Charlie Robertson has expressed his excitement at getting the opportunity to team up with Sir Chris Hoy and compete in the European Le Mans Series this season in a new Ginetta-Nissan LMP3.
It was announced in December that reigning Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup champion Robertson and British GT graduate and former Olympian Hoy would be the driving partnership in a works Team LNT Ginetta-Nissan in the new LMP3 category.
For Robertson, the move comes following a sparkling 2014 campaign in which a switch from single-seater racing to sportscars yielded eight race wins, twelve other podium finishes and ultimately the Ginetta Supercup title at the first time of trying.
With the experience under his belt, Robertson told TheCheckeredFlag.co.uk at the recent Autosport International Show that he’s chomping at the bit to get the season underway.
“I’m raring to go really, to get out in the car, get testing and start working with Chris. It’s an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given, to be working with Team LNT and competing in the ELMS next season,” said the 18 year old.
“Travelling all over Europe to Imola, the Red Bull Ring, it’s going to be a great championship to be involved in and it’s definitely going to broaden my horizons as a driver. It’s all really exciting and I can’t wait to get going.”
Robertson’s move into ELMS brings with it a number of new challenges for the former BRDC Formula 4 racer, primarily a switch from sprint to endurance racing for the first time.
To embark on such a challenge in only his fifth season of car-racing is a big move forward in Robertson’s career, particularly with just one year of sportscar racing under his belt.
The Scotsman is confident though that after his Supercup victory and an impressive GT3 category debut in the VdeV Championship with Team LNT last year, this is the right move at the right time.
“It’s a big step in my career and I wasn’t really expecting it. The Supercup went better than I was expecting it to and the GT3 race with Team LNT went really well too, everything just clicked for me in 2014,” he explained.
“I feel ready for LMP3 now, I think it’s the natural step up for me. Joining the Supercup last season was probably the best career move I could have made, and I feel now LMP3 is the best next step for me to make.”
The new drive presents Robertson with a chance to work alongside the most decorated athlete in British Olympic history, six-time cycling gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy.
With Hoy having spent nearly fifteen years at the top of his sport, Robertson appreciates there is plenty he can learn from his new team-mate, whilst also working together to build their partnership on track.
“I can’t wait to work with Chris, I think we will both learn a lot from each other,” enthused Robertson. “He’s the most successful British Olympian of all time, he can teach me a lot about mindset, preparation and professionalism as an athlete.”
“We’ll have some learning to do at the start of the season, but hopefully we’ll just get better and better together through the season.”
Robertson hopes to commence testing in his new car during March, but accepts running will be limited prior to the opening round at Silverstone on April 10/11 and that some issues could arise in the project’s early stages.
“I think with a new car and new racing class that there will always be teething problems that need to be ironed out, but that’s part of it,” he concluded.
“Ginetta at the moment are probably the only manufacturer that are going to have LMP3 cars on the grid for the first round though, so everybody is going to be in the same boat.”
Read our interview with Robertson on his Supercup title success by clicking here.