Barnes and Selley set for test of endurance
Scott Barnes and David Selley will put their endurance to the test in the SimCraft 24 Hours of Orlando race, which starts tomorrow.
The pair won the Rubis Around the Island Power Boat Race A class in a record time last summer, although this time they will be swapping water for land in a battle against the clock.
They have been invited to join a team of five, including three Americans, with Barnes confident the line-up is strong enough to clinch for the chequered flag. “We're going there to win,” said Barnes, the island's No 1 driver. “We have a team that's strong on paper and is capable of winning it.
“The organisers, SimCraft, are putting in two teams and one of the guys called me up and said I was welcome on the team. I told them I had another Bermudian [Selley], and they welcomed him, too.”
Barnes and Selley already have knowledge of 24-hour racing, having represented an island-based team at the 24 Hours of Italy in Adria, northern Italy, last March. And Barnes believes that experience will stand the pair in good stead.
“I remember in Italy, the first hour went by and we were like, ‘Damn, there's 23 hours left!'” he said. “Having that experience will definitely help. Hopefully next year we can have a whole Bermuda team [in Orlando] rather than just being two of the five [drivers].”
Barnes, who revealed the Bermuda Karting Club will sit out this year's 24 Hours of Italy, but hoped to return in 2021, said the L206 karts they will drive in Orlando will be far less forgiving than the CRG Centurion vehicles used in Italy.
“The CRG rental karts had the full bodywork around them,” said the 35-year-old, “whereas these are normal go-karts with open-wheel tyres, so you can actually break and bend stuff in these karts. It's going to be tougher keeping the kart in one piece for 24 hours.”
Selley is expecting an even tougher test in Orlando, where they will be up against as many as 34 other teams.
“You'll see more parts getting changed,” said Selley, 26, who headed to Orlando with Barnes on Tuesday. “In Italy, the karts were pretty much bulletproof. We're going to have to keep it clean.
“[24-hour races] kind of remind me of a hurricane. You go into the night, you need to take a rest, and at the time it takes for ever. When the sun comes up the next day, you just hope you're doing OK. It's a battle.”