the final round of the CCRC FF Championship, a couple in the Special GT race and an amazing 9 in the traditional end of season FF Carnival. However, with a number of new cars and drivers, together with testing mishaps the number of cars running on the day was inevitably reduced. The most unfortunate of these was Felix Fisher who, having put his Swift SC92 on pole for the first FF race, had a nasty accident at Quarry when his brake line broke over Avon Rise. The car was badly damaged although likely to be repaired for 2009 according to brother Josh while Felix emerged shaken and bruised but otherwise unharmed.
So to the first race (final round of the Combe FF Championship) and following a cold and slippery practice which saw times in the 20s and 30s the main interest was to see if Tom Margetson could take third place in the Championship Class C. Things weren't looking too promising for Tom, starting down in 22nd place and crucially only 5th in Class. However, a storming drive (following another good start) saw Tom challenging for the class lead for the final 2 laps (pictured right). After a couple of attempts Tom had to settle for second but this was enough to clinch third in the Championship and put WPR drivers on the final podium in all three classes - Josh & Felix Fisher having already wrapped up the top spots in Classes A and B.
Of the other WPR drivers the unfortunate Pete Diccox got caught up in someone else's accident on lap 1 and took no further part, Paul James having his first outing in the ex Matt Docherty Mygale SJ00 had a good race swapping places with Martin Pickles and made the finish, Des Andrews having his second outing in his Mygale SJ01 also got caught up in a first lap incident and came in to the pits to check his car, Guy Parr retired on Lap 4 while brother Nigel, after a difficult practice decided not to start.
In the Special GT race Guy Parr's interesting Nemesis 02 wasn't ready but hopes were high for Des Andrew's Sleek following an encouraging test a couple of days earlier (pictured left). A good 1m 13.9s lap in practice netted 16th place on the grid but as the cars were wheeled out to the start the pretty Sleek was found to be stuck in third gear and despite attempts to rectify the problem the car was to be a disappointing non starter. Incidentally, the race was won by Josh Fisher in the Quantexe Racing Mantis in fine style demonstrating incredible car control in the wet conditions which saw most of the top cars running on slicks.
With the difficult conditions and accident to Felix Fisher, practice for the FF Carnival was effectively reduced to a single lap lottery. As none of the WPR drivers made the top 6 (and automatic entry to the final) they all had to compete in the qualifying race. Starting from second on the grid Josh Fisher made quick work of early leader Robert Barrable and eased home to a comfortable win. Tom Margetson was nudged off on Lap 1 and re-started at the back of the field but worked his way back up, overtaking plenty of cars, to finish 19th. Poor Pete Diccox retired on Lap 2 when an HT lead worked loose, Paul James ran steadily to the finish despite the odd spin while Des Andrews non started. WPR entered, but independently run, Olly Bull battled hard in mid field and came home 11th.
The Carnival final was held in appalling conditions: dark, wet and windy. Matt McKillop found more grip than the rest of the field and romped away but behind him a race long battle ensued amongst many Combe regulars, past and present, and including WPR drivers Josh Fisher and Olly Bull. Josh was finding the Mygale a bit of a handful in the wet conditions and came home 6th but it was Olly Bull, using his Caterham racing experience to the full, who put in a tremendous drive to finish 4th having started seventeenth on the grid! Tom Margetson and Pete Diccox both managed to finish the race albeit a lap down. Final mention should be made of Paul James (pictured right testing) who again safely finished the race making it three finishes in one day.
Castle Combe September 13th 2008 - RACE REPORT
Another memorable and busy day for the team began with early Birthday celebrations for team regular, Pete Diccox who was to turn 73 the following day. As part of the celebrations Pete and his guests were treated to a trip around the track with fellow FF driver Andrew Jones driving and Wayne on the microphone! With 6 cars and drivers entered in the Melton Concrete Products FF Championship race the appearance of warm and clear weather was a welcome relief after a cold and wet summer.
Brothers, Josh & Felix Fisher again annexed the top two starting positions on the grid but it wasn't easy. A busy track meant that finding a clear lap was difficult and both drivers had to wait until the final lap of practice to set their best times. Tom Margetson qualified 15th just behind fellow Class C competitors Alan Slater & Julian Heap while Pete Diccox was a little diappointed to be down in 29th although his 1m 16.425s was a good effort. Of the new drivers in the WPR squad, Guy Parr set a very respectable 20th fastest in a Van Diemen RF89 (fourth in Cass C) while Des Andrews (Mygale SJ01) and Nigel Parr (Van Diemen RF88) both made the grid and getting more familiar with both car and track.
