A young Formula One hopeful from Pett fears his promising career could go up in smoke without any further sponsorship or backing.
Jack Barlow has shown genuine potential in Formula Four this year - his first year of racing cars - but after hitting financial difficulties, he’s now worried his career is about to hit the skids.
At all four of this season’s meetings so far, Barlow has faced a race against the clock before he’s even set foot on the circuit, hoping to secure the funds which are able to ensure he competes.
Each time, the 18-year-old and those around him have just pulled through, however with four meetings still to come, the worry is that he may have to miss one or two.
“As it’s my first year in cars, it’s been tough to attract sponsors,” Barlow said. “People aren’t sure what you can do and whether you might be worth taking the risk on. But I like to think I’ve proved myself over the first half of the season, with a couple of pole positions and two wins.”
Despite the uncertainty around his future, Barlow acknowledges he’s had a solid first campaign and although racing in Formula 4 next year isn’t the ideal scenario to progress, he’d obviously continue at that level if required.
He’s also extremely grateful to those who have helped so far, such as Skinners of Rye, Neo E-Cig and his family - who have made a number of sacrifices over the years, such as not going on holiday, to allow him to pursue his dream.
“My brother and sister, who are both older than me, have never moaned,” Barlow continued. “They all believe in me and that means so much. I’m very thankful to them and all my family for that, and for everybody who has helped me this season and in the past.”
Ultimately, Barlow’s goal is to reach F1 - an aim which doesn’t seem so far-fetched when you look at his form not just this year but also during a highly successful karting career when he won a number of top domestic titles and had several F1 teams tracking his progress.
When the chips were down at Oulton Park two weeks back and Barlow crashed during practice after securing another late funding bid, he went on to qualify on pole position and win the race.
“When I crashed, the first thing I thought about was the money,” he admitted. “It shouldn’t be like that. I was just so pleased to recover from that upset and win the race; it was unbelievable.”
Anybody interested in helping Barlow should contact Paul Barlow on 07900 440500.