Newcastle Couple Prove They're Kings of 'The Ring'
Newcastle residents Di and Ben Morely were recently given the chance to live every motoring enthusiast's dream, with the couple winning a trip to Germany to drive the world's greatest race track.
As the national winners of Top Gear and Bridgestone's Potenza Nurburgring Challenge, Di and Ben were picked from more than 4,000 entrants to drive Germany's Nurburgring, after taking part in an online driving game on topgear.com.
"We were certainly shocked and thrilled to win - both Di and I are big motoring enthusiasts so it really was a dream come true for us," Ben said.
For Ben, who is the team manager of Icon Motorsport, and Di, who has recently opened her own beauty salon in Newcastle, the prize was the perfect way to experience their first overseas trip.
"We're extremely grateful to Bridgestone and Top Gear for such an amazing opportunity," Ben said.
"The driving experience was just fantastic. I've been into racing my whole life and I've been on some great race tracks in the past but nothing came even close to this - the Nurburgring is certainly in a league of its own.
"On the track day we drove a Renault Megane R26R, a BMW M3CSL, a Porsche GT3 RS and a Renault Clio Sport Cup, all fitted with Bridgestone's Potenza tyres.
"I'd have to say the Porsche blew the rest of them away. It was so nice to drive - nimble and accurate but very firm and stable."
The Ring wasn't Di and Ben's first taste of competition racing, they share a WRX in rallysprints, hillclimbs, lap dashes and supersprints, and Ben races karts and Formula Ford - also on Bridgestone tyres.
"We're slowly starting to come back down to earth but we're pretty keen to get out and have some fun on the local tracks around home," Ben said.
The competition's prize included flights to Germany and accommodation as well as a trip for two to the Nurburgring to drive four performance cars around the track, guided by driving instructor Ron Simons from RSR Nurburg.
"Congratulations to Di and Ben from everyone at Bridgestone. Anyone who has been to the Nurburgring can tell you it's a fantastic experience," said Stanley Toh, Bridgestone's General Manager of Marketing.
"We're thrilled that Di and Ben enjoyed their trip - very few people ever get the opportunity to drive on the track in such a range of great vehicles which is certainly part of what made this prize so special."