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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

Charlotte Birch takes victory on return to Track Action Racing Club

By meerna Jul10,2024
Charlotte Birch takes victory on return to Track Action Racing Club

Competing with Vinna Sport in her Honda Civic, Charlotte Birch had a thrilling return to Track Action Racing Club competition, taking one overall win and two class victories at Thruxton.

Aliyyah Koloc, Buggyra ZM Racing Mercedes AMG GT4, 24H series, 2024 12H Misano
Photo sources: Vinna Sport

Charlotte Birch enjoyed a positive return to Track Action Racing Club competition with one overall win and two class wins at Thruxton. Competing with Vinna Sport in her Honda Civic, Birch enjoyed thrilling battles with Paul Roddison in both races at Britain’s fastest circuit.

Charlotte led for most of the first race and defended well before Roddison made a move on the final lap to win. Determined to take victory in the second race, Birch led every lap en route to victory, negotiating a red flag period and subsequent restart.

Charlotte returned to action after a mid-season break and was looking to find success in her Honda Civic. Driving in the final round of the Track Action Racing Club was a series that Birch would go on to enjoy significant success in both the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Thruxton would pose a significant challenge for Charlotte, however, as the Vinna Sport driver has very little experience at the fastest circuit in the country. The fast corners combined with the tight braking zones would be a challenge, and Birch would be keen to return to the podium in her second Track Action Racing Club appearance of the campaign.

Qualifying began on Saturday morning and was held later than planned due to an incident in the previous session. As a result, the early morning rain stopped, leaving a mostly dry track for the Track Action Racing Club drivers.

Thruxton saw a large grid of 25 competitors, so traffic management was a feature of qualifying, with Birch qualifying on pole in a red flag session with a fantastic lap time of 1:29.029.

The first race of the weekend took place shortly after qualifying and was held in dry conditions, with the Vinna Sport driver taking pole position. Charlotte made a good start in her Honda Civic and was neck and neck with Paul Roddison as she made her way to the opening complex.

Birch managed to hold her position through the early corners and, although her rival was caught in a slipstream at the Club chicane, Charlotte led on the first lap. The advantage grew to six tenths of a second on the second lap before Roddison made up ground and set the fastest lap of the race immediately afterwards.

On lap four Charlotte again had to defend herself from a Volkswagen Scirocco, with the two different cars evenly matched around Thruxton. While Birch was fastest in the first sector, which included Campbell, Cobb and Seagrave, Roddison’s machine was quicker on the fast sections and seemed to have a higher top speed.

Charlotte set the fastest first sector of the race on lap five, although the gap remained at just half a second as the pair encountered lapped traffic. With clear air for the Vinna Sport driver on lap eight, Birch set a new fastest lap of the race before Roddison closed in again, starting the final lap just two tenths of a second behind her. After a good run through the fast Church corner on the final lap, Roddison was able to use the slipstream to pass Charlotte at the Club chicane to take the overall victory at the final corner. Nevertheless, it was a thrilling race between the duo, with Birch taking the class victory.

In the second and final race of the event, Birch again started from pole position with Gareth Porter at his side. Charlotte again made a good start and held the lead, while Charlie Constable moved up to second. Finishing the first lap with a lead of one and a half seconds, Birch was able to focus on setting fast times. However, on the second lap the safety car came out, leading to a red flag and the race being abandoned.

When the race resumed, the gap had been reduced to eight minutes and Charlotte was forced to make another clean start. She did just that and built up a solid lead, finishing the first lap just over a second ahead of her rivals. Birch’s advantage had grown to 1.7 seconds by the end of the second lap, but with Roddison already in second, the winner of the first race was looking to close the gap.

By lap four, Roddison had reduced his advantage to just four tenths of a second and was looking to break through the Club chicane. Despite all efforts, Charlotte defended her lead admirably to take a great victory on her return to Track Action Racing Club competition.

It was a great meeting for Charlotte, who showed strong pace on one lap, as well as impressive racing. After taking a double pole position, Birch led all but one lap, putting her in the perfect position to add to her podium finishes.

The Vinna Sport driver will be planning further starts in the 2024 season, and Track Action Racing Club will be the perfect place to compete in multiple classes.

By meerna

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