F3 » 11 March 2010
Barker close to podium on Oz F3 debut
Nevertheless, his race one result meant that he would start fourth in race two, but excessive wheelspin off the line threatened to undo all the hard work as the BRM entry slipped back to fifth. Undaunted, Barker quickly regained the place by taking Magro on the inside at the turn seven hairpin, and again began closing on third-placed Tom Tweedie. Once more, however, the narrow circuit proved difficult to pass on and, despite getting a run out of turn two in the closing stages – a move which resulted in the Briton being edged onto the grass – Barker had to settle for another fourth place as the order from race one was repeated.
The weekend's feature race proved equally frustrating as, despite the greater number of laps, Barker again found himself staring at Tweedie's rear wing. Although capable of lapping as much as three-tenths quicker than the young Australian – and a similar margin from the leaders – the lack of clear air meant that he remained stuck behind the older car and had to settle for another fourth place, cementing a similar position in the overall standings.
“Tom defended for the entire race and I just couldn't make a move - as much as I tried,” Barker reflected, “I was only 0.3secs off the leaders' pace, despite having no clean air for downforce and, without being stuck behind a slower car, I believe I could have reeled them in and contended for fastest lap.
“However, although I'm a little disappointed, I have to remember that this was my first race weekend in F3 and, overall, I learnt a lot about racing an F3 car. I've found that qualifying is vital due to the difficulty in overtaking, and I can take that knowledge – and other things that I have learned – to future rounds. All the other guys in the field have had years of valuable experience in slicks and wings cars, so to show I can set the pace, as I did in practice and qualifying, is encouraging.”
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