Robertson does the double to snatch championship leadPosted: May 4, 2012
The HHC Motorsport driver started the weekend in style with a double pole position for the races, and took a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the opening race after a getting a good jump away from the grid to lead the field from the word go.
The wet qualifying conditions had changed to a dry track from the race, and Robertson looked just as strong in both as he edged out a gap at the front, the chasing pack being lead by Harry Woodhead who had made a terrific start to leap from fifth to second, while Niall Murray dropped to fourth from the front row behind team-mate Andrew Watson.
Unusually the leaders were quite spread out as by lap three Robertson had built up a four second lead to Woodhead, who had a comfortable cushion to Murray now in third.
William Palmer was having a good race meanwhile and overtook Pepe Massot for fifth, before beginning to attack Watson for fourth. Palmer eventually made the move stick on lap seven, as the weather again twisted and light rain began to hit the circuit.
As Beacon Racing’s Woodhead was being clawed in by Murray for second, Robertson continued his march towards victory and by the time he took the win he was over 10 seconds ahead of the field, his second win of the season.
Murray’s charge paid off with three laps to go when he made his move on Woodhead on the run out of Church to snatch second, Woodhead settling for third with tyre struggles while Palmer finished an excellent fourth ahead of Watson.
Murray said after the race: “Race one proved difficult as I got a poor start off the line, but quickly I managed to work my way back up to 2nd which was brilliant as the tyres were pretty much ruined by the half way point of the race.”
A great scrap for sixth went down to the final lap as Massot made a move on Hillspeed team-mate Nathan Harrison, the latter then pipping Fielding by just 0.088s in a drag race, meaning the championship leader Fielding finished a very disappointing eighth.
Race twosaw treacherous conditions for racing on Sunday, where Robertson lead the field away after a few laps behind the safety car ahead of Murray and Woodhead. Behind them, Fielding’s weekend got worse as he was tapped into a spin by Palmer in the Complex, dropping to JHR man to 11th.
Without the hinderence of the spray in his way, Robertson was putting the hammer down and began to stretch his lead, where he spent the nine lap encounter trading quick laps with Murray all race.
The race proved very uneventful it seemend as Robertson completed a classy double to move into the lead of a very tight championship, Murray having a good weekend with his fifth podium in six races.
Oliver Chadwick took fourth from Harrison, while Palmer battled to sixth by holding off Massot and the recovering Fielding, but he then got hit with a post-race two second penalty after his earlier contact with Fielding.
Now second in the championship, Murray was happy with his conisistent performance despite the obvious pace of Robertson this weekend.
“As the race progressed I got into a good rhythm to ensure I stayed on the track and retained a healthy championship points finish. Coming into the weekend I was over 20 points off the championship lead so its fantastic to come away with the gap closed right up.”
Championship standings after rounds 5-6:
1) Charlie Robertson – 144 points
2) Niall Murray – 139 points
3) Sennan Fielding – 134 points
4) Andrew Watson – 109 points
5) Harry Woodhead – 102 points
6) Nathan Harrison – 92 points
7) Ollie Chadwick – 91 points
8) Keith Donegan – 79 points