Another win for super Semple

Tuesday 01 September, 2020
Photos: Gears and Wheels Photography

Ben Semple has picked up back-to-back wins in Westlakes Automobile Club run events after taking out the Wombats Diggings State Khanacross.

Semple had entered the event having won the club’s motorkhana in August and got off to a flying start in the khanacross after guiding his Subaru WRX to the fastest time on the first of four tests.

Out of the 30 other drivers taking part in the khanacross, Semple’s biggest challengers came through Brad Clarke and Glynn Elliott, but it was Clarke who would end up taking it to Semple all the way to the end of the event.

Behind the wheel of another Subaru WRX, Clarke finished less than second slower than Semple in the opening test before he won the next test more than a second faster, giving him a slight lead at the halfway mark.

2nd Brad Clarke (environmental shot)

Clarke then managed to extend that lead after the third test to just over two seconds before a mistake in his final test ultimately cost him the victory, as Semple’s fourth test time was four seconds faster and enough to earn him the win.

Following on from his victory, Semple was thrilled to make it two consecutive wins but praised Clarke for the healthy competition.
“Two in a row is a pretty good effort so I am really happy,” Semple said.
“It was a really good day and the club did a fantastic job. We all had a lot of fun and it was great to get the win.

“It was a bit unlucky for Brad to hit a cone in his final run. I actually saw that he had recieved a time penalty via the live timing app before I went out on my last run, so while I could have relaxed and taken it easy, I decided to go  hard at it.”

“Brad was fantastic all day and it was good fun trading test wins with him. However I have to stop sharing my secrets with him because I let him drive my car previously and he bought a competitive Subaru himself, which clearly made a big difference,” Semple joked.

Rounding out the top three behind the lead duo was Elliott after he too had a rough final test, where he received a time penalty, but after being consistent in the earlier tests, his podium placing was never in doubt.

3rd Glynn ElliottIn the battle for fourth place, less than four seconds separated the three contending cars as Ryan Benson edged out David Wykes in the final test to finish fourth, while Steven Murray came in sixth after falling just short in three of the four tests. 

Just behind that trio in seventh outright was a class winner and the khanacross’ fastest junior, Riley Waters. It’s been a solid run of form for the teenager as of late, after he secured an event podium and class victory in the Thornleigh Car Club’s 2020 Dirt N Dust Challenge Khanacross last month and the weekend's result further proves the youngster is improving as he gets more seat time.

The Westlakes Automobile Club’s next event will again be a different discipline with the Ross Giddins Memorial Rallysprint to run at Awabawac Park on 12 September.
Motorsport Australia: Return to Race