Perseverance pays off for Barnes and Selley
Bermuda karters Scott Barnes and David Selley overcame a pair of setbacks en route to securing a podium finish at the SimCraft 24 Hours of Orlando, Florida, race last weekend.
Barnes and Selley were driving for SimCraft 2 team, along with Americans Steven Kilsdonk, Alex Mayer and Jason Hart. The team placed second in the Masters class and seventh overall out of 35 outfits.
Had they not suffered a blown engine early on in the race and a broken pipe towards the end, Barnes is convinced they would have claimed victory in their class and challenged for the overall podium.
“I took the second stint after the rain and got to two laps in when the motor blew,” Barnes said.
“For this class [L206], that's pretty strange. These motors are usually pretty durable. It broke down on the worst possible spot of the track as well ... the backside of the track. We didn't have a back-up motor, but luckily SimCraft 1, our team-mates, did and gave us theirs. We lost about 40 minutes, which was a huge setback.”
Despite the misfortune, Barnes said the team, who placed fourth in qualifying, were able to claw their way back into the race through shear perseverance.
“We never gave up and that was the main thing,” the 35-year-old said. “In these 24-hour races, the main thing is surviving.
“With five or six hours to go, we were second in our class when our pipe completely broke. That was a nine-minute pitstop, so we lost five-minutes of track time.
“Other teams also broke down, too, spinning out and accidents, so sometimes it balances it out.”
Selley, 29, said he felt increasingly comfortable as the race wore on and learnt plenty from the experience. He, too, hopes Bermuda can enter a local-based team in the competition next year.
“All of our drivers tried to do two stints back-to-back,” said Selley, who won the Rubis Around the Island Power Boat Race A class in a record time along with navigator Barnes last summer.
“By the time you got called in after your first stint you were ready for your second. The second stint tended to be more consistent. Had it not been for the two incidents, we would have easily won our class and come third or fourth overall.”
Both drivers had previous 24-hour race experience, having competed in a Bermuda team at the 24 Hours of Italy last April.