Strawberry Racing star qualifies for Rotax International Open & World Finals
Jack Barlow finished 3rd in the Euro Max championship at Genk circuit in Belgium last weekend (4/5 September), after taking the battle for overall honours right down to the wire.
The Sussex teenager – who is increasingly building a following within motorsport’s many echelons for his exciting, never-say-die attitude – had gone into the fourth and final round of the prestigious series as one of the title protagonists, although his Strawberry Racing team-mate Joel Affolter held all the aces. However, Jack knew that a strong performance would see him qualify for the World Finals.
A frustrating timed qualifying session was soon forgotten after he won the first of his three heats. An exciting second race saw Jack take 4th place, but his hopes of a position high up the starting-grid for Sunday’s pre-final were dashed after he was forced off the circuit at the start of heat three. In typical fashion, the Accent Banking and Rollersigns-supported star fought his way from the back of the field to finish in 18th position.
This gave him a sixth row start for the first of the two points-scoring – and potentially title-deciding – races.
“Had I finished 10th in that third heat, I would have been 5th on the grid for the pre-final,” rued Jack. “The slow start caused the driver ahead of me to oil up and I got bottled up behind him, and by the time I’d got past, the rest of the field had gone.”
He dropped down the order, prompting a feisty response in which Barlow duly carved his way up the order to eventually finish in 7th.
“During the main final I noticed that my engine temperature had gone up to 68 degrees, so I tried to remove it as quickly as I could but the rules state that you can’t just throw it away, so I had to race and wind the tape round my hand. It was flapping away, but thankfully the temperature went down and down and down,” he explained after working his way through to 6th place and setting the fastest lap of the final.
“I was catching the front five, but couldn’t quite latch onto them. I pushed really hard and in the last two or three laps it seemed like I would be able to close the gap, but I just ran out ran out of time.”
The points from his two top ten finishes were good enough to seal 3rd place in the championship and guarantee entry to the International Open race at Zuera in Spain at the end of October and December’s World Finals, to be staged at arguably karting’s finest circuit, La Conca in southern Italy.
On Tuesday night (7 September) Jack participated in a charity event to raise funds for the injured Superleague Formula driver, Chris van der Drift – the 24-year old New Zealander whom suffered horrific injuries in a terrifying accident at Brands Hatch in July. Barlow joined a host of motorsport’s top stars; including former karting luminaries Robert Foster-Jones, Alexander Sims, Jon Lancaster and 2005 World Champion Oli Oakes, in a two hour endurance race held at the Daytona track at Milton Keynes to help raise money for the Dutchman’s rehabilitation. Red Bull F1 star Mark Webber got the race underway before jetting off to Monza for this weekend’s Italian Grand Prix..
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Picture credit Bas Kaligis/KartXpress