It was a successful weekend for Callum in the IAME Euro Series with the Fusion Motorsport driver extending his lead over the field heading into the second half of the season. Despite not finishing on the podium a strong Pre-Final and damage limitation Final was enough to move Callum further ahead out front in the Senior X30 class.
Coming into round two the championship leader it would have been easy for Callum to buckle at the first hurdle under pressure and expectations, but there was no sign of such with Callum qualifying fifth on Friday out of the 80 strong field. If not delayed on the last lap of his session it could have been second instead, but fifth was enough for front row starts in all four of his heats.
The heat races would bring a mixed set of results by Callum’s standards. Heat two got off to a disastrous start with Callum bogging down at the start leaving him vulnerable on the outside which led to contact and a first corner pile up. Despite a decent recovery with a wounded kart Callum was given a penalty dropping him to sixteenth.
Heat three saw Callum down in seventh highlighting a power issue that he had been struggling with all day making the two second place finishes in heats one and four even more impressive. It was those results that helped Callum to eleventh on the grid for Pre-Final, which was far from a bad result given the circumstances.
It was clear Callum was fired up for the points scoring Pre-Final after a bold start saw him go straight up to eighth within two corners! But that would just be the start with Callum driving a very calculated race making no mistakes on his way through the field. He picked off the leaders ahead one by one with his patience always being rewarded.
Halfway into the race and after passing Mari Boya for fourth place it seemed the top three had broken away for good with Callum having to cope with a queue of drivers behind. But Callum drove a perfect first sector at the start of lap nine which was enough to give him a gap and chase the top three.
Callum would successfully close down the margin to the leaders and once there passed both Clayton Ravenscroft and teammate Harry Thompson to now run second. Then it all became about holding on to second with leader Lorenzo Travisanutto too far ahead in the distance. From eleventh it was a fantastic result and even better for the championship with rivals struggling further back.
Callum’s approach to the start of the Final did not change from that of the Pre-Final. Alongside the reigning World Champion, Callum from the outside timed his run to the line to perfection and immediately took control squeezing Travisanutto into turn one forcing the Italian to back out and allow Callum to lead the race.
But a good start would turn into a complete disaster on lap two. After being passed by Travisanutto into the final hairpin Callum’s attempts at a cut back went horribly wrong and saw him going over the back of Travisanutto and becoming stuck to his kart for a few seconds before some persuasion from Travisanutto eventually saw both drivers able to continue at race speed.
The incident saw Callum drop to eighth and with his front fairing now down he was essentially racing with a net five second penalty. Callum’s recovery began in a battle with Mark Kimber that would last a number of laps extending the gap to the lead group even further.
Once away Callum would eventually catch the battle for third between Thompson, Jordan Brown-Nutley and Boya. Two moves in as many laps saw Callum through into fourth with teammate Thompson ahead, but with so few laps remaining he would have to settle for fourth which, with the afore mentioned penalty, would later become eighth.
It was a tough result to take but one Callum was able to settle with after his final performance. Many drivers would have lost composure in that situation, but Callum quickly settled back down and made sure he left Castelletto the championship leader.
Callum Bradshaw: “Overall the weekend was very strong we showed we had the speed to fight for first. It was a shame that an incident cost us any chance.”
With half the season complete it’s so far so good for Callum. Two races remain with Salbris (FRA) closing the season on the turn of September, but before then will be round three at Wackersdorf (GER) in late July.