After a cold and drizzly day at Castle Combe with Ford, there was considerable relief that the sun broke through for the driving day at the race circuit.

Proceedings started with Reg Burnard unveiling the plaque dedicated to Howard Strawford, with his widow, Pat. It will later be mounted on a wall in the circuit’s press centre.

There was also a lot of interest around Bentley’s Le Mans winning car which was there on display, its 119dBA exhaust note way beyond the noise limits to allow it on the track.

However, one that was much in demand for track demonstrations was McLaren’s 112C which sounded glorious as it was put through its paces.

Special guest, Jamie Baulch enjoyed the few hours he spent with us and would like a return visit in 2014 to savour more of the cars on hand.

With nearly 100 in attendance and nearly 60 modern cars available to drive, plus a variety of classics it was one of the best turn-outs to help the Group celebrate its 25th driving day.

 PR driver of the day went to BMW’s Krystyna Kozlowksa.

Come the end of the day there were two cars vying for ‘Car of the Day’ and they couldn’t have been more different: Land Rover 90 and the McLaren with the latter winning by a small margin. and this earned the supercar PR department a hamper of goodies generously donated by The Western Group members.

Although Jamie came out top in the diesel economy challenge getting 99.9 mpg from the Fiesta, it was decided, instead, to transfer his prize to Puneet Joshi from Fiat who coaxed a 25.4 per cent improvement over the Hyundai Veloster’s combined fuel consumption figure.

Meanwhile Ford’s Dan Jones squeezed 74.4mpg from the Citroen DS3 Cabrio. Whilst Denis Chick and Rory Lumsden won the Nick Baldwin ‘Guess the part’ and the Glenn Smale/Kim Henson ‘Guess the car’ competition, respectively.

To round matters off the raffle and auction raised over £820 for the Guild Benevolent Fund and WOMAC.  

The PR Driving Day in words: 
Denis Chick – “It’s the best”Jamie Baulch – “I had no idea it could be this good”
Oliver Rowe – “It’s a once in a year opportunity and we get lots from it”Sam Hardy – “You don’t get a chance to see people and drive competitor cars in this way anywhere else”
Ian Tonkin – ” Invaluable way to get behind the wheel of rival products”Alison Terry – “I wouldn’t miss this day for the world, it’s really productive and valuable.”
Rory Lumsdon – ” Fantastic opportunity to get behind the wheels of competitors cars we have been looking at and reading about for many months.”Julian Leyton – “I have only ever missed one driving day in 25 years because its such a tremendous event”

 The PR Driving Day in pictures: 

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