Round four of the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Championship took place at the Fuji Speedway in Japan. The weekend did not get off to a good start for Bartholomew as a delayed flight meant that he would arrive 24 hours late and miss a pre-event test.
After arriving late on Thursday, Bartholomew was only able to take part in the official two hour practice then straight into qualifying on Saturday. Team mate James Pull elected to qualify for race one and put the #19Lamborghini into 4thposition, next up to qualify was Bartholomew who also managed 4thposition for race 2.
Race one started with team mate Pull taking the start and immediately moving up into third position at turn one, a position he held until the pit window opened to swap drivers at the end of lap 15. A clean pit stop saw Bartholomew re-join the track in 2ndposition only just ahead of the third-place car which unfortunately managed to pass Bartholomew on his out lap. On lap 17 the safety car was deployed to remove two cars that had come together at turn one, on lap 23 the safety car pitted and immediately Bartholomew was on the tale of the 2ndplace #63sister car and with a bold move on the final corner Bartholomew was through into second place, which he held until the chequered flag.
Starting on P4 for race two, this time with Bartholomew at the wheel, the field crossed the line and on the run down into turn one Bartholomew held position until at turn 4, suffering with understeer, he was passed and fell back into fifth position. Undeterred, Bartholomew hung on to the 3rdand 4thplace cars and continued to push, as the strategy was to jump them in the pit stop as long as Bartholomew could keep them within range. As the pit stop window opened at the end of lap 13, Bartholomew’s pace was on target and he dived into the pits to hand over to team mate James Pull and a swift stop by the British pairing meant Pull exited the pits in P4 and on the tail of the P3 car. Within two laps Pull passed the Am driver as expected and moved into P3, looking good for another solid podium. With a 10 second lead over the car in 4thplace and 8 minutes of the race remaining, Pull unfortunately made contact with a back marker whilst lapping him which ended the race for the #19FFF Lamborghini, as the car sustained a huge amount of damage to the front left suspension.
“I’m pretty disappointed with how race two ended for us as we had another solid podium in the bag, James drove a great stint until the unfortunate contact with the lapped car and losing those points is going to make it pretty hard for us in the championship now.
We have a break before the next round so we will brush ourselves down and continue to push as always”.
The next round is at the Shanghai International Circuit in China on the 22nd& 23rdof September.