Rick Pearson had a torrid time in round four of the Renaultsport Clio Trophy at Misano last weekend, recording his first retirement of the year early in the qualification race.
Qualifying: 38th: 1:47.896
Following on from a productive one hour test on Friday- which saw Pearson mixing it with the series' top guns at the sharp end of the time sheets - the Mark Fish Motorsport runner was optimistic of a strong performance in Saturday's two qualifying sessions.
While the on-track temperature touched forty degrees, the Michelin race tyres were at their optimum for just one flying lap. Pearson fell foul of the performance degradation in session two when a spinning car forced him to abort his best lap, leaving him with only the thirty-eighth quickest time and without an automatic entrance into the main race.
Run early on Sunday morning, the qualification race was to provide the last six runners for the afternoons round four. Starting twelfth on the grid, Pearson had eased himself into a competitive sixth place by the end of the third tour.
Unfortunately for the Briton, several heavy impacts from behind eventually succeeded in pitching him into the unforgiving barriers, damaging the front suspension and ensuring his retirement from the race.
" I was optimistic of making the main race after starting twelfth," he said." My sixth position would have seen me safely onto the grid but as the last qualifying spot, it was hotly contested. After hitting me five times from behind, Giorgo Tibaldo finally succeeded in ousting me with a sixth heavy impact which sent me straight into the tyre wall.
" I knew that Misano was going to be quite tough having never raced there before, but my testing performance was quite satisfactory. I'm extremely disappointed with this result, but the next race at Jarama will hopefully be conducted on a leveller playing field."
Rick Pearson was racing with ActiveShop.com, Freeparking.co.uk, Mintex and Sea France.
The next round of the Renaultsport Clio Trophy takes place at Jarama, July 21-22.