Father-son duo in red hot form at CQ club presentation night

Ben Barnes at the Central Coast Car Club's Motokhana held at Benaraby Raceway, Benaraby. Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer
Ben Barnes at the Central Coast Car Club's Motokhana held at Benaraby Raceway, Benaraby. Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer Luka Kauzlaric

ROCKHAMPTON father and son Peter and Ben Barnes are proving to be a driving force in motorsport.

The duo claimed two of the major titles at the recent Central Queensland Motor Sporting Club presentation night.

Peter was crowned the club's Khanacross Champion and Ben the Junior Driver of the Year after some high-octane performances in the 2015 season.

Ben, 15, was thrilled about taking the junior title and said he was hungry for competition to start again this year.

"I was really surprised," the humble teen said. "It was a fun year and I'm really looking forward to this year.

"I will probably try to compete in a few more events this year; the more, the better."

Ben said he was lucky that he and his dad shared a passion for cars and could pursue that together.

They joined the Central Queensland club a couple of years ago and have quickly motored up the rankings.

"It's something that I'd wanted to do for a while. I've always been interested in cars. It runs in the family," Ben said.

"I asked Dad if I could do motorsport and he said yes."

The Barneses have three cars that they use for competition racing - a Mazda MX5, an SS Commodore ute and a Commodore sedan.

Ben said while he relished his time behind the wheel, he also enjoyed working on the cars and understanding the mechanics and how any modifications could improve their performance.

And he said it was nice to be able to share the ride with his dad.

The teenager said he studied numerous videos to help fine-tune his driving skills.

"I have watched a lot of videos from in-car cameras and studied them and then tried all the stuff those drivers do, whereas dad tends to read all the books," Ben said.

"I just love the thrill of it.

"It's a really good sport. You've got to be able to react quickly in certain situations."

Asked what makes a good motor sport driver, Ben replied: "Pure determination, confidence and practice; that's the main thing, practice."

And it is that realistic and committed approach that has Ben looking at a career in motorsport.

"I would love to go further," he said. "My ultimate would be drifting.

"If you get good enough, have the right set-up on your car, the right team around you and the sponsorship, you can earn some big money doing that.

"That's my main passion. If I can do that for a living, nothing else could beat it."


Central Queensland Motor Sporting Club award winners

Motorkhana Champion: Andrew Mitchell

Khanacross Champion: Peter Barnes

Rally Driver of the Year: Wayne Menzies

Junior Driver of the Year: Ben Barnes

Topics:  central queensland khanacross motor sports

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