2007 Season Final
The last round of the British Superkart Championship saw the RG Racing team travel to Donington Park on 3rd November 2007. With Ben Willshire on a high after his podium finish at Cadwell Park the team were confident of securing a good result to end the season.
The high-speed circuit of Donington Park suited the teams SGM engine, which was used for the British Kart GP at Cadwell Park earlier in the year. On arriving at Donington Ben was lying 7thin the British Championship and was looking to steal 6th place from Damian Sleep. Peter Bennett, Alex Von Ernheim and John Hutton were positioned closely behind in 8th, 9th and 10th place respectively.
Having never driven at Donington Park before the team were more than satisfied with Willshire’s qualifying performance, which secured him a solid 6th place on the competitive 125 grid.
Race 1 saw Ben with a good start from the lights up to Redgate but as Willshire turned the kart in to the fast right hander Ben knew that the kart was unsettled.
“As soon as I turned in to Redgate and put load onto the outside corner of the Kart I suffered from huge oversteer. I managed to keep with the pack down through the Craner Curve but at the next right hand bend, Old Hairpin, I suffered from major oversteer again. I knew that I had a problem and managed to get the kart back to the pit lane for the team to take a look at the problem” said Willshire.
Fortunately RG Racing were able to make repairs to the kart and enable Ben to get back out on the circuit for valuable track time however a DNF classification appeared on the results sheet next to Willshire’s name for not completing 75% of the race duration.
Race 2 saw Ben start from 11th on the grid and a drive away from the line saw him gain several places on the approach to turn 1. However it seemed that Redgate Corner was again to be the telling moment of the race with karts colliding and spinning in front of Willshire as the pack headed into the fast right-hander. Willshire was forced into a spin and found himself coming to a halt in the gravel with several other competitors. After managing to restart the kart Ben was determined not to let this unavoidable accident ruin his weekend and bravely caught the 125 pack to take 8th place.
Strong performance’s from Alex Von Ernheim and Peter Bennett secured them 3rd and 5th place overall in the standings that day which meant Ben had to settle for 9th place in the British Superkart Championship. The Donington Park finale had proven to be a disappointing end to the season but Willshire remained upbeat.
“Myself and the team have been on a huge learning curve this year. At the first round of the season I had only tested a gearbox kart twice so to walk away from my first year in gearbox racing as a seeded driver is fantastic. We have had some good results this year (3rd Overall at Cadwell and 5th Overall at Mallory Park) and it’s been great fun at the same time. Next year we will be looking to improve on this result so at least we have something to aim for”.
RG Racing now looks forward to next season and will be looking to gain support for Willshire’s 2008 British Superkart Championship campaign. Ben would like to thank his 2007 sponsors Castrol, NGK, Demon Tweeks and Sign Rite Basingstoke for their continued support during 2007. Ben and the team also pass thanks to Bob Clowes of MOTIV and Phil Featherstone of PFP pipes for their hard work and advice and to all of the British Superkart series organisers and competitors for a great seasons racing.