Sunday, 17 January 2021

Ben Smith has best Pro Eseries Championship result at Bathurst

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Last night the Repco Supercars Pro Eseries landed at the iconic Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst for Round Three of the sim racing Championship. After a tough start to the series, Kelly Racing’s Pro Eseries pilot Ben Smith went into this week’s event confident having completed plenty of virtual laps around the mountain both on iRacing and other simulator platforms. Castrol colours returned to Bathurst for the round as Ben carried the traditional Castrol Racing livery on the #151 Mustang this week.

The night kicked off with a single qualifying session to establish the grid for the first of two races for the evening. With several wildcard main-game Supercar drivers joining the grid for the round, the field was bigger than ever. Such was the competitiveness of the drivers, the top-ten were only separated by a few tenths of a second – Ben just missed out and claimed P14 on the grid for the start.
 
Ben had a solid initial phase of the race in the Castrol Racing Mustang, collecting around three places in the first few laps to put him in P11. From there Ben’s focus was on timing his compulsory pit stop appropriately to maintain track position. Towards the end of the race Ben was very close to the top-ten, but had to settle for a solid P11 at the chequered flag.
The second race of the evening saw the grid set by reversing the finishing order from race one. Historically the reverse grid races have provided plenty of carnage and unfortunately Ben was in the midst of it on lap one where he took some damage to the rear of the Mustang and lost his rear wing.
 
Ben was then forced to pit early from to repair the damage which cost him valuable time stationary in the pits. He re-joined the race effectively P18, however in the closing stages Ben was able to capitalise on a few battles ahead to claim P15 at the flag.
 
Next week Round Four of the Supercars Pro Eseries will see the drivers tackle Michigan Speedway and Monza circuit.

QUOTES


Benjamin Smith, Eseries Driver #151, Kelly Racing

“The first race I was pretty happy with. Bathurst being the track that everyone has done a lot of laps on meant that the field was super competitive so to finish in the front half of the field was a good result. I had a clean race, didn’t really make any mistakes or get caught up in the crashes so that was a solid result.”
 
“The reverse grid race was a little disappointing, I got bumped into the outside wall at turn two and got some fairly big damage, I was actually pretty lucky to be able to drive the car back to the pits it was so badly damaged but we got it repaired and continued on.”
 
“On the last lap I had probably one of my best moves I’ve done in the series so far. I bump drafted the two cars ahead the whole way up mountain straight and then picked up three spots in one move at turn two to go from P18 to P15 where I finished.”

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