Ben Barker's first visit to Donington Park since he was in Formula Ford added both new highs and lows to his 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season.
After a frustrating qualifying session – Barker lamenting a few lost tenths at the chicane on his fastest lap – he recorded a pair of fourth place starts for the two races.
At the start of the first race – despite a slow start he maintained his position behind leader Michael Meadows, Sam Tordoff and Richard Plant. Tordoff dropped back after a mistake at the end of lap three, Barker now charged with trying to prise second from Richard Plant, while resisting the attentions of Jonas Gelzinis behind him.
When Plant slowed with a front puncture at the Old Hairpin Barker pounced with Gelzinis in tow and started to cut into Meadow's advantage.
“It was an intense chase as I had Jonas Gelzinis on my tail throughout,” said Barker, “but I definitely deserved second place, as I reckon I would probably have passed Plant even if he hadn't made a mistake. Another couple of laps could have made all the difference to the result, as I was quicker than Meadows and was only a couple of tenths behind him at the end.”
Fresh from his first visit to the podium of the season – following on from a pair of fifths at Brands Hatch to start the year – Barker started the second race, from fourth but fell behind Richard Plant and Daniel Lloyd on the opening lap.
Barker pressured Lloyd through the opening five laps, eventually taking the position at Redgate. Lloyd fought back, taking the inside line through the Old Hairpin at the bottom of the hill. Barked tried to pull alongside through the left-hand kink of Schwantz Curve but his Parr Motorsport CARS-backed Porsche hit a piece of debris from an earlier race. Barker collected the initial slide, but ran wide onto the grass, bouncing nose first into the tyre wall on the outside of the corner.
“There was no contact with Lloyd, but the impact was still hard, as we were doing around 120mph at that point,” said Barker. “In the same situation, however, I'd do the same again – the accident was a consequence of battling for position, and that's a racer's instinct. It's a shame, as we definitely had pace in the car and don't want Meadows running away with things.”
Barker now lies fifth in the season points standings. The next rounds of the championship take place at the super-fast Thruxton circuit in Hampshire.