Freddie Hunt, the son of late motor racing world champion Janes Hunt, was a star attraction at Castle Combe circuit on Saturday.
He was competing Formula Ford 1600 race in the class B Swift SC92 of the Yatton Keynell based Swift Cooper team.
Although this was Freddie’s first visit to Castle Combe, the circuit’s very survival in the modern era was contributed to by his late father, who appeared as an important expert witness at a public inquiry in February 1981, the result of which secured the circuit’s future with permanent planning permission.
At first glance, Hunt appeared to be a complete reincarnation of his late father, his looks and ‘public schoolboy’ voice attracting plenty of attention, much of it from the female quarter. Initially, Hunt also appeared to have inherited his father’s skill too, claiming the class ‘pole’ and seventh overall in the abysmally wet qualifying session on his circuit debut and in a car which was new to him.
Unfortunately, his words prior to the race proved to be rather ironic; “I really like the track, there was plenty of grip where I wasn’t expecting it, but it looks like it will be dry for the race, so god knows what will happen then. I just need to keep out of trouble and build up some experience.”
In reality, Hunt made a slow start, dropped down to 11th and retired on the fifth lap after spinning on oil at the Esses. Hunt’s antics prompted a Safety Car, to the chagrin of Melksham’s Ed Moore who had shot from 8th of the grid to take a dominant lead in his previously recalcitrant Van Diemen.
Nevertheless, Hunt impressed Swift Cooper team boss Alan Cooper.
"He is a lovely guy, with a great attitude'" he said.
"I’ve been really surprised at him over the last few days. The awning has been full of media and people wanting to see him all day and he’s been really great with them and very professional.
"He was brilliant in qualifying and if his last lap hadn’t been cut short, he would have done a time which could have put him fourth overall. It’s a shame about the race, because he would have won the class, but he thanked me for everything afterwards and we hope he will come and race with us again.”
In contrast, the two laps under the Safety Car allowed Chippenham’s Adam Higgins to close the gap to Moore, who, two laps later spun on the same oil as Hunt, later retiring with broken rear suspension.
This left Higgins to take a brilliant win and the championship lead.