Charlie Robertson stormed to his maiden Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup victory during a dramatic second round of the season at Brands Hatch.
Round One winner Andrew Watson looked on course to make it two from two until an errant moment at Surtees damaged his G55, with Robertson taking full advantage to go on and secure a comfortable victory.
“That was really, really good,” a delighted Robertson told TCF. “It did fall into place a bit for me, but I had to capitalise on the situations that developed.
“The car felt amazing, and it’s just the best feeling in motorsport when you’re leading and you can see the car behind you getting smaller and smaller in the mirrors. The team have done an amazing job and I’m really pleased with the result.”
The race started in dramatic fashion, with a fast-starting Carl Breeze aiming to tuck up behind leader Watson into Paddock Hill Bend for the first time.
A small lock-up under braking though sent the United Autosports man veering into the side of Jamie Orton, with both spinning off into the gravel. Harry Woodhead got caught up in the aftermath, with all three being forced into retirement.
Robertson benefited to slot into second behind Watson, with David Pittard and Tom Oliphant moving into third and fourth respectively, while the main beneficiary was ironically Breeze’s team-mate Luke Davenport, who got up to fifth from tenth on the grid.
The safety car was released straight away to aid the recovery of the three stricken G55’s. A great restart from Watson saw him instantly break a gap from Robertson, who was soon holding a clear second as a train of cars formed behind Pittard.
Watson looked comfortable in the lead until lap twelve, when what the Irishman described as a “freak moment of oversteer” sent him across the grass at Surtees.
While he recovered still in the lead, a damaged front splinter meant he was easy prey for Robertson, the 2012 Ginetta Junior champion eventually sweeping past at Clearways a lap later.
Further down the pack, their former Ginetta Junior rival Pepe Massot was having another race to forget, having been black flagged from the weekend’s opening race after ignoring a drive-through penalty.
The Spaniard was running a lowly ninth when a mistake into Paddock sent him through the gravel, the JHR Developments racer going on to pull into the pits for retirement.
Robertson was having no such problems though, with Watson’s damage meaning the leader was given a clear run to a 5.8 second victory.
“I felt really comfortable in the lead,” bemoaned Watson. “I’m not sure exactly what it was, but I lost the rear and there’s no run off at Surtees. I struggled massively at the end with the damage I had, but I got the car home, not necessarily in one piece, with the championship lead.”
“Our aim this weekend was three finishes and maybe a podium, so I’m delighted,” added Pittard. “I’m new to the championship, so still learning about how hard I can push the tyres. I didn’t want to throw anything away, so I kept my nose clean, looked after the tyres and held the gap to Watson.”
Watson meanwhile was able to nurse his car home to second, with Pittard managing to edge away from the pack behind to secure his maiden Supercup rostrum finish.
Oliphant, Davenport and Sean Huyton completed the top six, while finishing seventh after a fantastic late charge was Carl Boardley. The JHR man had sat tenth after his team-mates incident, but a succession of new fastest laps propelled him forward.
Josh Wakefield, Reece Somerfield and Will Burns were his late victims, with those three going on to complete the top ten ahead of Dan Norris-Jones, Fergus Walkinshaw and James Owen,
Full race results can be found here: http://tsl-timing.com/toca/2014/141303g50.pdf