Tragedy mars Wilson victory

Ben Wilson in action at Cadwell Park.
Ben Wilson in action at Cadwell Park.

BEN Wilson claimed a double victory at his home track of Cadwell Park to extend his British Supersport series lead over nearest rival Alistair Seeley to 53 points.

However, the weekend’s celebrations were marred by the death of 18-year-old Ben Gautrey, who lost his life in the Superstock 600 race on Monday.

Ben was also a member of the MWR/Gearlink Kawasaki Superstock team and a close friend of Wilson, who dedicated his win on Monday to him.

Wilson, from Kirton, was in fine form throughout the weekend and the 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 he was right on his tail.

Wilson was not to be denied the lead and scorched past his rival on the straight, immediately pulling away.

Wilson was never troubled again and went on to cross the finish line for his seventh win of the current campaign, 3.4 seconds ahead of his rival.

“I didn’t get the best of starts and Alistair got a bit of a break on me on the first lap,” said Wilson.

“On the last lap I had a look behind me as I didn’t realise how much of a lead I had.

“It is a good feeling to get the win here at Cadwell.”

Starting the feature race on Monday from pole position, Wilson once again got 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 0.3 seconds of Wilson on lap nine and as they rounded Barn Corner and he was looking for a way past.

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.

The podium celebrations were somewhat muted as the riders were told of the tragedy that had occurred earlier.

An emotional Wilson said: “Obviously I am very pleased with the result today, 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.”

This double victory gives Wilson a further 50 championship points, and he now has an advantage of 53 points over Seeley.

But 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 rest on his laurels.

The next round is at Donington Park on September 11, and the Lincolnshire rider will be aiming to secure two more top results to maintain his advantage over Seeley.