With seven electrifying races, awe-inspiring historic vehicle demonstration laps and an unending array of static car displays, it’s fair to say 2018’s Autumn Classic race meeting – held at Castle Combe Circuit on 6th October – successfully combatted the particularly damp weather that descended on the Wiltshire circuit for the day.
One of the highlights of this year’s step-back-in-time for the thousands of classic car fans that made the annual pilgrimage was the Dream Garage paddock in the middle of the venue’s display area. This time celebrating Le Mans winners, the area was dominated by ex-competition Ford GT40s that were there to commemorate the car’s outright win at Circuit de la Sarthe back in 1968.
The GT40s were in great company, too – namely Mark Finburgh’s incredibly rare Porsche 917 – a machine that dominated in several endurance races across the globe in the early ‘70s before going on to star in Steve McQueen’s Le Mans Hollywood blockbuster. Needless to say, it was a vehicle that was never too far from a mesmerised crowd!
Aside from the endless stream of races that took place on the circuit (click here for a full race report on each series), the track action also included an extremely memorable parade demonstration at lunchtime, including the aforementioned GT40s as well as machines like Nick Mason’s Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Competizione.
With many show-goers dusting off their period clothing to add to the atmosphere, as well as local swing outfit the BJ Big Band providing the live tunes, the circuit’s display areas were a great place to revel in the golden era of motoring as the day went on. As always, hundreds of club cars could be seen in all their glory, with judges eventually dishing out several trophies to some well-deserved winners.
2018 acted as a particularly poignant year for the Autumn Classic as it was chosen as the backdrop for the unveiling of an all-new memorial stone to commemorate the Wiltshire circuit’s extremely important past life. With the help of Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust, circuit Managing Director Graham Marshallsay unveiled the new memorial that pays tribute to RAF Castle Combe – an crucial training airfield during World War Two whose perimeter road formed the bases of the race circuit we know and love today.
For full race results, photos and more information about the event, keep your eyes peeled on the event’s website – www.autumnclassic.co.uk, as well as the dedicated Facebook page – www.facebook.com/castlecombeautumnclassic. We hope to see you at the 2019 instalment!