Jaguar (JEC) Racing – Castle Combe – 6th October 2013

Castle Combe Autumn Classic

Norman Dewis Trophy Race For Pre 1966 Jaguars

Report by Terry Dye – Pictures by Roger, Nick & Chris Gage


Roger Gage steps out from behind the camera to enjoy the period atmosphere in the Paddock at Castle Combe Autumn Classic …..
…..meanwhile, Nigel Webb checks out the opposition!

On a fine autumn morning, twenty-five assorted Jaguar race cars assembled at Castle Combe to compete for the newly inaugurated Norman Dewis Trophy. The event was witnessed by a large crowd of racing enthusiasts, some in period dress, and including over a hundred members from four regions of the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club. Add to that the presence in the paddock of the iconic Ecurie Ecosse transporter, complete with a selection of the original cars and, at lunchtime, a parade lap of Jaguars led by Jaguar legend Norman Dewis driving a replica XJ13, all contributing to a truly memorable day.


Grahame Bull in his E-type and Anthony Reid in the Nigel Webb XK120 were on the front row

Grahame Bull in his E-type and Anthony Reid in the Nigel Webb XK120 were on the front row whilst Read Gomm’s superb re-creation of a lightweight, low drag E-type sat alongside Colin McKay in a more standard car on the second row. Richard Butterfield’s indecently-quick MK1 led the saloons from the S-type of Rob McGregor, whilst Simon Seath was giving his beautifully prepared MK1 its first outing.

Rick Haythornthwaite entertained with a triple rotation at Camp which anyone on Strictly Come Dancing would have envied. It was great to see Rob Newall shaking the cobwebs from his XK120, and a rare sight this season was Dick Skipworth in his E-type. Also great to see Charles Fripp, one-time XK racer, with his very attractive Gomm Special.


Ely leads Skipworth and Stevens

Panic in the assembly area when Steve Skipworth’s XK initially failed to start and heartbreak for Andy Dee-Crowne when a simple HT Lead failure forced a non-start.

Bull’s E-type stormed off the line and he drove superbly to lead the vastly experienced Reid, and although Reid passed on lap two, Bull briefly retook the lead four laps further on. A very fast and close duel then ended only when Reid pulled off with a puncture, allowing Bull to take a hard fought victory.

Just behind all this the Gomm low drag E-type waited to pick up on any errors form the leaders. The unfortunate Les Ely suffered a misfire and was unable to challenge but still finished saloon runner-up. Brian Stevens’ unsorted but immaculate E-type was embroiled in a big battle with Skipworth Junior’s XK120, whilst Steve’s rejuvenated father Dick took Class C2 from Norman Davidson-Kelly. Rob Newall had a stupendous wheel to wheel battle with the Mk 1 of Butterfield, both mostly sideways much of the time, but was later rather heavily penalised for missing a warning flag. Geoff Ottley, who drives his 3.4 XK to and from the circuit, gave a rapid display to beat more powerful cars.

Having rehearsed the move in qualifying, Rick Haythornthwaite spun his XK120 and smiting the barrier on the start/finish straight, which brought out the safety car, and the distinctive Gomm Special of Fripp also retired just before the end. A battle between MacGregor (S-type), Rochez (XK150), Kennelly (XK120) and the enthusiastic Gary Morris (E-type) was resolved in that order. Colin Youle’s 120 just held off the Love MKVII and Rob Pinchbeck, who was getting acquainted with his newly purchased XK120, showed well.

There were terrific battles throughout the field but the most exciting was between the McKay   E-type, Newall’s XK120 and the Butterfield Mk I. Norman Dewis later said he had rarely seen a Jaguar Mk I driven so well and Richard Butterfield duly earned his nomination for the ‘Norman Dewis “Drive of the Day” Trophy’, personally presented by Norman after the race.


Results First Second Third
Overall & Class C1 Grahame Bull Read Gomm Colin McKay
Class A Steve Skipworth Andy Keith-Lucas Geoff Ottley
Class B Richard Butterfield Les Ely Robert MacGregor
Class C2 Dick Skipworth Norman Davidson-Kelly  

Castle Combe Picture Galleries (with excellent captions!)

In the Paddock

In the Race


JEC Racing

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All information correct at time of publishing.