Round three of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship took place at the iconic Suzuka Circuit in Japan at the weekend with Jack Bartholomew and team mate James Pull at the wheel of the #19 FFF Lamborghini Huracan.
With two sessions of practice on Friday, it was straight into qualifying on Saturday morning with Bartholomew electing to qualify for race one and managing second on the grid, just missing out on pole position by 0.093 of a second. Next up was team mate Pull qualifying for race two, which was held on Sunday, where he managed P3 on the grid.
As the cars crossed the line for the start of race one, Bartholomew drew alongside the pole sitter, but being on the outside at turn one had to slot back into second where he sat for the remainder of that lap until being passed under braking into the last chicane. Although Bartholomew moved to third he continued to chase the two leaders until the safety car was deployed on lap 7. On lap 9, with the safety car still on track, Bartholomew decided to pit for the mandatory driver swap and a slick pit stop by the British pairing saw them jump a place moving them into second. With Pull now at the wheel and the safety car back in the pits Pull was chasing down the leader when on lap 15 the safety car was deployed again for a car that was on fire.
With the stricken car now removed the safety car pulled back into the pits leaving just one lap of the race remaining and the field tightly bunched. Pull held off the challenge from behind and crossed the line in second position just 0.721 behind the leader.
Race two was held on Sunday morning with team mate James Pull taking the start from P3 on the grid. A great run up to the first corner set Pull up to challenge the #63 sister car for second and within three corners Pull was past but the battle for second had allowed the leader to create a gap. Pull held position until the pit window opened at the end of lap 9 handing over to Bartholomew. On the following lap the sister car pitted and as Bartholomew crossed the line the #63 car came out of the pits just ahead. An intense three lap battle between the team mates ensued and at the final chicane, breaking from 160mph, with Bartholomew alongside team mate Amici, managed to hold the position. The three lap battle caused the pair to lose time and allowed two other cars to jump positions during their pit stops. The leading four cars were now nose to tail with Bartholomew now in 4th, as Bartholomew was lining up a move to take 3rdthe leader went off bringing out the safety car which remained out for next six laps. As the safety car peeled in at the end of lap 17 Bartholomew was straight on the attack and was putting huge pressure on the #11 car of local pairing Yazid and Cozzolino but at the line had to settle for 3rd.
“To be honest I’m a little disappointed with race two as we definitely had the pace to win. In hindsight deciding to pit early was the wrong decision along with losing some time battling with my team mate in the #63 car. Overall though it’s been a good weekend and I had really strong pace. Two podiums are good to come away with and we have also closed the gap on the championship leaders”.
Jack Bartholomew is now second in the championship standings at the halfway point, the next round is at Fuji Speedway in Japan on July 21st& 22nd.