The opening of the Alfaholics Workshop last year meant that there would be a new twist to the annual Castle Combe track day for 2011. This year we had built a pair of cars for customers who would be arriving at the Open Day with the promise of a track-ready car polished and waiting! As the deadline approached, the workshop team were flat-out to make sure all the cars would be ready for the big event. With the cars in the workshop lined up, the food and drink spread out in the office, we were ready to go.

By mid-morning, the snarl of Alfa outside announced the arrival of the first visitors and as lunchtime approached, the car park filled up with 105s of various colours and nationalities. Once again we had many visitors from abroad – a large Belgian and Dutch contingent joined others from Germany, Ireland and the UK but most impressive was the journey made by Faisal Huda, who flew in from Canada to pick up his freshly upgraded yellow ochre GT Junior. Also collecting their car on the day were the Cottons, father and son who had commissioned us to build a bespoke high specification track day Spider. Among the assembled cars, an additional touch of glamour was provided by the gorgeous pre-war supercharged 1750 of Mike Hurst. Our neighbours on the estate are quite used to sporty looking stuff being around but this was something else entirely! Everyone enjoyed an afternoon in the sun, chatting about the cars but all too soon it was time for everyone to head into Bristol and check into the hotel.  We all then assembled in the bar and headed out to our familiar Italian restaurant where we took over the entire upstairs restaurant area!  After a fabulous dinner and not too much wine (!), the evening drew to a close in preparation for the following day.

Cars all lined up in the Alfaholics workshop ready for the open day

Faisal Huda arrives from Canada to take delivery of his Alfaholics upgraded GT Junior

Mike Hurst’s supercharged 1750

Bill Cotton takes the first drive of his Alfaholics custom built Spider

Saturday dawned bright and fresh with the promise of a clear, sunny day. A restorative bacon roll and cup of tea soon banished any lingering after-effects of a late night and with everyone eager to get out on the track, both signing-on and the briefing were dispensed with efficiently. As usual, there was a fabulous array of 105s on track – ranging from standard specification road cars to super-quick modified twin spark track day cars and race cars, all well presented and well prepared.  It is often mentioned how high the standard is of the cars that take part in the annual Alfaholics track day and this year was undoubtedly the best yet.  The semi open-pitlane format meant that there was plenty of track time on offer while contributing to the relaxed atmosphere of the day with no worries that you’ll miss your turn!

As well as the participants, plenty of visitors came along to watch the fun and many brought rare and interesting cars with them. The chance to join the lunchtime parade will have been an added incentive no doubt!

The full Alfaholics team was on hand to offer help, advice and passenger rides as a way of demonstrating the various upgrades available for the variety of Alfas that we run between us. By mid morning, everyone seemed to have got to grips with their car (and the circuit!), some choosing to learn the circuit themselves, others taking advantage of the always excellent instruction laps on offer. As ever, the high driving standards and great camaraderie meant the day was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  The smell of hot brakes, rubber and oil filled the air in the paddock as the sound of howling twin cams drifted over from the track and the action continued late into the afternoon. As the sun sank lower we all started to pack up, some to make the long trip home, others to join in the evening meal at the local pub to enjoy the last few hours of a fantastic day in great company.

Thanks to everyone who attended for helping make the day such a success and see you again next year!

Cars line up for first session of the day

Paul Chase Gardner tests his newly aquired ex-Dieter Anton FIA App.K 1600 GTA

Andrew demonstrates his Alfaholics upgraded 3.0 24v GTV with new Alfaholics 6-Pot brakes & handling kit

Richard Cotton drifts his newly custom built Alfaholics Spider through Camp!

Andrew demonstrates the Alfaholics S4 Spider

The lunchtime parade proved as popular as ever

Brian Healey came over from Cork, Ireland with his highly upgraded GTV

James Wheeler’s Giulia Super was as smartly turned out as ever this year!

Jouke Jelgerhuis’ Dutch trackday GTV

Alfaholics stores manager Jim Spackman demonstrates his Alfaholics upgraded 75 Twin Spark

Max demonstrates his Alfaholics GTA-R