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Pearson grabs Donington triple score

The BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 driver headed into the weekend (26/27 August) with the momentum following a strong performance at his home circuit of Knockhill (12/13 August), where he brought his Hyundai i30N inside the top ten in all three races and scored a personal best result of fourth.

Although the Kelty-based racer didn’t take part in the summer test around the Donington Park GP circuit, Pearson wasted little time in getting up to speed to end the opening practice session on a damp but drying circuit just a tenth of a second outside the top ten.

The first proper dry running of the day came in qualifying, where Pearson put his car ninth on the grid for the opening race – which marked the best result of his rookie season to date.

Although confidence was high going into race day, things didn’t go to plan in a wet opening race, with an incident at the hairpin resulting in a half spin that played a part in him finishing in 14th spot.

Having still been able to secure a points finish, Pearson then replicated his result in the second race of the weekend, with the added bonus of being the first Jack Sears Trophy driver home to boost his championship bid.

Heading into race three, Pearson was optimistic about his chances of pushing forward towards the top ten, however, a loose bonnet forced him into the pits after just two laps.

Rejoining the circuit almost half a minute behind the rest of the field, Pearson got his head down and put in a number of searing laps – twice setting the fastest lap of the race. The deployment of the safety car then allowed Pearson to close onto the rest of the pack.

When the action resumed, Pearson swiftly moved into the top 20 before a steady climb into 15th, meaning Pearson picked up an unlikely, but deserved, championship point.

The recovery also ensured more vital points towards the Jack Sears Trophy, with Pearson only missing out on a second successive round win by two points, leaving him in fifth place with two meetings left to run.

“We might not have scored the results on paper that we did at Knockhill, but I’m still really pleased with how I’ve performed on track this weekend,” said Pearson. “Despite missing the test that the majority of the field took part in, I was on the pace from the first practice session and to score my best qualifying result to date was a great way to end Saturday.

“Race one was a bit tricky and I hold my hands up to a few mistakes before the incident that knocked me back to P14. We’d struggled a little with the balance of the car but when it was then dry in race two, we bolted the qualifying set-up back on with a few little tweaks and the car felt fantastic again.

“Going into race three, as soon as I pulled away from the line I heard a pop and the corner of the bonnet lifted up, so I got shown the black and orange flag that meant I had to come into the pits. We’d made some changes to the car and I was expecting it to come on strong, so I felt gutted that we weren’t going to have the chance to show it.

“I think the red mist came down a little bit and when I went back out, it was a case of maximum attack as I was so far behind that I had nothing to lose and to set two laps that would be good enough for fastest lap showed that the changes had worked. The pace was absolutely mega, and when the safety car came out and I was able to catch the train, I knew there was a chance.

“When there was an opportunity to make a move, I just had to take it and I was able to fight my way through the pack but I didn’t realise we’d managed to recover into the points until I got back to the garage. To go through all that and still bring the car home in the top 15 was fantastic, and really showed what I can do.

“A massive thank you has to go to the team this weekend for their efforts and as at Knockhill, I think there are a lot of positives we can take away from Donington Park and look to carry into Silverstone next month.”

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