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Ben has the power this year

 
Created on 30/03/2017 @ 14:37
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Racing driver Ben Power opened the season with a victory in the first MRF National Legends Car Championship race of the year at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent.

Power, aged 26, from Guilsfield, near Welshpool, cut back on his racing commitments last year, but is aiming on a more sustained campaign in 2017, and now lies third in the table after the opening round.

The weekend got off to a bad start, when mechanical problems forced the team to make a last-minute engine swap, and Power ended up only ninth quickest in practice.

Starting sixth on the grid in race one, however, he soon got through into the lead and had a race-long battle with Jack Parker. The duel was interrupted by a red flag with four laps left, which allowed others to catch up, but he managed to pip Parker to the flag.

In race two, he finished third, after starting near the back of the grid, and took fourth in the final – again from a rear-of-the-grid start, leaving him second overall on points after the first day.

Day two started with a second-place finish after an exciting battle, which saw him chase winner Steve Whitelegg over the line.

In the second race, Power took an early lead, but was soon caught by defending champion John Mickel. The pair fought for the lead throughout the race, with Mickel, who is also a former world champion, winning by just 0.08 seconds. Power also recorded the fastest lap of the race.

In the final race, Power was forced into the gravel trap while overtaking, and – although he was eventually able to return to the track – he was too far back to catch the leaders, eventually settling for seventh place.

“Overall, it was a very eventful, but very satisfying start to the season,” said Power. “Considering this was my first racing for about 10 months, I’ve got to be happy with that.”

The championship moves to Wales for the next round at Anglesey Circuit on 22nd and 23rd April.

Power made his debut in the Legends Car series in 2009 – finishing 8th overall and 2nd in the rookie table, having switched to the circuits after winning the Junior Rallycross crown in 2006 and Supermodifed Rallycross titles in 2007 and 2008.

His progress in Legends racing has seen him climb from a 10th place finish in the 2010 championship to 6th in 2011, 4th in 2012, 3rd in 2013,  2nd in 2014, and 3rd in 2015. Last year he only raced in one round, as he focused on his off-track career commitments.

The formula originated on the US oval tracks, and the cars have an American look, being 5/8-scale replicas of classic US models. Guttercrest Racing runs a Ford Coupe 1934 replica, with a 1250cc Yamaha motorcycle engine.

With identical cars and the fastest drivers having to start at the back of the grid, there is said to be more overtaking in a single Legends race than in a whole season of Formula 1.

Guttercrest Racing is backed by the family-owned aluminium guttering company Guttercrest, based in Oswestry. The team has further support from award-winning Cardiff-based PR and communications consultancy Weltch Media.

Picture: Ben Power in action in the Guttercrest Racing Legends Car (No 55).

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