Carlin boss praises ‘perfect' FPA Champion

16th October 2006

Newly crowned Formula Palmer Audi Champion Jon Barnes had his first taste of a Formula 3 car this week, when he sampled the Carlin Motorsport Dallara Mugen-Honda at Snetterton. The full day's testing, his prize for clinching the crown, was declared a success by both Jon and Carlin boss Trevor Carlin who was quick to praise the 23 year-olds performance.

“Jon did a great job, he really did and it was a perfect test. He was very professional and acclimatised very well. He just got on with the job and was totally at ease. Although Palmer Audi is quick, he adapted well to the change in braking and the different styles required through the high-speed corners."

“He didn't do anything rash and even before lunch was posting some very respectable times. Sadly he didn't get to do his ultimate lap due to a red flag situation but without doubt he would have done. He completed around 120 laps and his best lap of 63.27 could easily have ended up as a 62.9. I was very impressed, he was lovely to work with, and I would love to have the chance to run him again.”

Jon himself was equally delighted with his own performance but admitted to feeling drained at the end. “It has been two and a half years since I last completed a full day ' s testing and I have never driven so many laps in such a short space of time. It was pretty tiring, particularly because of the high g-forces that the F3 car generates. Many people said it wouldn't feel much more powerful than the FPA car and they were right, but the difference in grip level was what was most noticeable."

“The car felt very stable around the corners but on the straights it actually felt a little bit slower as the turbo on the FPA car means the car just keeps on pulling. I had a fantastic day though; absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience."

“Formula 3 is definitely an option for 2007. Now it's all down to trying to secure the budget to fulfil my ambition. If I managed to be nominated for the BRDC McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year Award, then I feel that would give me an even better chance of racing in the British Formula 3 championship next season.”

Jon clinched the FPA title in style, taking a record-breaking seven successive wins and a record number of points to lift the crown with one race in hand. The BRDC Rising Star took victory in nine of the last ten rounds to take a commanding 50 point advantage at the finish.


For media information: Cathy Metcalfe, MPR Associates

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