Prior to stepping into his SWR-prepared car at Silverstone last Sunday (28 April) Jack Barlow could count the number of races he’d previously contested on one finger – but the 17-year old was about to stun the motorsport world with a sensational drive to victory.
Despite arriving at Silverstone with just three days’ practice time under his belt, following a last-minute deal with Sean Walkinshaw Racing, the highly-rated, former karting star demonstrated his potential by setting the 5 th-fastest lap in Saturday’s timed qualifying session. From this promising start he went on to finish a creditable 6 th place on his car racing debut.
Starting Race 2 from third place, by virtue of a reverse grid based on the top eight drivers’ previous day’s finishing positions, Barlow snatched the lead as the field streamed into Copse.
He was reeled in and passed after two laps, but refused to let new race leader, Seb Morris, escape. A game of cat-and-mouse developed between the pair until, with two laps remaining, Barlow made his move: “I thought ‘I have to go for it’ and stuck my car down Seb’s inside at Becketts, but he held me off. However, I carried better speed through Chapel Curve and onto Hangar Straight. I jinked one way and then the other and drove past as we approached Stowe Corner,” explained Jack. “From there I defended into the chicane at Vale, allowing the 3rd-placed driver to attack for 2nd. This gave me the chance to create a gap and I knew I just had to maintain it through the last lap.”
“Even as I approached the chequered flag, my victory hadn’t sunk in,” he added. “I never, never went there expecting to win. It is a fantastic result for me and SWR. They were all extremely pleased for me and I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
Driving down the pitlane, towards the F1-style board with a large number ‘1’ on it, added to the occasion: “It’s what you see at the end of each Grand Prix and there I was, at Silverstone, doing the same thing. I was presented with my trophy on the F1 podium and of course, got to spray champagne on it. Even now, it hasn’t sunk in!”
In the thrilling battle for 5th place in Race 3, Jack again showed that he has a great future ahead of him by putting on a great show as he diced with Matt Bell, before settling for valuable championship points and 6 th place, to go 4th overall in the championship.
“I am able to race thanks to the support of local firms key Motor Finance and My Costcutter at Skinners of Rye. I would also like to thank everyone at SWR, the MSA Academy, Arai, adidas and Toby Warrington for his continued help.”
Keep up to speed with Jack and his racing career by visiting www.jackbarlowracing.co.uk.
Photo by James Bearne.