Charlie Robertson endured a frustrating outing in the Ginetta Junior Championship at Oulton Park, with hefty contact in both Rounds Seven and Eight costing him his lead in the championship standings.
The HHC Motorsport driver's weekend had started well, with a thoroughly dominant performance in Saturday's damp qualifying session seeing the MSA Academy member take pole position for both races, over a second quicker than his closest rival.
The opening race that afternoon saw Robertson slip to second place at the first corner, staying there until the early introduction of the safety car. A fantastic restart saw Robertson able to challenge the leader, but instead of taking the lead, Robertson slipped to third behind championship rival Niall Murray.
The Investigo and Ria Capital Markets-backed driver looked to fight back, but came under attack from Harry Woodhead behind, the rookie diving down the inside at the hairpin, but losing control on the exit and making contact with Robertson. With a dislodged bonnet leading to reduced vision, Robertson was left to settle for a fourth place finish.
The second race saw Robertson lead away, however on lap three it was red-flagged when a rival crashed heavily. At the restart, Robertson wasn't able to get as good a start and was bundled back to third at the first corner.
Fighting back to take second quickly, Robertson challenged the leader, but a move at Druids left him on the outside, with the opportunistic Sennan Fielding nipping through to drop him to third. On the penultimate lap everything went wrong for Robertson when contact heading into Knickerbrook speared him off into the barriers. Despite the heavy contact, he was able to rejoin and cross the line in seventh.
Robertson said: “Everything was going well in race two, I led and I thought that was it but then they red flagged it and I didn't get as good a start the second time. I dropped back to third as [Niall] Murray and [Sennan] Fielding were battling and I think I could have still had the win at that point.
“Then I was alongside [Pepe] Massot into the chicane, I didn't move off my line and he just went into my back wheel with his front under braking and pitched me into the wall. It did quite a lot of damage to the car, front and back, but I was just focused on getting back on. It's been a really frustrating weekend but we did get fastest lap on the last lap, and I had to overtake two people to do it!”