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Racer Bleu, six, aiming to emulate his family’s success on the track

06:30 25 March 2014

At Swaffham Raceway are Bleu Barnes (6) with his dad Tommy Barnes and great-grandfather Horry Barnes. Picture: Ian Burt

At Swaffham Raceway are Bleu Barnes (6) with his dad Tommy Barnes and great-grandfather Horry Barnes. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2014

As little Bleu Barnes enters the world of motorsport he is aiming to become the latest in a long line of successful drivers from a well-known Dereham stock car racing family.

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Bleu Barnes (6) at Swaffham Raceway. Picture: Ian BurtBleu Barnes (6) at Swaffham Raceway. Picture: Ian Burt

His uncle Diggy Smith has been a world champion, his grandfather Willie Barnes, 57, was a European champion, his father Tommy Barnes, 28, has White and Yellow grade titles and the Bumper Trophy, and his great-grandfather Horry Barnes, 86, who only stopped racing six years ago after more than half a century in the sport, is a former Midlands champion.

Six-year-old Bleu’s cousin and Mr Smith’s son, Billy Smith, has won the East Anglian Championship and his uncles Timmy Barnes, 21, and Harry and Charlie Barnes, both 16, have also all enjoyed success on the track.

That decorated racing heritage stands Bleu, who lives in Shipdham, in good stead as he begins his racing life in ninja karts.

It is hoped, when he becomes 16, Bleu will be the fourth generation of his family to race stock cars.

His father said: “It’s a pretty big deal for a lad of his age to get out on a race track and he races against boys older than himself, but he’s a brave little lad and I think he’s got potential.

“Stock car racing gives us all such a massive buzz and it’s a family tradition now.”

Horry Barnes said: “I started racing in 1954 when stock car racing first began in this country.

“I’d be racing four or five nights a week going from track to track.

“The boys then got into it and it’s gone on from there.

“It’s great to see that my great-grandson is now getting out on the track, having a go.”

Bleu, who is a pupil of Thomas Bullock Primary School in Shipdham, attended a race meeting at Swaffham Raceway on Sunday.

His mother Whitney Barnes, 25, said: “We are all really excited that Bleu is now starting to race and having Swaffham Raceway close by is a huge help.

“There is a lot of community spirit and support here - if you run out of tyres or oil you go to the next person and they will help you out and we can all come here and enjoy the racing as a family.

“I expect that many more generations of the family will go on to become stock car racers in the future and keep the family tradition going.”

Do you have a story about different generations of a family enjoying a sport or hobby together?

E mail newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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