A DOUBLE victory for Ben Wilson at his home track of Cadwell Park was overshadowed by the tragic death of a close friend at the circuit on Monday.
Wilson extended his series lead over nearest rival Alistair Seeley back to 53 points with three rounds remaining. However the weekend’s celebrations were marred by the incident in the Superstock 600 race which killed 18-year-old Ben Gautrey.
Gautrey was a member of the MWR/Gearlink Kawasaki Superstock team and a close friend of Wilson, who dedicated his Monday win to him.
A very emotional Wilson said: “Obviously I am very pleased with the result. It is really special to get a double win in front of the home crowd and it’s a fantastic feeling but all this fades into insignificance after the accident involving my teammate Ben Gautrey.
“I want to dedicate this win to him and God bless him.”
Wilson, from Kirton, was in fine form throughout the weekend and fastest in free practice and qualifying.
He began Sunday’s 12-lap sprint race from pole position but did not get away to his usual fast start. He moved up into second place behind Seeley as they headed towards turn one and as they crossed the start line for lap two was right on his tail. Wilson was not to be denied the lead and scorched past his rival on the straight and immediately began to pull away.
Wilson was never troubled again and went on to cross the finish line for his seventh win of the current campaign.
Starting the feature race on Monday from pole position, Wilson once again had a sluggish start and was fourth away. But as they went through Charlie’s he was up to second and although Seeley tried to defend his line, Wilson passed him on the straight at the start of lap two.
This time he was unable to shake off his opponent and the pair circulated less than a second apart for the majority of the 16 laps. Seeley came within 0.3s of Wilson on lap nine and was looking for a way past as they rounded Barn Corner. But Wilson wasn’t having it and accelerated away.
Seeley made a mistake and missed a gear which caused him to lose ground and Wilson pressed on to take the win with an advantage of 3.3s at the chequered flag.
With seven races and a further 175 points on offer at the final three rounds the championship is by no means over and Wilson cannot afford to restt on his laurels. The next round is at Donington Park on September 11.