Ben Clucas Racing

A Podium at Barber Motorsports Park

Round 3 of the Pirelli World Challenge was held at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham Alabama, a track KIA and Kinetic Motorsports had been strong at in the past.

 

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A Podium at Barber Motorsports Park Testing couldn’t have gone better for the number 36 Donorschoose.org KIA, finishing up the final official practice in P1, over 0.2 seconds ahead of the rest of the field, giving everyone confidence going into qualifying. At the end of the 35 minute session, Ben managed a time that would put him on the front row, starting 2nd for race 1. Teammate Mark Wilkins, in the number 38 B.R.A.K.E.S KIA Optima, qualified just behind in 3rd, giving a strong line-up for the Kinetic Motorsport run KIAS.

As race 1 got underway, the experienced British driver surged into the lead, a position he would hold to almost mid-distance. Under constant pressure from Kris Wilson and Jack Baldwin, the TRG run Aston Martin of Kris eventually found a way by on the exit of turn 5, demoting the number 36 Donorschoose.org KIA to 2nd. Ben valiantly held onto 2nd for the majority of the race, but contact on the penultimate lap with Jack Baldwin’s Porsche, caused him to spin and dropped him to 8th by the flag. Mark Wilkins scored a brilliant 2nd place for KIA, giving them valuable manufacturer Championship points.

The Northampton based driver started P3 for race 2 and was hoping for a quieter race compared to the previous day. It wasn’t to be though and he ran 2nd for the majority of the race under heavy attack, first from Andrew Aquilante and then, both him and Spencer Pumpelly. After some great racing Spencer slipped by, leaving Ben to bring home the Donorschoose.org KIA Optima in 3rd place and gain his second podium of the year.

Ben was delighted afterwards: “That was a tough couple of races. We had great pace in qualifying and for the first half of the races, but we struggled in the later stages. It’s never nice having someone on your bumper all race, but it was fun, and great when you hold on for a podium. It was disappointing to lose those points in race 1, but for a couple of laps, we would have had a great weekend in terms of championship points. Once that happened though it was nice to bounce back with a podium in race 2 and end the weekend on a high. A great job as always by everyone at KIA and Kinetic Motorsports. I can’t wait to get over to Canada and Mosport for our next race.”

 

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