With the top 4 drivers on the grid separated by just 0.12s it was always going to be a fraught first few laps with Josh Fisher getting away well to lead from a fast starting Ben Norton, Felix Fisher and a returning Steve Jensen. After a number of unsuccessful attempts Norton tried a wide line at Quarry on Lap 4 which not only failed but allowed Felix Fisher to sail past into second place. For the remainder of the race Felix continued to harry brother Josh and, at times, looked the faster driver. However, the more experienced Josh was able to hold Felix off until the end despite losing a sidepod top and engine cover on lap 8 which nearly decaptiated a closely following Felix! This result confirmed Josh & Felix as overall winner and runner up in the 2008 Championship as well as winning their respective classes.
The race for Class C was equally exciting with Tom Margetson making a cracking start to come round at the end of Lap 1 in eighth place and well ahead of rivals Slater & Heap. Tom managed to stay well ahead until Lap 11 when Heap got by to take the win and leave Tom with a disappointing but nonetheless satisfying second in Class and 12th overall. Of the other WPR drivers Guy Parr, Pete Diccox and Des Andrews all enjoyed steady runs to finish on the lead lap while Nigel Parr was still learning his way around Combe and finished a lap down but with a fastest lap over 5 seconds faster than his qualifying time.
Final mention should be made of Oliver Bull, running his Swift SC92 independently but entered and supported by Wayne Poole Racing. This was Olly's first time out in the car, recently acquired from the Fisher family, and he set an encouraging 4th fastest practice time in Class B and went on to finish 9th overall and third in class.
Castle Combe August 25th 2008 - RACE REPORT
An early start for the WPR team with qualifying 8.40 a.m. Felix Fisher again put in an excellent qualifying session which saw him have his first pole while Josh Fisher was a very close 2nd with only 0.031 sec between the two brothers. Pete Diccox qualified 23rd and 5th in Class C. It was great to see Darren Houldcroft back out in his Van Dieman RF88 he qualified 28th, while Tom Margetson had one of his best performances and qualified 11th and 2nd in Class C.
The weather did not look great for the start of the race as always at Combe however the rain stayed away. The FF1600 was the first race of the day. Felix Fisher had another fantastic start with Josh right behind him as they approached Quarry for the first time. Ben Norton, Andrew Jones and Nelson Rowe were all close to the front. Felix managed to gain a lead as Josh was defending his place.
However Norton went off at Camp and Rowe was closing on Josh and Felix seemed to be keeping his slight lead. Meanwhile Tom Margetson was having a fantastic race leading his Class and having to keep Alan Slater behind him. Josh was gaining on Felix and leaving Rowe behind keeping his brother on his toes. It was another great day for the WPR team with an overall win for Felix his first FF1600 win and 2nd for Josh just 0.408 secs behind his brother, 1st for both Class A & B, together with Tom Margetson finishing 7th overall and 1st in Class C. Pete Diccox had another steady run to the finish together with Darren who took the chequered flag.
So WPR enjoyed the wins of all three classes (winners pictured right) together with fastest laps for each class. Josh has extended his Class A results together with brother Felix for Class B.
SILVERSTONE August 9th 2008 - RACE REPORT
Wayne Poole Racing, with drivers Jim Morris and team boss Wayne Poole, took part in 89s, lined up 19th and third in Class C.
Conditions for Race 1 were very wet and unfortunately Jim made a poor start and spent the whole race trying to recover and finishe a disappointing 18th. Meanwhile Wayne, after completing Lap 1 in 16th managed to get past a few cars and finished 9th overall, second in Class C and taking fastest lap for the Class.
The grid for Race 2 was the finishing order for Race 1 and this time conditions were a little better and saw Wayne, after good start, maintain his strong position to take an excellent 6th overall, winning Class C and again taking fastest Lap in the Class. Jim had a monumental spin at Beckett's on Lap 5 and spent the rest of the race trying to recover which saw him set his fastest lap on the final tour to come home 19th.
