Ben Power made the most of his prize British Touring Car Championship test outing with HMS Racing at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on Monday, 20th November, where the multiple MRF Legends Cars National Championship race winner produced an impressive performance in tricky, wet conditions.
Winning the incredible opportunity after topping a special points table which ran separate to the main Legends Cars title chase this season, the 27-year-old from Guilsfield in Powys made a strong impression on HMS team principal Simon Belcher and BTCC race winner Rob Austin.
Beginning the day with a handful of passenger laps alongside Austin to obtain some key pointers from the vastly experienced BTCC fan-favourite, MRF Legends Cars Vice-Champion Power then watched from pitlane as fellow Legends racers Steve Whitelegg (Bury) and Nathan Anthony (Horley) took their turns alongside Austin in HMS Racing’s outgoing Toyota Avensis.
After the lunchbreak, Power then got behind the wheel of the race-winning touring car himself and delivered a consummate performance in the difficult wet conditions on the full 3.66-mile Grand Prix track at the home of British motorsport.
“It was an awesome day and experience”, said an exuberant Power, “The passenger laps alone with Rob [Austin] were great fun and really enjoyable, but when I actually got to drive the Toyota myself it was incredible. I’ve done a bit of Rallycross before in front-wheel drive, so I tried to remember that and the team gave me a good set of wets which offered a lot of grip.
“It’s a fantastic car to drive, I can see now why touring cars are so popular with the drivers, and it’s very fast too. It was a busy track, and obviously challenging conditions, but I’m very happy with the job I did and I want to again say a massive thank you to Simon, Rob and all the guys at HMS Racing and, of course, Phil Cooper from Legends Cars – it’s been an amazing opportunity.”
Team principal Belcher was impressed with the performance delivered by Power on his BTCC test debut, particularly with the unfavourable weather, and the former touring car racer also took the chance to get back behind the wheel himself for the first time in two years.
“Unfortunately, the weather meant the conditions were very tricky but the car came back in one piece and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day”, he reflected, “Ben really did do a good job, he had a lot of fun out there and handled the car impressively with no problems at all. It was a pleasure to provide this test opportunity and also the passenger laps for Steve and Nathan.
“I did about 10 or 12 laps myself and it was great to be back behind the wheel of a touring car for the first time in two years. I really enjoyed it and it was good to try and see the difference in the set-up and handling of the car since Rob’s been part of the team. The car felt very good in the wet and it certainly left me wanting more…”
MRF Legends Cars National Championship owner Phil Cooper added: “All three drivers had a fantastic day, Ben, Steve and Nathan all got out of the car after their laps with Rob with huge grins on their faces! When it was time for Ben to drive he did a fantastic job and really was spectacular. He was a hugely deserving winner of the BTCC test prize and certainly made the most of it.
“The prize has been a fantastic addition to our championship this year, we’re incredibly grateful to Simon Belcher for enabling the test to happen and for providing three of our drivers with a day out and experience they’ll remember for a long time.”