21st January 2005

Reigning Autosport Caterham Eurocup Champion Jon Barnes has been awarded Rising Star status by the British Racing Drivers Club.

The prestigious award, which is handed down to only half-a-dozen or so young racers every season, brings not only kudos for 21-year-old Barnes, from Southampton, but also practical assistance to help him further his track career.

“It's a fantastic honour,” said Jon. “I am one of very few drivers with no single-seater racing experience to have been enrolled in the Rising Star scheme – the only car that I have ever raced on a circuit is a Caterham, so to be acknowledged by the BRDC as a Rising Star is a tribute not only to me but also to Caterham.

“I think it proves that Caterham racing is a great breeding ground for young talent and an excellent place to start a track career.”

Barnes started his career in the Caterham Super-Graduates Championship in 2002; he won six races in his maiden season and was beaten to the championship title by just two points. Last year he won the Eurocup with five wins for Team Parker Racing at the Nürburgring, Assen and Dijon, and was also vice champion in the UK-based Powertrain Caterham R400 Challenge.

“Jon is now one of a very select band of drivers,” said BRDC assistant club secretary James Beckett. “Every year our panel of judges seeks out young competitors with talent and helps them with career advice through the expertise of our older and more experienced members.” Among recent Rising Star recipients is BAR Formula 1 driver Anthony Davidson.

Barnes is currently seeking funding for a drive in the British GT Championship, and is also looking at a deal to continue his Caterham career in the new Cosworth Masters series.



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