Determined Barker out to step up his performance

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Motorsport ace Ben Barker has vowed to improve his qualifying performance ahead of the next round of the F1-supporting Mobil1 Supercup competition in Belgium.

With a four-week summer break before his next outing, Clare-raised Barker is determined to give qualifying his full attention after the tortuous nature of Budapest’s Hungaroring denied him the chance to fully exploit the pace of his Momo-Megatron Porsche.

The former West Suffolk College pupil said: “My full concentration will be on improving qualifying. I know the elements will come together sooner rather than later.”

Barker arrived in Hungary looking to build on the fourth-place finish he had secured in his last Supercup outing at Silverstone.

But he found that minor set-up changes made to his Porsche did not have the desired effect when it came to qualifying, leaving him with a mountain to climb on raceday.

Barker said: “Having not been to the track for a year, I got straight down to business on old tyres in practice, setting the fastest time four laps in a row when everybody was on similar tyres.

“However, making a small change to the car to try and help the balance ahead of qualifying didn’t help me the way I intended, as the track changed with the Pirelli F1 rubber going down.

“Although the car wasn’t terrible, every little detail of a change could be worth a tenth or two, and I ended up a disappointing twelfth.”

Barker went into raceday optimistic that he could still pick up places from the outside of row six.

He made an immediate move into 11th as the pack headed into at turn two. He tried to capitalise on a mistake by Christopher Zochling but dropped back to 12th.

Barker said: “I had a good start, initially holding position and then making a move into 11th. My car had great pace and I was on a mission as I caught the group ahead.”

“I got cut off when trying to pass Christopher Zochling and dropped back down to 12th.

“After that, the nature of the track came to the fore, making it very hard to pass, and that’s where I finished.

“Again, it was very frustrating, more so to start the race where I did, especially with a fast car on a track that is renowned to be hard to pass at.”

Barker will get an early opportunity to work on his qualifying technique when he competes in the sixth round of the Porsche Carrera Cup at the Red Bull Ring, in Germany, this weekend.