It was a weekend full of ups and downs in the first round of the BMW 116 Trophy Championship for Phoenix FM racing driver Lochlan Bearman. After a promising test day before the race weekend he was looking in good shape to be a strong contender going into race day. The team were confident of securing a good result in qualifying to put them in a great position for the race.
Qualifying proved to be quite a challenge as the track was constantly changing as wet conditions turned to dry. Lochlan was last of the 3 drivers to set their qualifying times and only had a few laps to get up to speed and put in a good lap time. Despite the challenging conditions and with a dry set-up for the car he managed to secure P5 on the grid of 28 cars. This would place him on the 3 rd row of the grid and a good position from which to challenge for a top result.
The Team decided that Lochlan would start the race with team mates Ed going in second and Gary finishing the race. Lochlan made good start moving into fourth place at the first corner and then taking third before the end of the first lap. His pace was matching the race leader and he spent a couple of laps in third before pulling off a brave overtake around the outside of second place at one
of the fastest corners on the track.
He spent the next few laps defending from third place struggling with front end grip and eventually dropped to third before the driver in front spun on the next lap gifting Lochlan second place back. He then drove consistently and pulled a comfortable gap fromthird which would put the team in a strong position for a podium. The car had developed an issue but with the radio not working and no indication to pit, Lochlan kept driving and as his 30 minute stint was coming to an end he was shown the mechanical warning flag meaning he had to stop. The
team took this opportunity to swap drivers and attempt a repair on the exhaust which had come apart.
The repairs took almost 7 minutes which ended any chance of a competitive result. The car had to stop a further 2 times for the exhaust issue with Ed and Gary both suffering lost time in the pits. Despite the exhaust issue which also caused a power drop, Lochlan was still among the fastest on circuit with the fastest top 5 drivers recording times all within 5 tenths of a second of each other.
Lochlan said ‘It’s hard not to feel a bit robbed after looking like we could have secured a podium, I did all I could today and the team did a fantastic job getting the car to the finish line. There’s nothing we could have done to avoid the problem and that’s just racing for you, but I have taken the positives from the race and feel confident in my pace going into the next round. We will come back
stronger for Anglesey on the 14 th September!’
Watch the race – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wY35xB9cp2g&t=25562s
BMW 116 racing starts at – 5:36:15