OLIVER Rowland will be flying around the world for the next two months, competing in Formula E, but will keep track of Barnsley FC’s promotion push.

The 30-year-old from Penistone competes in the global electric car series and has been a Reds fan since childhood.

Rowland, who is preparing to race in Sao Paulo this week, told the Chronicle: “Barnsley have been doing really well.

“Obviously they got smashed a bit on Saturday but hopefully they keep momentum and secure one of those top two spots.

“I am going to be travelling around the world a lot in the next few months, racing on weekends, but I will keep checking their results like I always do.

“I will follow every game from wherever I am.”

Rowland attended Penistone Grammar School at the same time as footballer John Stones who started at Barnsley and now has 69 England caps as well as a multitude of medals with Manchester City.

“He was a year or two below me.

“I knew him a little bit to say hello to but not that well.

“There was some good sporting blood in Penistone at that time.

“When he moved from Barnsley to Everton it was already like ‘wow he’s hit the big time’.

“But what he’s managed to achieve at City is pretty incredible.

“Fair play to him.”

Rowland has also built a career as a professional sportsman, having been a back-up driver in Formula One then moving into Formula E in which he hopes to win the overall championship in the future.

He is driving for Nissan NISMO, which is based in France.

Rowland gained a pole position then third place in the last race in Saudi Arabia in January.

He said: “I am excited to get back out there.

“We’re coming off a pretty good result last time, so I can’t wait really.

“It was a nice surprise in Saudi to be so competitive.

“But we have to maintain it.

“I think we can always qualify quite close to the front.

“Whether we can consistency challenge for wins I am not sure because we still miss a little bit of efficiency in the races.”

Rowland says his success in Saudi Arabia assured him that he made the right decision to quit his old team Mahindra midway through the 2023 series then return to Nissan where he had enjoyed success previously near the start of his Formula E career.

“It confirms my feelings in terms of moving back to the team.

“It shows that my decision last season to stop midway through was the right one.”

There has now been almost two months without a race before a hectic spell of at least one per fortnight for two months.

Rowland said: “We were meant to race in India which caused a bit of a gap.

“It’s not ideal having a long break so early in the season.

“But it gives me time with a new team to regroup and put in place what we’ve learned in the first few races.”

What does he expect in Sao Paulo?

“I am hoping we can stay in the top three to five and get a few points.

“It might be slightly better or worse than that.

“It’s still early in the season and we’re still understanding our performance.

“The track is pretty bumpy and not the most exciting.

“It’s quite fast in terms of top speeds.

“It’s a cool place.

“I will stay a day after the race and experience a bit more.

“The weather is a bit better than the UK.”

The Brazilian race starts a busy run which will see a meeting of the electric car series every two weeks until late May, with stops at Tokyo, Misano in Italy, Monaco, Berlin and Shanghai.

The seasons ends with two races each in Portland, USA in June then London in July.