Barnicoat started karting at the age of 9 at around 2005. He entered his first professional karting championship only a year later in the Kartmasters British Grand Prix in the WTP Cadet category. Despite it being his first, he finished in 4th. This was the start to a very successful karting career. Just a year later in a full WTP Cadet championship, he finished in 2nd. For the next year, Ben raced in Cadet karts, with him finishing 5th in Kartmasters British Grand Prix, 5th in BRDC Stars of Tomorrow MSA British Cadets, and 3rd in Super 1 National Comer Cadets. He moved up to the KF3 karts in 2009, competing in Formula Kart Stars and coming 4th, 16th in Super 1 National, 7th in MSA Kartmasters Grand Prix and 16th in ABkC “O” Plate. From 2010 to 2011, he had a much more successful stint in the KF3 cateogry, with a win in both Kartmasters British Grand Prix and Formula Kart Stars, 2nd in MSA British Junior Kart Championship, 3rd in Super 1 National KF3 Championship and 1st in Kartmasters British Grand Prix again. After finishing 2nd in CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy, Barnicoat moved up to the KF2 karts. In his first race in this category, he finished in 6th behind current Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc. In the two championships that followed after this race in Super 1 National KF2 and CIK-FIA European KF2, he won both. At the age of 16, Barnicoat competed in the Under 18’s CIK-FIA World Karting Championship and managed to classify in 9th. In the same year, Ben finished in 4th in WSK Euro Series and 12th in 17° Winter Cup.
2013 provided his karting career still but also the start of Formula Renault career. The Briton finished 2nd in WSK Super Master Series in the KF kart and 11th in South Garda Winter Cup in the KF2. Along with this, he finished 3rd in WSK Euro Series and 13th in CIK-FIA European. In Formula Renault Autumn Cup, Barnicoat raced with Fortec Motorsport. Out of the 3 races and 6 drivers, he finished 1st, 2nd and 1st putting him 17 points ahead of Hongwei Cao.
For the first year since his career started in 2006, Ben didn’t do any karting races or championships. Instead, he competed in Kumho BMW Championship in Class D, Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, NEC and Alps and Protyre Formula Renault. For the BMW championship, Barnicoat claimed 12 points, with a podium included to take 7th in the standings. For all of the Formula Renault categories, he raced with Fortec Motorsports. In Eurocup, he only competed in round 7 as a guest driver, however he retired in race 1 and couldn’t start the next. In Northern European Cup or NEC for short, Barnicoat competed in all the rounds. In this championship, he had a successful run, winning in Hockenheim and Autodrom Most and coming on the podium in Hockenheim again, Spa and Assen. With 258 points under his name, he finished first in the championship ahead of Louis Delétraz. In the Alps series, Barnicoat raced in the 2nd, 4th and 5th round. Despite this, he had 3 points finish with a 4th and double 5th, and some unluky retirements. The Brit finished with 32 points, sitting in 14th behind Akash Nandy. In Protyre Formula Renault, he only competed in the opening round at Rockingham Motor Speedway. Through the entire weekend, Ben scored straight 5th in all 3 races, earning 60 points, putting him into 13th behind Atte Lehtonen.
For 2015, he comes back to karting whilst doing Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup and Alps, with BRDC Formula 4 Autum Trophy. In terms of karting, he finished 1st in Kartmasters British Grand Prix X30 Senior and Rotax Max category. In the CIK-FIA European KF, it wasn’t as successful with 24th and in South Garda Winter Cup, he finished 5th. For this season’s Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, Barnicoat participated in the entire season with Fortec. The Brit won Nürburgring race 2, Le Mans circuit race 1 and Jerez race 3. Barnicoat was als on the podium another 3 times. Because of this, he finished with 174 points under his name putting him into 4th ahead of Anthoine Hubert. As a guest driver in the Alps series, it meant he couldn’t earn points. This didn’t stop him where he came on the podium once and won another race. In BRDC’s Formula 4, Barnicoat dominated the series. Three wins and three 2nd’s meant he was 14 points ahead of second place Harrison Scott, winning the championship with ease.
Racing in Blancpain Endurance and Formula 3 meant he did no karting races in 2016. For Formula 3, he finished in 9th position [More Info Below]. Racing with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, Barnicoat competed in the 3 hours of Nürburgring. Finishing 29th with the team meant he didn’t earn any points.
