Mixed emotions for Scott Barnes after securing Pro Tour runner-up spot
Scott Barnes finished fifth and sixth in the final races of the Skusa National Pro Tour Series to capture a laudable second place overall.
The 36-year-old headed into the series finale at the New Castle Motorsports Park, in Indianapolis, second in the standings and well aware of the uphill battle to clinch the Masters Shifter class title, after enduring a torrid outing at the Utah Motorsports Campus track in the previous round.
There, a fourth-place finish and a DNF resulted in the Bermudian driver not only surrendering top spot but also meant that a second place overall was the best outcome he could achieve after the series finale.
So it proved, as among a strong field of 14 karts, Barnes battled to a fifth-place finish in the opening race, before moving up a position in the sixth and final race of the series to cement his runner-up spot on the overall podium.
“Unfortunately, going into the weekend it was a pretty big gap to the first-place driver and so my goal was to try and secure second place in the overall championship standings,” he said.
“The weekend didn’t go that great for us. The field was really packed and all of the top drivers from around the country came out for the weekend.
“Obviously, I would have loved to win the championship, and I did everything I could to achieve that, but I didn’t quite have the luck throughout the series that I would have liked.”
Barnes admitted to struggling with the set-up of his kart throughout the weekend, with handling issues ultimately keeping him out of contention to get on the podium for races five and six.
“For whatever reason we struggled with the kart all weekend and just could not get it to handle the way we like at all,” he said. “It is a new kart for me this season and it just hasn’t really fitted with my driving style as yet.
“Unfortunately when you have a kart that doesn’t handle the way you normally like, it makes driving it that much harder.
“In the final race on the last day, the kart drove a little better but it was still not quite right. I ran in the lead pack with the karts bumper to bumper all race and I felt like I had enough to hang with the top five, but not quite enough to make those passes and be in contention for the podium.
“It was unfortunate but that’s racing. I wasn’t overly delighted with the sixth and fifth-place finishes but among a really strong field I felt like it was OK and it was enough to achieve my best possible outcome of securing that second place overall.
“Looking back on the series as a whole, overall I have to be content with being the second-best driver in the Master Shifter Class for the year on the Pro Tour.”
Barnes does not have long to wait for the chance to put any lingering disappointment behind him, as he prepares to head to Illinois next weekend for the Rock Island Grand Prix, North America’s premier karting street race.
“I’m looking forward to competing in the Rock Island Grand Prix,” Barnes added. “It’s the biggest street race in the United States and so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can achieve there.”