Ben at the British Superkart GP
RG Racing were competing at the British Superkart Grand Prix over the weekend of the 19th / 20th of July. Both drivers Ben Willshire and Gary James were competing in the 125 Open class and hoping to continue the run of recent success.
Friday testing proved to be difficult with inconsistent weather conditions preventing the team from finding a basis for chassis and engine set up but valuable track time was gained with Ben Willshire running his new PFP tuned SGM engine.
Saturday morning saw the 125 open’s compete for grid positions in a very wet qualifying session. Gary James struggled with kart set up and as a result would
start the heat races from 17th on the grid but confident of making good progress
from the rear of the pack. Willshire qualified in 8th position with a time of 1min 48,
closely behind Danny Edwards and Louise Collins.
The races contested on the Saturday were run as rounds 7 & 8 of the British
Superkart Championship as well as qualifying races for the Sundays MSA British
Kart GP. Race one saw bad luck strike for Willshire as he suffered mechanical
problems on lap 1 of the race, resulting in a retirement from the race. Gary James,
however, made good progress in the dry weather and fought to from the rear of the
grid to take 11th position. Race 2 saw opposing results with a retirement from Gary
James and a 10th place finish for Ben Willshire. The results from Saturday would
see the RG racing drivers pair up side by side on the grid for the MSA British GP
Pre-Final the next day with Willshire starting 13th and James lining up 14th.
With engine failure during the Sunday morning free practice, RG Racing’s
engineer, Doug Mercer, had his work cut out but did a fantastic job to ensure
James could line up for the pre-final grid. The RG racing driver’s rewarded the
team’s efforts, with both drivers bringing their karts home safely. Willshire, after a
close battle with Jason kitchen finished the race, and qualified for the GP final, in
11th with Gary James in 12th.
So, Sunday afternoon saw the start of a dry MSA British Superkart GP with the RG
racing drivers lining up side by side, again. Willshire dropped a few places away
from the line and after lap one was fighting for 13th position with Gary James also
bunched in the mid pack.
Willshire continued to battle with the pack and after an immensely close race,
swapping positions lap after lap, with Lee Smith and Mark Hinchcliffe he crossed
the line on lap 12 in 10th position, with less than 0.2 seconds separating himself
and Lee Smith, who snatched 9th place exiting Barn corner on the last lap! Gary
James drove a quieter race but managed to put in some consistent laps early on in
the race and found himself in a comfortable 13th place at the end of the race.
Despite Willshire loosing valuable championship points during the Saturday
championship races he sees himself lying 7th overall in the British Championship
with 4 rounds remaining.
James took a solid result from the GP and continues to move forward with the set
up and performance of his new Pavesi powered machine this season.
The team drivers will next be competing at rounds 9 & 10 of the British Superkart
Championship at Darley Moor on the bank holiday weekend of August 25th/26th.