Results > 16th-17th April 2016 - Castle Combe

Thompson on top in championship opener

Historic Formula 3 Championship Castle Combe

16 April 2016

Thompson on top in championship opener

Peter Thompson was the toast of Castle Combe with victory in the opening round of the HSCC Historic Formula 3 Championship on Saturday (16 April).

Andrew Hibberd set the pace in the race until sidelined with fuel pump issues and so Simon Armer and Ewen Sergison completed the podium during the race weekend that marked the 50th anniversary celebrations of the HSCC.

A good grid arrived at the Wiltshire track and the track was damp but drying after overnight rain when the HF3 pack headed out for qualifying. Most of the best laps came right at the end of the session as track conditions improved and it was Simon Armer (March 703) who judged the grip best to take pole in 1m18.281s, still around four seconds away from a full dry time.

Thompson (Brabham BT21) and Hibberd (Brabham BT18) were very close in second and third as Sergison (Brabham BT21) and Marcus Mussa (Tecno) completed the top five.

The sun was out and the track was dry for the race and it was Thompson who got away best to lead the pack into Quarry as Hibberd struggled away and dropped to fourth behind Armer and Sergison. Once into his stride Hibberd was quickly into third and then slipped past Armer at Camp at the end of the second lap.

Thompson was now three seconds clear but in three laps Hibberd closed the leader down and dived ahead into Quarry on lap six. Thompson, however, was not about to give up and immediately re-challenged as he ran on the gearbox of the leading Brabham. Then, Hibberd slowed as a fuel supply problem developed and Thompson swept back ahead as the former leader cut his revs and started short-shifting in a bid to keep going.

Armer, meanwhile, had escaped the early clutches of Sergison and nipped past the ailing Hibberd to make sure of second place before Hibberd cruised into the pits to retire with four laps to run. With the top three places now settled, there were still some excellent battles running down the field and it was reigning champion Leif Bosson (Brabham BT28) who tigered his way through to fourth after a good tussle with Mussa and Robs Lamplough (Brabham BT28).

Keith Messer brought the unique Vesey into seventh before another excellent contest for eighth covering the Brabham BT21s of Mark Linstone, Chris Holland and Jim Timms as well as the Chevron B15C of category newcomer Martyn Halliday.

“I think he caught me up from a long way back,” said Thompson of Hibberd’s challenge. “It’s a shame Andrew dropped out as we were going to have a good scrap.” Armer acknowledged that second place was the best he could have hoped for. “To be fair to Peter, I didn’t have the pace to live with him,” said Armer.

Sergison was very pleased to join the podium party after his previous outing at Castle Combe ended against the barriers at Quarry. “I was gifted third, really,” he said. “These guys are so quick!”

Paul Lawrence

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