Ben takes Victory in Ireland
Ben Willshire of RG Racing has maintained a healthy gap at the top of BSA 125cc National Superkart Championship after a strong performance in Northern Ireland over the Jubilee weekend.
Times from the morning qualifying session were unfortunately not recorded due to a fault with the circuit electronics so championship regulations were implemented, which state that in the event of force majure the grid should be formed on the basis of current championship standings. This meant that Willshire would start on pole position for Race 1. In any event, it appeared that Willshire would have comfortably secured pole position anyway as his data logger recorded a time of 1min11.47secs, some 0.6 seconds below the lap record! At the start of race 1, Willshire dropped to 3rd place behind Matt Isherwood and 2009 National Champion Danny Edwards. Willshire was held up behind Edwards for the opening laps whilst Isherwood slowly opened a gap. By the time Willshire had moved up to 2nd place, the gap to the leader was too big a margin to reel in and Willshire finished 2nd, taking his 4th podium of the season. In race 2 Willshire made a better start from the front row and controlled the race after passing the early race leader, Gary Agnew. Willshire managed to pull a 2 second gap over Isherwood and went on to take a well-deserved victory. Willshire and Isherwood crossed the line some 10 seconds in front of 3rd placed local driver James Irvine, demonstrating the pace of the two lead drivers. Willshire's results in Race 1&2 meant he was the outright winner of the BSA National Championship races on the day. Ben has now extended his lead at the top of the championship table at the half way point of the 2012 season and hope to build on that at Snetterton on the weekend of July 14-15. An additional race 3 took place as a non-championship race for the coveted 'UK Cup', the winner of which has the privilege of displaying the famous 'O' plate instead of a race number for the remainder of the season. Willshire went into the race as the current O plate holder and drove a valiant defence. He could only finish runner up after losing a small amount of time to Isherwood in the opening stages of the race, which broke the 'slipstream' needed around the fast 1.8mile Bishopscourt circuit. It should be noted however that no driver in the history of the 125 Open class has won back to back O plate titles so Willshire was pleased to finish runner up in the race to a deserved new O plate holder. Ben Willshire will be joined by team mate Gary James as the RG Racing team travel to Snetterton on 14-15 July for the World's biggest superkart event, the MSA British Superkart Grand Prix, which will also host rounds 7&8 of the BSA National Championship. We'll keep you posted!
Current Top 5 Championship Standings (30 points for a win)
Ben Willshire 152
Danny Edwards 124
Matt Isherwood 115
Danny Butler 97
Gareth Sheridan 82