Racing driver Lochlan Bearman now sits third in the Ford Fiesta Junior Championship after rounds nine and 10 at the weekend.

In the Epping driver’s first season of car racing, the five times karting champion went into the weekend lying fifth on the table.

Bearman had to battle with injury and suspension failure in qualifying and the arrival of the safety car in race two to ensure he finished sixth overall at the meeting held at Wiltshire’s Castle Combe circuit.

“We are a new team and we are slowly getting to grips with how to set up the car,” said Bearman.

“On the test day we were in the quickest three or four cars all day and eventually set the fastest time of the day which, against the experienced teams, left us positive for the weekend.”

In qualifying, Bearman had only completed two laps when the suspension failed under braking, spinning the car and he hit the wall at 70mph.

The session was red flagged and Bearman was taken to the medical centre, but was later released with some bruising to his legs and the team worked to repair the suspension and the body damage to get the car ready for race one.

Starting at the back of the grid, the 14-year-old got off to a great start and passed two cars into the daunting Quarry Corner, as he took another position into the Tower.

Bearman managed one overtake per lap but as the field crossed the line to start lap six he was up to fifth when the safety car was deployed due to an accident.

But disaster struck once again and as the racing got under way Bearman slowed to a stop as his gearbox casing had broken and the engine dropped.

He once again started from the back in race two but with the concern that the team hadn’t had time to check everything on the car. Bearman made another fine start and had made up two places through Folly and then another by out braking down into Quarry.

Completing lap one in ninth position, the Essex youngster was fighting the car handling differently without the differential in the gearbox. The safety car was called out again in lap six and this time it worked against Bearman as the clocked ticked down to the end of the race. The cars were released with one lap left and Bearman seized his opportunity to take one more position to bring the car home sixth to the delight of team boss Gary Cooper and his family.

He said: “I was disappointed after qualifying because we should have been in the top five, then I was devastated after race one as that should have been a podium but Race two feels like a win after everything we’ve been through today.

“Huge thanks to Gary Cooper and my dad who have worked tirelessly on the car to get me out.”