Motorsport News - Sportscar
Total Control Racings Mike Robinson Takes Fourth Ginetta GT5 Challenge Win Of Year
6th August 2012Total Control Racings Mike Robinson earned his fourth victory of the 2012 Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge season at Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk over the weekend, 4th/5th August, with a truly dominant performance in a rain-affected round 13.
In Saturday mornings qualifying session, the Effingham 29-year-old secured a front row start for the first of the weekends three planned races with a best lap of 2m10.217 seconds (82.07mph). But his excellent consistency was rewarded with pole position for round 14 thanks to a second best lap of 2m10.335 seconds (82.00mph).
Initially, there was a threat Saturday afternoons encounter wouldnt actually take place due to thunderstorms and torrential rain rendering the 2.97-mile track too wet. However, race officials did manage to run a shortened 15-minute race prior to the evening curfew.
Making a good start, Robinson quickly grabbed the lead on the opening lap and then controlled the race thereafter in very tricky conditions. Scorching away and reeling off lap times up to 2.5 seconds faster than any of his rivals, he posted the best lap of the race 2m22.777 seconds (74.85mph) on the third tour before cruising to a memorable and richly deserved 7.6 second victory.
I really enjoyed race one, its fantastic to take such a good win, said Robinson, For some reason we really seemed to struggle in the wet last year, but we made some changes in testing before this season that really seemed to work. I was quite interested to see if wed be quick in the wet in a race and we were, as soon as I got the lead I could pull away and just had to make no mistakes.
At the beginning of round 14 on Sunday, the Surrey racer slipped to fifth off the start but rapidly made his way back into second place and onto the tail of championship rival Sean Huyton by the end of the opening lap.
With just 0.5 seconds splitting the pair entering lap two, Robinson pushed on but he carried slightly too much speed into the fast Coram right-hander and his Ginetta G40 pitched into a spin. Recovering at the tail of the top 10, the TCR ace mounted a strong fight-back and midway through the fifth tour he was back into the top five.
Any further progress over the remaining three laps though was impossible due to the time deficit to the lead bunch. Robinsons pace was proven though with his personal best lap of the race, a time of 2m11.081 seconds, a mere five hundredths of a second shy of the fastest of all. More rain on Sunday afternoon only compounded the timetable issues and ultimately led to the cancellation of round 15.
Race two was a bit messy really, he added, I didnt make the best of starts, I was fifth by the first corner, but I was back up to second quickly and then it looked like being me and [Sean] Huyton again for the lead. I was pushing hard and just took a bit too much speed through Coram in one of these G40s you only have to make a tiny mistake and the car lets go.
Although having closed to within 20 points of the championship lead after Saturday evenings race, the unfortunate spin in Sundays outing means Robinson is provisionally 34 points adrift of Huyton with just two events remaining on the Ginetta GT5 Challenge calendar. They are at two of the TCR mans favourite circuits though, Silverstone and Donington Park, so hopes are high for more success.
Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit in Northamptonshire will host the penultimate three rounds of the series five weeks from now on 8th/9th September. Before then TCR will return to Snetterton next weekend, 11th/12th August, for the resumption of the Michelin Ginetta GT Supercup and AirAsia Renault UK Clio Cup championships.
Provisional 2012 Total Quartz Ginetta GT5 Challenge G40 Challenge Standings (after Rd14):
1st Sean Huyton, 433pts; 2nd Mike Robinson, 399pts
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