BARNES CLAIMS DOUBLE PORSCHE PODIUMS AT BRANDS HATCH Reigning Formula Palmer Audi Champion Jon Barnes claimed his best results so far in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a brace of second place finishes at Brands Hatch this weekend. The 23...
BARNES CLAIMS DOUBLE PORSCHE PODIUMS AT BRANDS HATCH
Reigning Formula Palmer Audi Champion Jon Barnes claimed his best results so far in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB with a brace of second place finishes at Brands Hatch this weekend.
The 23 year-old from Southampton showed excellent pace in his Team Parker Racing prepared Porsche 997 during Fridays' free practice sessions where he ended the day second fastest overall.
Jon was then able to convert the pace shown on Friday into his best qualifying position yet when he posted the third fastest time in Saturday mornings' qualifying session.
At the start of race one on Saturday afternoon, Jon made yet another of his trademark fast starts to overtake Championship leader Steven Kane and tuck in behind James Sutton into Paddock Hill Bend. Jon spent the first half of the race chasing Sutton, whilst also holding off Kane. At mid distance Jon was still just two seconds behind the race leader, but he was allowed some breathing space behind when an overtaking manoeuvre by Sam Hancock on Kane went wrong, resulting in contact between the two Motorbase Performance team mates. With rain beginning to fall Jon then came under pressure from the charging Tim Harvey. Despite immense pressure and some substantial contact over the final six laps from the former British Touring Car Champion, Jon managed to maintain second place, to take a rewarding podium finish.
From his front row starting position for race two, Jon managed another good start and was able to nose in front of Sutton into Paddock Hill Bend. With the outside of the circuit still wet from the earlier rain, Jon decided to back off and follow Sutton on the way down Paddock Hill, whilst contact between Harvey and Kane resulted in chaos behind the leading pair. The Safety Car was then deployed whilst two cars were retrieved from the Paddock Hill gravel trap allowing the field of cars to close up.
At the restart Jon stayed close behind Sutton but he ran wide at Graham Hill Bend allowing Sutton to extend his lead a little. With Jon's team mate Michael Caine chasing in third place, Jon pushed hard to catch Sutton over the second half of of the race. With just two laps to go Sutton's car began to look unstable and Jon closed right up onto the bumper of the Redline Racing machine. Unfortunately there was not enough time to attack Sutton and the chequered flag fell with just two tenths of a second separating the two drivers.
Jon's excellent performance over the two races was recognised on the podium when he was confirmed as the 'RAC Driver of the Weekend'.
Jon said, "It has been tough joining this very competitive Championship half way through the season, but I have been really looking forward to this weekend because I did well here in the Porsche Guest Car back in April. We had a very good free practice session at Thruxton last Tuesday, where I finally got my head around how hard you can push this car on new tyres.
"Qualifying went very well on Saturday morning and I knew I could make a good start in the first race, unfortunately it was not quite good enough to take the lead. To hold Tim Harvey off in the tricky conditions at the end of race one was a challenge and it made the podium finish even more rewarding!
"I was pleased to be able to put Sutton under pressure at the end of the second race and it was just a shame that the race was shortened slightly because I felt that I could have challenged him for the win if I had another couple of laps."
"It's been a fantastic weekend and now it is much more likely that I will be able to find the funding to race at the next round at Knockhill in Scotland. I want to thank Team Parker Racing for their continued support and hard work and a big thanks to everyone else that has supported me this weekend."