CASTLE COMBE Double Header August 2/3 2008 - RACE REPORTS
A damp and difficult practice session on the Saturday morning yielded mixed results for the Wayne Poole Racing team. Felix Fisher continued his excellent run of qualifying performances to line up second fastest and heading Class B while brother Josh was one place behind after running with too much front brake bias. Pete Diccox put all of his extensive Combe experience to good effect qualifying 19th and fifth in Class C. Tom Margetson, no lover of wet conditions, had chosen full wet settings and was a couple of spots behind Peter while Walter Hayes Trophy organiser, James Beckett, was having one of his occasional outings in a WPR Van Diemen but not having driven a single seater in the wet for very many years, understandably took it easy to qualify on the inside of the last row.
Fortunately, it was dry and clear for Race 1 and Ed Moore and Ben Norton got the drop on the Fisher brothers at the start with the order on Lap 1 being Moore, Norton, Felix and Josh. Margetson made a good start and was up to 17th on Lap 1 and continued the good progress through to the end of the race finishing an excellent 12th overall and third in Class C.Perhaps his run of bad luck was coming to an end.
Meanwhile at the front of the field, Josh had passed both Norton and Felix for second place and had closed up on leader Moore. In fact the first four were running nose to tail, when on Lap 5 Josh got on the inside of Moore up and over Avon Rise into Quarry. Entering Quarry side by side, contact was made with the result that Moore spun off and out of the race leaving Josh to continue to the end maintaing a small marging over the squabbling Felix and Norton who swapped places a couple of times before Felix emerged in a solid second place and taking fastest lap in Class B. On the penultimate lap Peter Diccox felt something odd at the rear of his Van Diemen and, suspecting a puncture, called in at the pits while James Beckett ran steadily to record a finish.
Race 2 lined up in the finishing order from the previous day and although the sky was dark and there were a few drops of rain in the air the track was dry. This time the Fishers had no trouble getting away with Josh leading Felix while Ben Norton and Andrew Jones followed close behind. However, challenging Felix for second place on Lap 2, Ben Norton had a quick spin at the Esses dropping back down the field. Tom Margetson had made a storming start and was up to eighth by the end of the first lap but unfortunately the rain immediately began to fall harder and the track quickly became greasy and lap times began to go up.
Margetson, Diccox and Beckett were all finding the conditions difficult and spent the rest of the race trying to keep on the track and make it to the finish which they all did although Pete Diccox, about to be lapped, mistook the chequered flag for the end of his race and came in a lap too soon! Meanwhile at the front the leading drivers all held station, Felix saying afterwards that he was taking his braking points from his brother in front and deciding this wasn't the time to try and go for the win. So, a double 'one two' finish which strengthened both Fishers' positions in the Championship. A Gallery of photos from the week-end can be found here.
CASTLE COMBE July 20th 2008 - RACE REPORT
Following a successful pre race test on the Thursday which saw Josh Fisher set a 1m 11.3s and Olly Bull a 1m 13.7s the Saturday qualifying session proved to be more difficult with all WPR drivers reporting a lot of traffic and difficulty finding a clear lap. Despite this Felix Fisher lined up on the outside front row with brother Josh directly behind in 4th place and Olly Bull 9th fastest and first in Class C. Pete Diccox suffered a broken exhaust after 5 laps and his 28th starting position didn't reflect his recent much improved performances. Tom Margetson had spent the Thursday sesion getting his gear ratios right, getting his new data logging system working properly and overcoming some braking problems which saw him arrive at Quarry with a long brake pedal and an attention grabbing moment. Nevertheless he finished qualifying a promising 14th fastest and third in Class C.
Felix Fisher made an excellent start from the front row and led away up Avon Rise into Quarry where a sudden loss of power effectively ended his race and gave the win to Ben Norton as the rest of the field, including brother Josh had to avoid the slowing Felix. This meant that Norton completed lap 1 with a large lead over the rest of the field led by Andrew Jones from Josh Fisher and the rest. Fisher (pictured right leading Jones, Rowe & Moore) quickly despatched Jones and set about reeling in Norton. Olly Bull had lost out to a fast starting (and Championship Class leading) Alan Slater but quickly closed up with Tom Margetson not far behind. Lap 4 saw another of Olly's signature overtaking moves (only this time around the outside!) at Camp to take the class lead.
The race settled down into a pattern with Fisher very slowly eating into Norton's lead, Bull holding off Slater (pictured left) and Margetson comfortably third in Class. Pete Diccox was having an impressive run from near the back of the grid, picking off cars in front lap by lap. It all changed on Lap 9 when, coming down the inside into Camp Julian Heap slid into another car which in turn crashed into the rear of Tom Margetson, who had been ahead going into the corner, and breaking a rear wishbone. With Heap's car in a dangerous position the Safety Car was brought out which closed the field up.
