MIKE Pearson Airfield manager was delighted to welcome the Royal Aero Club Records Racing and Rally Association to Popham last weekend.

Pearson said: “It was also great to see members of the public enjoying a free event at the airfield on a sunny weekend, there is always something going on here and all are welcome in the club café.”

At one point last Sunday the weather looked as if it would prevent the race from starting, but spectators who enjoyed this free to enter bank holiday treat were rewarded for waiting in the cold north-easterly wind.

When the sun came out and after a delayed start of 15 minutes, the race was well contested by 14 aircraft.

Sunday’s race was for the Society of British Aerospace Companies Trophy, which was round six of the British Air Racing Championship.

It was won by the current British Air Race Champion ex-military pilot Bob Ellis,.

Flying solo in an aircraft he built himself, a Vans RV8. He completed the course in 38 minutes 40 seconds at an average speed of 170.11 knots.

The previous day, which was round five of the championship saw pilot contest the Grosvenor Challenge Trophy and this was won by Derryn McMaster and his navigator Claire Carter flying a Robin R2160.

They completed the 106 mile course at an average speed of 132.75 knots.

Also racing at the weekend was a very special entrant Dave Gillespie and his wife Karen Gillespie who came all the way from Canada bringing with them the oldest De-Havilland Chipmunk still flying.

It was shipped from Canada in a container and re-assembled in the United Kingdom for display work through the summer.

Built in 1946 this old timer did not quite have the speed to win.

However, at the presentation ceremony one of the Popham Members offered a bottle of champagne for the competitor who had travelled the longest distance to race.