LEE Williams refused to be beaten by the small matter of a smashed ankle as he raced to the Thundersport GB GP1 title at Cadwell Park.
The Scouser was crowned champion in the penultimate race of the year at the Lincolnshire track, just hours after breaking his ankle in a crash in warm-up.
Williams had arrived at the track leading Josh Day by 33 points at the top of the points standings, having led all season.
With three races, the Team Willo/Hi-Tech rider was in the preferred position, but given the outright pace and winning stats of his Crank Racing rival Day, he knew he had to play it safe and box clever throughout not to let the title slip away.
First blood went to Day as he took pole ahead of Dave Jackson, with Williams lining up third.
But when the racing began, it was season dabbler Phil Crowe – who has dipped in and out of the action this year – who destroyed the field.
Already into the lead from starting fourth by the end of lap one, he edged out a gap and took the win by five seconds over Day.
Craig Neve, who had been running in third position, retired on the eighth lap giving Williams the chance to move up to take third at the line, albeit some 12 second adrift of Day.
With the final two races played out on Sunday, Williams thought his hopes were gone when he crashed during warm-up.
A trip to the medical centre did little to curb his desire to get back out, and although he was in a lot of pain, he was blissfully unaware that the injury was actually a break.
Lining up from fourth on the grid this time, he looked on as up ahead Dave Jackson pulled out a lead on the opening lap which he had extended to more than 11seconds by the end of the third lap, only to retire a lap later.
Williams took the lead but Day was on a charge, passing him on the sixth lap. However, this wasn’t to last because behind, Dave Brook was on a charge.
Brook deposed Williams on the ninth lap and then a lap later was past Day and into the lead.
Behind, a charging Craig Neve stuck a move on Williams to move third, and then made another on Day stealing second.
Day finished third just one spot ahead of Williams and the battle was done. The Liverpool rider had done enough to secure himself the championship.
And it wasn’t until he visited a doctor on Monday morning that he found out the full extent of his injury.
“It was confirmed that I have broken my ankle in the crash on Sunday morning in warm-up,” he said.
“So after a great year we ended on a high winning the GP1 championship and also on a bit of a low by breaking my ankle!
“I really can’t thank everyone that has helped me along the way, both this season and over the years – Hi-tech Coatings, Rainford Ltd, Michelin Motorsport and all of my personal sponsors, friends and family.”
*Additional reporting by Aaron League
*Images: Colin Port