Ben Stiles 24 from Bexhill Sussex, took his first National Championship win last weekend at the iconic Silverstone circuit. The new British Champion had a tough weekend to seal the crown. With no practice and being his first time at the circuit, qualifying was the first opportunity Ben had to learn the circuit.
“We struggled on pace early on in the session when learning the circuit, the last thing I wanted to do was bin the car and championship before the race had even started.” Despite the early disadvantage Ben managed to put in a flying lap towards the end of the session to qualify 2nd.
Race 1 became even more of a challenge when on slick tyres it began to rain during the warm up lap. “The last thing we needed was rain. I have never driven in the rain and knew the slicks would make an interesting drive! I had no idea how the car would react flying into the first corner wheel to wheel with the other 25 drivers.”
Stiles managed to hold his own, fending of several competitors to finish 2nd, setting a new lap record on the drying circuit in the process. “It was incredible fun, once you worked out how little grip you had on the first lap, sliding a car like this around at speed is quite a buzz”.
The second place and fastest lap gave Stiles the crucial points needed to earn his National title one race early. “I still can’t quite believe it, it’s been a life dream of mine to win a formula championship for as long as I can remember. Everyone’s put so much time and effort to get us here and I’m so grateful for that. It’s really been an amazing first season!”. But the action didn’t stop there.
On Sunday Ben had his last race and was determined to finish the season on a high. “The pressure was off, we had achieved what we set out to so I was always going to push hard in Race 2.” Push hard he did, where a tough battle was finally won by Stiles after making an overtake on Tony Hancock, awarding Ben the final win of the year. Which makes his season tally an impressive 9 wins from 11 races.
“I could have imagined a more perfect ending to a great season. I loved every second of that last race, myself and Tony didn’t give each other an inch more than we needed to but it was tight, clean racing. That’s what we all want!” Stiles is still unsure on where the adventure will take him next but has great hopes to move up to Classic Formula 3 if he can raise the necessary finance and local support.