The MRF Legends Cars National Championship has confirmed that 2017 vice-champion Ben Power is the winner of a coveted prize test with Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship outfit HMS Racing.
Narrowly missing out on the title to John Mickel after producing a superlative season, taking 14 wins along the way, the Welshman will join BTCC race-winner Rob Austin at Silverstone on Monday 20th November to get behind the wheel of the teams Toyota Avensis.
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.
Power finished a mere three points ahead of Steve Whitelegg in the final standings for the prize, with Nathan Anthony rounded out the top three. On top of piloting the NGTC machine, Power will also benefit from some passenger laps alongside Austin along with Whitelegg and Anthony.
“I’m absolutely elated,” said Power. “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.
“I’m so grateful to Phil Cooper at MRF Legends Cars, Simon [Belcher] at HMS and the other judges, Rob [Austin] and Dave Newsham. 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!”
HMS Racing Team Principal, Simon Belcher, added: “When I originally spoke to Phil about the idea of the BTCC test, I remembered how much fun Legends was when I raced in the championship. In club level motorsport, especially, it is all about having fun and the love of the sport so we worked out a way to reward points based on the three key elements of performance, presentation and sportsmanship.
“Myself, Rob [Austin] and Dave [Newsham] scored drivers in each category after each round based on the championship report and pictures supplied, and it has been great to see many of the drivers really lifting their game as the season went on.
“Legends Cars is a club level version of touring cars and is where the likes of myself and Dave Newsham cut our teeth before making our way to the BTCC, so what better than rewarding these drivers with a BTCC experience.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography