Ben Barker to race in Detroit Tudor USCC race
Ben Barker, one of Total 911’s racing columnists, will make his American racing debut this weekend after being called up to by GB Autosport to drive their Porsche 911 GT America at the 100-minute Detroit Belle Isle race.
The Briton, currently lying second in the 2014 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup standings after fifth place at Monaco, will partner regular driver, Damien Faulkner in the Tully’s Coffee-sponsored #81 entry around the 2.35-mile street course.
“They needed a silver-graded driver to come in with Damian,” Barker said of his last-minute deal. “Mario, my Supercup engineer, is working on a car and he put my name forward. It all came together pretty late but here I am.”
Despite having no preparation for this weekend’s fifth round of the 2014 Tudor United SportsCar Championship, Barker is confident that adapting to the 911 GT America won’t be a problem thanks to its close relation to the 991 Supercup car.
“It’s not an R, it’s not an RSR, it’s pretty much a Cup car,” the 22-year-old racer said talking to Total 911. “You can do a bit more to it in terms of dampers and spring rates, but it is going to feel very similar, and it’s a street track so, coming from Monaco, I am ready for it.”
Barker will be joined on the 21-car-strong GTD grid by VERVA Lechner Supercup teammate, Kuba Giermaziak who will reprise his role in the #30 MOMO NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 as 991 GT Americas make up 11 of the GTD entries.
Today will see the teams get two two-hour practice sessions at 9:35am and 1:35pm (Eastern Time) before GTD qualifying takes place at 5:25pm this afternoon. Saturday’s 100-minute race kicks off at 12:10pm.
This weekend’s meeting will see the GTD-class cars only joined by the series’ Prototype category while Nick Tandy, Porsche North America Racing, and the rest of the GTLM circus will be out next at Watkins Glen on 27-29 June.