Teenage stars go neck and neck
BEN Barker, driving with Adelaide’s Team BRM, has won the 2010 Australian Drivers Championship — effectively by five hundredths of a second after 21 races.
Barker, from the UK, and fellow teenager racing with Team BRM, Mitch Evans of New Zealand, have ended the championship on 220 and 219 points respectively.
After Barker crashed in race two of the seventh and final round at Sandown last Sunday the Australian Drivers Championship — raced by Formula 3 cars — came down to the last race of their year. In that final race, Barker was back in fourth place while Evans was in second spot, which would mean a points tie.
The only way either could get an edge on the championship points was to go for the single bonus point given for fastest lap of the race. Barker took this strategy instead of scrapping for third place.
‘‘I dropped back, put my head down and went for it,’’ he says of the attempt at fastest lap.
He managed a lap of 1min 9.656sec while Evans, too, was trying to put in a ripper.
Barker’s best lap prevailed by .05sec.
Third in the championship was Tom Tweedie on 208 points, making it the tightest winning margin ever in the series.
Barker’s wins in three out of three races at Team BRM’s home track at Mallala, South Australia, in May turned out to be vital.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Formula One hopeful John Martin has won two of the three races in the final 2010 Superleague Formula, in Spain, including taking the 100,000 Euro (about $A140,000) cash prize for winning the SuperFinal, as he did in the UK early in the season.
Martin, 26, from Queensland, raced the Beijing Guoan FC car run by Alan Docking Racing for first place in Race 1, came from 18th to sixth in the reverse-grid Race 2 and won the SuperFinal for the top six drivers sprinting over six laps for the big cash.
The 2006 Australian Formula Ford Champion has finished ninth in the 2010 Superleague points but fourth in prize money.
Narrow margin: Ben Barker (left) and Mitch Evans finished the Formula 3 championship only one point apart.