Following a rain-soaked 2016 instalment, the 2017 Bristol Forklifts Autumn Classic race meeting – the sixth consecutive running of the event – welcomed a day largely consisting of sunshine at Wiltshire’s Castle Combe Circuit.
One of the venue's most popular events on the calendar, the Autumn Classic is a time warp-back to the good old days of four-wheeled racing, with this year's show setting the scene for no less than seven white-knuckle historic races held throughout the day.
The thousands of guests that made the pilgrimage were this year encouraged to dress in period clothing to add to the fantastic atmosphere; with more punters than ever putting on their Sunday bests to match the prestigious historic metal on display.
A highlight of the vast paddock area was the Star Cars tent – housing some of racing's most memorable cars which took to the track at lunchtime for some electrifying parade laps. Amongst the line-up was Nick Mason's Ferrari 512S ex-Le Mans entrant, as well as a smattering of vintage F1 memorabilia like James Hunt's very own Hesketh 308 car from the 1974 championship. Live performances from The New Academic Feetwarmers trad-jazz band in the heart of the Star Cars paddock only added to the excitement.
But of course, an Autumn Classic event wouldn't be the same without the swathe of dedicated club car owners which make up such an important part of any show. 2017 saw two Club of the Show awards dished out: the Riley Register/Riley Motor Club in the Chippenham Road area, and the Classic & Historic Motor Club in the Camp Corner section of the circuit – congratulations to both clubs for such impressive turn-outs!
The judges next thought long and hard about what to award the coveted Car of the Show awards to, eventually deciding on a rather stunning '50 Austin A90 Atlantic which is in the final stages of a decade-long restoration over in the Chippenham Road section, and Ralph Melhuish's '51 Bristol 401 tucked away in the Camp Corner area.
For full race results, photos and more information about the event, keep your eyes peeled on the website, as well as the dedicated Facebook page – www.facebook.com/castlecombeautumnclassic.
We hope to see you at the 2018 instalment!