Ronan Pearson got close to points at Oulton Park
Scottish driver Ronan Pearson came close to more overall championship points, as his debut season in the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship hit the half-way stage at Oulton Park.
The Kelty-based racer made the trip to the Cheshire circuit targeting three strong results at the wheel of his Hyundai i30N, with the car having won two of the three races at the venue twelve months earlier.
A productive run in the two free practice sessions saw confidence high as Pearson headed into qualifying – which is seen as more important than ever at Oulton Park due to the tight nature of the circuit.
Whilst he would manage a best time just three-tenths of a second away from the top ten, Pearson had to settle for 19th place on the grid for the opening race of the weekend on Sunday morning.
During the opening bout, Pearson recovered from a tricky opening lap to climb up towards the points-scoring positions. An unfortunate mistake at the hairpin saw him run wide and lose places, but he would recover four places in the final handful of laps to take the flag in 18th.
Running the soft tyre again in race two, the 22-year-old quickly made up ground in the early laps to sit in 16th spot, however, an incident saw him drop away from the top 15 positions to finish in 17th.
Although, a penalty for Stephen Jelley (Team BMW) ahead meant he then moved up to 16th in the results – just missing out on a point.
Bolting on the hard tyre for race three, Pearson capped the weekend with a solid run to 17th place and whilst that meant he was unable to break into the overall points, three solid scores in the Jack Sears Trophy helped the Scotsman to retain fifth in the points going into the summer break.
“We had a really good run in practice, but I was left with mixed emotions after qualifying,” said Pearson. “Only being three-tenths of a second away from the top ten was good, but things were so close that it meant we were back in 19th place – around a circuit like Oulton Park, it meant we had work to do going into race day.
“Despite that, I knew the Hyundai would be strong and we were having a good run in race one before I made a mistake at the hairpin and ran wide. That was frustrating but at the same time, it was my own error and I can deal with that happening because it’s all part of the learning process.
“The incident in race two was more frustrating because it ultimately cost us a points finish, which I think we would have deserved as in both races, we had the legs on the cars ahead but didn’t have track position.
“Race three on the hards was more difficult – as it was for everyone – but we brought the car home for another top 20 finish. Points would have been nice but it’s been another weekend where we have banked a lot of knowledge and now I can spend the summer break looking at everything I’ve learned so far ready to come out fighting when the season resumes.”