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XK Gazette - Ian Mills feature

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HRDC "GTS65" at Castle Combe - 09/04/12

Despite a state of drought across half the county, torrential rain seems to be becoming a theme of Twyford Moors outings. The XK in question this time is a fixed head but for those trying to race it on a soaking wet track, offering no grip, this was little consolation.

Twyford Moors Jaguar XK150 S race car at Castle Combe

The outing in question was our first race of the season, competing in the HRDC “GTS65” for pre-66 Historic GT cars over 1500cc, with our Jaguar XK150S racecar driven by Nik Rochez (Twyford Moors Owner) and Ian Mills (Twyford Moors Manager). The venue for this auspicious event was the usually fast Castle Combe motor circuit; on this occasion however the circuit was slippery, visibility was poor and the racing was tentative to say the least. To make matters worse, before the “GTS65” qualifying started a car disgraced itself by dripping its oil on quarry corner making already difficult driving conditions near impossible.

Twyford Moors prepared XK150 racing at Castle CombeJaguar XK150 S racing at Castle Combe

The actual racing was slow yet rather exciting. With a grid consisting of heavy, powerful, rear wheel drive cars, tail sliding action was inevitable. The masters of this tail happy art were the Campfield brothers, in their Austin Healey 3000, who won the race in style. They were on average 3 seconds faster than the other Austin Healey 3000 which came in second and over 10 seconds faster than most of the other racers. It was an absolute pleasure to watch such amazing car control.

HRDC racing grid at Castle CombeVery wet first corner for the HRDC racing at Castle Combe

The results from the race show that the lighter cars faired much better in the conditions and this could be seen from standing at the side of the track. Where lighter cars could gently scrub off speed with gentle braking and then slide through the corners, the bigger cars locked up with the slightest sniff of braking. The result of this was that the XK would come hoofing down the straight and then Ian or Nik would have to lift off, gently slow down and then tentatively man-handle the skittish beast through the corners.

Twyford Moors prepared XK150 S racing at Castle CombeJaguar XK150 S race car challenging a Sunbeam Tiger

By the end of the day there was a collection of bedraggled drivers, with bloodshot eyes, all happy to have made it through the ‘race’ without coming off the track or doing any damage. The days’ racing was as much about damage limitation as trying to win. We hold out high hopes for the rest of the our first season with the HRDC and look forward to seeing what all the cars can do in better driving conditions.

For more information about the HRDC click here to visit their website and to see full results click here.

Twyford Moors XK150 racing with a Sunbeam Tiger and MG B at Castle Combe

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