Charlie Robertson, championship leader of the LMP3 Class in the European Le Mans Series, says he is relishing the prospect of being back behind the wheel of his Ginetta-Nissan sports prototype race car next weekend, 5th/6th September, as he strives to take another step closer to the inaugural title.
After a lengthy break since the halfway point of the season at the Red Bull Ring in mid-July, where the 18-year-old and fellow Scotsman Sir Chris Hoy secured their second win of the year in dominant style, Charlie is raring to go and has been training hard for the championship’s resumption.
Determined to challenge for a third victory from four races when the ELMS arrives in France, the Whyteleafe youngster – already a champion in Ginetta Junior and the Michelin Ginetta GT4 SuperCup – is also balancing off his innate desire to win with a sensible approach to the title battle.
The BRDC SuperStar, it goes without saying, is going into round four of the campaign aiming to succeed but attention is now turning to the LMP3 championship fight as the season heads into a crucial phase.
“I’ve been preparing hard for Ricard during the break, I haven’t been in the car since Red Bull Ring but I know the guys at Ginetta have been making big improvements with it so I’m really looking forward to getting a taste of that next weekend”, said Charlie, who is backed by Investigo and Curo.
“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been working hard on my fitness. This is only the start of my endurance racing career so I need to build my strength, be in the best shape I can for every round and be fully prepared for next season.”
He added: “I’m hoping we can be in a position to win at Ricard and although I don’t have a massive amount of experience of the track, I have been there before unlike Red Bull Ring and Imola. Staying out of trouble and getting to the finish is one of the main aims, we really have to think about the championship and the most important thing is to score points – not scoring just isn’t an option.”
Going into round four, Charlie and Sir Chris hold a 12 point lead at the top of the LMP3 standings and, while it may seem obvious, the chief goal is to conclude the weekend with the biggest points cushion possible ahead of October’s season finale – the championship is now the priority.
“I want to win if we can, and I’m sure we’ll have the pace to do that, but we need to try and be in a position at Estoril [the final round] where we only need to work on getting the car to the finish and not have to go out there and win the race”, said Charlie.
“The Ginetta-Nissan has been phenomenal in terms of reliability, the Team LNT guys have done a fantastic job all year and the car is being improved on almost a daily basis. We’re focused on increasing the gap between ourselves and the GTE cars and getting closer to the P2 cars at Ricard next weekend, and if we can finish on the podium again we’ll be very happy.”
Following two 90 minute free practice sessions at Paul Ricard on Saturday, 5th September, qualifying for round four of the ELMS season will get underway at 09.30 (local time) on Sunday, 6th September, with the four hour race set to begin at 13.00 (local time). Live television coverage will be screened on Motors TV – check listings for details.
Provisional 2015 European Le Mans Series LMP3 Driver Standings (after Rd3): 1st Charlie Robertson/Sir Chris Hoy, 52pts