An early end to the Nürburgring race weekend for Barnicoat due to teammate injury

Sunday, September 5, 2021
GT World Challenge Europe - Race Report

The latest Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS race weekend came to an early end for McLaren Factory Driver Ben Barnicoat before it had really had a chance to get underway at the Nürburgring.

An injury sustained to Ben’s teammate Ollie Wilkinson during an incident at last weekend’s event at Brands Hatch saw him deemed unfit to compete despite his best efforts during the weekend’s earlier practice sessions. As a result, the JOTA team faced the difficult decision to withdraw the #38 McLaren 720S GT3 from round 8 of the championship in-line with the series regulations, which does not permit two-driver entries.

A mammoth effort by the JOTA team to prepare the McLaren in the wake of the high-speed incident saw the car repaired and transported to Germany in only a few days. rolling out for the first practice session of the weekend. Indeed, Ben showed the team's hard work had paid off running solidly in the top 10.

However, despite his dogged determination, Ollie continued to be plagued by the knee injury sustained less than a week earlier. In light of this, a decision was made at the eleventh hour to reluctantly withdraw.

Commenting following confirmation of the early end to the weekend, Ben explained:

“Obviously, we are all disappointed that we have had to withdraw from the race, but the safety and well-being of each member of our team is the priority.
It was a big push by everyone to be here for the weekend, not least Ollie, and it was always going to be touch-and-go whether we would be able to race. The JOTA team has done an amazing job to get the car here, and we looked strong in the early sessions, which is a huge credit to the effort they put in. I know Ollie was determined to make the race if he could, and we ran as late as we could to see if it was going to be possible, but we have to be sensible and take a longer-term view to make sure Ollie makes a full recovery.”

Ben will return to the track with JOTA after a three-week break for the final Sprint Cup event in Valencia, 24-26 September.