Our motor racing client Ben Power has this morning [November 15] been officially confirmed as the winner of a test drive in a race-winning British Touring Car Championship Toyota Avensis.
Ben, who won 14 races on his way to runner-up spot in the 2017 MRF UK Legends Championship, will join HMS Racing’s Rob Austin at Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit on Monday [November 20] to make his BTCC test bow.
Announced at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham’s NEC back in January, the prize offered by MRF Legends Cars in conjunction with HMS Racing [formerly Handy Motorsport] is one of the biggest ever offered in club level motorsport.
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 weekend in order to ultimately reward the driver considered most complete over the course of the season.
“I’m absolutely elated”, said Ben. “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.”
Ben came out on top across all categories by just three points from Steve Whitelegg.
He will have several passenger laps at Silverstone on Monday alongside Austin before getting behind the wheel of the Northgate and Duo-liveried BTCC Toyota himself.
“I’m so grateful to Phil Cooper at MRF Legends Cars, Simon [Belcher] at HMS and the other judges, Rob [Austin] and Dave Newsham”, added Ben. “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 [Austin] 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!”
MRF Legends Cars National Championship owner Phil Cooper commented: “We’re obviously delighted for Ben he has this incredible opportunity to test a race-winning BTCC car with HMS Racing and 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”.