Reece Barr rounded off his debut season in style last weekend at Donington Park securing the Mini JCW Rookie Championship and second in the overall JCW Championship.
Barr was focused on his two targets right from the outset on Friday setting fastest times against his main championship contenders. Max Bladon (2016 Cooper S Champion) was Reece’s challenger for the Rookie title and the two previous JCW Champions Charlie Butler-Henderson (2015) and David Grady (2016) were the challengers for second in the overall championship.
The Donegal teenager, still only sixteen years old was unfazed by the circle of champions around him as he showed great pace throughout Friday’s practice. The APSM driver headed into the Donington double-header feeling confident and ready to continue his consistent and strong form.
Qualifying on Saturday provided the first challenge for the ExcelR8 Motorsport driver. Despite getting the ideal track-position early in the session, the Sili Sunglasses backed JCW was to suffer a broken gear-lever on his first flying lap which forced a pit-stop to attempt a temporary repair by the ExcelR8 crew. As the time passed in the pits, Reece dropped to P15 on the screen. With just two laps to go, he rejoined with a temporary shortened gear leaver and completed a fantastic out lap to put his Mini JCW on row two for the opening race.
Races one and two on Sunday afternoon were set to also provide some further concern for the teenager in terms of brake inconsistencies. Nevertheless, Barr stayed focused on calculating his track position for both races with a pair of solid fourth place finishes that also awarded him top rookie on both occasions. Maintaining track position was key to landing the Rookie title and holding his impressive championship position. With three previous champions around him it was no easy task, but Reece confidently followed his nearest rival Grady home in both races while finishing ahead of Butler-Henderson and Bladon.
Reece Barr – #88 ExcelR8 Motorsport Mini JCW:
“A Mini Challenge weekend but my gear leaver and brake balance issues certainly added to the CHALLENGE! I really wanted another race win this weekend but with Brett’s pace that was always going to be difficult, so my focus changed after qualifying to my championship bid. I was pleased to have been fastest on Friday and I was confident we had the pace to be at the front and a race win was my target. However it wasn’t to be this weekend as the car let me down in qualifying and race one and I messed up off the line for race two. But overall my season has finished fantastically with P2 behind the 2017 champion and ahead of the 2016 and 2015 champions; and to secure both the Rookie and Retailer Cup’s is just sweet. I must say a huge thanks to ExcelR8 Motorsport especially my mechanic Matt, APSM, Rob Butler, Siobhan Walker and everyone who has supported me this season.”