n FILE Photo
STRONG SHOWING: Scott ‘Skitchy’ Barnes performed well in the US.
n FILE Photo STRONG SHOWING: Scott ‘Skitchy’ Barnes performed well in the US.

Scott ‘Skitchy’ Barnes shrugged off a three-month lay-off and an inferior motor to record a fine fourth place in the Pro 125 Shifter  Stock ‘King of the Streets’ at Rock Island, Illinois.

The Bermuda karter put his 10 years of racing at the US track to good use as he gave the pros a real scare after qualifying fifth.

He told the Bermuda Sun: “Out of the 10 guys I was the only one on an ordinary motor, a slower motor than everyone else.

“These guys are racing every weekend and before that race I hadn’t sat in a kart since May.

“The top two are paid drivers, that’s all they do, so I was happy to finish right behind them. 

“I had a great battle with them the whole race.”

He added: “It’s rough, it’s hard [being out of the kart for so long]. It’s definitely a disadvantage but at a course you know, you pick it up pretty fast.”

Fifth at the start of the final lap, Barnes turned on the heat to jump a place and finish ahead of the top driver in the US.

He also competed in three other races at the street track, finishing sixth out of 30 in the LO206 Briggs & Stratton Medium class and seventh out of 20 in the LO206 Briggs & Stratton Heavy.

The only disappointment for the islander was a DNF in the 125 Shifter Modified. 

After impressively qualifying in second, he was in contention only for his kart to let him down.

He said: “That was the class I was hoping to win. I was running second at the time, catching the leader, and the carburetor fell off, just one of those crazy mechanical failures. So that was a little disappointing. Other than that I had no incidents all weekend, never spun out or anything, which is good for four races on a road race where it is bumpy.”

Bermuda’s karting season starts this weekend. See Friday’s paper for more details.