CLIO FRONT-RUNNER ROBINSON REMAINS WITH TCR FOR GINETTA SWITCH
Mike Robinson will stay with Total Control Racing for a fourth year of competition in 2011 but the ELF Renault Clio Cup front-runner has confirmed he will be trying his hand at something different after today, Friday, 28th January, announcing his participation in the popular Ginetta Challenge.
Following three successful seasons with TCR in the Clio Cup, with top six and top five championship finishes over the past couple of years, the 28-year-old has now elected to race a Ginetta G40 in the British Formula 3 International Series and British GT Championship support category.
Robinson, who lives in Surbiton near Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, is relishing the prospect of experiencing a fresh challenge in 2011 and is confident he'll be able to fight for the outstanding champion's prize of a funded drive in the rebranded Ginetta GT Supercup.
"I'm really looking forward to racing in the Ginetta Challenge", he commented, "I had the chance to test the car at Silverstone briefly last year and it felt great, I could tell Ginetta wanted to produce a really top class car. The eventual champion is also being offered the chance to race in the Ginetta GT Supercup in 2012 so that will attract a number of really good drivers I'm sure.
"As soon as I made the choice to compete in the Ginetta Challenge I knew I wanted to continue to be part of TCR. They are one of the most successful and experienced teams in the Clio Cup and after seeing how quickly they hit the front of the Ginetta G50 Cup over the past two years, I know they will give me a car capable of winning in the Ginetta Challenge."
Signalling TCR's first foray onto the F3/GT support package, the new deal with Robinson will give the Wednesbury team a fantastic opportunity to impress in yet another arena as it seeks to expand operations beyond its traditional home in the British Touring Car Championship support paddock.
Established for many years now as one of the most successful and respected teams in the Clio Cup, over the past few seasons TCR has also enjoyed tremendous success in the Ginetta G50 Cup and, before that, in the SEAT Cupra Championship.
Just last November, TCR ventured into the realms of endurance racing for the first time and made a huge impact on its debut by winning its class and taking an outright podium during the Britcar GT Championship finale at Brands Hatch.
Team principal Lee Brookes said: "We're delighted Mike is staying with us for his move into the Ginetta Challenge, it's an exciting time as it marks a new venture for us and also a new chapter in Mike's career. He's been a very strong, consistent front-runner in Clios over the last couple of years and we're sure he'll be a real threat for the championship this year in the Ginetta.
"Since we sampled the Britcar GT race at the end of last year, we've been looking at a range of opportunities to expand the team's operations. To be able to go into a different championship with a very talented and quick driver like Mike is a huge bonus, I'm confident we'll be very competitive."
The Ginetta Challenge will get underway at Oulton Park in Cheshire on Easter Weekend, 23rd April, and will visit Snetterton, Brands Hatch (twice), Rockingham and Donington Park before reaching a conclusion at Silverstone in early October.
-source: total control racing