2017 provided a busy year for Barnicoat, racing in many GT championships and also in a few karting ones. In terms of karting, he raced in the X30 Senior karts for Kartmasters British Grand Prix and managed to win. In SKUSA SuperNationals XXI, Ben classified in 2nd. For his GT career, he raced with Strakka Racing for Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup and Endurance Cup. Earning 6th in the qualifying race and 10th in the main race at Brands Hatch meant he earned 2 points, putting him in 29th. For endurance, he raced all rounds. His most successful race was the 3 hours of Monza with 9th position. Like the Sprint Cup, he had 2 points, earning him 43rd in the standings. For the Intercontinental GT Challenge, Barnicoat joined manufacturers McLaren for the season. For the first round in Bathurst 12 hours, he raced with McLaren GT but was unable to start the race. This time with Strakka Racing at the 24 hours of Spa, he was joined by Rob Bell and Côme Ledogar. Unfortunately, they retired from the race. For the 8 hours at Mazda Raceway, Barnicoat raced with K-PAX Racing alongside Álvaro Parente and Bryan Sellers. Together they managed to earn 3rd. Overall, he finished 9th with 15 points. Ben also competed in SprintX GT Championship driving with K-PAX Racing alongside Álvaro Parente. They drove in the Pro’s class. In this series, they did well, earning 2nd and two 3rds. With 8 points finishes, they earned 140 points together to put them 7th behind Spencer Pumpelly. Along with all of the GT series, Ben raced in Pirelli World Challenge, driving with K-Pax Racing. 3 podiums (one second and two thirds) and 5 extra points finishes under his name meant he finished the season with 140 points earning 19th, even if he didn’t compete in all the rounds.
Barnicoat only competed in Kartmasters British Grand Prix for 2018 in the X30 Senior this year, but once again smashing the field and finishing in 1st once again. He drove mainly in British GT Championship in the GT4 category, spending 5 races with Track-Club and the one other with Balfe Motorsport/PMW Expo Racing. Winning one of the races and getting two other points finishes meant Ben earned 43 points, putting him in joint 13th with Adam Balon in the overall driver’s championship and in the Pro-Am Cup, he finished 12th with Adam Balon, both in the GT4 category. In Blancpain GT Endurance, he drove with Garage 59 in all races. With a podium finish of 3rd in Le Castellet, Barnicoat finished in 24th with Côme Ledogar and Andrew Watson. For the Intercontinental GT Challenge, he drove with McLaren’s Garage 59 for the 24 hours of Spa and Suzuka 10 hours. For the Spa race, he finished 9th and in the Suzuka race, he retired. 6 points beside his name meant he finished in joint 22nd with many drivers.
Like previous years, he competed in a few karting races. The first one of the year, he competed in IAME International Final in the X30 Senior category. The Briton finished in 2nd behind Mark Kimber. Barnicoat drove in Motorsport UK Kartmasters Grand Prix. With the X30 Senior karts and with the Rotax Seniors, he finished 1st in both races. Aside from karting, Barnicoat competed in European Le Mans series for the first time, driving in every race besides the 4 hours of Spa. He finished in 23rd and helped the team finish 16th with 3 points from the first three races of the season. Ben joined Teo Martin Motorsport for International GT Open. In the overall driver’s championship, he finished 43rd and in the Pro-Amateur class, he finished 21st.
Between 2019 and 2020, he competed all of the Asian Le Mans Series with Thunderhead Carlin Racing again. He was joined by fellow Brits Jack Manchester and Harry Tincknell. The three of them managed to come 3rd in the 4 hours of Shanghai and 4 hours of The Bend and 1st in both the 4 hours of Sepang and 4 hours of Buriram. They finished in 2nd, only 1 point behind the G-Drive trio of James French, Léonard Hoogenboom and Roman Rusinov.
For 2020, Ben was contracted with Ema Group/Team 59 Racing for the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup in the Pro class. Current to the 4th of August, he’s only competed in the 3 hours of Imola. His team finished in 35th and are sat on 0 points.
FIA Formula 3
Barnicoat was originally on the journey up single seaters when he arrived in FIA Formula 3 European in 2016 (a year before Formula 3 merged with GP3). He originally was contracted with Prema Powerteam, but ended up with Hitech GP since it failed. Ben was joined with Nikita Mazepin, George Russell and Alexander Sims (for one round). Out of the 30 races he competed in, he won 2 races in Hungary race 3 and Pau race 1 and finished on the podium another time in Spa race 2. Because of this, he finished the season with 134 points, putting him in 9th ahead of Niko Kari and behind Anthoine Hubert. He helped Hitech finish in 2nd with 499 points.
Ben ended up moving away from open wheelers into GT cars, but he was invited back to Formula 3 by Carlin in 2020. He replaced Enaam Ahmed in Silverstone round 1.