Ben Slater kick started his season with an impressive 8th position from 34 entrants at the Kimbolton Club championship meeting at Huntingdon on the weekend of February 9/10.
A very strong field of competitors included some of the best club racers in the country but also included the under 18s world champion, Midlands’s champion, the prestigious East Anglian Cup winner, former London Cup winner and the current senior rotax club champion. The entry list also included a number of former drivers from the British championship Super1 series
This was Ben’s first meeting back at Kimbolton following his horrific crash during last season at the East Anglia trophy in June.
Last season Ben concentrated on the Rissington club championship and finished a well deserved 5th place from 22 after some frustrating meetings with engine and chassis problems with a new Praga chasis and an engine rebuild pre-season testing at Whilton Mill smoothed out the technical set up problems and Ben was ready for his first race meeting of the season.
The weather forecast for race weekend did not look promising but on practice day it was dry but cold and the six practice sessions went to plan with some impressive lap times. Snow did not appear on race day as predicted but it was very cold with persistent rain all day.
Ben started on P4 for heat 1 and maintained this position until the penultimate lap when he was pushed wide off the track and lost 5 places finishing 11th In heat 2 Ben started on P28 and over the 9 minute race pushed very hard in atrocious conditions making up 14 places finishing 14th.
Ben enjoys wet conditions and in the final started on P11. Into the first corner at the start of the race Ben made up 5 positions running in 7th place. Ben stayed in touch with leaders with the club and midland champion switching places for the lead, and also defending from U18 world champion who was breathing down his neck in the final laps. On the last lap Ben made a couple of mistakes on the last lap giving Henry Eathope, the current U18 world champion, the opportunity to lunge Ben into the final bend and a drag race to the chequered flag just taking 7th place away from Ben on the line.
Ben is also very busy racing for Coventry University having qualified for the BUKC championship. Ben finished 10th overall from 35 teams at the first round at Rye House with further rounds in March at Landow South Wales, Clay Pigeon Devon, and Buckmore Park , South London with the final round at his home circuit at Whilton Mill in June.