Barker is optimistic about his prospects

PODIUM PUSH: Ben Barker
PODIUM PUSH: Ben Barker
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Ben Barker believes a podium finish is achievable in the second half of the FIA World Endurance Championship season, writes Alex Moss.

The Clare-raised driver claimed a third-place finish in his LMGTE Am class with Gulf Racing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans last year, but after four rounds of the 2017 campaign he has yet to end a race in the top three.

But after the Gulf Racing team produced its most competitive showing of the season at the Nürburgring this past weekend, Barker is confident the second half of the championship will see an upturn in fortunes.

“It was better than the previous races this year,” said the 26-year-old, when reflecting on Sunday’s race in Germany, which saw Gulf Racing finish fifth in class.

“We’ve had limited testing on the Dunlop tyres, which we switched to from Michelin this year, but we were competitive. We want to be on the podium and I don’t think we’re far away.”

The World Endurance Championship resumes after a summer break with the 6 Hours of Mexico race on September 3.