Five-time schoolboy karting champion Lochlan Bearman made the step up to cars and managed two top-ten finishes in his first competitive outing.

The 14-year-old from Epping looked at home in the opening round of this year’s Fiesta Junior Championship at Snetterton after having just three test sessions in cars ahead of the series for 14 to 17-year-olds.

Staying with CooperMotorsport for the transition, Bearman qualified ninth out of 17 on his debut to give his confidence a boost.

He said: “Before the weekend we were aiming for a top-ten result but having been on track with all the other drivers, I felt top six was achievable.”

And it looked that way when he was looking strong in fifth place before he was hit from behind and nudged onto the grass. Bearman recovered but, with steering damage, the best he could manage was ninth.

He said: “It was very disappointing to lose places in that way. I was already turning into the corner. I think he was just going too fast and couldn’t stop.”

It meant Bearman started the second race ninth on the grid. He made a great getaway, making up two places in the first two corners and was soon up to fifth but, with his tyres overheating, he dropped down to sixth at the finish.

He said: “Immediately after the race I was disappointed because at one point I thought I’d be able to catch the front three and fight for a podium. But, on reflection, we met our target of being in the top ten, learnt a lot about the car and this level of racing and I know that I can compete if we get the car set up right.”

Round Two is at Silverstone on Sunday, April 24.