Aussie Barton Mawer Secures Second Place in Championship Australian Barton Mawer has secured second place in the National Class Championship in the highly prestigious 2005 British Formula 3 International Series this weekend. This, the final...
Aussie Barton Mawer Secures Second Place in Championship
Australian Barton Mawer has secured second place in the National Class Championship in the highly prestigious 2005 British Formula 3 International Series this weekend.
This, the final round of the Championship, was held at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone and although the rain clouds threatened for much of Saturday, the rain stayed away until late on Saturday afternoon and did not effect any of the Formula 3 sessions.
Qualifying on Saturday was a mixed bag for Barton, picking up 3rd in the first session, ahead of his Championship rival, Duran, and 6th in the second, just two places behind Duran.
Race one saw Barton make a blindingly quick start to be leading his class going into the first corner. Unfortunately a missed gear saw him drop back to 3rd in his class, but he was able to stay right on the tail of second placed Kennard. With Duran behind him, Barton was pushing hard to take back second place when an accident caused the Safety car to be sent out. The safety car was fed out at the wrong time, missing the race leader and causing great confusion that delayed the restart of the race. At the restart Barton was able to close right up behind Kennard. Unfortunately the safety car was out almost immediately after it went in after another accident. The accident was bad enough to see the rest of the race being run under the safety car and ruining any chance Barton had of moving up the order.
Barton made a good start once again in race two before being pushed wide and onto the grass, causing him to drop back behind James Jakes in the first corner. Barton was able to get passed Jakes into Becketts and began chasing down his class leaders.
Moments later, Barton's race and season were over, when, going into Abbey, he was hit by Juho Annala at the apex of the corner, turning him around and sending him spinning into Jakes. The initial hit did not damage the car, but the second hit bent Barton's steering arm. He was able to limp back to the pits, but the team made decision that it was not safe to go out again.
"It is a shame to finish such a fantastic season in the pits, but just to be here fighting for the Championship in the final round of the series has been an achievement for us this year.
At the start of the season we did not have the budget to do the full season, but thanks to the support of a number of people, including the Australian Motor Sport Foundation, we have been able to take the Championship battle right up to the very last race. Without their support we would have been forced out of the Championship well before the end of the season and for that I am very thankful.
To come away with second in the Championship is a fantastic accomplishment for myself and the Team. It has been a great season for us and, and after such success in the National Class, the obvious step for me now is into the outright Championship class next year."
Barton will be remaining in the UK for the next few weeks, before returning to Australia at the start of November to attend the Australian round of the A1 Grand Prix Series at Eastern Creek. If he is able to raise the necessary budget, Barton plans to be back in the UK in time to complete a strong pre-season testing programme in the lead up to the 2006 British Formula 3 Series.