Race 2 '09 - Snetterton
125 Open British Superkart Championships, Rounds 3 & 4, Snetterton, May 25th 2009
Ben Willshire was looking to capitalise on his two third place finishes at Anglesey and gain some more valuable championship points as the RG Racing team travelled to Snetterton, Norfolk for Round 2 of the British Championship.
Qualifying was tough with Willshire having to learn the circuit whilst pushing for a fast lap time. He eventually qualified in 7th position with a 1min 18.15 lap time (89mph average speed). With championship rivals ahead, Willshire knew he would have to push hard in Race 1 to try and regain some places.
When the lights went out for Race 1 Willshire made a good get away from the line following the former Isle of Man GP winner, Jason Kitchen through the fast right hander of Ritchies corner. Towards the end of lap1 Danny Butler took an unexpected visit to the grass as the field rounded Corum Curve for the first time, showing that the hot weather and motorcycle rubber was having a detrimental effect on grip for the Superkart drivers. Willshire was now up to 6th. The 125ICC outfits of Lloyd Skrivens and Gary Needham were now following in close pursuit, taking a ‘tow' from Willshire on the long straights of the Snetterton circuit, affecting the aerodynamics of Willshire's kart and loosing him valuable time. But it was not all over as at ¾ distance Kitchen's kart slowed at the end of Revvet straight, allowing Willshire through to 5th with Kitchen left to watch from the sidelines. The race leaders were now in sight but too far for Willshire to catch, with him eventually crossing the line in 5th place, 3 seconds shy of number 3 outfit, Danny Edwards.
Willshire would start race 2 from 5th spot and made a clean getaway, surrounded by plenty of ICC karts fighting for the coveted UK Cup ‘O' plate.
As Willshire approached turn 2, Sears corner, the field bunched with some karts making contact. Willshire had to take evasive action and as a result lost critical momentum onto the following 700m Revvet straight. This allowed Danny Butler to take advantage and Willshire was down to 6th but still on the tail of the leading pack. As the race progressed Willshire hung onto the tail end of the leading pack but Jason Kitchen was on a charge, fighting from the back of the grid, eventually demoting Willshire to 7th at the line as Kitchen stormed through to 3rd place.
Willshire leaves Snetterton upbeat and takes away more valuable championship points. (final standings' yet to be released). This seasons 125 championship is looking as open as ever after 4 rounds, with the top 6 driver's barely separable. Only a brave man would bet on the winner at Rounds 5 and 6 at Darley Moor in June.