Jack Bartholomew delivered one of his best drives to date at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan at the weekend, but unfortunately his efforts were not rewarded.
With limited free practice on the Friday at arguably one of the most difficult tracks in the world, all was going well until Saturday when disaster struck Bartholomew and his team mate Armaan Ebrahim. A broken differential before qualifying meant they were forced to miss both qualifying sessions, meaning they would have to start from the back of the grid for Saturday’s and Sunday’s races.
With the duo starting from 17th on the grid, and with Armaan behind the wheel, it was a damage limitation exercise and they did it in style to make up 12 places in the 19-lap race.
In a hard-fought stint, the car sustained some damage to the rear diffuser, meaning around a second per lap would be lost in performance. However, Ebrahim brought the car into the pits for the driver change in P11. Jack Bartholomew continued the charge after taking over from Ebrahim to finish in a very credible fifth place.
The second race on Sunday would prove to be another uphill challenge for the pair as they once again had to start from the back. Jack Bartholomew started the race and to make the job even harder, heavy rain was falling meaning the race was started in single file behind the safety car. Bartholomew had never driven the car in in heavy rain, but after two laps behind the safety car the race finally got under way and he produced one of the best drives of his career. He carved through the field passing 10 cars in the treacherous conditions, eventually bringing the car into the pits for the driver swap in 7th position.
Unfortunately, all of Bartholomew’s hard work was undone when Ebrahim was judged to have left the pit too early (0.07 seconds) and was given a drive through penalty, thus ending any hopes of another strong finish, finally finishing in 11th place.
The next round is in Fuji, Japan on August 18th-20th