Ben Barnicoat’s hopes of International karting glory on home soil were dashed by engine problems in round 2 of the CIK-FIA European Karting Championship at the PF International circuit, in Lincolnshire.
ART, the team with which he won the 2012 CIK-FIA European KF championship, asked Barnicoat if he could dovetail his current International circuit racing with helping develop their new Birel ART KF kart.
In round 1 at Portugal’s Kartodromodo Algarve, he finished in 20th position.
Ironically even though Barnicoat helps run the PFi circuit, he had to miss the pre-race test through his circuit racing commitments, so was on the backfoot for the race weekend.
Nevertheless, he got up to speed being 4th fastest in Friday’s practice, “I am setting competitive times. So I now have got to try and get good Saturday heat results for the Pre-Final”.
Progressing through the various heats, in 5th, 6th, 8th, and 5th respectively, Barnicoat ended qualifying in 13th place converting to sufficient points for him to start the Pre-Final 13th on the grid.
Steady progressing, Barnicoat made 6 places finishing the Pre-Final in 7th place, and felt sure he could do the same in the Final too, starting in 7th place…
At the lights Barnicoat took 6th place on the first lap and held the position for the first five laps.
But then his engine began to lose power
Barnicoat had to peer over his shoulders to see if he was under attack going into each turn, to know on which side he had to defend his position.
Inevitably, a kart overtook him and he fell back to 7th place.
To add to his problems, on lap 9 two karts collided right in front of Barnicoat, he had to take avoiding action, losing places rejoining down in 13th.
The Chesterfield 18 year-old held 13th to the penultimate lap when he was overtaken again, so took the flag in 14th place.
“It was OK in the heats and in the Pre-Final, I went from 13th to 7th. I knew it was going to be harder to get any further and difficult to stay where I was, so as soon as I came upon the crash, I could not do anything. I have helped BirelART to bring on the chassis, but there has been more strain on the engine here than at other places. It is what it is…I have done my best all weekend”.
He is now 20th in the standings for the third and final round at Kristianstad, Sweden.