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Robertson roars to his maiden victory

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BRANDS Hatch proved to be an incredibly happy hunting ground for Charlie Robertson as the Whyteleafe teenager secured his maiden race victory in single-seaters and a hat-trick of podiums to climb into second in the driver standings.

The 16-year-old gave his home supporters plenty to cheer with three outstanding race performances and is now just 16 points shy of the series lead in the BRDC Formula 4 Championship.

Robertson was also presented with the BRM Rapide Award – for posting the fastest race lap of the event in round four on Saturday – by Mercedes DTM racer, and Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes test driver, Gary Paffett.

Along with the other F4 competitors, he also had the chance to meet 2009 FIA Formula One World Champion Jenson Button, who was cheering on his McLaren team-mate and close friend Paffett in the headlining DTM race.

"It's been a fantastic weekend, I didn't think a win would be on the cards after Silverstone," said the elated HHC Motorsport driver.

"To win my first race is fantastic, I concentrated on getting away at the start and then cruised for the last five or six laps. Winning the BRM Rapide Award too is great."

Robertson started the weekend well, setting the fastest time in free practice before taking that form into qualifying, where he missed out on a maiden Formula 4 pole position by 0.060 seconds.

And despite a good getaway from the front row, Robertson was unable to get past pole-sitter Jake Dalton, who held the Caterham School pupil off over 25 laps of the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit as Robertson had to settle for second in his first Formula 4 podium finish. "Every single time I got close to him [Dalton], the aero made it impossible to try and make a move," said Robertson.

"We were both doing pretty much exactly the same lap times throughout the race, it was what it's always like at Brands Indy – you need the other guy to make a mistake to get a chance."

In race two, the reigning Ginetta Junior Champion fought his way up from seventh to secure his second podium on the trot, passing former Ginetta rival Sennan Fielding for third.

But round six was undoubtedly the highlight for Robertson, who after sealing pole position having set the fastest lap in the weekend's opening race, dominated from the outset.

Scorching into a 1.2-second lead at the end of the opening lap, he eventually ended the race over ten seconds clear and, once again, set the fastest lap to cap an outstanding breakthrough weekend.

Rounds seven, eight and nine will take place on June 15 and 16 at the Snetterton 300 Circuit in Norfolk.


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