Following on from a weekend of highs and lows at the last round in Snetterton, Reece Barr arrived at Silverstone with plans to resume his position towards the front of the field for rounds eight and nine of the 2017 Mini Challenge.
From the outset in Friday’s practice, Barr back out in front, with fastest times a plenty and mixing it with the championship’s front runners, Reece’s confidence was on a high coming into qualifying on Saturday morning.
However a shift in weather during Saturday morning’s qualifying with high winds moving in over the Formula 1 Grand Prix host venue intensified some power and straight line speed issues carrying over from the last round at Snetterton. With the high speed nature and long straights at the Northamptonshire circuit, Barr was powerless to challenge for the top positions and finished the session in seventh.
Following further analysis and diagnosis, Barr in conjunction with his ExcelR8 team opted to change the engine overnight ahead of Sunday’s racing. Starting from the inside of row four, Barr initially got a good get away, but with his new power plant requiring a couple of laps to bed in, Reece initially had to play the defensive role before starting his charge up the order. Once again the Sili Sunglasses driver put on a master class in precision driving, working his way up to fourth on the cusp of a podium finish. In the closing laps, Barr was hot on the heels of championship rival Max Bladon for the first podium spot when his charge suffered a blow following some enthused driving from two of his rivals sending him back down the timing screen. With little time to recover the ground, Barr brought his ExcelR8 Mini JCW across the line in eighth position.
Hoping to make amends in the second and final race of the weekend on Sunday evening, the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity ambassador had a renewed confidence, now satisfied that his Mini JCW was back up to the full speed he had used so well earlier in the season. Starting from eighth on the grid, it wasn’t long before Barr was up to sixth in the opening laps. However an incident on lap four necessitated a Safety Car, neutralising the field. The break was short and it wasn’t long before racing was back underway. Now hot on the heels of James Turkington, the 16 year old was pushing hard to find a way past into fifth, but another incident on lap six brought out the red flags, ending the race early and any chance for Reece to move up any higher than sixth when a result was declared from the order on the previous lap.
Reece Barr – #88 ExcelR8 Motorsport Mini JCW:
“I really enjoyed the experience of driving on the Silverstone GP circuit for the first time. My two races were equally action packed and in both sessions I was confident about reaching the podium, but for different reasons in each race it wasn’t to be this weekend. Still I’m really happy with my overall effort and the team again were on it. It was also great to have the Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity at Silverstone to help them continue their efforts to help others. Roll on Brands – let’s go!”
Rounds 10 & 11, Brands Hatch, Kent, UK – Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th July 2017