MOTORSPORT: Amazing comeback as Wilson ‘rains’ in pack

Rain dance: Ben Wilson went from the back to second at Oulton Park on Saturday, extending his series lead in the process. Photos by HELEN PASK & ADRIAN SMITH
Rain dance: Ben Wilson went from the back to second at Oulton Park on Saturday, extending his series lead in the process. Photos by HELEN PASK & ADRIAN SMITH
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BEN Wilson was singing in the rain at Oulton Park after producing a memorable second place in the Saturday sprint race.

The predicted heavy and continuous rain that was forecast for Sunday played havoc with the race programme – resulting in the British Supersport feature race being postponed and the meeting abandoned.

Ben Wilson at Oulton Park (july 2011)

Ben Wilson at Oulton Park (july 2011)

Wilson suffered a technical problem with his Gearlink Kawasaki in the early stages of qualifying and was forced to start from 26th place on the grid.

But he rose to the challenge and powered through the field to take an amazing second place at the chequered flag.

This amazing result means that Wilson extends his series lead to 53 points.

The Kirton racer was there or thereabouts in the free practice sessions and was the fastest rider on track in the early stages of qualifying in the wet on Saturday.

However, his Gearlink Kawasaki developed a technical problem and he was forced to sit out the rest of the session – watching in dismay as the track dried and the lap times fell.

At the end of the session he had been demoted to 26th and faced an uphill battle to salvage anything from the short ten-lap race.

The rain clouds cleared and the track was dry for the start of the race and Wilson began his campaign from a lowly seventh row grid position.

As the lights went out he got away to his usual fast start, moving from 26th to 14th on the first lap.

He set about reeling in the riders ahead and elevating himself up into seventh position mid-race, before sweeping past three more riders to move into fourth place, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.

The final three laps saw some frantic action and as they rounded Lodge for the final time Wilson was in third place.

But the 29-year-old was not satisfied with that and stepped on the gas to cross the finish line in second place, just three hundredths of a second behind race winner Billy McConnell with Alistair Seeley hanging onto his shirt tails in third place. Wilson said: “I gave it my best shot in the sprint race and managed to get on terms with the leading three riders.

“Another lap and I think I could have won but I will take second today and the 20 points and move on to Brands Hatch for the next round.

“The boys worked hard this weekend to get my Gearlink Kawasaki up and running in time for the first race and it’s thanks to all their efforts that I was able to bring home the points.

“Its disappointing the second race was postponed but the track conditions were far from ideal and the rain seemed to get even heavier as the day wore on.”

The postponed feature race will be rearranged shortly to take place at one of the five remaining venues on the season calendar. Because Wilson set the fastest lap in the sprint race he will start from pole position.

Standings: 1st B Wilson (Gearlink Kawasaki) 268pts; 2nd A Seeley (Relentless TAS Suzuki) 215pts; 3rd B McConnell (Oxford Tag Triumph) 137pts; 4th P Young (Oxford Tag Triumph) 125pts.