Out in front: TAG Senior Class leader Scott Barnes in familiar pose - at the front. However, his lead is slim and he knows he’ll face pressure from chasing drivers in the second half of the season. *File photo
Out in front: TAG Senior Class leader Scott Barnes in familiar pose - at the front. However, his lead is slim and he knows he’ll face pressure from chasing drivers in the second half of the season. *File photo

Jason North, president of the Bermuda Karting Club, said driver Scott Barnes is a marked man.

Karting has reached the half-way point of this season with eight races to go.

Scott Barnes has a small 14-point lead over David Barbosa in the popular TAG Senior Class with junior driver Stephen Corrado in a strong third position.

Barnes leads Corrado by 77 points in the 125CC Shifter Class. Anthony Bean is further back in third, which should be a wide open race as five drivers are within 79 points of him.

John Carreiro Jr made his season debut on Sunday and if he raced like he did then with two firsts and a second, it’s possible he could quickly scale the difference between himself and Bean.

Ryan Burgess is well on his way to collecting the Junior Stock Clone Class (7 to 10-year-olds) while Ryan Lopes has a solid 174-point advantage over Zanardi Daley in the Junior Modified Clone Class (10 to 15-year-olds).

The Junior Stock Clone Class (10 to 15-year-olds) could turn out to be the best battle. Owen DeCosta is on top with 550 points with Blake Horseman (526 points) and Corey Lewis (524) both within striking distance.

North said the season has gone relatively well but is disappointed there are not more junior drivers competing.

“Overall, it is very satisfactory with the number of drivers who are coming down to the track.”

He said the high point so far has “been the competitiveness. It’s been very close in most of the classes, especially in the TAG Class and the Junior Clone Class.

“I wasn’t expecting things to be as close as they are.”

He added if all the drivers came out on the same day “we could have a really big race day, but obviously people have other things to do like work so we don’t always get everyone down there.

“We have around 25 karts every race day, which is up from previous years.”

He added there are a lot of families, friends and fans helping fill the stands to give race days a positive vibe.

“There’s a lot of interest out there and with the economic climate, we’re holding our own. Once things get better economically, we’re expecting even more.”

The karting president had praise for the teen drivers who are mixing it up with the adults.

“Amber (Lopes) is getting there. She doesn’t have a whole lot of experience in the junior classes and she’s getting more consistent so we’re not seeing as many mistakes from her. She’s definitely headed in the right direction.

“Stephen (Corrado) is in the top three, four drivers every race day.

“Al (Seymour) is working his way up. He’s had a few bugs here and there, but he’s looking good too.

“It’s going to take a while for them to catch up with the likes of Scott, Patrick (Ingham) and David, but they have more experience.

Scott ‘Skitchy’ Barnes added that having a consistent number of drivers out every week has helped with the competition.

“We’re having eight or nine drivers in TAG and eight or nine in shifters, which is a big increase from last year.”

Barnes, who has been racing since he was 12-year-old has been singled out as the driver to beat.

“I have way more experience than any of the other drivers because I’ve been away so many times, so I’m definitely the one to beat right now.”

North chipped in: “Especially when he’s winning races. When he stops winning them the focus goes elsewhere. Right now he’s got the ‘x’ on his helmet.”

Racing continues this Sunday at the Bermuda Motorsports Park.