VETERAN racing driver Gordon Rae had an eventful return to the competitive circuit when he took part in a race at Castle Combe circuit to raise money for St Michael’s Hospice.

Mr Rae travelled to Wiltshire racetrack on Monday (May 31) to compete in the latest round of the Formula Vee national championship series.

The 80-year-old is one of the oldest people in the UK to hold a racing license and chose to support the hospice because of the care it gave his wife Elsie as she battled cancer during the last few months of her life in 1988.

It was the first time in nine years that Mr Rae had taken to the track competitively and things did not get off to the best of starts when he arrived to discover that, due to various mishaps, his team was only able to offer him the “hack car” - the old banger that no driver wants to end up with - for the race.

“It was a choice between that or not racing at all so I thought that I would give it a go,” said Mr Rae, a veteran of Formula Vee competition who has won races at the circuit in the past.

His eventful day continued when he lost a front wheel at 90mph on the first corner of practice, meaning he headed in to the race with next to no experience of the re-designed circuit under his belt.

Starting from the back of the grid Mr Rae was able to pass four cars before a four-car smash in front caused the race to be red-flagged and restarted.

When the got back underway Mr Rae again started from the back of the pack, and problems with his front brakes made it impossible for him to gain any positions during the race.

“It was a little frustrating but it was all good fun and for a good cause,” said Mr Rae.

Mr Rae hopes to race again at Silverstone later this year.