Charlie Robertson had to adopt a damage limitation approach to the third meeting of the 2014 Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup season after a series of problems hampered him in the weekend’s three races.
Robertson headed into the meeting as championship leader after two wins in the first six races, and looked set to maintain that advantage after securing his second consecutive pole position of the season in qualifying around the high-speed Hampshire circuit.
That proved to be the highlight of the weekend for the 17 year old though, with a clutch problem leading to a slow getaway from the line at the start of race one. Robertson was shuffled back to fifth by the end of the first lap, and stayed there for the remainder of the races.
The Investigo-backed teenager was edged back to sixth at the start of race two, and after running there for a long period, he grabbed fifth into the chicane on lap fourteen for another solid points haul.
Heavy tyre wear from the first two races proved to be a big problem for Robertson in the final encounter. He held fifth for two third of the race distance, however a huge lack of grip in the latter stages meant he slipped back to tenth at the finish, and third in the championship in the process.
“It’s been a frustrating weekend, we’ve been fast so it’s all the more disappointing how everything turned out in the end,” said Robertson. “We came to Thruxton having not tested at the track for three weeks and managed to pop in a really good lap time to get pole, which was great.
“From there, though, it all went downhill to be honest. In the last race, the front tyres really started to go – I was fighting just to keep the car on the track. The steering wheel was shaking in my hands, it was really hard work, but I just had to bring the car home and take whatever points we could. Come the end of the season, one or two points could be the difference in the championship and that’s what I kept thinking.”