Espria is committed to supporting local charities and clubs as well as the ventures of our own employees. This year, we are sponsoring our colleague, Ben Lymn, a member of our field engineer team, as he races in the 2023 American Cup Car British Championships. Ben is chasing his successes of last year where he won the UK Open Championship and came 3rd in the British Championships!
Below are Ben’s latest race meeting reports as he prepares to defend his UK Open Championship title, with a little additional support in the pit lane.
27th August 2023 @ Hednesford Raceway
“We were back at it again on Sunday 27th August, and this time with a new face in the pit lane… 16 year old Will joined us to see what goes into making a race day come together. He asked plenty of questions and with any luck, took a bit of knowledge home with him that will help him towards his ambitions to study motorsport engineering.
We unloaded the car to mild but overcast conditions and I took Will up to race control and onto the circuit to listen to the drivers’ briefing. The car was ready to go and until a few minutes before the first race we were on slick tyres. I got in the car and started to get strapped in and at that exact moment, the heavens opened and all of a sudden there was a rush to get all 4 tyres changed to wets (thanks team).
Meanwhile on the circuit, the sudden change of conditions had caught a few drivers out which caused an incident resulting in a fairly lengthy stoppage. The stoppage ended up taking so long to sort that the track had started to dry out again… so we decided to change the tyres back to the dry weather slicks. 8 tyres changed and we were yet to run a lap!
Throughout the first heat, track conditions were very changeable; starting damp, drying out and raining again, before the finish. We started 15th and made our way through the field to finish 3rd.”
“The second heat race was fairly smooth going, we made a minor adjustment to the suspension, started 13th and made it up to 5th, before dropping back to finish 6th.
The final race was going well, and we made good progress until another car made contact with us causing me to spin. The race was called under caution, and we restarted 11th (last) with 10 laps to go… Needless to say I was incensed. I drove the wheels off the car in those last 10 laps and managed to get back up to 5th, a decent result all things considered.”
“Car and driver pretty much unscathed, we’ll check it over, clean it off and be ready for the next meeting at Aldershot on 17th September where we will be defending our UK Open Championship, as well as trying our luck in the British Championship.”
UK Open Championship - 17th September 2023 @ Aldershot Raceway
“This year has been a real challenge in terms of weather and Aldershot was no different. We started our heat race on the front row in the nice warm sunshine and rather cantered to a victory. The car couldn’t have performed better, a real credit to the team, and I was glad to bring them back some silverware. Spirits were high for the 2 title races to follow.
An hour or more wait followed, of which 45 minutes was washed out with torrential rain. We started at the back of the field for the British Championship having lost out on valuable qualifying points earlier in the year. A speed boat may have been more appropriate, but we made our way tentatively through the field and managed to bag a 5th (and without damaging the car, which is more than a lot could’ve said).”
“The last race was the UK Open Championship race. These are usually run over the course of a weekend but never normally on the same day. The track had dried significantly but, come race time, was still very slippery. We had drawn 6th on the grid so we felt optimistic for a result, then just as we were heading out onto the track my in-car radio failed (probably due to the wet) and just like that, we were relegated to starting at the back again. Very frustrating when the team have put in the hard work in at home.
To say I was annoyed was an understatement and that was very much reflected on the track, I pushed the car incredibly hard and managed to make it up to 2nd before the chequered flag. So close to retaining it… but just out of reach.
But the car is fit to go again, and we’ve cleaned and checked it over and we race again on 1st October with Will and his dad returning to give us a hand!”
1st October - return to Hednesford
The return to Hednesford on Sunday 1st, felt like Ben and the team were repeating themselves, another meeting marred by terrible weather… An hour before the start the heavens opened, the team just couldn’t seem to catch a break! Poor Will and Tristan were soaked.
Nonetheless, with lots of effort, 7th, 6th and 5th were the results showing improvement all day, but not quite breaking into those top spots, very frustrating. That said, if it was easy it wouldn’t be worth doing! And the car ended the meeting in one piece, which is always a bonus…
For a taste of what it feels like on the track, watch the click from Ben’s dashcam above.