Ben Barker shows pace in Gulf Porsche in new World Endurance Championship season
Linton racer Ben Barker and the Gulf Racing team again had an FIA World Endurance Championship podium in their sights as the series moved on to the second round of the season – and again saw it slip away through no fault of their own.
Coming off a strong performance on home soil at Silverstone – with the result not reflecting the effort put in – the entire Gulf team was in confident mood as they arrived in Japan for the 6 Hours of Fuji.
The former F1 circuit had favoured the Porsche 911 RSR in recent years and, when Barker won a kicking competition to mark the ongoing rugby World Cup, things boded well.
The British team used the practice sessions to get to grips with the various tyre compounds and Barker went into qualifying in optimistic mood.
His performance lived up to it, as he lapped fourth fastest among the Pro-category drivers and as second fastest Porsche, alongside team owner Mike Wainwright, the #86 slotted into eighth place in class.
Rain affected the second race but the Gulf car – now sporting a black-and-orange livery – remained eighth overall.
Barker said: “Our pace was very good, and it was encouraging to again be one of the fastest Porsche drivers, but it was another case of what might have been.”
The Shanghai International Circuit will host the next round on November 8-10.