Barker’s title challenge all but over
Ben Barker has conceded his Porsche Carrera Cup Germany title quest may be over following a torrid weekend at Zandvoort, Holland.
After a brace of retirements in the previous round at the Norisring, Barker, a former West Suffolk College pupil, was aiming to bounce back and reinstate his title challenge but had to battle his errant Land Motorsport car throughout both races at the seaside circuit.
With the championship employing a qualifying system where a driver’s best time sets his grid position for race two and takes his second fastest lap for race one, Barker found himself lining up 11th for Saturday’s event.
However, things quickly worsened for the 24-year-old as he suffered from a lack of pace with his car gradually worsening throughout to leave him in the lower reaches of the final results sheet in 13th.
Changes were made to Barker’s car ahead of Sunday’s race but his handling woes persisted as he struggled to break into the top 10, limping home in a far from memorable 12th to cap off a forgetful weekend.“I was battling the Class B cars and losing,” said Barker, who admitted his campaign focus has now changed.
“It was a real effort just to get the car to the end of the race, as the handling didn’t respond to anything we tried.
“My fastest lap was 1.4 seconds off that of the race winner, so things clearly weren’t getting any better.
“Everyone seemed to suffer understeer to some extent, but nobody seemed to be as bad as us. After a solid start to the year, I have to face the fact that my championship challenge has taken a big hit in the past two rounds.
“Now we’ve just got to focus on getting the car right and going out there to prove a point by winning races.
“Fortunately I still have my Supercup campaign to look forward to, but I need to give the Land team something to celebrate.
“The team will strip the car down once it gets back to the workshop and, particularly if we can test before the next round, I am sure we’ll be back with a bang.”
The latest round of results left Barker in 12th place with 55 points, 99 points adrift of current championship leader Phillip Eng.
He now has a weekend break before returning to action in the Porsche Mobil1 Supercup at the Hungaroring in Hungary next weekend as he aims to build on the fourth place he took last time out at the British Grand Prix.