Rising star Tom Lebbon endured a challenging start to his second season in the GB3 Championship powered by the BRDC, with his undoubted pace going unrewarded at Oulton Park.
The WeFinanceAnyCar.com-backed youngster made the trip to Cheshire looking to build on an impressive pre-season testing programme that had seen him regularly running towards the sharp end of the times.
The talented teenager showed that speed in qualifying for the opening race of the year to secure sixth spot on the timesheets, but an unfortunate post-session penalty meant he would instead line up in eleventh for the start of race one.
Tom was lucky to avoid being collected when his car stalled as the lights went out, which meant he dropped to dead last as the field headed down to turn one.
Whilst that meant any chance of a front-running result was gone, Tom got his head down and fought his way through to 14th place at the finish having shown comparable pace to the top six runners.
From fifth on the grid for race two, Tom slipped a place on the opening lap to run in sixth spot and he would remain in the same place all the way to the flag having diced with Elite Motorsport team-mate John Bennett throughout.
The reverse grid finale saw Tom lining up in 14th place for the start and he held his position through the early stages before a clash on lap five on the run to Hislops cost him places. Tom would battle hard to bring the car home in 16th spot but was later excluded from the results having been deemed to be at fault for the earlier incident.
As a result, Tom sits in an unrepresentative twelfth place in the standings ahead of round two at Silverstone on 7/8 May.
“It’s been a tough weekend for both myself and the team,” he said. “We showed so much pace during testing and then we were quick again in qualifying, but we just weren’t able to show it in the races for various different reasons.
“It’s not what I was hoping for from Oulton Park but it’s a long season and my head is still high. I’m confident that we’ll be where we should be when we got to Silverstone in a few weeks time.”