By the time the Safety Car went in there was only time for one more lap which saw Fisher unable to wrest first place from Norton but fastest lap was some consolation and second was enough to consolidate his lead in the Championship. Bull finished 7th overall and by winning Class C (and fastest lap) closed up on Slater in the Championship. Diccox's excellent (pictured right) drive netted him 17th overall.
CASTLE COMBE May 26th 2008 - RACE REPORT
Morning practice was almost impossibly wet with the drivers unable to see their pit boards. Unfortunately (or maybe not) most drivers only managed 4 laps but they were enough to see Josh Fisher set the second fastest time to start on the outside of the front row, while brother Felix qualified a good fifth. In fact, all the WPR team drivers qualified well with Oliver Bull, returning to the team for his second outing, lining up 11th (and second in class C) with Tom Margetson starting 16th and Pete Diccox 19th after escaping a brush with the barrier.
Although the deluge had let up for the race, conditions were still wet and Josh Fisher led initially but was passed by Ed Moore on Lap 4 as they pulled out a significant gap on the rest of the field. Felix Fisher had made a steady start and set about the cars in front, moving up to third on Lap 6.
Pete Diccox was going well until he spun at Bobbies on lap 6 and was unable to re-start, which bought the safety car out for a couple of laps. On the re-start Moore and Fisher pulled away until Moore went off at Tower on Lap 10 under pressure from Josh who was able to cruise home to take the win in front of Felix who had inherited second place following Moore's departure.
However, the safety car had worked to Oliver Bull's disadvantage as he got trapped behind a lapped car and lost contact with the Class C leading car. However, second in Class and seventh overall amounted to another excellent result. Tom Margetson had a steady run to 15th overall and fifth in Class C.
After the 'first' of winning all three Formula Ford classes at the previous meeting a couple of other 'firsts' were again achieved with what is thought to be the first time there had been a brother 'one two' and with Josh also winning the Castle Combe Special GT race the first time the same driver had won two different Combe Championship races on the same day. Josh and Felix extended their leads in the Class A & B Championships with Oliver Bull narrowing the gap in Class C. 'Team boss for the day', Lynn Poole was very pleased with the results and was relieved that everything went well in spite of the atrocious conditions.
CASTLE COMBE May 5th 2008 - RACE REPORT <
Morning practice was held in dull and overcast conditions made more difficult on a damp and slippery track. However, the Wayne Poole Team fared well with Josh Fisher, Mygale SJ03, taking second place on the grid with brother Felix, Swift SC92, lining up fourth - an excellent effort in a Class B car to head many of the Class A runners. Team newcomer, Oliver Bull,pictured right, having his first ever single seater race follwing a successful career in Caterhams quickly got to grips with the car and conditions and qualified second in class on the outside of the fifth row.
At the start the front row men were suprised by a fast starting Felix Fisher who stormed through to take the lead by the time they arrived at Quarry. Josh had fallen to fourth place but quickly set about the cars in front of him. Despite initially pulling out a small lead on the Class A cars behind him Felix was slowly reeled in with brother Josh now leading the pursuers led by Robert Hall's Swift (see left). It was only a matter of time and on Lap 6 Josh slipped by to take the lead from Felix who had Ben Norton breathing down his neck. Norton quickly got past and began closing on Josh but towards the end of the race smoke began pouring out of the back of his car and despite continuing at unabated speed was unable to mount a serious challenge for the top spot. Felix (who had just turned 20 earlier in the week) sensing problems with Norton's car closed back up near the end (pictured right) but was content to take third overall and the win in Class B.
Meanwhile, Oliver Bull had made an excellent start and was running second in Class C behind Julian Heap in the early laps. By Lap 4 Oliver had closed the gap and then with a daring and incisive move down the inside at Camp took over the class lead which he was to hold until the end despite coming under heavy pressure from the experienced Alan Slater in the final laps. A storming drive on his first ever single seater race bodes well for the future.
Tom Margetson (left) was out in his freshly rebuilt Reynard FF89 which had only received a brief shakedown prior to the event but nevertheless completed practice and the race finishing 19th overall and fourth in Class C. Wayne Poole Racing's other runner, Darren Houldcroft (see right), was still getting to grips with the car and track and ran steadily throughout practice and the race with a spin at Quarry and was looking set for a finish until he pulled off with overheating on the last lap.
Although no one is quite sure, it seems as if the feat of a single team taking all three class victories has not been achieved before but either way this race must go down as one of the most notable in recent years.
