Barker confirmed for European Le Mans Series
DATE ADDED: Sunday 14th April 2014
Ben Barker will make his European Le Mans Series debut when the 2014 championship kicks off at Silverstone this weekend, having been added to the Gulf Racing line-up for the five-round campaign.
The Porsche Supercup star will join Mike Wainwright and former GP2 Series racewinner Adam Carroll in the #86 Porsche 997 RSR, having impressed the team during a recent test session at Paul Ricard. Although he has raced in GT events before, winning his class in both the inaugural Buku City Challenge in 2012 and at the Bathurst 12 Hours earlier this season, Silverstone will mark Barker’s first foray into a full international sportscar championship.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to drive at this level in a well organised championship,” he enthused, “Sportscar racing is definitely on my radar for the future, and the European Le Mans Series is as good a place to start as any. This is a great opportunity for me to make my mark on the endurance racing arena – and I couldn’t ask for a better situation than racing on a circuit I know well with a team as iconic as Gulf Racing.”
Barker last raced on the full Silverstone grand prix layout during his debut Supercup season in 2013, but knows the circuit from his days in both Formula Ford and the Porsche Carrera Cup GB. Despite the F1-supporting Supercup being his main focus this year, the 22-year old has already raced successfully at Bathurst and Brands Hatch, where he claimed a double victory while guesting in the opening round of the 2014 Carrera Cup.
“It has been a great start to the season and, thanks to Gulf Racing, I hope that will continue at Silverstone this weekend and throughout the rest of the ELMS programme,” Barker commented, “However, I’m under no illusion about the level of competition in the series, and am looking forward to testing myself against some of the best sportscar racers in the world.”
The European Le Mans Series kicks off in support of the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Silverstone over the weekend of 18-20 April, with qualifying taking place on Saturday morning ahead of a four-hour race in the afternoon.