Ginetta Junior

Robertson Takes Breakthrough Junior Victory

2 Mins read

Charlie Robertson took his first ever win in car racing with victory in Round Ten of the 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship at Croft. Robertson, the youngest driver competing within the whole BTCC package, got past early race leader Tom Howard and then held his nerve to take the breakthrough win.

Robertson started from pole, with Round Nine winner George Gamble alongside him. Both drivers got a good start, but a superb start by Howard saw him charge around the outside into Clervaux and into the lead.

Behind, Brad Bailey was nudged wide through the gravel by Howard's Tollbar Racing team-mate William Foster, who slotted into fourth behind Gamble, while up to fifth, despite being pushed into the grass at the start, was Niall Murray. Losing out on the opening lap was local driver Max Coates, who got hit by a spinning Declan Jones at Sunny In, dropping him to the back.

As the leaders went onto the second lap, there was a change for third when Gamble began dropping down the pack to seventh. This put him behind championship leader Seb Morris, who had worked his way up the field on the opening lap after starting fourteenth on the grid.

Morris' next target was Jake Giddings in fifth. The Hillspeed driver made a robust move into the first part of the complex on lap two to take the place, but FML's Giddings wasn't giving up that easily and fought back at the second part, resulting in contact between the two, spinning Morris round. Giddings recovered to seventh, while Morris ended up in tenth.

This promoted Gamble back up to fifth, but he was quickly passed by TJ Motorsport team-mate Bailey at Tower. Ahead Beacon Racing's Murray began putting Foster in third under real pressure, while the change for the lead took place on lap five, with Robertson sliding past Howard at Tower.

The battle for fifth intensified, with Giddings getting into the mix. Lap six saw Gamble gain the place early on in the lap and as they approached the hairpin, Giddings made a move up the inside of Bailey for sixth. He went in too hot though and tagged the back of Gamble, spinning the Nottingham driver round, with Giddings and Bailey forced to take to the grass in avoidance. The chaos allowed another local racer Myles Collins into fifth, though he was quickly passed by a recovering Morris.

Ahead, Robertson had managed to shake off Howard and won by 1.5 seconds to become the third different driver to win in the series this season. Foster held off Murray to take third, his second podium of the weekend and fourth of the season. Fifth place was Morris, with Collins sixth, matching his best finish of the season.

Hillspeed's Struan Moore came home seventh, capping off his strongest weekend of the season, ahead of Giddings, Bailey and Coates. TJ's Sennan Fielding and JHR Development's Oliver Chadwick were next up, with Gamble finishing thirteenth after his earlier spin, ahead of the final finisher Jones.

Robertson said: “This has been my ultimate goal as the year has gone on. We've been building up to it, we've had a few second places, but now we've taken the first win so I'm really happy. The car has been really, really good all weekend so a big thank you to the team for that.”

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Simon is an experienced journalist and PR officer, who has worked in the national motorsport paddocks for over a decade, primarily on the BTCC support package.
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