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11/05/09

Race 1 '09 - Anglesey


RG Racing began their British Superkart Championship campaign this weekend on the Anglesey Coastal Circuit in North Wales. 

 

Basingstoke based driver, Ben Willshire, represented the team in his Anderson/SGM outfit, looking to improve on last seasons 5th Place finish in the series.

It soon became evident that Willshire had the pace to contend at the front when he posted a time of 1min 11.87s, to take 3rd spot on the grid behind Louise Colin and former British ICC champion, Danny Edwards. Incidentally this time would have qualified Willshire in 9th position in the 250cc race from a 23 kart field! 

A heavy down poor just before Race 1 meant the grid would be starting on wet tyres but the track was soon starting to dry thanks to the coastal breeze over the undulating Anglesey circuit. Willshire made a good start, taking to the outside of Turn 1 and manoeuvring his way into 2nd by at the Turn 2 hairpin but it was not to last long as Danny Edwards regained his position coming out of the banked hairpin and onto the fast section of circuit leading to Church corner. Edwards and Colin then began to pull a gap on Willshire as the whole field began to struggle for grip from the wet weather tyres on a now completely dry circuit. Willshire eventually crossed the line in a solid 3rd place some 14 seconds behind Edwards and Colin but with a comfortable 4 second lead over Lee Morgan in 4th.

  

Race 2 didn't offer any confusion over tyre choice. The track had now dried completely but Willshire's start was not the best. He dived for a gap between Colin and Edwards off the line but was squeezed and had to ease off the throttle allowing several drivers to take advantage. Willshire now found himself in 10th position with some work to do. By the end of lap 2 Willshire had disposed of Martyn Turner to take 9th and was on a charge to regain his lost positions. Chris Needham was next on Willshire's list and by lap 4 he was up into 8th and following closely behind Ian Ried, Jason Kitchen and Daniel Butler. With Kitchen running wide at Rocket hairpin, Willshire was soon in 7th and as they rounded Peel corner for the 5th time Willshire saw his chance to pass Butler and got a run on him through the fast downill section of circuit. Willshire was able to find the confidence and grip to make the move stick and took to the outside of Butler into the corkscrew to take 6th position. With James Irvine having mechanical problems and Ian Ried disposed of, Willshire was now in 4th and closing in on Race 1 winner Danny Edwards who he managed to pass on the start of the last lap and take home a well deserved 3rd place finish.

 

The first two races of the day were point scoring races for Rounds 1 & 2 of the National Championships and with two third places, Ben finds himself in 4th overall laying only 1 point behind Lee Morgan.

  

Race 3 was a battle for the prestigious UK |Cup, know as the ‘0' plate, the winner of which can take pride in racing with the number 0 for the remainder of the year. Willshire would start 3rd on the grid. An close and exciting dice with Jason Kitchen saw Willshire in 5th for the majority of the race but he soon managed to pass Kitchen, making better use of the 250cc back markers, and cross the line in 4th. 

 

All in all, a successful weekend for the RG Racing team and a promising start to the 2009 season.