CASTLE COMBE Easter Monday 24th March 2008 - RACE REPORTS
The first round of the 2008 Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600 championship was a winning one for Wayne Poole Racing and Josh Fisher.
At a bitterly cold ‘Combe, Fisher put the newly updated WPR Mygale SJ03 on pole, set a new lap record and romped away in the race to finish a dozen car lengths ahead of last year’s champion, Ed Moore. To add to the team’s achievements and to make it a Fisher double, Josh’s Brother Felix showed the way in Class B, taking class pole and the spoils in the race, while veteran driver Pete Diccox (now the oldest Formula Ford participant in the country at the age of 72!) had a fantastic race to 11th overall and 5th in class, also on the way to setting a personal best lap time. Pete who was interviewed for local TV/Radio just before the race, put to good use his new Ford Kent engine, recently acquired by the team.
The team also had new boys Lee Centamore and Darren Houldcroft in class C, both making their first outings at the track. Centamore, from Bath, made good progress throughout the day, consistently setting faster lap times and eventually finishing 29th. Meanwhile Darren Houldcroft, in his WPR run yellow Van Diemen RF88, had a strong debut race to 28th enjoying a good battle with several drivers in class.
Unfortunately for the team and returning rookie Andrew Higgenbottom, the day ended early with an, as yet, unspecified off at Quarry during qualifying. The freshly built Jamun FF88, obtained by the team just weeks before the start of the season, was too badly damaged to be ready in time for the race, but will return for the next round at the circuit on May 5th.
If all of this wasn’t enough, the team had to prepare the cars for the first running of the Golden Helmet trophy race at the Wiltshire circuit. Previously the trophy’s been held at Silverstone and Kirkistowe, drawing interest from other clubs in the country, this year being no exception. From the North West FF1600 Championship, Stuart Gough, who tangled with Josh at last Novembers Walter Hayes Trophy made the trip down the M5 as did sometime Formula Palmer Audi ace Tom Bradshaw.
In the first heat, Josh won comfortably from Tom Bradshaw and Felix Fisher. Dropping back to third at one point, the Bridgwater driver made quick work of Tom Bradshaw and Stuart Gough and finished first several seconds ahead of the chasing pack. Further back, Felix driving in the Swift 92 chassis, had a fantastic battle with Nelson Rowe and Andy Jones to finish a strong 5th. While Pete Diccox, Darren Houldcroft and Lee Centamore finished 13,16, 17 respectively. In the 15 lap final, it was a similar story at the start. Josh again dropped back to third, but quickly picked off Bradshaw and Gough. All was going well until lap 5, when Josh locked up the rear brakes while going over Avon Rise. From the stands it looked as if he was heading for the barriers, but quick reflexes saved the day, although at the cost of the lead and second place. Now Josh was locked in a tight battle with Gough (now leading) and Bradshaw. The squabbling among the leaders allowed fourth placed Felix Fisher to close in, making it a four way fight, but in a near identical error to older Brother Josh, ended in near disaster when Felix locked a brake while going over the Rise. He corrected, but slid on the marbles on the outside of the corner and began spinning towards to the tyre barriers. Luckily he stopped short of hitting anything and once facing the right way managed to quickly get going, although any hopes of the win were now over. Meanwhile Josh had passed Bradshaw for second, the gap to the leader still tenuously close. All the while this allowed Ed Moore, starting from the back of the grid, to close up. Neatly picking off cars one by one, Ed was soon on the back of the Gough, Bradshaw, J.Fisher battle and joining Ed was another ‘Combe regular, Andrew Jones, making the fight for the coveted Golden Helmet a six way battle. On Lap 9 heading down to Tower, Josh and Bradshaw touched, with the latter spinning off. This upset Fisher’s rhythm only slightly, but it was enough for Moore to slip through into second. The running order was now Gough, Moore and J Fisher. A lap later and Gough too spun, apparently due to a defective contact lens! It set the final 3 laps up for a famous showdown between the reigning club champion Moore and the new hotshot Fisher, but the gap was now four car lengths. With lapped traffic getting in the way, Fisher had one last try into Bobbies on the penultimate lap, but ultimately had to settle for second. Amazingly though, Fisher set the fastest ever lap at Combe on the final tour, showing he was still pushing right until the end. Pete Diccox finished 13th, Darren Houldcroft 15th and Lee Centamore unfortunately had a problem with the throttle cable breaking on the green flag lap. Afterwards, Moore paid tribute to Fisher’s efforts.
