Another Podium For Barker At Thruxton

Ben Barker celebrates on the podium
Ben Barker celebrates on the podium

Ben Barker picked up where he left off at Donington Park to secure another Porsche Carrera Cup GB podium at Thruxton.

Heavy rain meant the latest addition to his tally was earned in very different circumstances, but two strong drives saw the 20-year-old leave Hampshire with a 2nd and 5th place finish.

Having qualified third and fourth on Saturday, the Parr Motorsport driver thrived in the wet conditions Round Five took place in.

The race began under the safety car but, with visibility at a premium, took his time and after setting the race's fastest lap he moved into second place on lap 15.

Some eight seconds adrift of leader Michael Meadows, Barker soon began to eat into the gap, eventually finishing three seconds behind the winner.

“It was pretty scary out there,” Barker admitted. “The amount of spray when running in the pack made it almost impossible to see, but I had to press on.

“Once I got past Plant, it was better as the road ahead was clear, but Meadows had already established a decent lead, so all I could do was close him down before time ran out – again. Getting fastest lap was a bonus, and showed that we had a decent set-up on the car.”

With the majority of the field opting for slicks on a still wet track for Round Six, the start was always going to be interesting, but Barker found it difficult in the early stages and slipped back from his fourth-place starting position. He moved back up to 5th by lap 11 but could not improve from there by the race's end.

He said: “It was a lonely race once I got back into the top five but it would have been so easy to make a mistake and throw everything away.

“There is no script for a race in those conditions, and the leaders were too far down the road for me to have made any difference to the result. With no-one else taking risks, it was important to hold on to a healthy number of points and that's just what we did.”

Finishing both races in the top five has moved Barker up to fourth in the overall standings, but with a six week break between now and Oulton Park his attention shifts to a different challenge, namely the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, where he will drive a 1978-specification works Lola in the Classic F3 competition.

“It will be fascinating to try something completely different,” he enthused. “I've managed to fit myself into the Lola, and now I have to learn my way around Monaco, but I'm looking forward to the challenge and can't wait to get going.”