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Racers in Isolation: Ben Barker

Ben Barker spills the beans on his bargain first car and where he’s spending the lockdown…

Photo: Ben Barker

Sportscar365 is contacting drivers from around the world to ask what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

Ben Barker (Twitter/Instagram) driver of the Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR in the FIA World Endurance Championship checks in from the Suffolk countryside in the UK.

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

I escaped London to the Suffolk countryside, after (I think) going through COVID-19 myself, so to protect my housemates I left. The countryside is the place to be in lockdown, so I am happy.

What’s on your current playlist?

I have an eclectic mix from old school rock n roll to jazz, but mostly electronic-based music. I love synthy techno stuff like Four Tet, Caribou, Seb Wildblood, if that means anything to anyone!

Do you follow any other sports? If so, favorite teams?

Love watching football at the pub with my mates (not much of either of those happening right now, sadly). I support Chelsea, but mostly enjoy watching Arsenal lose!

What was your first car?

1.4L 1991 VW Polo GT, bought for £25 from a farmers hedge. Sold for £650, bingo!

If you could be the WEC CEO for a day, what would you change?

Make GTE-Am and GTE-Pro the same BoP. I think this can motivate some of the better Ams to get an overall GT result. Also gives the Pros in A, cars to showcase the team/themselves more.

What was your first job?

Between my racing commitments back in 2012/13 I was roasting coffee with a mate who owned ’The Missing Bean’ cafe in Oxford – loved it! 

Who has been your biggest inspiration in the sport?

For me the determination, focus and, intelligence of Schumacher is inspirational.

What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track?

Giving my whole team a great big hug!

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