Oswestry-based racer Ben Power wins coveted prize test drive

Reporter:

Barrie White

An Oswestry-based motor racing star is celebrating after he won a coveted dream prize test in a race-winning British Touring Car Championship Toyota Avensis.

Ben Power, who picked up 14 victories on his way to runner-up in this year’s MRF Legends Cars National Championship, will join HMS star Rob Austin at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on Monday to make his BTCC test bow.

The prize was awarded using a standalone points system away from the main championship table, drivers were graded in key areas such as performance, presentation and sportsmanship after each race, and Power as delighted to come out top.

“I’m absolutely elated,” he said.

“It’s an honour to have been chosen, looking at the criteria and such strong competition, and I do pride myself on being respectful and professional to fellow drivers, spectators and marshals.

“The team always does a great job of presenting the car, and also in the pits, and I think the judges acknowledged we were strong in all areas this season.

“This is the silver lining for me after just missing out on the championship.

“I’m so grateful to Phil Cooper at MRF Legends Cars, Simon Belcher at HMS and the other judges, Rob and Dave Newsham.

“I’m a huge fan of the BTCC and I’ve always aspired to race in touring cars, I’d love to compete on the package at some point in the future and climb the ladder like former Legends racers Simon and Dave.

“There’s no car I’d rather drive for my first BTCC test, Rob obviously won the final round of the touring cars this year in the Toyota so I can’t wait to have the opportunity to drive it and couldn’t ask for a better introduction as Rob is a top-notch driver.

“To me, there are a lot of similarities with touring cars and Legends with the 30 car grids, close action and overtaking – I can’t wait.”

Power will benefit from several passenger laps at Silverstone on Monday alongside Austin before getting behind the wheel of the Northgate and Duo-liveried BTCC Toyota himself.

Cooper, MRF Legends Cars National Championship owner, said: “We’re obviously delighted for Ben he has this incredible opportunity to test a race-winning BTCC car with HMS Racing.

“I’m sure he’ll do a fantastic job at Silverstone on Monday. It was very close between Ben and Steve Whitelegg in the end, just three points, and both would have been deserving winners.”

HMS team boss Belcher added: “When I originally spoke to Phil about the idea of the BTCC test, I remembered how much fun Legends was when I raced in the championship.

“Legends Cars is a club level version of touring cars and is where the likes of myself and Dave Newsham cut our teeth before making our way to the BTCC, so what better than rewarding these drivers with a BTCC experience.”

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

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