Layton Barker locks in Dunlop Super3 Series return in Townsville
TASMANIAN Layton Barker will return to the Dunlop Super3 Series next week at the NTI Townsville 500, putting aside a disappointing 12 months to finally get his chance to race on the Reid Park Street Circuit in North Queensland.
Barker made his Super3 debut at Mount Panorama in 2020 and had planned to contest the Townsville event last year, before border issues put paid to those plans.
However twelve months later he will make his return, driving the same ex-Tasman Motorsport VE Commodore he raced at Bathurst.
The car has a strong pedigree, including having finished second in the 2008 Bathurst 1000 in the hands of Greg Murphy and the late Jason Richards.
“I have always loved my V8 Supercars, in 2020 I got the opportunity to do my first Super 3 race at Bathurst in the supercar that Jason Richards and Greg Murphy put on the podium at the Bathurst 1000 in 2008,” Barker explained.
“It was a very surreal experience and one I will never forget.
“The plan was to jump back in the Super 3 car for Townsville last year, but unfortunately boarder closures put a halt on that plan just before the event, which was very disappointing for both myself and my sponsors.
With Super 3 heading back to Townsville this year I was keen to undo some of that disappointment, plus it’s a perfect opportunity to break up the Tassie winter and see a bit of sunshine.”
Barker said the appeal of racing at a major regional event was part of the reason he chose the Townsville event.
“I love to go racing at these more regional towns as I find the locals really get behind and embrace the event,” he explained.
“As an example, I was struggling to get a rental car, so I put a call out on a community page and within a couple of hours My Ute Rentals offered a car for my family and I to use while in town – I even had offers from locals offering me their personal cars, which is amazing.
“This will be my first time to Townsville and from what I have seen on the TV over the years, the track looks amazing but rather challenging.
“My expectations results-wise are not going to be too ambitious, I really just want to keep my nose clean and hand the car back without any damage.”
Though the Townsville event remains the only Dunlop Super3 Series round confirmed on Barker’s current calendar, he has another major street circuit in his targets for later this year.
“I would love to also do the Adelaide 500 if I can, as it has a fantastic atmosphere and I get some great support from local Adelaide sponsors.
“I have maintained NHP Electrical Engineering Product as my naming right sponsor, as well as regulars Bridgestone Select Moonah, Kraus & Naimer and Austral Wright Metals.
“I was also fortunate enough to pick up some local support from KLN Group, RMG Offroad, Lexerturf & Landscaping, Neat as Lawns, JRN Tiling, Clean Base, My Ute Rentals, Merritt’s Hire Group, Dusty Desert and SKC Fab 4×4.”
The third round of the Dunlop Series will see the category take to the Reid Park street circuit at the NTI Townsville 500 across the July 8-10 weekend, with action to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 506 and the Seven Network.