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Luck of the Irish brings Ben a podium

Ben Takes a podium finish in Ireland

With sunshine ordered for the weekend the English racers of the British Superkart Championship travelled to Bishopscourt, Northern Ireland to challenge plenty of local Irish drivers for the coveted UK Cup ‘0’ plate and rounds 5 and 6 of the British Superkart Championships. RG Racing arrived with driver Ben Willshire to compete in the 125 Open category, with much needed points at stake after a disappointing start to the season.

Untimed practice on Friday afternoon saw Ben well on the pace of the field but small mechanical problems limited his track time on the very fast and bumpy circuit. However, qualifying on Saturday morning saw Ben put in some consistently quick lap times to place himself 5th on the grid for Race 1 with a lap time of 1:15.8s.

A quick move off the start line in Race 1 enabled Willshire to maintain his 5th place into the 115mph turn 1. Local driver, Justin Doherty, suffered a spectacular engine failure into Turn 2 causing his kart to spin across the circuit. Fortunately, all the drivers managed to avoid Doherty’s spinning kart and Willshire managed to emerge after lap 1 in 4th place. As the race unfolded Irishman, James Irvine, disappeared to take a convincing victory with Willshire taking 3rd place, 4 seconds behind last year’s British 125 ICC champion and fellow Englishman, Danny Edwards.

Race 2 saw Willshire start from 3rd on the grid but a poor run to turn 1 dropped him into 5th position after lap one and battling with Noel Lindsay and Damian Sleep. After some changing of positions and with a brave move Ben found himself back in 3rd position and pulled out a gap of 14 seconds from 4th place to take a comfortable podium position and 3rd place overall for the British Championship meeting.

With the points races out of the way for the weekend the drivers were left to battle it out one more time for the UK Cup trophy. The winner of this race would be presented with the sought after ‘0’ plate to carry on their kart for the next 12’s the one all drivers want to win.

Ben had qualified 3rd and a solid start saw him maintain this position for the first few laps of the race, following the two local Irish drivers James Irvine and Justin Doherty. On lap 5 of 10, Willshire missed an up shift in gears exiting the first chicane and allowed Louise Collins alongside and through to take 3rd. With Danny Edwards now hot on Ben’s heels, the remainder of the race saw Willshire and Edwards battle it out for the remaining 5 laps. The English pair demonstrated some superbly clean and close racing, with only 0.2 seconds separating them across the line and 0.06 seconds separating their quickest laps. With Irvine taking his third win of the day and the ‘0’ plate title, Willshire managed to take 4th spot behind Collins and Doherty with Edwards finishing 5th. Wilshire’s strong finishes in Ireland will see him jump up the championship table with what appears to be a turning point in the 2008 season for the Hampshire based driver. (official points are yet to be released).

The team travel to Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire on 19th/20th July to compete in the British Superkart Grand Prix and rounds 6/7 of the championship.

RG Racing would like to thank its team sponsors: Apex Circuit Design Ltd, ARCO, Trimedia, Ferodo, Demon Tweeks, NGK Spark Plugs, and Sign-Rite of Basingstoke and Tony of Interactive Marketing for his advice. The team are still looking for sponsors to assist with running costs for Team.