Ronan Pearson maintains title challenge at Brands Hatch
Scottish race ace Ronan Pearson maintained his assault on the Quaife MINI CHALLENGE standings with a hat-trick of top ten finishes as the series headed to Brands Hatch for the second meeting of the year.
With confidence on a high on the back of his race winning performance in the season opener at Donington Park, the Kelty-based teenager enjoyed a solid start to the weekend in his EXCELR8 Motorsport-run car with the eighth best time in Friday testing.
The half-hour long qualifying session on Saturday morning saw Ronan better his Friday time by almost half a second – allowing him to go comfortably below the previous qualifying lap record.
However, the close nature of the times meant that Ronan would line up twelfth on the grid for the opening race of the weekend and the Scot battled hard on track in sweltering conditions to work his way forwards to ninth place at the finish after dicing on track with team-mate Joshua Jackson.
Sunday’s two races would provide vastly different conditions on track as rain started to fall, although the majority of the field – Ronan included – would gamble on slick rubber for the second race of the weekend.
A strong start saw him climb into the top six before an early caution period, but a moment at Clearways saw him slip back down the order to ninth. A move on fellow Scot Jack Davidson enabled Ronan to cross the line in eighth and in worsening conditions, he then made a demon start to race three to rocket up into the top five.
Multiple safety car periods would affect the flow of the race and Ronan was dicing for the top four when an incident on track saw the action halted, with the decision to classify the race at the end of lap 15 resulting in him being declared sixth despite sitting in fifth when the red flag came out.
At the end of the weekend, and going into a short break before round three at Oulton Park, Ronan sits fourth in the championship standings.
“We’ve had to work really hard this weekend and were on the back foot a bit after qualifying,” he said. “We weren’t able to match the results we picked up at Donington, but I know it won’t always be plain sailing in a championship like this and it’s all about bagging the points.
“The conditions on Sunday were a massive challenge as these cars are so tricky to drive in the wet, but the fact we stayed out of trouble when there were quite a few incidents happening around us is a big positive.
“To be inside the top four in the standings after two rounds is good and this weekend has shown that even when things don’t go quite to plan, we can still bring home solid points that could be vital when we get to the business end of the season.”