Coming off the back of securing both his pole position and race winning debut at the last round in Rockingham, Reece Barr traveled to Snetterton, the only circuit on the calendar where the Sili Sunglasses driver possessed any prior race experience. However Barr now found himself coming into the weekend as championship leader, following a post-Rockingham appeal to the MSA Stewards about the allocation of points for his fastest time from qualifying at the Corby Speedway.
Barr picked up where he left off during pre-event testing at the Norwich circuit, his lap times right at the sharp end of the field giving the youngster plenty of confidence ahead of Saturday morning’s qualifying. However Reece was about to step into the unknown, when out of no where the heavens opened, soaking the Snetterton 300 circuit just as the session was about to get underway. With no prior wet weather experience, the session would be a real test of his ability in the treacherous conditions. Despite a huge slide during his best effort, Barr placed his ExcelR8 Mini JCW on the front row of the grid, much to the surprise of many onlookers.
Starting the first of the weekend’s three races alongside BTCC star Jeff Smith, Reece set off in hot pursuit of Smith for the race lead. However it wasn’t long before the APSM driver found himself having to play the defensive role with Jeff’s son Brett filling his mirrors for the majority of the race. Effectively acting as the meat in a Eurotech sandwich, Barr gave a master class in defensive driving to maintain his runner up spot to the end, securing his third podium finish of the year.
Overnight, Reece’s team identified a turbo boost problem with his Mini JCW, further highlighting the significance of his race one achievements. Starting race two from fourth, his stint in the session would be short lived, when a drive shaft failure on lap five resulted in an early retirement.
As a result of his early exit from race two, Barr started the third and final race of the weekend from 25th position on the grid. With a mountain to climb over the course of the 20 minute race and signs from race two showing that he was still carrying a boost issue, Reece set off on a charge to try and rescue as many championship points as possible. Carefully working his way up the order lap after lap, by the time the chequered flag fell after ten action packed laps, Barr took his Sili Sunglasses Mini JCW across the finish line in twelfth, a remarkable result given the circumstances.
Following a weekend of highs and lows, Barr drops to sixth in the championship. All be it a challenging weekend for Reece, there is still lots to play for during the remainder of the season.
Reece Barr – #88 ExcelR8 Motorsport Mini JCW:
“I’m over the moon with my start to the season. It’s very exciting to be on the podium with previous champions Charlie Butler-Henderson and David Grady at Rockingham and again this weekend with BTCC driver Jeff Smith and the very fast Brett Smith. Full respect to the Eurotech team for an excellent head to head battle in race one. My technical DNF in race two just demonstrates the pressures we put on these cars, it’s just one of those things. However it allowed me to really enjoy the overtaking from P25 to P12 in race three. A huge thanks to my technical team Daniel, Matt and Conor who wrestled with the boost issue late into Sunday morning and then the driveshaft failure on Sunday. Hopefully our boost gremlins will be sorted for Silverstone to be back challenging at the head of the field.”
Rounds 8 & 9, Silverstone GP, Northamptonshire, UK – Saturday 10th & Sunday 11th June 2017