- April 23, 1991
- United Kingdom
- Fia World Endurance Championship
- Gulf Racing
Ben Barker is a British racing driver who currently competes with Gulf Racing UK in the FIA World Endurance Championship, driving a Porsche 911 RSR.
Earlier in a career, he won the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship in 2010 and after that, he switched to sports car competitions and competed mainly with Porsches. He made a FIA WEC debut in 2016.
Barker was too high for kartings
Benjamin 'Ben' Barker was born in April 1991, in Cambridge, England. As most of the successful race car drivers, he also started racing career in karting. Ben has grown very high, so his height of 193 cm represented a problem in small karts.
In 2009, he moved to single-seater cars, competing in the MSA Formula Ford Championship. He learned quickly and scored the first victory in his debut season, winning at Knockhill. He finished eighth in the championship and fourth in the annual Formula Ford Festival.
Australian Formula 3 champion in debut season
After he passed a test in Australia, Ben moved to the Australian Formula 3 and drove for team BRM. He was the winner of the East Coast Shootout competition and then he won the 2010 Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship, with just one point advantage ahead of his teammate Mitch Evans. When in Australia, Ben also participated in one round of the Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series, driving Ford BF Falcon for MW Motorsport at Mount Panorama Circuit.
Switch to Porsche Carrera Cup in 2011
Team BRM moved Ben to the Porsche Carrera Cup Australia in 2011, giving him to drive #20 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 997. Ben won two of 21 races, both at Homebush Street Circuit in Sydney, and finished fifth in the championship. Australian results earned Ben the inaugural Michelin Australia Sports person of the Year award.
Ben was the 2011 British Rising Star
His results weren't unnoticed in Britain, so the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) gave him a 'Rising Star' status at the start of the 2011 season. After in 2011 Ben participated in four races of the British Carrera Cup with Parr Motorsport, taking two podiums, he returned to Britain to compete in the full season of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB.
Runner-up in the 2012 British Carrera Cup
Ben scored five victories and nine podiums, to finish second in the standings. The only one ahead of him was Michael Meadows. Such a result earned him an upgrade to BRDC's SuperStar programme for 2013.
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup debut in 2013
In 2013, Ben entered the Porsche Mobil 1 Carrera Cup, which was the highest step among the one-make Porsche competitions. Barker was driving for Team Bleekemolen and he finished tenth in the final classification, without wins and podiums.
Busy 2014 season in three competitions
In 2014, Ben was more successful and he managed to score one podium, to finish sixth in the Supercup standings. He had a busy year because he also raced in the IMSA United Sports Car Championship and in the European Le Mans Series. In the United States, he was driving the Porsche 911 GT America for GB Autosport in six races while in ELMS he partnered Adam Carroll and Mike Wainwright in the Gulf Racing Porsche 911 RSR.
Victories at Le Mans and Bathurst
The highlight of the season was a victory at the Le Mans 24hr support race, which fielded over 60 Carrera Cup pilots from all over the world. Another glory moment was the Class B victory in the 2014 Bathurst 12 Hour race in the Grove Motorsport's Porsche alongside Earl Bamber and Stephen Grove.
2015 was the last season in the Supercup
In 2015, Ben continued to compete in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, driving for MOMO-Megatron Team Partrax. He finished ninth in the points at the end of the season. He also competed full season in the German Porsche Carrera Cup, driving for Land Motorsport. In 17 races he achieved two podiums and finished 12th in the points.
At 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour race, Ben missed repeating the Class B victory, finishing second in the Grove Motorsport's Porsche. His co-drivers were Stephen Grove and Luke Youlden.
FIA WEC regular with Gulf Racing since 2016
For 2016 season, Ben Barker reunited with Gulf Racing to compete in the LMGTE Am class of the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC). His teammates in the #86 Porsche 911 RSR are Adam Carroll and Mike Wainwright. In nine races, they scored just one podium, finishing third in FIA WEC classification at Le Mans 24 Hours although they were fifth in GTE Am class.
In 2017, Barker stayed in Gulf Racing's #86 Porsche, scoring two podiums in Mexico and China to finish sixth in GTE Am points, together with teammate Nick Foster. The 2018-2019 FIA WEC superseason would be his third season with Gulf Racing in the world's premier sports car competition.