Luke Hedger races further clear at top of the championship standings
MOTORBIKE racer Luke Hedger overcame engine failure in practice to stretch his lead at the top of the MCE Insurance 125cc British Championships.
The Yate teenager claimed his second victory of the campaign in round six of the competition at Oulton Park on Sunday.
Hedger, 16, however, suffered a catastrophic engine failure in Friday's practice session, which forced his FirePlace Warehouse Racing team to carry out a complete rebuild in under three hours in order to get him back on the track for the second session later in the day.
The youngster regained his composure to claim the fastest laps in both practice rounds and then carried that form into Saturday's qualifying sessions to land pole position for the race proper.
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Hedger suffered a bad start off the line in Sunday's race and dropped back to fourth going into the first corner.
But he held his nerve to overtake early leader Catherine Green by lap four.
He retained leadership for the remainder of the race to finish 11.5 seconds clear of the field and to open up a 29-point lead at the top of the rankings.
Hedger said: " I cannot thank my team enough for all the hard work they put in to build and repair the bike on Friday.
"We went to Oulton Park to win and that's what we did. It was a really awesome atmosphere in the awning all weekend and I'm really happy to be going into the second half of the season with a 29-point lead."
FPW Racing team manager Adrian Mason said: "We came here knowing a win was needed and we were put to the test on Friday by both the weather and the engine failure.
"Luke rode really well and I had confidence come Sunday that he was going to do the business. His start was not his best, but the laps afterwards were really well thought-out and he did an excellent job."
Hedger's race will be screened on British Superbike Extra this Friday night (9.30pm) on cable channel British Eurosport 2.
MCE Insurace 125cc British Championship standings after round 6: 1 L Hedger (Fpw Racing) – 99; 2 K Ryde (Metmachex Shr Wilson) – 70; 3 R Watson (Appleyard/Macadam) – 55; 4 J Francis (Banks Racing) – 55: 5 J Weaving (SP125 / Jordan Racing) – 52; 6 B Ray (Fab-Racing) – 50: 7 T Carne (Repli-Cast Uk / Rcs) – 50; 8 P Wakefield (PWR/Sandbach Scrap) – 41; 9 J Irving (E3 Motorsport) – 39; 10 H Hartley (Gh Motorsports) – 38.