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Bristling Barlow scoops Junior Max double
6 July 2010
A few short weeks after signing for crack outfit Strawberry Racing, Jack Barlow broke his Junior Rotax victory duck in style in rounds five and six of the 2010 Formula Kart Stars Championship.
Making a rare visit to the hugely demanding Glan Y Gors circuit in North Wales Barlow became the first driver in 2010 to beat championship leader Ash Hand on the track.
With Hand having won the first four finals of the year as well as seven of the eight heats run over the course of the season prior to the GYG weekend (he also won the eighth but was excluded), Barlow knew that to stand any chance of winning the championship he would have to start taking points off Hand and start doing it quickly.
The fact that Hand had surprisingly elected to make a mid season move to the CRG chassis helped Barlow sand the rest of the field as the searing pace shown by the GP Plate holder earlier in the year wasn't quite as evident on a weekend that saw round five on Saturday take place in pleasant summer conditions before driving wind and rain made the majority of Sunday's sixth round a bit of a lottery until the track dried for the final.
Come rain or shine Barlow was imperious although Declan Jones pushed him all the way on Saturday, taking pole position from Barlow and finishing a close second to the reigning FKS Mini Max Champion in both heats. In the final Jones muscled passed Barlow in the early stages and looked like he might keep his rival at bay until Barlow spied a gap approaching 'The Spoon' and made his move.
Although Jones tried a final corner switchback on Barlow, drawing alongside as they flashed across the line Barlow took the win by one hundredth of a second. Two seconds behind the victorious Barlow, Jones' Dave Smith Racing teammate Liam Kelly scored his best FKS result by some margin with third place with Jessica Hawkins a best ever fourth, Josh Parker fifth and Hand only sixth after a heat two DNF saw him start the final down in 11th place.
In a damp qualifying session on Sunday Hawkins stunned her rivals by taking pole position with Archie White; Dubai based FKS debutant Shahaan Engineer and Charlie Turner completing the top four. Barlow, Jones and Parker would start sixth, seventh and eighth respectively with Hand only 25th after a mechanical problem halted him after just two flying lap.
In race conditions Barlow was in his element and beat Jones by three seconds to win heat one and by more than a second in heat two despite falling to eleventh in the early stages.
The final boiled down to a four kart scrap between poleman Barlow, Jones, Parker and a resurgent Hand with the lead changing many times before Barlow took control for good on lap 12 of 22. Hand gave chase but could only get within seventh tenths while Parker finished hot on his heels in third. Chad Ryan came through for fourth place after Jones' chain snapped on the penultimate tour.
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