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Shunt ruins title dreams for West Pinchbeck racer Ben




The British Superlite Championship now looks out of sight for Ben Smalley after he was taken out by another car at Cadwell Park.

Ben, from West Pinchbeck, had won one race, finished second in the other and was pushing for victory in the final race of the day when he was forced off the track.

He finished second overalland has risen to second in the overall standings, but 2019 champ Phil Redfern now has too much of a lead over the Spalding Grammar School student, with just one race to go.

Ben Smalley in action at Cadwell Park. Picture: PR PHOTOGRAPHY.
Ben Smalley in action at Cadwell Park. Picture: PR PHOTOGRAPHY.

On Saturday practice he t,Ben topped the timing tables in two of the four sessions in the S6 class in his maiden outing at the track.

Sunday morning saw him qualifying second in his class in very tricky conditions of rain and high winds.

Ben started well in Race 1, chasing down last year’s champion Phil Redfern, overtaking him on thepenultimate lap and setting the fastest lap as he took an impressive first place.

Race 2 ended up being a six-lap sprint after two red flags had stopped the previous two starts.

Starting first in the grid,Ben was jumped by Redfern at the start and was again faced with hunting him down.

Lap after lap the gap was closed and Ben made his move on the final lap on the run to the line, only to be denied the win by the highest of margins, 17/1000th’s of a second.

With everything coming down to the final race of the day, Ben, in his Blue 96 car, once again found himself starting second, behind Redfern.

The 2019 champ once again got away quicker, leaving Ben to chase him down once again. Both drivers were unfortunately impeded by a couple of slower S9 cars.

With Ben placed very nicely, in exactly the same spot as he was in the first race and well placed to strike for the lead on the final lap, he was unfortunately taken out with a lap and a half to go, havingjust posted the fastest lap of the race.

This left Redfern with a free run to the line and victory not only in the race but overall in class for the day as well.

Fortunately though, even with the DNF, Ben had accumulated enough pointsto still claim second overall.

The result promoted Ben into second overall in the Championship table, but with Redfern further extending his lead at the top.

With only one round to go, the title now looks out of reach.

The final round takes place at Wigan on December 5/6, providing COVID-19 lockdown is lifted.



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