Race Report – Castle Combe 30th May

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Castle Combe was the first event at which Karen and Richard could stay overnight at the circuit in the relative comfort of their own semi-converted camper van. They arrived the day before the racing in the afternoon and went about making themselves at home. They and the TenguDo Motorsport Team enjoyed some beers in the evening and some fantastic food and more company courtesy of the Red Dragon Race and Track Club (RDRTC) BBQ.


Unfortunately, Bank Holiday Monday dawned damply and the rain gradually grew worse so that conditions for qualifying were rather less than ideal. The track was very wet with many areas of standing water. Karen's car was equipped with a set of cut Silverstone FTZ's which at best could be described as intermediates and so she would have to tread lightly. This she did and apart from one minor excursion to the grass at Bobbies chicane she survived unscathed. Many others didn't fare so well with casualties growing to the point that the session was red flagged after only 4 laps completed (If people were lucky!). Karen's qualifying time of 1:45.006 put her in 13th position for Race 1 out of 34 runners, and 3rd in line for the Subaru Cup.


Race 1 started in rainy conditions with Karen being baulked by a slow starting Civic but she was doing well until struck hard by Gary Chappel's Celica at Quarry on lap 2. This span her out but she managed to avoid hitting the try wall. However she lost 12 places immediately!


As Karen tried to recover, Anthony Allit's Civic exited stage left at Camp Corner and hit the tyre wall. On lap 5 she crested Avon Rise into Quarry to see Kevin Middleton's Impreza embedded nose first into the tyres. This caused the deployment of the Safety Car. Karen was trying to catch up with the main field hoping to make better progress when the SC went in. The Celica GT that had been in front of Karen span out on the exit of Tower and Karen jumped on the opportunity to overtake it, especially as this turned out to be the last lap! Karen Finished 23rd out of 34 runners and 1st in the Subaru Cup.


Race 2 saw the conditions drying out nicely and Karen made the most of the grip available in a storming start to take at least half a dozen places by Quarry on the first lap. Things were going well until she was driving up Avon Rise later on. #29 driven by her husband Richard in his second only race caught up with her and they were both on different lines. Unfortunatley, they came together and Karen came off worst being sent spinning off into the tyre wall. History was repeating itself and she was forced to produce another recovery drive, finishing 22nd out of 28 runners. This time being classified 3rd in the Subaru Cup.


About Karen Phillips

  • Karen races her Impreza WRX in the Nippon Challenge, a race series for Japanese and Asian cars. Karen has now been racing since 2006, having started in the MR2 Challenge.
  • Please check this site regularly for updates on Karen's progress through the season and developments with her race car.

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