In the absence of two races to put the finishing touch Saxophone Cup 2022, pilot Ana Barreras Barber In this car competition, it not only achieved its goal of having one of nearly 100 steering wheels, but also managed to get its name on the list of the best. Ranked 28th out of a total of 90 riders (almost all men), Galician is still seeking the necessary funding to complete its participation in the prestigious tournament.
How is your adventure in the Saxo Cup going?
We start the season at the Jarama circuit. It was difficult because even though it was a track I knew very well, I only had a little over a week to adjust to the new car. It was also a very rainy weekend and training was tough. I went from less to more and managed to both finish the races and earn points, but I felt like I had more to give.
It was time to come back at one of those races in Jarama, right?
Yes, I was in the top ten but a teammate of mine came off the track and touched me and took me out too. I couldn’t finish in the top row as I had to go back.
And then came Jerez…
It’s one of my favorite circuits. I’ve already raced there in the Aygo Cup and it’s a track I’m familiar with. The training has already gone very well for me and I managed to get into the A grid, which is the fastest. That’s why I left Jerez very happy. This is despite the fact that I had to go to the playoffs to reach the final because my engine overheated in the last few laps of the race.
Despite the fact that Jarama is the track you consider “home” and Jerez is one of your favourites, as you say, your best race can be said to be in Cheste?
Yep, it was my best weekend at the track. I just realized that I had top five speed in Jerez and I confirmed this by running a ‘race’ in Cheste. I started from 12th place and finished in fourth place, until a teammate managed to pick me up and finish in ninth with two laps left. And before I left, like in previous practice, I didn’t have a good lap, I said to my mom “this race is for you mom”… because I felt like I wouldn’t have much choice, but it’s finally over. It was my best race to date.
Despite being a single-brand trophy where everyone competes with the same car, can it be said that everyone has the same chance in the overall ranking?
You have to remember that the more budget you have, the more possibilities you have in certain aspects… for example you may have more wheelsets. I have one for the whole weekend, and when the final race comes I am already “wheelless”, almost cross-country skiing. You can also train more on a budget.
How do you face this latest tension?
I’ve already completely built the car. I’m very comfortable with the competition, and I honestly think I have the pace to get into the top 20 overall.
How do you balance the journey so far?
I am very happy and proud of what I have done. One of the things that gives me the most strength is seeing how much my teammates value me on the track and encourage me to keep going. “Keep pushing Ana, you have the rhythm to be on top…” they tell me.
Once the Saxo Cup is over, what will be Ana Barreras’ next challenge?
I will try to reorganize this competition to win races and be as high as possible. I know I can afford more practice sessions and I can meet every race well, I can fight for the top spots.
And the winning options will not be missing. The assignment at the Aragonese Motorland circuit (September 3 and 4) will be a new opportunity for Barreras to show that he can be among the best, thus making his mark among the contenders for the best sponsors. “I am so grateful to everyone who helped me. It is difficult to invest in someone without expecting immediate results, but I am lucky that there are many people who believed in me from the very beginning”, Ana is excited.