Jack Barlow is Flying

Spectacular Accident Fails to Dent Barlow Competitive Spirit

By Adam Jones Pictures by Chris Walker/Kartpix

“Now I know why they call it Crash Masters!”

Just twelve months after winning the prestigious Kart Masters event, held annually at the PFi circuit in Lincolnshire, Rye’s favourite kart racer, Jack Barlow’s fortunes were literally turned on their head.

The 15-year old star was bidding to make history by winning back-to-back titles at the meeting known as the ‘British Grand Prix of karting.’ After triumphing in the Mini Max class last year Jack now competes in the Junior Max class and his weekend (31 July/1 August) started brightly when, in timed qualifying, he was 4th fastest in his group. From there the Pett youngster finished 3rd in the opening heat but his kart threw its chain in the second encounter, putting him out of the race altogether.

Starting from the 9th row of the packed grid in the pre-final, the Rye College student got an excellent start and was already carving his way up the order when disaster struck.

Completely Upside Down Five Foot in the Air
Completely Upside Down Five Foot in the Air

“Someone hit me from behind as the pack streamed into a corner. My kart speared off the track and dug in at the back and then barrel-rolled. I felt like a sock in a tumble dryer.”

Barlow’s kart launched itself end over end before throwing Jack clear. Incredibly, he was able to walk away without a scratch and his kart sustained no more damage than two broken bumper bolts.

Jack Barlow in his Flying Machine
Jack Barlow in his Flying Machine

“My Arai helmet did a great job of protecting my head and I was lucky that I ended up on the grass. If the accident been on the track, things could have been a lot worse.”

Feeling none the worse for wear after his spill, Jack bravely decided to race in the Grand Prix final. Again he was making excellent progress when his chain broke again.

Kart Crash - Jack ends up on his back
Kart Crash – Jack ends up on his back

The Accent Banking and Rollersigns-supported star returns to the Grantham track for testing duties this weekend to prepare for the following week’s trip to Genk in Belgium (13-15 August).

“It’s the Formula Kart Stars championship’s overseas round,” Jack explains. “After my win last month (at Glan Y Gors in North Wales) I’ve closed the gap to just a handful of points and am second overall. The team and I are working hard to make sure that we give ourselves the best possible chance to come back home, hopefully with another trophy but more importantly, with the championship lead.”

From “Rye’s Own” September 2010