Charlie Robertson takes 6th podium of the year on home soil at Knockhill

Scottish teenager Charlie Robertson recorded his sixth podium of the Ginetta Junior Championship season at Knockhill in Fife on Sunday, 4th September, to successfully consolidate his top three placing in the driver standings - but he had to work incredibly hard for it.Delighted to enjoy a rostrum finish on native soil, the 14-year-old from Aberfoyle - who now resides in Whyteleafe, Surrey - raced impressively well in both of the weekend's action-packed encounters and although disappointed with fifth in round 13, third place in round 14 put a smile on his face."It's great to be on the podium at Knockhill", he commented, "It's been quite a hard weekend, we've been consistent time-wise with our pace but qualifying just didn't quite go to plan and that was our main problem really. I was a bit disappointed with race one but to finish the weekend on the podium in race two is really good."Although lapping third fastest in two of the three pre-event test sessions at the undulating Fife track, and continuing the same high level of performance in the short free practice session on Saturday, 3rd September, qualifying didn't quite come together as he posted two fourth row starts. Purely a result of the session not panning out in his favour, the HHC Motorsport driver was confident of improvements in both races but he had to battle hard. Starting eighth on the grid for Saturday's opener, albeit only 0.6 seconds shy of pole position, Charlie got caught up in a tight scrap at the lower end of the top 10 but managed to make decent progress.Dicing over sixth place with the vastly more experienced Tom Howard and Jake Giddings, the race came under Safety Car conditions on lap 11 after the latter came to grief exiting Clark's - making contact with the barriers.Holding sixth spot at the time of the cautionary period, Charlie moved up into the top five on the first lap of the resumption at the expense of 2010 Ginetta Junior Ireland Champion Niall Murray and remained there to the chequered flag on lap 17. In terms of his pace, the former Scottish Karting Champion's best lap was 1m02.517 seconds - almost identical to that of race winner Seb Morris.Round 14 was undoubtedly the highpoint of the weekend for Charlie though, an excellent drive from seventh on the grid to third place. The second of the Knockhill races for the Ginetta Juniors was most certainly robust with plenty in the way of contact and lots of position changing.Holding his grid slot early on, Charlie quickly made gains and moved into the top five on lap two before taking fourth a couple of laps later. Pressuring hard for the podium placings, he then gained third position when second placed Tom Howard had to pit for a drive-through penalty.The Safety Car was then deployed at the beginning of the seventh tour and at the re-start Charlie read it perfectly as he attacked Sennan Fielding and passed for second on the run out of Leslie's into the aptly titled Scotsman corner. Drama came on lap 10 though when he was pitched into a spin at the hairpin and dropped to eighth, all but ending his podium hopes it seemed.Fantastically, Charlie maintained great composure and over the course of the next two laps he worked his way back into third place and even managed to pull out a gap on his pursuers with a very determined and calm drive. Once again, his pace was impressive - a best lap of 1m02.469 seconds less than 0.2 seconds shy of the quickest of all."I had a bit of contact at the hairpin with (Sennan) Fielding which dropped me back and then I was surprised I got back through so quickly", said Charlie after race two, "The others were fighting a lot though so that really helped me out."Next up for the youngest driver on the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship package is a visit to Rockingham in Northamptonshire for rounds 15 and 16 of Ginetta Junior just a fortnight from now over the weekend 17th/18th September. Provisional 2011 Ginetta Junior Championship Driver Standings (after Rd14):1st Seb Morris, 437pts; 2nd George Gamble, 337pts; 3rd Charlie Robertson, 311pts

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