Scott Barnes loses grip on lead in Skusa National Pro Tour Series
Scott Barnes was left frustrated after surrendering the divisional lead in the Skusa National Pro Tour Series divisional lead in the wake of a torrid weekend at the Utah Motorsports Campus track.
The 36-year-old headed to US Midwest for the third and fourth rounds of the series aiming to build on his slender lead in the Masters Shifter class, having enjoyed an impressive opening weekend at the Nola Motorsports Park in New Orleans last month with successive podium places.
However, it was to prove an underwhelming outing for Barnes, as a combination of mechanical frustration and misfortune hampered his endeavours.
The Bermudian driver was forced to settle for a fourth-place finish in the opening race on Saturday, before being spun off the track by rival Vincent Cossard while leading in the final race on Sunday to wrap up a disappointing weekend.
“It was just an overall frustrating weekend in Utah,” Barnes said. “First off, we struggled with the set-up of the kart and, after the practice days, I was still around half a second off the pace needed to be in the top two or three.
“I just couldn’t get the kart to do what I wanted it to do on what was a pretty technical track, which meant I struggled to get up to the speed that I wanted to be.
“I started third in the final for Saturday, managed to lead for a lap but fell back and had to settle for fourth place. The kart just wasn’t right and I struggled being able to drive it properly.
“Sunday morning, we made some changes to the kart and found some speed, and I managed to qualify on the front row for the final race.
“I felt like I definitely could have finished in the top two, at least top three, with the speed we managed to find. Unfortunately, after a great start and leading for the first lap, the guy behind me hit me on the final corner of the first lap and spun me out.
“That ended my race, which was really unfortunate as I had finally managed to find the pace needed to challenge for those top two positions. To get taken out on the first lap was really frustrating.”
Barnes’s hopes of clinching the title now rest on the final two rounds of racing at the New Castle Motorsports Park, near Indianapolis, in August.
While he was disappointed at losing his lead in Utah, Barnes remains confident of making amends in the series finale on a track he has raced on before.
“Utah was a hit to my points lead in the standings and means I’ve lost top spot,” he added. “However, that’s racing, you can’t win them all.
“I was forced to learn the track really quickly, as I had never been there before, but the last two rounds in August are at a track that I’ve raced before, so I’m a lot more comfortable going there where everything will be on the line.”