Young heads official Donington test as newcomer Bond impresses on debut

Jack Young dominated both rain-affected free practice sessions at Donington Park ahead of this weekend’s third and fourth rounds of 2019 at the Derbys-Leics circuit as Team HARD newcomer Jamie Bond set tongues wagging with his pace on his debut outing.
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Young, eager to make up ground lost to championship leader Max Coates after Brands Hatch’s opening rounds, set the pace in FP1 with a best lap time of 1m16.712s.

Team-mate Brett Lidsey was second fastest, just 0.099s, while Coates was third albeit some half a second adrift.

In FP2, conditions took a turn for the worse, the circuit being lashed on and off by heavy by rain as thunder clouds loomed overhead.

Young rose to the challenge superbly, however, with a best lap which was some 1.349s clear of anyone else – they being headed by the excellent Bond in P2.

It was a convincing performance, too, his own time more than three tenths clear of Lidsey in P3. Colburn and Hammerton were then next in fourth and fifth ahead of Team HARD’s Jade Edwards, sixth just ahead of Coates.

“Losing the win at Brands to a time penalty has certainly got me pretty motivated to do well here and this is obviously a very good start to our weekend,” said 17-year-old Northern Irish ace Young.

But he added: “Brett’s obviously close and I’m sure Max has held back quite a lot today – I expect him to be a lot stronger in qualifying on Saturday and in Sunday’s two races.”

For Bond, P2 in FP2 had been preceded by P8 in FP1 and while on paper that was nothing too spectacular it is worth considering today marked his very first time in a Clio Cup race car after his deal with Team HARD only came together on Tuesday of this week.

Last year’s VW Cup champion said: “I’ve been learning every lap – this is a much racier car than I’m used to and in the dry I was braking way too early and was a long way off the limits of the car. I was over a second off P1 but we know where a lot of that time is…

“P2 in the wet this afternoon is brilliant, though, and probably more than I expected. Like I’ve said, though: this weekend is all about finding my feet but hopefully after today we can be somewhere near the front in qualifying and the races.”

Below are drivers’ best times from today’s two sessions – each driver set their best lap in FP1 when conditions were at their driest.

1. Jack Young (MRM), 1m16.712s (avg. 92.87mph)
2. Brett Lidsey (MRM, +0.099s
3. Max Coates (Team HARD), +0.597s
4. Ethan Hammerton (Team HARD), +0.745s
5. Aaron Thompson (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.790s
6. Ben Colburn (Westbourne Motorsport), +0.939s
7. Jade Edwards (Team HARD), +1.075s
8. Jamie Bond (Team HARD), +1.152s
9. Finlay Robinson (Westbourne Motorsport), +1.292s
10. Luke Warr (Specialized Motorsport), +5.844s
Click here for full times.