The Wayne Poole Racing team will be back in action for Round 2 of the Melton Concrete Products Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600 Championship on May 5th.
SILVERSTONE Walter Hayes Trophy November 2/3/4 2007 - RACE REPORT
For the 2007 WHT, the Wayne Poole Racing team had entered seven cars and with Josh Fisher many pundit's choice for victory, hopes were high. Josh was backed up by brother Felix in the family Swift SC92 and familiar WPR drivers, Tom Margetson, Steve Lowdon and Jim Morris were also present. Having his first ever public race was Bath restaurateur, Lee Centamere in a Van Diemen RF89.
Josh's week-end got off to a good start with victory in Heat 3 leading home a strong field including Gavin Wills, the Barrable brothers, Keith Dempsey and Ben Norton. This was to be the second fastest heat which meant the WPR Mygale SJ01 was to start Semi-Final 2 from pole. Sunday turned out warm and sunny and as the field left the start for the second semi Stuart Gough's Ray GS07 inched ahead of Fisher's Mygale but his lead was only to last until Brooklands when he ran a little wide on the exit and Fisher, who had taken a later apex, was able to ease past. By lap 4 Josh was still just ahead of a 6 car train fighting over the lead. As they dragged up the National straight into Brooklands Gough was able to slipstream past on the outside for the lead. As they turned into Brooklands, Wills, who had unsuccessfully tried to tow up the inside, locked a front wheel and slid into the rear of Fisher's Mygale (pictured right) sending him off into the gravel and retirement. A visibly upset Josh climbed out of the undamaged Mygale and was left to ponder what might have been.
However, it wasn't all gloom for the Fisher family as Felix (pictured right) had done well to finish fifth in Heat 2 ahead of Robert Hall. Starting Semi-Final 2 from the middle of the grid he worked his way up the field to finish a strong 11th and comfortably making the final. In the final itself Felix was making good progress until contact with another car at Becketts caused a suspension failure leading to his retirement.
What of the other Wayne Poole Racing drivers? The perennially unlucky Tom Margetson, having qualified 10th in his heat was knocked off on Lap 1. A steady run in the Storm race saw Tom just miss out on a place in the Progression race. However, Tom's luck briefly took an upturn and the Glassimage Reynard FF89 was given a place on the back of the grid. After making steady progress in the opening laps Tom was to get caught up in an accident involving (but not the fault of) another WPR driver Steve Lowdon. Steve, from Bracknell, was having his annual outing in one of the team's Van Diemen RF89s but after problems in practice was finally allowed onto the back of the grid for Heat 6. A steady run to the finish saw Steve make the Progression race but unfortunately become the victim of someone else's accident.
Jim Morris was suffering from a down on power engine during practice and his heat. A quick visit to Searle's on Saturday evening hoped to find the cure and in the opening laps of the Progression race Jim was making good progress and anticipating moving through to the Last Chance race. Unfortunately, the engine problems returned and, despite a visit to the pits to remove the engine cover to get more heat into the engine (see left), the chance was lost.
A special mention should be made of Lee Centamere, having his first ever public race in one of the team's Van Diemen RF89s. Having previously attended the Silverstone Racing Driver School course Lee acquited himself admirably. In fact he was the only WPR driver to actually complete two races! After a sensibly cautious run to the finish in Heat 3 Lee drove well in the Progression race to finish 20th out of a field of 28 and with a fastest lap over 2 seconds faster than his best lap in the heat. His smile at the end of the race told its own story!
Finally, WPR regular Pete Diccox decided not enter after his multiple roll at last year's WHT but was present, nonetheless, lending a vital hand to the team's effort as can be seen on the right!
There isn't room here, for all the photos from the WHT 2007 but a gallery will appear on this site soon.
CASTLE COMBE September 15 2007 - RACE REPORT
With six cars entered it was always going to be an eventful day for the Wayne Poole Racing team and it certainly was. Newcomers to the team and Castle Combe included Lifeline Fire & Safety Systems MD Jim Morris who was out in his newly acquired #87 Van Diemen RF05 (pictured right), and Ford apprentice Andrew Higginbottom.
After a successful test at Combe a couple of days earlier, Josh Fisher had annihilated the lap record with a 1m 10.9s in one of the team’s Mygale SJ01s, hopes were high in practice. These were fulfilled when Josh set a 1m 11.079s time on Lap 9, which turned out to be nearly half a second clear of the field. Unfortunately this was followed by an ‘off’ at the Esses, which took off the right front corner and broke the hub. However, with the spare parts to hand, the team and Josh himself, quickly got to work to repair the car for the main race later in the afternoon.
