Pearson Back On Track At Assen British saloon car ace, Rick Pearson posted one of his best results of the season at Assen in the Netherlands last weekend, during round seven of the Renaultsport Clio Trophy. Qualifying: 25th:...
Pearson Back On Track At Assen
British saloon car ace, Rick Pearson posted one of his best results of the season at Assen in the Netherlands last weekend, during round seven of the Renaultsport Clio Trophy.
Qualifying: 25th: 1:34.532
Changing weather conditions in the two-part qualifying session saw Pearson steadily work his way up to a best time of 1:34.532. However, his rise up the grid was abruptly curtailed when the ActiveShop Clio slid to the edge of the circuit. The sodden run off area prevented the car getting enough traction to power back on to the track and, having been assisted by marshals, the Briton was forced to sit out the remainder of the thirty-minute slot.
As Holland's premier bike racing circuit, the Renault events were run- uniquely- on the same bill as several national, two-wheeled championships. With an estimated 80,000 tickets issued, crowd figures were boosted by the appearance of Orange Arrows F1 star, Jos Verstappen. An estimated 35,000 fans stayed on to enjoy the Renault events.
Despite hoping for a dry race, the V6 field were led out onto the 2.43-mile circuit during the seventh straight hour of rain. Lining up twenty-fifth, Pearson narrowly avoided entanglement with a six car accident on the main straight during the inaugural tour.
While the Safety Car was deployed on lap three, Fulham-based Pearson lost four places to ambitious rivals." Discipline was appalling," he commented." I was passed four times while the field were under the Safety Car. Conditions were treacherous and the visibility fell to next to nothing on the long, sixth gear straights."
Having never run the V6 in the wet, the Mark Fish Motorsport runner struggled with both the car and challenging circuit when the track went‘ green' on lap ten. From fifteenth position on lap sixteen, Pearson dropped two places on the final tour and just lost out on equalling his best-ever result in the series.
" All things considered, seventeenth was quite acceptable. If the race had been dry, then I'm sure we would have made some significant inroads in to the top ten. As it was, seven straight hours of rain did little to help us and settings had to be guessed.
"“ The circuit is very demanding and usually only used for bike racing. Several of the drivers actually discussed pulling out of the race on Friday evening having seen the circuit for the first time. Survival was definitely the order of the day!"
The next round of the Renaultsport Clio Trophy takes place at the Nürburgring, 29-30 September.