A new-look Western Group Driving Day is being planned to mark its 25th anniversary on 19 June.

To celebrate the anniversary, the Group has made some changes that we hope will make the day even more appealing to everyone who accepts their invitation to this private and unique event.

The biggest change is that Western Group members, for the first time, will be allowed to drive the cars throughout the day, although not at the expense of our guests who will continue to have priority access to the cars.

You will also see from the timetable that we are making more use of Castle Combe’s race circuit: for two hours, from 9.30 to 11.30 am, there will be an urban route laid out over part of the track for demonstrations and drives of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and cars fitted with stop-start and other fuel saving capabilities that are best experienced in simulated city, commuter style situations. 

We would also encourage manufacturers to demonstrate some of the fuel-savings concepts that have been revealed of late, such as development hybrids, EVs and the likes. Maybe, even alternative fuel-powered concepts.

After a 15 minute break the track will re-open for an economy challenge lasting until 13.45. The Group is encouraging manufacturers to enter their most economical petrol and diesel-powered production cars in a competition overseen by Castle Combe’s marshals.

Whilst all this is going on there will be the usual opportunity to drive cars on the roads around Castle Combe; a pre-planned 30-minute route is being mapped out to ensure that everyone has a chance to get in plenty of drives.

There’s no point in using a race track like Castle Combe if you can’t experience the thrill of driving on the circuit but to ensure everyone’s safety there will be restricted speed convoys led by one of Castle Combe’s experienced race instructors. 

Starting at 2.00pm this will last for two hours and also allow those manufacturers, and others, to demonstrate classic cars they have brought and prefer not to run on public roads. We’re hoping there might even be a few high speed track demos as well, but more news of that later when it’s confirmed.

Off track activities will include Nick Baldwin’s fiendish “Guess the component/marque” competition that makes the ‘Antiques Road show’ look like a walk in the park.  And as part of the group’s 30th anniversary in 2013, classic car buff, Kim Henson is joining forces with Glen Smale to devise a “Spot the car” competition using Glen’s extensive Virtualmotorpix archive of historic automotive images. With prizes presented to those with the most points.

There will also be photographic coverage and, for the first time, video footage taken on the day, both on and off the track. Newspress has again agreed to part sponsor the day and for the first time this year, Hyundai has also given its support.

Don’t worry about going hungry either: bacon butties and breakfast will be available in the refurbished Tavern from 8.00am onwards and a barbeque from noon until 2.00pm. Tea, coffee and other refreshments will be available throughout the day and Alyson Marlow is planning a surprise (?) for the afternoon. At 4.00pm the track closes and presentations made to the lucky winners.

We hope you like what you’ve just read and look forward to seeing you at Castle Combe on 19 June for what we think will be a memorable day.


18 June

Cars delivered to Castle Combe, parked by the office with keys left in the office. Western Group nominee collect keys late in the afternoon.


08.00hrs: Guests arrive at Tavern and sign-on. Cars delivered to the site and parked.

09.00hrs: Welcome and briefing by Western Group chairman Ian Adcock


09.30: 30-minute road route opens.

09.30: Urban test route opens on Castle Combe circuit.

11.30: Urban test route closes.

11.45: Economy challenge commences.

12.00: Barbecue lunch at The Tavern

13.45: Economy challenge finishes.

14.00: Barbeque finishes:

Circuit re-opens for restricted speed track driving, classics and possible high speed demonstrations.

16.00: Track closes, presentations and guests depart. Cars collected and transported off site. 

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