BATHURST DREAM: V8 Ute driver Mason Barbera’s pride and joy which he drove around Mount Panorama on Sunday.
BATHURST DREAM: V8 Ute driver Mason Barbera’s pride and joy which he drove around Mount Panorama on Sunday. Contributed

Mason Barbera can't wait to race around Mt Panorama again

BUNDABERG'S Mason Barbera can't wait to race at Mount Panorama again after competing at the iconic event for the first time in his career in the V8 Utes over the weekend.

In a mixed weekend for the local, who competes full-time in the series, he finished all three races in 13th, 11th, and 25th to finish the round just outside of the top 15.

"Racing around Bathurst was an amazing experience," Barbera said.

"The elevation is unreal and it is a crazy feeling driving down Conrod Straight in a ute at 260kmph."

The weekend started well for the 2014 karting national champion in the Rotax Heavy class.

He qualified 14th before rising up three spots in the opening two races.

"We had awesome pace but it just didn't translate into qualifying and race results."

"The car was quick during race 1 and 2 but we couldn't move past drivers because of the limited areas of overtaking at Bathurst," Barbera added.

The 17 year old also had to contend with weather in the 2nd race as it rained heavily at Bathurst on Saturday.

"Thankfully it wasn't that bad, but it was daunting to drive around the mountain in the wet."

"We also had limited experience of driving in the wet, so the aim was to stay clean as Bathurst can be unforgiving."

Unfortunately for Barbera the track showed that on Sunday morning in the final race.

Battling for a top 10 spot, against fellow drivers Adam Beechey and Jeremy Gray, they ended up three wide down the long Conrod Straight.

With Barbera on the left, he got pushed into the grass, and went airborne as he tried to get back on the track.

This created contact with Beechey which sent the Tasmanian into the wall and out of the race.

Barbera, who only suffered a flat tyre, would finish 25th and not get penalised for what was deemed a racing incident.

"It was a shame to end the weekend like that. I was trying to move past both drivers after both slowed before the long straight down the mountain at the Dipper."

"Unfortunately we made contact with Beechey and it ended his and our weekend. I am gutted for him and hope he can fix his car up."

Barbera finished 16th for the round and is now 23rd in the championship.

He plans to compete in the final two rounds and aim for a top 20 spot.

"Electrical gremlins and mistakes have put us down in the championship. We will be looking to keep clean and get some results around the tough circuits of Gold Coast and Sydney."

Barbera added he has plans in place to further his racing career in 2016.

"2016 is looking good and we have plenty of options. I have a great team around me and the family have been very supportive of my career," Barbera said.



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