26th August 2006

Jon Barnes heads to the penultimate rounds of the Formula Palmer Audi Championship at the fabulous Dijon circuit in France next weekend looking to extend his championship lead. The 22 year-old from Southampton has taken four wins from the last five rounds, including a double victory last time out at Snetterton.

Now, the BRDC Rising Star who has secured eight podium finishes from ten rounds leads pre-season favourite Viktor Jensen by eight points with five races remaining, including the two French rounds over the weekend of September 2/3. Jon, who last season clinched the inaugural Cosworth Caterham Masters title at a rain-soaked Monza, won the '04 Autosport Caterham Eurocup Championship and is now bidding to make it three titles in a row.

The youngster, who only came into racing in 2002, burst onto the scene with six wins and 13 podiums from 14 rounds of the Caterham Super Graduates, missing out on the title by just 0.028 of a second. Since that illustrious beginning, which also saw him secure pole position in his first ever single-seater race, the mechanical engineer has been on the podium no fewer than 37 times, 24 as race winner.

The second and third-placed drivers in this year's championship Jensen and Chris Hyman (third) have nearly ten years of FPA experience between them. While Jon, the FPA rookie, with just 10 races under his belt in the Formula 1 look-alike series, has shown the more experienced drivers the way to go on more than one occasion this season.

This year's FPA Championship makes its first ever appearance at Dijon but is a track known not only to Jon but also to the others who have taken the opportunity to test at the 2.4 mile former home of the French Grand Prix. This will ensure another equal footing for the young hopefuls when the event kicks off with free practice on Friday September 1st.

“I'm really looking forward to Dijon ,” said Jon. “I've raced there before and normally that would give you an advantage but I know that the others have tested there too so we'll all be equal.

“I'm feeling reasonably confident of having a good result; it's a fast circuit with a front straight around a kilometre long, which will provide plenty of chances to use the turbo boost! These races are going to be full of overtaking and very exciting for the drivers and spectators alike.

“I don't mind if it's wet or dry either, I won the Caterham Masters in torrential rain last year, it's not a problem. If I can continue the form that has earnt me eight podiums and four wins from the last five rounds, I'll be happy.”

The three-day event will see Jon take to the track for free practice at 9.30am on Friday September 1 st with another 30 minute session at 12.15pm . Qualifying one will take place later that afternoon at 5.00pm , qualifying two at 11.30am on Saturday with the first of two 15-lap races on Saturday afternoon at 4.05pm

The second race will conclude the FPA proceedings taking place on Sunday at 10.10am .

Once again, the races will be filmed by Hay Fisher Productions and broadcast on Motors TV at the following times and dates in September: Race 1: September 14: 8.30pm, September 15: 6pm, September 17: 7.00am, September 18: 6.30pm, September 18: 7.30pm and September 19:4.30pm

Race two will be broadcast at: September 21: 8.30pm, September 22: 6.00pm, September 23: 5.30am, September 24: 7.00am and September 25: 3.30pm.

Championship points after Round 10

1. Jon Barnes 206 pts

2. Viktor Jensen 198 pts

3. Chris Hyman 174 pts

4. James Wingfield 149 pts

5. Tom Haines 134 pts

6. Giacomo Petrobelli 114 pts


For media information: Cathy Metcalfe, MPR Associates

Tel: +44 (0) 1327 352199

Mob: +44 (0) 7802 332398


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