Ben Barker: “Perhaps I Should have Shouted Louder”

Car # 86 / GULF RACING / GBR / Porsche 911 RSR - WEC 6 Hours of Nurburgring - Nurburgring - Nurburg - Germany

A disappointing race for Ben Barker saw him and the Gulf Racing UK team cross the line in fifth position for the 6 Hours of Nurburgring; The result drops Gulf further behind their rivals as they remain rooted to fifth in the GTE Am standings.

The Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR qualified at the back and had a tough race in order to catch the leaders. Barker shared qualifying with owner-driver Michael Wainwright, but caught the worse of the conditions, leaving his team mate up against the Pro’s.

“In hindsight, we misread the forecast and got our strategy back-to-front,” Barker admitted, “Perhaps I should have shouted louder about running in the improving conditions, but it is what it is.”

“Unfortunately, Mike was on track at the same time as the quickest drivers from the other teams and the pace difference between them was a major factor in our eventual grid position, which was definitely not representative of the car’s potential.”

“Despite that, it was nice to be given the job of helping to qualify the Gulf car and I’m happy with the times I put in on a damp track, especially considering the other ‘pro’ drivers all ran on slicks at the drier end of the session.”

While the team made no major mistakes, Barker himself was not happy with the high tyre pressures in the warmer conditions, this resulted in excessive oversteer. The Gulf team of Wainwright, Adam Carroll and himself was helped by the exclusion of their rivals in the KCMG, however, they were still 1 minute 16 seconds behind their next nearest rival.

Despite this, Barker is determined to stay positive and will look ahead to the rest of the season. “It was a little frustrating not being able to find the ultimate pace in the car, but we know where the speed is and, hopefully, we can unlock it in time for the next race, in Mexico, in September” he said.

“We all acknowledge that our struggles with straight-line speed and braking were probably exacerbated by the fact that other teams tested ahead of the race, which won’t be the case for Mexico, and I fully expect to be more competitive next time.”