Lochlan Bearman went in last weekend’s Fiesta Junior race meeting in 4th place in the Championship just 4 points off third spot and off the back of a mixed meeting at Silverstone where he showed his speed but suffered transmission failure in Race 1 and came from last to 2nd in Race 2.
Having had work undertaken on his car prior to Silverstone Bearman finally felt he could demonstrate his ability and was highly confident going into Rockingham. @It’s a great circuit, undulating, lots of corners or varying speed and I felt that would give me an advantage, plus the car had run so well at Silverstone.
Despite being in the leading drivers during practise Bearman felt that all was not right with the car. It felt really down on power coming out of the slow corners and that compromised me along the straights. This was borne out in qualifying when Bearman could only manage a lowly 10th and 1.5 seconds off pole.
The team worked tirelessly to solve the problem and overnight night changed many ancillaries.
Going into Race 1 the 15 year old did not know if the changes had fixed the issue. At the start Bearman got away well and was able to pass 5 cars on the sprint from the start line through the banked corner, and along the straight to the hairpin and crossed the lines in 5th position at the end of lap 1.
He was running in 5th but it was evident that he still had the problem as he dropped back and came under pressure from 6th place. They had a fantastic battle for 3 laps with Bearman losing out on the straights but getting 5th position back under braking or in the corners. Eventually though he was passed on the straight and could not keep in the slipstream and finished the race in 6th position. “Finishing 6th was lucky as 3 cars in front had dropped out and I was so far off the pace that I was surprised I didn’t finish last”
Ahead of Race 2 the team tried replacing more parts. Bearman lined up 6th again not knowing if the car would work. Making a good start he was in 5th as the cars headed along the straight. Then another driver made an ill judged manoeuvre and ran into the Bearmans’s rear corner pitching the Epping youngster sideways at 95 mph. “It was a heart stopping moment but I stopped the car from spinning, and despite a trip onto the grass managed not to hit anything”. Sadly this let the while field pass and with the power problem still present it was a lonely drive home to 9th positon.
It’s been a terrible weekend. The only positives are that the data showed I was driving well and extracting all there was from the car. It’s imperative we score highly at Snetterton next month to put us back in contention in the championship as we have now reached the halfway stage. Bearman is now 5th in the Championship.
Here’s a link to see what it looks like to be taken out at 95mph http://bit.ly/2sld48w