BARNES ON THE PODIUM AGAIN AT THRUXTON Jon Barnes claimed his fourth podium in five races in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend with another fine second place finish at Thruxton. The weekend didn't begin as well as Jon had hoped, as he...
BARNES ON THE PODIUM AGAIN AT THRUXTON
Jon Barnes claimed his fourth podium in five races in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB this weekend with another fine second place finish at Thruxton.
The weekend didn't begin as well as Jon had hoped, as he was only fifth fastest in Saturday morning's qualifying session. The qualifying session had been badly disrupted from the second minute onwards, when the car of Peter Bamford dropped a substantial amount of coolant around the entire circuit. This meant that the fastest times were recorded right at the start of the session and very few drivers were able to improve on their times as the session progressed.
At the start of race one Jon made another of his trademark fast starts to get past Steven Kane into the first corner. Into the complex on the first lap and there was carnage in front as Tim Harvey punted race leader Sam Hancock into a spin, promoting Jon up into third position as the cars headed out around the back of the circuit. Jon maintained his third position behind Tim Harvey and the Championship leader, James Sutton as the cars raced up Woodham Hill at over 150mph, but Jon got bunched up behind the leading pair into the Club chicane, allowing Kane to pass around the outside. The top four drivers pulled someway clear of the rest of the field and Jon stayed rooted to the back of Kane's car until lap 10, when Kane dived past Sutton. Jon passed Sutton on the next lap and set off in pursuit of the two race leaders once again. Jon was able to close the gap to Kane slightly over the next four laps, but had to settle for third position when his tyres went off with five laps remaining.
Following the race Jon was elevated to second position as Tim Harvey was given a 10 second penalty following the collision with Sam Hancock on the opening lap.
At the start of race two on Sunday, Jon maintained his second position into the first corner behind Steven Kane. Tim Harvey was on a charge in third position, as the top three drivers pulled a lead of over 2.5 seconds in the first three laps. Jon was pushing hard to stop Kane from pulling away and to keep Harvey behind, and as he negotiated the Club chicane on lap 4, Jon's front splitter half-detached itself from the bumper, causing terminal understeer into turn 1 which allowed Harvey to pass. The splitter came off completely around the 130mph Church corner on lap 5 and with the car understeering badly around the high speed circuit Jon decided to pit at the end of lap. The team were able to fit a new splitter without Jon losing a lap in the pits, but Jon was over a minute behind the leading cars and had to use the remaining 15 laps as an extended test session.
Jon said, “I was really pleased to have made up for the disappointing qualifying session with such a strong performance in race one. To have another podium finish in the Carrera Cup at my home circuit was just what I was hoping for this weekend. It was even more satisfying because the other drivers that I was battling with had already visited Thruxton earlier in the year in the Carrera Cup and I had not been out in a Porsche at all in the four weeks before this round.
“I was gutted to lose the splitter in race two because another podium finish was well within my grasp. When the front splitter came off I actually thought that I had a puncture, the understeer around the fast right handers was that bad! Once I got back out onto the circuit after the pitstop, my lap times were a match for the leaders so that is encouraging at least.
"I have been the top points scorer in this championship between rounds 15 and 19, which is also very encouraging. To think that I only jumped into the car midway through the Championship at round 11, Donington, and to have beaten all of the guys battling for the title towards the end of the season is a very satisfying achievement. I have no doubts that if we had the funding to race in this series from round 1 we would have been battling with Sutton, Harvey and Kane for the title. I will be working as hard as ever over the winter to secure the backing for 2008. Whatever we decide to race in, I want to win my fourth championship in five seasons next year."