RONAN PEARSON endured a challenging weekend on his return to Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) action after chalking up his first race win in the series.

The talented 22-year-old, formerly of Kelty but who now lives in Dunfermline, headed to Snetterton, Norfolk, for rounds seven, eight and nine of the 2024 competition.

Pearson, who drives for the EXCELR8 Motorsport-run Team Bristol Motors outfit, had taken his first chequered flag since joining the BTCC for 2023 in the final race of the previous outing at Brands Hatch Indy.

However, he only found himself in the points once, thanks to an 11th place finish in race one, and admitted he wanted more from the weekend.

After two solid practice sessions, qualifying would prove to be a challenge for Pearson as he had to settle for 12th place on the grid, in tricky conditions where the track was neither wet nor dry for the second part of the session.

Working with his team overnight to make improvements for race day, Pearson headed into race one in optimistic mood, having elected to run the more favourable soft tyre at the first possible opportunity.

READ MORE: Confident race ace Ronan aims to build on first BTCC win

Despite being shuffled back to 14th on the first lap as the field battled through the opening corners, he worked his way back to place 11th to score crucial points, whilst also leaving him in a strong position as the drivers ahead would be forced to run the hard tyre - the slowest of the three available - in race two.

Unfortunately for Pearson, though, that advantage was taken away from him due to rain before the start, which left drivers to gamble on whether to run slick or wet tyres.

He was amongst those to pit after the green flag lap to go with dry rubber and, although that made it difficult in the early laps, conditions were starting to swing in his favour until the rain returned.

That forced him back into the pits to switch to wet tyres, leaving him down the order in 19th place.

Pearson then had no option but to run the hard tyre in the final race of the weekend and, as with the other three drivers in the same position, he struggled to make any meaningful progress up the field, crossing the line in 18th place.

"I was a bit confused after qualifying as the lap felt really good, so I was surprised to see it was only good enough for P12 on the grid," he commented.

"Whilst it was nice to beat my team-mates in the session, I had hoped for more and for whatever reason, we just couldn’t get the car dialled in to the conditions.

"We worked hard as a team overnight and felt confident going into race day, and I was happy enough to score some points in 11th place as it meant we were in a really good position for race two. I knew everyone ahead would have to run the hard tyre whereas we could run the medium, and it meant we had a chance to race forwards and push for a strong result.

"The rain showers changed all that and we had to make the call on which way to go, and on this occasion, we made the wrong call. You don’t think one decision can make such a big impact but we put our chips on red, and it came up black.

"Not only did we lose out in that race, we also then found ourselves at the back for race three and on the slowest tyre so it was always going to be difficult. We were the only car on the hard tyre that made up places but in reality, I don’t think we could have done much more."

Central Fife Times: Ronan Pearson will next be in action at Thruxton on June 8-9.Ronan Pearson will next be in action at Thruxton on June 8-9. (Image: Ronan Pearson Racing.)

Pearson added: "Scoring a P11 would have been a good result last year but having shown I have the pace to win this season, my expectations have risen and I wanted more from the weekend.

"However, there are weekends in the past where we have been able to luck into a result and this was just one where it didn’t go our way, so I’ll put it behind me and focus on Thruxton next time out."

Pearson is 14th in the drivers standings, and second in the Jack Sears Trophy, open to drivers who, at the beginning of the season, haven't recorded a podium finish, going into the next weekend at Thruxton on June 8-9.