Total Domination for Barton Two sensational drives this weekend has seen Australian Barton Mawer dominate the National Class of the 2005 British Formula 3 International series at Thruxton. Barton was the stand out performer today wining both ...
Total Domination for Barton
Two sensational drives this weekend has seen Australian Barton Mawer dominate the National Class of the 2005 British Formula 3 International series at Thruxton. Barton was the stand out performer today wining both races comfortably. These results have seen Barton pull away in the championship, opening a gap of 42 points back second in his class.
Barton had never driven at Thruxton before, other than a limited number of laps run in a very wet test session at the start of the season. The track is one of the fastest tracks the series will visit this year with top speeds reaching 165 mph (240kph) and it is also very bumpy making it hard to be consistently quick. Qualifying was the first session of the weekend making it very difficult for the team to work on setting the car up for Barton and the team to get the car perfect. Barton was 3rd fastest in the first session, and in the second session claimed pole by an impressive 3 tenths of a second. This advantage saw him also qualify ahead of a number of the outright championship competitors in 13th position overall.
In the first race Barton made an excellent start from 3rd position passing second placed qualifier Kennard off the line and then tried to go around the outside of class leader Hollings and Championship (outright) class runner Bruno Senna. The outside of the track is off the racing line and is very dirty which meant Barton had struggled with grip and had to back out of the move. He then got in front of both Hollings and Senna on the outside going into the complex.
In the opening laps Duran was right behind Barton pushing him hard. On lap 2 Duran slipstreamed past into the chicane and was able to take first place in the class from Barton. Barton was able to retake the lead on the outside of the left hander in the complex half a lap later. Duran was able to stay with him for a few laps before Barton was able to pull out a comfortable lead and was cruise home in first place to continue his championship charge.
"I am really happy with that race. This track is amazing it is so quick and so demanding. I have worked hard with my engineer to have a very consistent race set up. The car is running really well this weekend, the T-Sport guys have done an excellent job! I am really looking for to starting from pole in the second race."
Race two saw Barton get another excellent start and tried to pass Dirani around the outside of the first corner but ran out of room.
Barton was unbothered by his class competitors for the whole race and was fighting hard with a number of the top running Championship class runners. The Championship class competitors run current model cars, unlike Barton's class who run last year's car, and also run with tighter testing and technical restrictions.
The safety car came out on lap 3 for 2 laps after an accident in the chicane between Senna and Dirani. Barton got a really good restart and was on the tail end of top 10 runners in the outright class with big gap back to Hollings in second place in the National Class. At this point there were also a number of Championship runners between Barton and Hollings. This gave Barton the opportunity to press on and put in a number of quick laps. He was able to set the fastest lap of the race, a time of 1:08.0, which was quicker than the time he set in qualifying and 3 tenths quicker than the next fastest National class driver.
Barton crossed the line to take his second win of the day and 9th outright. This was very impressive given the nature of the circuit given the power advantage the Championship class guys have over the National class cars.
This has been Barton's most successful weekend since joining the British Formula 3 Championship.
"This weekend's results are a credit to the hard work the Team have put in. To be running as well as we have been this weekend, along side some of the Championship runners, is very impressive. The two wins are a great gift for Team Manager, Russell Eacott, who celebrated his 40th birthday at the track this weekend."
Commenting about Barton's performance this weekend Russell said, "Barton's performance this weekend has been very impressive; he has clearly shown he is the man to beat this season."
Barton and the team will be testing at Snetterton on Wednesday. This will be a good opportunity to try and work on various set ups and for Barton to try some changes in his driving technique
There will than be a gap of 4 weeks before the next race at Castle Combe on the 25/26 June.