Jack Barlow is poised to make a surprise return to single-seater racing today (Sunday).
A lack of finance had left the talented 18-year old - who starred in last year’s inaugural BRDC Formula 4 Championship with five podiums, including two wins - expecting to be little more than a spectator in 2014.
However, a last minute call to test Jamun Racing’s Formula Ford challenger gave the Pett ace an opportunity to show his skills in the world famous British Formula Ford Championship with multiple champions, Jamun Racing.
“I was invited to test with the team at Brands Hatch and jumped at the chance,” explained Barlow. “Jamun has an impeccable pedigree, having won eight consecutive Formula Ford titles between 2005 and 2012. They really welcomed me and we gelled very quickly. Everyone was willing to help me.”
In return, Barlow delivered an impressive performance despite being unfamiliar with the 2-litre turbo, French-built Mygale car. After lapping the legendary Kent circuit in a time that equalled that which set pole position in last year’s corresponding race fixture at the same location, there was little doubt that he deserved his chance in the team’s available race seat.
“I’m definitely going into the opening weekend of the championship with high expectations now,” said a confident Barlow. “There’s good pace in the car and my focus will be on being a front-runner right from the outset.
“I’m up against a lot of second year drivers (who contested last year’s Formula Ford title) who are more familiar with the characteristics of the car and engine package - but I’m a fast learner and with a year of Formula 4 under my belt, I think I’ll be competitive.”
James Mundy, boss of Jamun Racing, certainly thinks so. In fact, he thinks his talented new signing is already a potential title contender: He said: “We’re looking to win the championship for sure. I know that’s a brave statement, but I say that having seen Jack drive. The whole team is very excited.”
You can watch Barlow go for glory at Brands Hatch live on ITV4 today. Coverage starts from 1.30pm.