Motor racing is in Barton Mawer's DNA.
As the son of respected Australian racing car constructor and engineer David Mawer, Barton began tinkering in his father's Sydney workshop at an early age.
He raced karts successfully throughout NSW in his teenage years, then graduated to car racing in one of David's Mawer Formula Ford openwheelers that had won the national series twice during the 1970s.
History was repeated when Barton drove the car to victory in the 1998 Australian Historic Formula Ford Championship with 11 race wins and setting four lap records.
In 1999, Barton stepped up to the NSW Formula Ford Championship.
Despite driving one of the oldest cars in the field (a 1992 Van Diemen), he accumulated more experience preparing, setting up and driving a complex racing car.
It was a similar situation the following year, when Barton contested the Australian Formula Ford Championship.
While most of his rivals drove late-model 'arrive and drive' cars owned and prepared by professional teams, he and his father prepared their six year-old Mygale on a shoe-string budget. Nevertheless he showed great promise by placing just outside the top 10 in his rookie season at national level.
His exceptional results earned him the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport's nomination as NSW's representative in its 2001 'Talented Driver' scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport. He went on to win the scholarship over the other States' most promising up-and-comers including Queenslander Will Power, who is now an established Indycar driver, and West Australian Tony Ricciardello, who has won multiple sports sedan championships.
Also in 2000, Barton test-drove a Super Touring Toyota Camry fielded by leading Sydney race team Phoenix Motorsport. However he declined the team's invitation to drive the car in the Australian Super Touring Championship in favour of concentrating on his openwheeler career.
Barton began 2001 on a bright note by driving his brand new Van Diemen RF01 Formula Ford to podium results in the non-championship races supporting the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. However disappointing results in the early rounds of the national championship convinced him to cut his losses to preserve his meagre funds for another assault the next year.
Meanwhile he test-drove the powerful 6-litre JaguarXJS-Chevrolet of prominent NSW sports sedan owner-driver Barry Jameson.
Having seen that it wasn't possible for a part-time team to be competitive in the Australian Ford Championship, Barton contested the 2002 series with his Van Diemen prepared and engineered by one of the professional teams. He was still effectively a rookie at national level, but scored points in all but one round to finish an excellent fifth overall.
In his first race meeting at the next level, Formula 3, Barton served immediate notice of his intentions with a podium result in the opening heat of the final round of the 2002 Australian Formula 3 Championship at the demanding Surfers Paradise street circuit.
Although he could only afford to race a six year-old Dallara in the 2003 championship, he finished a superb second overall with four race wins and five pole positions.
A significant factor in Barton's success was the presence of internationally renowned Australian race engineer Bruce Cary.
Although officially retired, Cary generously volunteered his vast racing experience, including masterminding David Brabham's victories in the 1989 British Formula 3 International Series and Formula 3's signature race, the Macau Grand Prix.
He also opened doors at leading European teams that trusted his talent-spotting judgement.
Sadly Cary fell ill and passed away in 2004, but Barton will always treasure his mentor's friendship, advice and support at a pivotal stage of his motor racing career.
Barton's 2004 plan was to contest the the British Formula 3 Championship, but even the 'Scholarship' class for year-old cars consumed his budget after just five of the 12 rounds.
Nevertheless solid placings, including class wins and pole positions, in nine of his 10 races placed him fourth overall at the end of the series! A highlight was being presented with a trophy at Silverstone by triple World Formula 1 Champion Jackie Stewart.
Barton's talent hadn't gone unnoticed, though, and late in the season he was given a drive in an outright Championship class car for the British series' international round at Spa-Francorchamps. He also scored a start at the prestigious Formula 3 Superprix in Bahrain.
He put the intense overseas racing experience to good effect when he resumed racing in 2005.
In March, while Europe was still emerging from its freezing winter, he dominated the Formula 3 support races at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix. From pole position he won both races and set successive lap records for the Albert Park circuit!
At the trophy presentaion, British racing legend Sir Stirling Moss wasn't concerned about Barton's off-track excursion during one of the races. "You stayed on the black stuff only as much as necessary!" he quipped.
Much-needed financial support from the Australian Motor Sport Foundation enabled Barton to return to England for a full season in British Formula 3. This time he placed second in the renamed 'National' subsidiary class, with four race wins and several pole positions.
His most memorable victory was at the famous Monza circuit in Italy, and in a number of races he beat outright 'Championship' class drivers into the top 10.
In 2006 Barton ventured to the USA to drive in the Champ Car Atlantic series. However he was only able to contest three of the 12 rounds after a sponsor failed to deliver promised funding.
One bright spot during his otherwise quiet racing year was a test drive at Silverstone in Australian Formula 1 World Champion Alan Jones' A1GP car. The test led to his appointment as the Jones team's reserve driver for the 2007 A1GP series.
Although he wasn't called upon to race, just driving in the 410kW openwheeler and being involved in a recognised Formula 1 'feeder' series were valuable additions to his motor racing portfolio.
Without enough funds for a full 2007 Australian racing program, let alone another year overseas, Barton kept his hand in with a one-off drive in the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series round at Taupo, and three Australian Formula 3 Championship rounds.
Victory in the prestigious Superprix at the Symmons Plains round showed that he hadn't lost any ability! It also did his team's sponsor a favour, which led to a drive in the following year's Porsche Carrera Cup series.
That marked another change of direction in Barton's motorsport career. He adapted quickly to racing the tail-heavy German supercar, and placed an excellent 10th in his debut season in the one-make series.
Barton's performances in the high-profile Carrera Cup brought an invitation to co-drive a Porsche 996 RSR with fellow Aussies David Wall and Damien Fleck in the 2008 Merdeka Millennium 12-hour race at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. In the first of many 'hired gun' drives in a variety of cars, Barton helped the team to finish third outright in a field featuring a number of car manufacturer-backed teams.
Other drives have included the ADAC 24-hour race and VLN endurance racing series on the 22km combined Nordschleife and Grand Prix circuits at the Nurburgring in Germany, Australian GT Championship, Radical Australia Cup and Bathurst 12-hour race.
One of Barton's more unusual driving assignments was the University of NSW's attempt on the solar-powered car world speed record in 2011. With his compact 61kg frame a distinct advantage in the featherweight machine, he set a new record at an environmentally friendly 88.8km/h!
From a tousle-haired young go-kart racer, Barton Mawer has developed into a consistently fast and dependable all-rounder. But the driver from Picton in the NSW southern highlands still has plenty of untapped potential that only the future will reveal.
Click on the links below for more information about the benefits of contracting Barton Mawer as a professional racing driver or high-performance driver coach. Or contact Barton for a no-obligation chat about your requirements.