Benjamin (Ben) Barker is a 28-year old motorsport driver who has been making a name for himself during the last decade. He is famed for his performances competing as a member of the team Gulf Racing, which is currently led by Mike Wainwright. Under the mantle of the iconic motorsport team, Barker has earned a series of impressive achievements in his career thus far.
Ben Barker’s origin begins in the city of Cambridge, England, where he was born. Today, the 6’4” racer still lives in his home country, but he’s no stranger to traveling internationally to compete in major races both for himself and for Gulf Racing.
2009: Making a name for himself
Ben Barker competed in numerous professional races in 2009. Of those, he boasted one win during a race at the year’s MSA Formula Ford Championship of Great Britain. He placed 8th in the championship’s standings overall, for his at-the-time team Fluid Motorsport Development.
2009 was particularly notable for Barker. It marked the year that he transitioned from karting to racing. Almost a decade later, he has become a prolific figure for the racing scene — especially since his decision to get involved with Gulf Racing in 2014.
2010: Winning gold
Years before he started competing for Gulf Racing, Benjamin Barker’s career got a hit of major momentum when he won gold.
In 2010, Ben Barker competed in 20 races in a Dallara F307 during the Formula 3 Australian Drivers Championship. Across the championship’s East Coast Shootout, he took part in an additional 8 races. Barker won gold for both, placing 1st overall in what was surely a historic year for the young driver.
2011 - 2013: Silver at the Porsche Carrera Cup
Arguably, Ben Barker’s most impressive achievement between the years 2011 and 2013 was his performance in 2014 at the Porsche Carrera Cup in Great Britain. He placed 2nd overall while driving a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 997, winning silver for the team Parr Motorsport.
Le Mans Beckons
2014: Returning to gold
In 2014, Ben Barker earned gold in two seperate championships, once again competing for the team Parr Motorsport. This time, he entered the Porsche Carrera Cup, 24 Hours Le Mans Support Race. He placed 1st in the championship’s Class A standings.
That same year, Barker also won gold by placing 1st at the 2014 Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, Class B. There, he drove a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 997 (Mk2) for the team Grove Motorsport.
Ben Barker’s first involvement with Gulf Racing
Following his multiple successes, Benjamin Barker got his first taste of involvement with Gulf Racing. This arrived in the form of his participation at the five-round 2014 European Le Mans Series. Notably, he competed alongside Gulf Racing’s current leader, Mike Wainwright, who is a fellow Englishman.
2015: Defending his crown
The following year, Ben Barker attempted to defend his title at the 2015 edition of the Liqui Moly Bathurst 12 Hour. During this race, he represented the team Grove Group. Unlike in 2014, however, Barker placed second overall in Class B. This marked his most notable placement of the year. Regardless, he did also compete in a series of other motorsport championships in 2015, such as the Porsche Carrera Cup in Germany.
Going to Gulf Racing (2016 - Current)
2016: A solid performance for Gulf Racing
2016 marked the year that Ben Barker’s dedication earned him a level of career success that he is still very much enjoying to this day. The abundance of potential he displayed in 2016 makes it obvious why Mike Wainwright decided to promote him internally with Gulf Racing the following year.
While the 2016 championship season was by no means an all out success for Gulf Racing, Ben Barker showed a tremendous amount of raw talent throughout the year. He was entrusted with Gulf Racing’s qualifying effort at round four at Le Mans. He also drove Gulf Racing’s iconic liveried #86 Porsche 911 RSR during his WEC debut that same year.
2017: Becoming Gulf Racing’s “Lead Driver”
In 2017, Ben Barker was given the responsibility of being Gulf Racing’s lead driver for the team’s GTE-Am entry at the FIA World Championship. This marked his second year overall getting to compete at the FIA World Championship for Gulf Racing.
“It’s great to know that I’ll be racing in a high-profile series in 2017, having confirmed another year with Gulf Racing in the World Endurance Championship,” said Barker. He proceeded to personally thank Mike Wainwright for fostering his recent “sports car ambitions.”
2018: Gold at the Liqui-moly Bathurst 12-HR
Ben Barker placed 30th at the World Endurance GTE Drivers Championship, while representing Gulf Racing UK. He also represented the team while competing in the GTE Am Drivers FIA Endurance Trophy, where he placed 7th.
During the year, Barker also won gold at the Liqui-moly Bathurst 12 Hour once again, while racing in Class B, GT3 Cup Cars. Barker won while driving a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type 991).
2019 and beyond: One of Gulf’s brightest stars prepares for the road ahead
This year, Ben Barker managed to win gold yet again at the Liqui-moly Bathurst 12 Hour Race. Like in 2018, this victory occurred in Class B, GT3 Cup Cars.
In terms of his performances for Gulf Racing this year, Barker stepped up to compete in the GTE Am Drivers FIA Endurance Trophy alongside team members Mike Wainwright and Andrew Watson. All three drove a Porsche 911 RSR, with Barker placing the highest of the trio at 6th place.
As Ben Barker looks to the road ahead, we can expect to see him and fellow members of the Mike Wainwright-led Gulf Racing team continue to enjoy a new-found spotlight. After all, as Barker correctly observed in a 2019 interview, being an international podium finisher has earned him a spot in the minds of motorsport fans across the world.