Gordon Barnes will be chasing the opportunity of becoming EuroNASCAR Club Challenge’s first three-time champion with Marko Stipp Motorsport in 2023.
Gordon Barnes, the reigning two-time EuroNASCAR Club Challenge champion, is returning for another title defense in NASCAR Whelen Euro Series’ regularity-based division with Marko Stipp Motorsport this year.
The announcement of Barnes’ return was officially announced by Marko Stipp Motorsport on 31 March 2023. The German team will once again feature Barnes as their star driver in Club Challenge.
“A third title would be amazing,” said Barnes in the official release. “There has been a lot of strong competition the last few years, so each title has been hard fought.”
“To get a third would be amazing, especially to do it three in a row. I’ve set a pretty high bar already over the last two years with winning three events in a row, so trying to match that is going to be a big challenge.”
Barnes began to compete in Club Challenge in 2020, finishing third in a year that only saw three drivers compete full-time – and five drivers competed for points in total – due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite this, he would prove that he had the talents to win in Club Challenge after he claimed back-to-back Club Challenge titles once normality resumed. He defeated Nicolo Gabossi and Paul Jouffreau for the 2021 title and followed it up by beating Federico Monti and the EuroNASCAR 2-bound Néo Lambert in 2022.
The 2022 season in particular proved to be a tough one for Barnes to defend. Despite winning two events at Vallelunga and Rijeka, Lambert was able to keep up with Barnes in the title race thanks to two wins that Lambert secured at Valencia and Zolder. In the end, Barnes would clinch the title by just one point after he managed to tie Lambert’s points haul in Rijeka.
“We’ve gotten used to working together and the team has always been able to recover from any setback,” said Barnes, who put the team over and appreciates the support that MSM have given to him in his championship campaigns.
“I think we showed our determination in Most and in Grobnik last year. We never gave up even when things looked to be really difficult.”
“Any time that Gordon gets in the car, he is 100% focused,” adds Marko Stipp, owner and team principal of MSM. “The level of consistency he has shown, especially last year, is almost unbelievable. Our goal is to defend the title with him.”
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