Olly Roberts was having another outing (actually only his seventh race) in a similar Mygale. He also had an excellent qualifying, putting the car on the inside of the third row with a 1m 11.78s - his best effort to date. Tom Margetson, despite an oil induced ‘off’, which caused a throttle spring to work loose, qualified 21st overall and 5th in Class C - another encouraging performance.
Andrew Higginbottom, having his first ever public race and his first run in one of the team’s Van Diemen RF89s only managed 6 laps in practice before overheating brought his session to a halt. However, this was enough for 28th overall and 6th in Class C. Pete Diccox, 71 years and a day young, put in a good 1m 17.759s and the WPR squad was rounded out with Jim Morris on a steep learning curve with both car and track. Diccox and Morris are pictured (left) in the qualifying race.
The qualifying race was relatively uneventful for Margetson (8th overall and 4th in Class C), Diccox and Morris but the same couldn’t be said for poor Higginbottom whose up and down day was continuing. Having stalled on the line Andrew was relegated to last for the start. He quickly overtook a couple of cars before spinning off on Lap 3 while attempting an overtaking move in another car’s slipstream.
At the start of the main race Fisher, despite having previously encountered difficulties getting the Mygale off the line, made a good start and led Robert Hall and Steve Jensen on the first lap (pictured right). He was beginning to eke out a small lead when the race came to an abrupt halt with a red flag on Lap 2. Olly Roberts had been unable to take Camp corner and hit the retaining barriers with some force. Olly, shaken up and feeling some pain, was quickly extricated and the car was removed to the paddock.
As the field lined up for the restart, Olly’s misfortune turned into Higginbottom’s good luck as he was allowed in as first reserve. Fisher again started superbly and led into Quarry. This time however, Hall and Jensen stayed with him and it was quite tight for the first couple of laps until Fisher was able to slowly ease away and take a comfortable win - his second in succession. It was a happy Josh who received his 'pot' (pictured left).
Meanwhile Margetson’s incredible run of bad luck continued and a broken throttle cable put him out of the race. Morris (pictured right) had made a good start the second time around and was beginning to move up the field until a problem put him out at Tower. Diccox ran steadily to notch up another finish. Higginbottom, after settling down into the race, experienced an occurrence of the overheating that had curtailed his practice, and wisely parked the Van Diemen before any more damage was done.
CASTLE COMBE August 27 2007 - RACE REPORT
For the 8th round of the Castle Combe Melton Concrete Products Formula Ford 1600 Championship, the Wayne Poole Racing driver line up was all change once again. Josh Fisher, who won in the team’s WPR Mygale SJ01 last time out, wasn’t available to drive as he was needed at Brand Hatch to help with Brother Felix’s Formula Renault effort. Oliver Roberts was back at ‘Combe for the second time this year, driving the team’s second Mygale01 chassis. Roberts first appearance at the Wiltshire circuit in Round 6 didn’t go as smoothly as he would have liked. A mechanical failure on the car in practice and insufficient time between sessions to change the engine meant the driver from Windsor was unable to take part in the main event. Oliver was on ‘double duty’ with the team, having been racing at Silverstone the previous day competing in the BRSCC MSV event.
Combe veteran Pete Diccox in the Van Diemen RF89 and Tom Margetson, driving the Glassimage Reynard FF89, were back once again, both hoping for a change of luck following mechanical woes in recent events.
The weather conditions at Castle Combe were perfect for racing, but qualifying was cut short due to an oil leak emanating from the #71 car of Pete Diccox. As a result the qualifying times were somewhat slower than seen at recent events. Oliver Roberts, making his second appearance at Castle Combe, produced a marvellous lap to line up 10th on the grid. Tom Margetson was the next highest WPR driver in 13th place, one place behind current Class C point’s leader Adam Higgins. It was a fantastic effort considering the dramas Tom has endured during recent events and proof that the Reynard chassis is closing the gap on the Class C front runners. Pete Diccox wasn’t so fortunate when an oil leak sprang from his Van Dieman just under 10 minutes from the end of the session. He still did well to qualify.
