|Jack Barlow triumphed in the annual Rotax Cup at Three Sisters, near Wigan last Sunday (12 September), beating a quality field, including an exciting, tense battle with his Strawberry Racing team-mate, Jack Marshall. The Lancashire venue is one of Britain’s fastest and most exhilarating circuits, but ironically one that Jack had not competed at before. As a result, his timed qualifying performance was hampered by his lack of experience.|
“Getting a tow down the huge main straight makes all the difference,” Jack explained after qualifying in 14th place. “If you can slot in behind another driver, the slipstream effect can be worth as much as three tenths of a second (off the lap time). At Three Sisters, that’s a big advantage and I was unlucky because I couldn’t get the tow I needed.”
Undaunted, he took a commanding win in the first of the two heats. This gave him pole position for the second race, which he duly converted into a lights-to-flag victory, again ahead of Marshall.
After making the front row of the main final grid an all Strawberry Racing affair, Barlow aced the start with Marshall slotting in behind and staving off the early challenge from the third-placed driver. Once the opening lap had settled, they followed their team manager Warwick Ringham’s orders to the letter. “We both pushed and pushed to keep the chasing pack at bay. Jack (Marshall) could see the driver in third getting closer, so he pushed me even harder. At one point, he was faster than me, so took the lead and I followed him. That gave us the advantage we needed and with two laps to go, I saw my chance and grabbed it.”
Once ahead, Jack made sure that he drove a very tidy last lap, defended any passing attempts from Marshall and led his fellow Tony Kart EVR driver home. “I’m really pleased to have come to a circuit I’ve never seen before and won,” Jack said after the podium presentation. “I’ve been given two fantastic trophies; the Rotax Cup is huge! My win is definitely a big boost ahead of the final round of the Formula Kart Stars Championship, back here in two weeks.”
He added, “I didn’t expect to go to Wigan and win, but this has been a great way to reward the support of Arai UK, Freem UK, Rollersigns and Skinners of Rye. My team played a massive part in this latest success, so I would like to say a really big thankyou to Warwick, Dave ‘Dodge’ Gregory and my mechanic (and newly-crowned senior Euro Max number three) Mats van den Brand.”
Jack returns to Three Sisters on 25/26 September for the penultimate round of the Bernie Ecclestone and Lewis Hamilton-backed Formula Kart Stars series.