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Barnes gears up for new season

Scott "Skitchy" Barnes takes the chequered flag in the 125 Shifter Masters class at the Rock Island Grand Prix in Illinois.

Bermuda Karting Club president Scott “Skitchy” Barnes revved up for the new domestic season with his first win in the United States for two years.

Taking on a heavy workload competing in five of the 12 classes, Barnes enjoyed a number of excellent performances at the Rock Island Grand Prix in Illinois held over Labour Day weekend.

At the biggest street race in the US, the Bermudian was on the starting grid in three LO206 classes and two Shifter classes.

After heat races and qualifying, in Sunday’s finals he managed three podium finishes — two thirds and a victory in the 125 Shifter Masters category.

Add in five top fours from Saturday’s heats and an overall weekend record of eight top fours from ten races and Barnes was understandably in upbeat mood.

“It’s pretty good for a street race where there is no runoff, just all barriers and walls,” he said.

“To race ten races and not bend one part is pretty awesome. I didn’t touch anything or mess up one kart — that’s just a victory in itself. One little mistake can cost you a whole chassis.

“To get through ten races and not break one part is pretty exciting.”

He added: “Just to be able to get back and win in the States again is always good. It’s a great feeling.

“Winning here, it’s Bermuda, but when you can do it out there against some of the best guys, it’s pretty awesome.

“My plan next year is to do a little more in the States and get back to road racing.

“It’s a lot more fun to me. I’ve been doing a lot of sprint track the last couple of years but I started out in the States road racing and it’s fun — fields of 30/40 karts doing 100mph, feeling the draft. It’s pretty cool.”

The success has got Barnes in the mood for the Bermuda season down at Southside, which starts with the first points race on Sunday.

But he admits he already has one eye on a return to the US in November where he will compete in the Las Vegas SuperNationals along with local driver Brandon Franks.

“It’s the biggest race in the States,” he said. “Drivers from all over the world go there — drivers from Formula One and Nascar.

“Michael Schumacher has raced there before as has Jamie McMurray.”

n Bermuda karting season preview in tomorrow’s edition

n For more information go to www.bermudakartingclub.com or go to the club’s Facebook page.