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Finding Ben Barker…

Ben Barker of #86, Gulf Racing, on 16/08/2018 at the Silverstone 6H, 2018

Ben Baker in a relaxed mood ahead of the WEC Silverstone 6 Hours, 2018
Ben Baker in a relaxed mood ahead of the WEC Silverstone 6 Hours, 16 August 2018

PORSCHE ROAD & RACE has been out looking for some of the Porsche drivers and finding out what they have been up to during the Coronavirus lock-down that has affected most countries around the world. With all major motorsport activities on hold or cancelled, and with no end to the Coronavirus outbreak in sight, there is no way of knowing when things will return to a sense of normality.
Of course, this means that workshops are closed, circuits are closed and racing drivers cannot ply their trade for the rest of us to enjoy. Because you cannot go out to the race track to enjoy your favourite sport, we thought we would bring the racing stories to you in the comfort of your own home. With this in mind, we asked some of our favourite Porsche drivers and racing teams what they are doing to stay sharp and focussed.

#86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR driven by Ben Barker, Mike Wainwright and Alexander Davison during practice for the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours, 2019
The #86 Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR driven by Ben Barker, Mike Wainwright and Alexander Davison at speed during practice for the Spa-Francorchamps 6 Hours, 4 May 2019

Ben Barker first drove with Gulf Racing back in 2014, seeing out most of that ELMS season with them as a silver driver. He then got promoted as the team’s Pro driver when he went gold in 2017. But, having just returned recently from a skiing break in France, he went down with some worrying symptoms that sounded suspiciously like he had the Coronavirus. However, with no testing kits available to the general public to confirm whether he did indeed have the virus, Ben self-isolated just to be on the safe side. While he now feels better and stronger, he still cannot go racing because there is no racing taking place right now.
PRR – So what does a racing driver like Ben Barker do to stay sharp?
Ben – I can keep my training regime going which is fine, so that hasn’t really changed in the sense that I’m still keeping fit and still doing the things that I love doing to keep fit. A lot of drivers have simulators which are proving to be quite popular at the moment and they are online racing each other which a lot of the manufacturers are getting on board with. It’s really cool and a lot of fun for those people who have simulators but I don’t have one, so I am at home trying to build a schedule for myself. I am also going back through the archive of races I have done recently, reviewing them on YouTube. It’s a good way of keeping in the groove and remembering what you could have done better as a team and a driver. It is a difficult time, but you have just got to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, keep fit, and maintain a schedule that keeps you going, so you are ready for when it all kicks off again. I have already done some work on my cycling machine, it doesn’t take long to regain your fitness so it is not too bad.

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