Jack BarlowJack Barlow’s race to win the Formula Kart Stars Mini Max championship took another step forward with his second win in the Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton-backed series.

The 14-year old Wavertree Motorsport driver had arrived at PFi (18/19 July) as the current points leader and if that was not enough to put pressure on his shoulders, the fact that he had forsaken a club race at the Lincolnshire circuit in order to honour a PR engagement at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (4/5 July), certainly did. His absence meant that he had had no time to prepare for the venue’s notoriously changeable weather conditions with his new Alonso kart.

In Saturday’s warm, dry conditions he recorded the third-fastest time during qualifying which gave him the vital inside line for PFi’s notorious first hairpin.

A strong start saw Jack seize the initiative to lead the field across the start/finish line. Unable to break away, he ceded the advantage on the third lap and dropped to third. A handful of laps later, he was back into second and harrying for the lead.

A terrific scrap was developing between the lead four, and again Jack hit the front. Sadly, it lasted just one tour but with two laps remaining Barlow wriggled his way through and made sure that, this time he wasn’t going to be overtaken.

His plan worked and Jack took the chequered flag barely half a second ahead of the second-placed driver.

“That was hard work!” he said. “The action was none stop and you couldn’t relax for a second. We all pushed each other so hard – it was one of those races that any one of the three of us could’ve won”.

With little time to savour his victory and the consolidation of his points lead, Jack was quickly back in action for Final Two. And then it rained.

He led the opening lap, but began to realise that his kart was not working as well as that of the drivers around him. Bit by bit, he lost ground and places to eventually find himself in a frustrated sixth place.

“Because I’d been at Goodwood, I couldn’t do the club race at PFi on the same weekend and we knew that if it rained, we’d be losing the opportunity to get vital set-up data if it was wet on Sunday (19 July). As soon as it started raining, I thought ‘oh great, here we go’. But you can’t give up and I just did my best. Thankfully I’ve only dropped twelve points and sixth place, on top of my win, was good enough to keep the championship lead.”

There are two rounds remaining, with the series moving to Genk in Belgium for the next one (13/16 August).

“Genk’s a superb circuit. It’s huge and one of the best in Europe. Because it’s so far away, it will be a double-header (consisting of two days racing rather than one) and I will need to finish well on both days. It’s going to be tense, close and exciting!”

Keep up to speed with Jack and his career by clicking on www.jackbarlow.co.uk.

Photo by Chris Walker / Kartpix