ANOTHER PODIUM FOR BARNES AT KNOCKHILL Reigning Formula Palmer Audi Champion Jon Barnes continued his excellent form in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend at Knockhill in Scotland. The 23 year-old from Southampton had never driven the...
ANOTHER PODIUM FOR BARNES AT KNOCKHILL
Reigning Formula Palmer Audi Champion Jon Barnes continued his excellent form in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend at Knockhill in Scotland.
The 23 year-old from Southampton had never driven the circuit before the Friday free practice sessions, but he soon got to grips with the demanding 1.3 mile track, to end the day fourth fastest overall.
Qualifying on Saturday morning arrived dry and bright, and Jon was immediately on the pace, posting a time fast enough to provisionally bag second place on the grid. After his first qualifying run, Jon pitted to change to his second set of new slick tyres so that he could go back out onto circuit to challenge for pole position. Unfortunately while the tyre change was taking place, the team noticed some damage to the front wheel arch, which was serious enough to stop Jon from taking any further part in the qualifying session. As Jon sat in the pits, Sam Hancock and James Sutton were able to post quick times, dropping a disappointed Barnes to fourth on the grid.
At the start of race one on Saturday afternoon, Jon made a great start to blast past James Sutton into third position. The two front row starters, Steven Kane and his team mate Sam Hancock went side by side into the first corner, with Jon in hot pursuit. However disaster struck when Kane ran wide, bouncing through the gravel trap and then back onto the circuit right in Jon's path. Jon took to the grass to avoid hitting the Championship leaders' car and he miraculously managed to rejoin the circuit at turn two, still in third position!
Unfortunately the trip across the grass had ripped off Jon's front splitter, and despite his best efforts Jon couldn't sustain third position for long, with Tim Harvey able to get past before mid distance. Jon fought hard over the second half of the race to keep Sutton at bay, eventually hanging on to fourth place at the flag.
From his second row starting position for race two, Jon managed another good start and tucked in behind his team mate Michael Caine at turn one. The leading four cars of Tim Harvey, Sam Hancock, Caine and Barnes lapped in close proximity until lap 10 when Hancock picked up a puncture. This promoted Jon into third position, which he was able to hang on to, again despite pressure from Sutton towards the end of the 32 lap race.
Jon said, "Knockhill was one of the few circuits in the UK that I had not driven at, so to come here and get another podium is a very pleasing result!
"I was actually very disappointed on Saturday evening as I felt that I was fast enough to get onto the front row of the grid for race one if I had been able to use my second set of tyres in Qualifying. Then to be forced off the circuit at the start of race one ruined any chances of getting a maiden Carrera Cup victory, in the end I was lucky to hold on to fourth position with the damage that the car had sustained.
"Third place in race two is another encouraging result. I am now looking forward to the final races of the Championship at my home circuit, Thruxton in October. "