MOTORSPORT: Ben’s hopes of a double podium go up in smoke

SUPER START: Ben Wilson (left) during Saturday's sprint race at Oulton Park. Photo by ADRIAN SMITH
SUPER START: Ben Wilson (left) during Saturday's sprint race at Oulton Park. Photo by ADRIAN SMITH
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Ben Wilson racked up another podium at Oulton Park on Saturday – but an engine failure 24 hours later denied him another high-scoring weekend.

The Kirton rider was well positioned in third spot in Sunday’s feature race, but was forced to retire when the back wheel of his Gearlink Kawasaki locked up – causing him to run off down the escape road at Hizzy’s chicane.

Although still in third place in the standings after round seven, Wilson has lost valuable ground on lead duo Alastair Seeley and Stuart Easton.

Qualifying went well for the Lincolnshire ace and he began Saturday’s 10-lap sprint race from a front row grid position in third place.

As the lights went out Wilson catapulted through to lead the field through the first two laps, but was overtaken by his team-mate Seeley at Lodge corner on lap three.

As they went round Old Hall Easton then pushed him back to third – and although he stayed with the leading duo, he was unable to make a pass and completed the race in third place.

Wilson did set a new lap record at the Cheshire circuit though, clocking a time of 1.38.806mins (99.08mph) to give him pole position for Sunday’s feature race.

The main event was an exciting and close affair, with Wilson battling for the lead with Jason O’Halloran.

Seeley and Billy McConnell joined in the fun at the front too, but after holding third place for much of the race Wilson’s technical problems ended his race.

Wilson said: “We all went for the same tyre in the sprint race but I think I maybe worked mine a little bit harder than the others.

“But third was not a bad result for me considering that last time we were here back in May I was unable to start the first race and then was placed on the back of the grid for race two. I recorded the fastest lap again and have been told it’s a new lap record, not bad on a worn tyre!

“The feature was a really good, close race and any one of us could have taken the win. I knew where I was strong and where I intended to make my move but the engine let go and that was that.

“It’s a shame but that’s how it goes sometimes. I will come back stronger for the next race in two weeks’ time.”

Next up for Wilson is his ‘home’ race at Cadwell Park, near Louth. Round eight takes place over the Bank Holiday weekend of August 24-26.