Nightmare Weekend for Barton
Australian Barton Mawer was forced out of the first two races, before being able to salvage fourth place and some valuable championship points in the third race in British Formula 3 International Series at Silverstone this weekend.
The first race of the weekend was the second of the abandoned races from Spa and began well for Barton. After a good start, he was quickly up to 4th in his class and in front of a number of Championship Class runners. The race was interrupted in the early stages by a safety car period caused by an accident with Juho Annala and Ronayne O'Mahony. Barton was able to get right behind Jonathon Kennard at the restart and pulled off a forceful move through Brooklands and into Luffield to take 3rd place in his class. He continued to run competitively and defend his position for a number of laps before his race was dramatically cut short. Barton was hit from behind by as Ronayne O'Mahony attempting an optimistic passing move into Priory.
"I had let Steven Kane through in the approach to Priory and Ronayne tried to follow him through, but there was not room and he clipped my rear sending me spinning into the gravel trap. My car wasn't badly damaged, but I was stuck in the gravel trap, so it was game over for me."
The second race of the weekend saw Barton once again have a good start, but ahead of him there was chaos with Dan Clark forcing Steven Kane into Bruno Senna and the pit wall. Barton was able to avoid the carnage, but dropped a place to be running 6th in his class. The safety car was brought out once again whilst the cars and debris were removed from the track. After the restart Barton moved up into 5th in his class and was right on Charlie Hollings tail fighting for fourth position. Barton's race was once again cut short at this point when Josh Fisher hit Barton from behind in Luffield, spinning him round, and dropping him to the rear of the field. Unlike the first race, Barton was able to rejoin the track, albeit well behind the last runner. After an observation from a marshal about a potential problem with his right rear, the team decided to bring Barton in as a precaution. The team checked the rear of the car and then sent him back out on the track. Barton went back out and was able to come home 10th in his class and collect the Championship point to go with it.
The start of the third and final race of the weekend saw Barton get off to an exceptional start, moving up from 21st outright to 13th outright, and from 4th to 2nd in his class in the first lap after another start line accident this time involving Charlie Hollings, and another safety car period. Barton was struggling with oversteer in the car throughout the race which saw him go off shortly after the safety car had gone in.
"I went flat through Maggots as I had done for previously, but it snapped out at the rear. I went straight on in to the gravel trap and missed the corner which saw me fall back a number of places."
Barton fought back to catch and pass 5th placed Juho Annala going into Copse and was able to bring the car home in 4th place, picking up some valuable championship points.
"We have struggled for pace all weekend. I was optimistic going into this weekend, but unfortunately it has been a bit of a nightmare for us. To have two DNF's in one race weekend is very disappointing, but we are looking forward to going to the Nurbugring and returning to our dominant position in the series."