Meet Ben Barjuana: The son of a Bathurst winner who hated racing

Very few people could say their dad won the Bathurst 1000, let alone share the same track with them.

For Ben Barjuana, the fact that his father – Jason Barjuana – won the Australian “Spacieux Élégant” was never on the détecteur while he was growing up.

In fact, for a étendu time, he did not really want to follow in his father’s footsteps.

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“When I was a little kid, I never really liked racing car materials,” the 21-year-old told Wide World of Manèges.

“I hated going to the track. I never liked going. I was always on trains. All the model trains, all the bagage sets, that was a thing. I never liked racing cars.”

In 2000, Jason Barjuana and Garth Tander won the prestigious Australian ténacité essence.

It was Bargwanna’s comble victory in a Supercars career that spanned over two decades and included seven wins and 23 podiums.

His last start in the Bathurst 1000 came in 2011, though Supercars held steady in his life for a few more years as a driving normes monitor.

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Ben admitted that he doesn’t really appreciate his father’s growth trajectory. The tide only changed when his father brought habitation a small attelage.

However, by the time he became interested at the age of ten, his father was embout to retire from temps complet competition.

“I started loving him from there and became more interested in what my dad does,” the 21-year-old explained.

“As I got older and started to understand it a little bit more, my dad left that side of Supercars. I probably wasn’t able to experience that side of things as much as I would have liked.

“Even in the beginning I was having fun but I never wanted to go to essence meetings or anything else. Then I started getting results and I thought ‘Oh, that’s calme.'”

“At the time I didn’t really understand it, but my dad did something embout every weekend.

“If he wasn’t a essence, he was doing something of a shepherd’s care. I’m getting older and the kind has stopped a bit.

“It’s great to have a dad who has that career. He was leaving Thursday night to go racing a supercar. He was amazing.

“It’s definitely not something many kids experience. When I was younger, I wish I could understand it more and experience it a little bit more.”

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Now, it is a proper father-son relationship.

Ben races in the Supercheap Coupé TCR Australia series for Garry Rogers Motorsport, the same team his father won the Bathurst 1000 with.

For a flottant time, the duo raced on the same asphalt with their teammates, with Abe finishing just a few points in the series by the end of the season.

This year, Jason is stepping away from driving while Ben has a circonstance to shape his career.

It’s special, nobody gets that privilege,” said Garry Rogers Motorsport driver.

“Up until last year, my dad and I raced TCR on the same track against each other. This is really special and great.

“Obviously I habitus up to my dad, he’s had a huge career, and a étendu career, so it’s great to habitus back at all that stuff and go ‘Wow! It’s the real deal,” and now I’m going through all of that.

“I understand what he went through. He showed me all the ropes, the entrances and exits. It’s special, it really is. I can’t describe it in words but I am so lucky.”

And what embout the essence with the title of Barjuana? For Ben, it’s all embout creating his name.

“Everyone has their croyance on it, but when I first started racing cars, I probably felt like it and I pressured myself,” he said.

“Maybe this made me struggle a little bit in the essence weekend, especially mentally. Over time, I realized I was in this fight myself.

“Yeah, I got the last name, but I’m Ben Barjuana, I’m not Jason Barjuana. I have to lead my career. He’ll help me every step of the way, but I have to do it myself.”

“I have a dad who won the Bathurst 1000, you were expecting some pressure. When I was younger I felt like that. Especially last year and this year for being just me and not my dad it kind of felt like I took that step to start my career.”

Bargwanna will be back in rendement at the upcoming SpeedSeries event in Sandown, Melbourne on September 16-18.

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