Castle Combe motorsport awards go digital

By Nick Batten on 3 December, 2020

A virtual version of the annual Castle Combe Racing Club Awards took place on Saturday (28th November), hosted by Wiltshire public speaking trainer Chris Dawes who was Master of Ceremonies for the event.

As Castle Combe Circuit is currently marking its 70th year, the organisers of the awards were determined that the show would go on. So instead of gathering at Aerospace Bristol in the shadow of Concorde as had been planned, they took to Facebook and YouTube.

Chris, who is Managing Director for Swindon-based Open Dawes Training, is also a motorsports commentator, voiceover artist and regular host of awards presentation ceremonies across the UK.

He said, “I host many awards around the country but it is always a particular privilege to be host of the Castle Combe Racing Club Awards, based as they are at my home circuit where my love of motorsport was born. With so many events like this being cancelled due to the pandemic, it was fantastic news that the organisers still wanted to go ahead. 

“It was a little bit different to a normal face-to-face awards ceremony, but the bonus was so many more people could attend and even interact live with messages. In fact we have had more than 5,000 views, and over 500 comments across Facebook and YouTube, and of course because it is online it can still be watched back, so this number is still rising.”

A regular commentator for motorsports at Castle Combe Circuit and also on the Board of Castle Combe Racing Club – Chris introduced different features to the awards to make them lively, including applause sound themes, as over 40 guests made appearances during the show, and pre-recorded interviews for those who couldn’t make it.

A range of Castle Combe awards were won in categories including Formula Ford Championship, Saloon Car Championship, GT Championship and Hot Hatch Series.

Chris continued, “It was a bit concerning that the technology could go wrong, but on the night everything went really well and while it is not quite the same as running a normal award ceremony, it was not a bad second best!”

In Chris’s main role as MD of Open Dawes Training, he trains people in presentation, media, and public speaking, including how to present online.

As well as hosting the awards ceremony, throughout the pandemic Chris has been hosting Castle Combe TV on the circuit’s Facebook and YouTube pages, to keep the momentum going while the circuit has been closed to spectators.

As he hosted the event, Chris was surprised with a special recognition award by Castle Combe Racing Club and Circuit for all that he has done during the pandemic, with Castle Combe TV and the organisation, production and broadcasting, and hosting of this awards show.

To view the awards and Castle Combe TV shows, visit Castle Combe Circuit’s pages at or

Chris Dawes hosting a previous motorsports awards ceremony back in January