Charlotte Birch pushes for new highs at the Rockingham JSCC Rounds

Charlotte (Photo by Marc Waller)After a short gap of a few weeks, Charlotte Birch again headed for Northamptonshire and the latest rounds of the Junior Saloon car championship.

This time it was the very different circuit of Rockingham which is based on part of the oval with a fast but tricky infield circuit cutting through the middle. It’s one of the harder circuits of the season to master and so Charlotte knew it would be her biggest challenge so far in her short career.

As if her learning curve wasn’t already steep enough, she was only able to participate in limited amounts of testing with just an hours track time before the competition would begin properly on Saturday morning.

Her lack of running meant that practice was even more important for her. She was unsure what to expect during the session but was just starting to settle in nicely when the session was cut short for an incident on track. But Her confidence had grown now and she felt ready to try and push for a good position.

However after the session she felt a little disappointed with her position of fourteenth for both races. But she wasn’t last and she had ambitious hopes of pushing into the top ten during the race.

As race one got underway on Sunday morning, she made a great start and found herself in a battle with rivals. Unfortunately some contact with another car caused her to spin off. Now for some drivers with Charlotte’s level of experience this could have been too much and their race would go to pieces but not Charlotte. She was quickly back on track and pushing to gain positions once more. A safety car period helped her aims and in the last few laps she was in a close battle with TJ Rodriguez. As they went into the final lap she was still behind but pulled off a great move to take the position and she crossed the line in an excellent tenth place. Charlotte was thrilled with such a great result in only her second ever race meeting.

With her confidence at an all time high she was now really looking forward to race two. As the cars got underway, she held her position in fourteenth. This proved to be a fortuitous occurrence as up ahead there was an incident which saw the retirements of George Smith, Ethan Hammerton and Lydia Walmsley.

Charlotte did well to learn a tricky track with minimal track time (Photo by Marc Waller) Battling on the Banking (Photo by Marc Waller)




As the race got underway once more, she found herself once again in a battle with TJ Rodriguez for tenth place. Once again they got involved in an incredibly close battle but it appeared that TJ had learnt from their previous encounter and this time Charlotte was unable to find a way past and so she crossed the line in eleventh place.

It was a great weekend’s racing for Charlotte. The rookie racer taking away another 25 points, she will be aiming to beat her personal best at her next meeting on the 5th-7th May at Snetterton! By Marc Waller

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