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Barlow Retain FKS Lead After Gritty Drive to 3rd

press release

Jack Barlow produced a scintillating drive from the back of the field to take third place in the sixth round of the Formula Kart Stars series at Genk in Belgium last Saturday (15 August).

The Mini Max star also retained his championship lead - but just twenty four hours later, saw his closest rivals edge closer in the points tally after he crashed out of Sunday’s event (round 7 of 8 races).

jack barlow genk
pic - Graham Smith/TSR Productions

Jack’s weekend had started brightly when, in Saturday’s timed qualifying he recorded the second-fastest lap to secure a front-row start for the first of the day’s two finals.

However, as he rushed to get Jack’s kart onto the grid, his father Paul forgot to loosen two wheel nuts on one of his wheels. Jack set off on the formation lap, but quickly became aware that the severe vibration coming from the back of his kart meant that the wheel had become loose. He dived back into the pits for it to be tightened up - and watched in dismay as the Starter let the 26-strong field go without him.

He tore out of the pit-lane in last place, but was too far down to make any impression and was classified in 23rd place, the last of the karts running.

“Jack had driven so well all weekend, he was fast throughout testing and then in qualifying and I made such a daft mistake,” Paul explained. “I was so upset for him. So much so, I had to take myself off into a quiet corner. When I came back, I couldn’t stop apologizing, but Jack said ‘Dad everyone makes mistakes. Don’t be upset. We’ll just have to do the best we can in the next race’.”

pic - Graham Smith/TSR Productions

After displaying such incredible maturity for a 14-year old, the Wavertree Motorsport driver then stormed up the order in the final. On the last lap, he was in fourth place and monstering the rear bumper of the kart in front. With just a few corners remaining, he dived past to snatch a podium that drew the praise from the commentator, journalists, fellow drivers and – naturally - his team and family. “I made up twenty places and set the fastest lap,” Jack said afterwards. “I’m a bit frustrated because I think if we’d had another lap, I would have caught the lead pair”.

Having done some quick arithmetic head with his team boss Matt Napolitano, Jack’s delight at adding yet another trophy to his collection was compounded by the knowledge that, with the extra points for setting the quickest lap time added to his score for third place, he had taken the same points as the victor. “Third was as good as a win, in terms of the points and the fact that I came from the back to finish on the podium.”

After their elation on Saturday, Jack and his team came crashing back to earth the following day. Another solid timed qualifying performance had given him a good grid position for the day’s sole race but it would last just a few seconds. With five karts pushing one another from the back, a domino effect was created as the field tumbled into the first corner and caused a huge crash. Jack was one of those caught in the melee and limped back to the pits with his kart’s nosecone missing and steering “bent like a boomerang.” His mechanics worked quickly to return him to the fray, but he found his Fernando Alonso chassis almost undriveable. He doggedly kept going to eventually take the chequered flag in a disconsolate 24th place.

With several of his rivals unable to capitalize on his misfortune, Jack retains his championship lead - but knows that the final round will be a genuine nail-biter. “It’s very, very close now. Any one of four divers could win it. We’ve just got to work very hard to make sure that it’s me who does.”

The finale will be held at the Northamptonshire Whilton Mill track on 2/4 October.



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