Wednesbury’s Total Control Racing took its third win of the Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge season at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend, 23rd/24th June, with Mike Robinson emerging victorious in round seven and adding a further podium finish in round nine.
Round eight proved less fortunate for the Effingham driver, his chances of three podium results from the race meeting ending after an excursion on lap three. His eventual eighth place, therefore, means the 29-year-old has slipped to second in the driver standings on an otherwise excellent weekend.
“Mike’s done a cracking job again”, said TCR team principal Lee Brookes, “The win on Saturday was great and to have another podium as well is good for the championship. It’s a shame we’re back to second place in the points but the pace was there all weekend, Mike was just a bit unfortunate in race two. Overall, we’re really happy with how it’s all gone.”
Robinson dominated qualifying on Saturday with an outstanding performance to claim pole position for the first two races. Lapping over a second quicker than his closest rivals at the midway point of the session, he ended the 20-minute run 0.3 seconds clear with a fastest lap of 1m40.608 seconds (87.06mph) and an ultra-consistent second best of 1m40.619 seconds (87.05mph).
In round seven, the Surrey driver was under heavy pressure throughout from chief rival Sean Huyton but maintained superb composure and never put a wheel wrong. Leading every one of the nine laps to claim his third win on the trot, Robinson never had much more than a few tenths of a second in hand but managed the gap to perfection.
Unfortunately, round eight wasn’t nearly as fruitful. Initially leading away from pole and holding first place into lap two, the race was red flagged following an incident further back. At the re-start the TCR man got tangled up and dropped a couple of places but he fought back into second on lap three, before an excursion off the circuit on the Grand Prix loop while pushing hard to close down Huyton.
Rejoining in 10th place, over seven seconds down on the lead group, Robinson quickly reeled in the cars ahead with some searing laps, missing out on the fastest of the race by a mere 0.03 seconds, and climbed into eighth by lap 10 before a second red flag stoppage.
The result was taken back a lap with the TCR man demoted to ninth place – slipping to second in the points – but post race he was promoted back into eighth following exclusion for Luke Davenport from the final classification.
Therefore beginning Sunday’s ninth round from eighth on the grid, Robinson moved into sixth on lap one and charged into the top three by the fifth tour. Then, on lap six, Ryan Ratcliffe dropped back from second to elevate the TCR Ginetta G40 into the runner-up spot where it stayed to the finish.
Next on the Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge schedule is a visit to the spectacular Cadwell Park circuit near Louth, Lincolnshire, on 21st/22nd July for rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the season.