Taylor Barnard’s has ended his trip to Australia on a high, after the Jenzer Motorsport driver brought home his first Formula 3 points in a hard-fought Melbourne Feature Race. The 23 laps of action put the British rookie to the test, capitalising on the chaos surrounding him to earn two points in P9.
Buoyant after the race, Barnard says that his performance was not just down to a fortunate turn of events, but it’s a testament to the headway he and the team have made with their overall package to be able to make the most of their circumstances.
“It was very busy, but I think there were two Safety Cars so that bunched it up and made it a bit easier. We’ve been making progress from the very start, and I think now it’s finally starting to show that we’re making some steps.
“Of course, it’s nice to get some points. I was very lucky because on the last lap there was a crash, so I managed to pick up the pieces, but still the pace was much better in this race. Of course, you have to be in the position to capitalise on that, so I’m very happy with the steps that we’ve made and hopefully we can continue like this.”
Stepping up from Formula 4 as opposed to Formula Regional meant that the early stages of the 2023 campaign were always going to be an uphill battle for Barnard. Facing a huge learning curve in the third tier, he’s pleased to see his improvements from the opening round in Sakhir come to fruition.
“I’m a rookie coming from Formula 4 and not Formula Regional, so I think I’m definitely making steps in myself, but the car is also developing quite a lot and very well. So, I’m very happy for that. To be honest, I don’t have much experience with the tyres, but I think in the end I managed it quite well and the tyres seemed okay.”
Climbing up from P18 on the grid, Barnard’s no holds barred attack saw him make the most of the final eight lap stint. Reflecting on his overtakes, the Brit says it was his move on MP Motorsport’s Jonny Edgar on Lap 20 for P12 that really stands out as moment to savour.
“I think at the last Safety Car I was 14th and maybe with some more contact and a few crashes, I thought I could maybe get it. So really, when that Safety Car restart happened, I was definitely gloves off and trying to get the points.
“Probably the one on Jonny Edgar it the chicane, that was quite close. DRS seems to be quite powerful here so overtaking into the chicane is easy, but when you’re side-by-side going in there, it’s really on the limit. I enjoyed the racing a lot, so it was fun.”
Heading back to Europe with a positive momentum behind him, Barnard should benefit greatly from the two two-day tests in just over a week’s time. Utilising the track time to increase his understanding of the F3 machinery, the Jenzer racer is eager to maintain himself at this level when Round 3 commences at the more traditional Imola Circuit next month.
“I’ve done some laps at Imola in F4, so I know the track quite well and I’m looking forward to it. Of course, points are always the target and if we can keep improving with the car and myself, then who knows. We can get some more points and maybe a podium at the end of the season.”