Charlotte Birch shows Silverstone pace but finds no luck

Charlotte had looked set for pole until an uncharacteristic spin (Photo by Marc Waller)

Charlotte had looked set for pole until an uncharacteristic spin (Photo by Marc Waller)With great aspirations for the weekend and the season ahead, Charlotte went to Silverstone focused with the intentions of double podium finishes. However, it was all abruptly bought to an end in the first race!

After a full day of testing on the Friday with her instructor BTCC driver Jake Hill, she impressed him with her car control and they finished on a high with some of the best lap times of the day. (1.14.012) Charlotte was feeling really confident for the rest of the weekend and it was looking like the positive start that everyone had hoped for was actually taking shape. The Practice session was held on the Saturday morning, Charlotte was looking just running for a few laps to scrub in some tyres. Then qualifying followed later, it was again a really promising qualifying session with Charlotte managing to hold pole position for the half of the session, it seemed it was all to play for! Unfortunately, the track was still quite greasy at that point and Charlotte was pushing hard to hang on to the pole. She over cooked it at Becketts and ended up spinning off the track. Unfortunately she was stuck in the gravel and unable to get back on the track before the session ended. The track was drying all the time and so Charlotte started to drop down the order. She still managed to hang onto a fifth-place position on the grid. This was her best ever qualifying but Charlotte felt slightly frustrated that she was unable to keep fighting for pole right until the end as she thought she could have got faster still.

Race one was on Sunday morning and the track was slippery as it dried from overnight rain. Charlotte got boxed in slightly off the line and caught in the pack at the first corner at Copse. On the second lap she had a bit of slide between Brooklands & Luffield as did the driver in front of her, she managed to hold onto the car but unfortunately the other driver made contact with her driver’s door, this resulted in someone behind clipping her rear bumper whilst they tried to avoid the incident. The other driver that slid had much worse luck as another car slammed into it. This resulted in a yellow flag and then the safety car was scrambled. This was helpful for Charlotte as all the cars were bunched back up with Charlotte now in sixth place. Things were looking positive for her best ever race result. Once the safety car had gone back in and the race had restarted, Charlotte was back on it to try and fight back further up the field and aim for her first ever podium finish.

However, disaster was just around the corner – Literally! This time up at Copse a couple of drivers had got out of shape and one car had got into a series of lurid spins. Charlotte tried her best to avoid him swerving towards the opposite side to the way the car was heading. But the spinning car suddenly gripped and snapped back the other direction, leaving Charlotte with nowhere to go. The two cars came together hard with Charlottes car bouncing its rear end into the air from the force of the impact. Her car very much came off the worst with the entire front end squashed in. It was not only out of this race but out of the entire weekend. Fortunately, it did its job in that Charlotte was totally unharmed. After a quick trip to the medical centre to confirm all was well, she was back in the garage to watch her on board video to see what went wrong. (It’s available to view on our Facebook page.)

The crash which put Charlotte out of the weekend (Photo by Marc Waller) Charlotte watches the onboard footage from the crash (Photo by Marc Waller)




“That wasn’t the way I wanted my first race weekend of the year to end. Thanks to the nice people in the medical centre and all the marshals for helping me.”

Charlotte Birch Racing (Her family team) will be working round the clock to get the car back to its former glory and they hope to be back out on the track for Rockingham. Charlotte is looking forward to this track which was once her nemesis last season. but after lots more testing she now has a bucket load of confidence and she is actually really looking forward to racing there next month!

Charlotte and the team thank her sponsors, Blue Lizard Signs, Herock Workwear, Fixings and Powertools centre and Toyotec for their support in getting her on track this season. By Angela Birch

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