The afternoon’s racing proved to be fast and frantic. Roberts, starting 10th and on the outside of the grid, had a poor start, losing a couple of positions off the line. He quickly made up the lost ground and started to pass the cars in front of him, but a wild moment at Tower almost ended the day when he ended up sideways on the grass! Costing him another couple of positions, he regained his composure and set about reclaiming the lost ground. Unfortunately a tangle with Class C championship contender, Jim Hamilton, while attempting a pass at Quarry, bent a suspension arm and, after losing even more gound, Roberts elected to park the car. Meanwhile, Tom Margetson had his best race of the year, finishing 5th in the class. Pete Diccox had an interesting battle with Mike Madge, swapping positions lap after lap, until Diccox came out on top at the finish.
CASTLE COMBE August 4 2007 - RACE REPORT
Following an extensive test and development period, the early promise shown by Josh Fisher in one of the Wayne Poole Racing Mygale SJ01s (see right) paid off handsomely at Castle Combe on Saturday August 4th. A flag to flag win, despite coming under heavy pressure throughout the race, was just reward to both driver and team who had put in a lot of hard work to turn the car into a front runner and now a race winner.
A cloudy and overcast qualifying session saw Josh take pole position with a 1m 12.3s just ahead of Ben Norton in one of the Australian Spectrum 011s now fitted with the latest parts to reduce the understeer which had been troubling him in earlier races. Other potential winners were lurking further down the grid in the shape of Steve Jensen in fifth and Ed Moore in sixth.
At the start Josh got away cleanly and led into Quarry chased by a fast starting Steve Jensen up from the third row. Despite Josh pulling away for a couple of laps Jensen was able to close up and put the Wayne Poole Racing driver under considerable pressure during the middle of the race. This included a couple of attempts down the inside at the fast Camp corner where Josh was able to hold Jensen off on the brakes and keep to the outside line and the lead down the following straight. After the race Josh commented on the apparent strength of the engine in Jensen's Swift which might have made holding him off for the entire race a tricky prospect.
Fortunately, help arrived in the form of Ben Norton's Spectrum which had caught the leading duo and began to put Jensen under some serious pressure. This in turn caused Jensen to drive more defensivley and allowed Josh to eke out a small margin in front. This lasted for a couple of laps until Norton was able to pass Jensen and close up on Fisher but time was fast running out and on the last lap Josh was able to keep ahead and take a truly memorable win.
Back in the paddock the whole Wayne Poole team as well as the Fisher family were ready to celebrate the win. Pictured right are Josh's Dad, Josh, Wayne and the mechanics clearly enjoying the moment.
CASTLE COMBE July 14th/July 15th - RACE REPORT
On the Saturday Josh Fisher took third spot in practice behind Ed Moore and Ben Norton. Unfortunately a poor start saw Fisher drop to eight on the first lap but a fighting drive through the field yielded a fourth place finish at the end.
Of the other WPR drivers Tom Margetson qualified an excellent fifteenth overall and third in Class C while Matt Devenish was 19th and Pete Diccox 30th. In the race Margetson finished 4 laps down, Devenish retired on lap 10 after a coming together with Alan Slater and Pete Diccox finished in 26th place and on the lead lap.
Sunday's grid was determined by the finishing order on the Saturday so Fisher (pictured left) started fourth which quickly became third on the first run through Quarry. After a restart due to a red flag Fisher was back down to fourth behind Moore, Jensen and Norton. Fisher gave Norton a hard time on lap two, with Ben able to soak up the pressure until Tower on lap three when the ex-F3 man got through. Fisher chased down Jensen, who hadn't stayed quite as close to Moore as Norton had manged 24 hours earlier, and on the last lap the pair ran side by side through Folly before Fisher completed the move at Tower. Second place and fastest lap represented a major step forward for the team.
Following his accident on the Saturday Matt Devenish decided to sit out Sunday's race. However, the damage to the Van Diemen was easily repaired so Wayne Poole decided to take over the entry for a one off outing. What an inspired decision! Starting from the back of the grid (34th!), the team boss had climbed to 18th by the end of lap two (and actually gained a few more places, which were subsequently 'lost', before the red flag). On the restart, his progress was again stunning and in the final three laps he passed first Hamilton and then erstwhile Sarik Vacform Class C leader Higgins. "I decided to go out for a but of fun and ended up here" said the driver of the race. Seventh overall, first and fastest lap in Class C topped off a successful day for Wayne Poole Racing.
Tom Margetson (pictured right) was again unlucky, failing to finish, while Pete Diccox went one better than on the Saturday by finishing 25th.