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The RAW Motorsports duo of Ben Stone and Rob Wheldon proved their undoubted pace in both Praga Cup races at Donington Park, only to be thwarted twice over by mechanical maladies.

Starting from sixth on the grid for the first of the weekends races, Wheldon made a flying start and was into second place after taking the outside line at Redgate.

As he chased down leader Stefano Leaney, he began to come under pressure himself in a four-car train. But as they came through the chicane for the second time, he was attacking for the lead.

It was another two laps before Wheldon made it by, after some robust defending from Leaney, but his lead was shortlived and he was back into second a lap later.

“I had a decent start and a good first lap and had real pace at the start too, but then we developed a misfire and I lost power, just sitting in there as long as I could,” he said.

As his pace reduced he was caught by other cars and finally made his stop to hand to Stone from fourth place.

There had been a safety car intervention, but from the green flag Stone had the lead for a couple of laps, before he virtually came to a halt at the Old Hairpin.

“In qualifying we had a lot of oversteer but the engine had been OK. The misfire had started for Rob, then after handing to me it got worse and worse,” Stone explained.

He managed to limp back to the pits to retire while team-mate Rod Goodman had a strong finish to his race in fifth and was closing on the fourth placed car.

Goodman had qualified second for Sunday’s race, but Stone explained the problems again that left them in eighth. “It almost felt like a turbo lag, just no power,” he said.

As the lights went out Goodman held third on the opening lap, but Stone was making progress and past his team-mate for fourth place on lap four.

Stone’s progress continued and he was soon in third, from where he pitted to hand to Wheldon after 20 laps, with Goodman still in sixth.

Despite the weekends problems he was still in second place, only three seconds off the lead.

Goodman had already been forced to retire after a breakage in the rear suspension, but on lap 31 Wheldon suffered a similar breakage, which sent him careering down the grass at the Craner Curves, pitching airborne as it re-crossed the track into the Old Hairpin gravel trap.


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