KELTY race ace Ronan Pearson accelerated to a stunning first win of his Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) career at the weekend.

The 22-year-old said it was "difficult to try and put into words" what crossing the finish line first, during the last race of the second meeting of the 2024 season at Brands Hatch Indy, meant to him.

EXCELR8 Motorsport-run Team Bristol Street Motors driver Pearson was aiming to replicate the strong pace he had displayed during the opening race weekend, at Donington Park last month, where he secured his best qualifying result to date and set a new lap record.

An unfortunate power steering issue restricted him to a single top 10 finish but he bounced back in qualifying at Brands Hatch, setting the ninth-fastest time behind the wheel of his Hyundai i30 Fastback N.

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Pearson was firmly in contention to finish inside the top 10 in race until he was forced off the track whilst fighting for position on lap seven.

That forced him into the pits for an unscheduled stop, which saw him end the race outside the points in 19th place when he rejoined the action.

Running on the slower, medium compound tyre, like in race one, Pearson showed his pace in race two as he worked his way through the field in fine style to cross the line in 11th place and score valuable points.

Dunfermline Press: Ronan Pearson claimed an emotional first win in the BTCC.Ronan Pearson claimed an emotional first win in the BTCC. (Image: Ronan Pearson Racing.)

Further reward came when he was drawn on pole position for race three, for which he had saved the quicker, but less durable, soft compound tyre, but bogged down when the lights went out to slip back to second behind the Vauxhall of Aron Taylor-Smith.

However, Pearson wasted little time in reclaiming the lead with a fine move at Clearways and quickly started to pull away, extending his advantage at the front to more than three seconds within 10 laps.

Settling into a rhythm, Pearson continued to ease clear of the pack behind - despite being aware of the need to manage his tyres as other suffered issues in the sweltering conditions - and crossed the line amidst emotional scenes on pitlane to take his first touring car victory, with team-mate Tom Chilton following him home in a one-two finish.

He admitted: "My god, that last race was the longest 24 laps of my life!

"On the one hand, it was like a free practice session and I was able to drive off into the sunset, but on the other hand it was really tricky because I didn’t want to push too hard and take too much out of the tyres.

Dunfermline Press: Ronan Pearson celebrated his first BTCC race win on Sunday.Ronan Pearson celebrated his first BTCC race win on Sunday. (Image: Ronan Pearson Racing.)

"The decision to keep the soft tyre for race three really paid off and the car was absolutely brilliant. Although I managed to fluff the start, I knew I’d be able to get back ahead of Aron and as soon as I had a chance, I made sure I took it.

"I was getting updates from my engineer about the gap and when he told me it was up to four seconds, I felt I could start to relax a little - although I was praying that no-one would throw it off and cause a safety car that would undo all my work!

"Halfway through the opening race of the weekend, I was in the wall on the exit of Paddock Hill Bend and, by the end of the weekend, I’m on top of the podium, so it just shows how you have to stay positive and should never give up.

"It’s difficult to try and put into words what this means to me because it has always been my goal to win in the BTCC, and it hasn’t always been the easiest journey to get to this point. There are so many people who I need to thank - more than I could possibly name - and I wouldn’t have got to this point without all of their support.

"The important thing now is to build on this victory and take the momentum forward to Snetterton and the rounds still to come. Now I’ve got this win under my belt, I hope there will be plenty more to come!"