With a couple of weeks to go until this year’s Autumn Classic at Castle Combe Race Circuit, on September 23rd at the picturesque and challenging Wiltshire race track, the event is shaping up to be one of the most memorable race days on the Castle Combe Circuit calendar.
Single-seaters, Sports and GT cars, FISCAR, Classic Ferraris and much, much more will be providing the track race action for the day as Castle Combe Circuit “goes retro”. However, the Autumn Classic is much more than simply a race meeting.
The event is really part race, part historic car show. It is a favourite gathering spot for Classic Car Clubs from all over the region – and further afield – and there will be a host of industry stands to cater for the owners and enthusiasts for whom historic vehicles are a key and cherished part of life.
There is usually a theme to the event and the focal point of this year’s Autumn Classic is a celebration of one of Britain’s longest-running sports and racing car manufacturers – Lotus – for whom 2023 marks their 75thAnniversary.
Lotus founder Colin Chapman built his first race car in 1948 and, after its early days in and around North London, Lotus been based in Hethel, Norfolk since the mid-1960s. During this time, the marque has brought multiple F1 World Championships to Great Britain, as well as a plethora of genuinely iconic racing and sports cars – think, Elan, Elise, Esprit, on both road and track, as well as the legendary, Lotus 49, 72, and 79, all of which dominated the Grand Prix scene in their time. It is the first of these, the Lotus 49 that is featured in the artwork for this year’s Autumn Classic event artwork, which is once again illustrated by automotive artist Brian James. It depicts the original ’67 version of the Lotus 49 Formula 1 race car against a backdrop of Castle Combe Circuit in the late ’60s, which harks back to various times when Lotus F1 cars ran demonstration laps at the circuit during the period.
Lotus has always had a close association with Castle Combe Circuit and, indeed, the first recorded appearance of a Lotus at the race track was as far back as 1951, when Lotus’ founder, Colin Chapman himself, piloted a Lotus Mk3 to victory during the Bristol MC & LLC and 750 Motor Club meeting on 12 May. Also, in October 1965, Chris Summers Lotus 24 not only won its race but, in doing so, set the very first 100mph lap at the Castle Combe race circuit.
Expect, therefore, to see a really strong attendance from various Lotus car clubs and, as if the prospect of a spectacular day of Classics on and off track at Castle Combe Circuit isn’t enough, visitors to the track can now benefit from the improved pricing structure that is in place for the rest of the season.
Advanced tickets for the Autumn Classic are now down to £15 for adults and £10 for Over 65s and include a free race program. Tickets on the gate, on the day, are £20 for adults and £15 for concessions. Under 16s are admitted free when accompanies by a paying adult.
Gates open to the public at 8.00 AM on the 23rd September with action on track from around 9.00 am. The racing will run up to almost 6.00pm and as well as the trade stands on the day, there will be a great selection of food and beverage options.
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