Charlotte Birch has marked a return to competition with a fantastic debut in the Track Attack Race Club series at Silverstone: claiming two victories from three races, including one from the very back of the field, Birch showed no sign of race rustiness at the wheel of her Ginetta G40.
Charlotte Birch has marked a return to competition with a fantastic debut in the Track Attack Race Club series at Silverstone. Claiming two victories from three races, including one from the very back of the field, Birch showed no sign of race rustiness in the multi-class series as she piloted her Ginetta G40 to three podium finishes.
Charlotte’s appearance at Silverstone came as a precursor to the young driver announcing her 2024 plans which will see her make a return to full-season racing after a season spent on the sidelines.
Charlotte began her car racing career in the highly competitive Junior Saloon Car Championship in which she achieved a podium finish in wet conditions at Anglesey in 2018. Since then, Birch has competed in multi-class GT Racing, including appearances in the Britcar Trophy in 2021 driving a Vinna Sport prepared Ginetta G40. At the end of the 2021 season, Charlotte stepped up to drive a Ligier JS2 R, and claimed class victory while also picking up the Sunoco Driver of the Weekend award in the process.
The 2022 season saw Charlotte take another significant step up as she moved into the GT Cup Championship driving a Lamborghini Super Trofeo for Topcats Racing alongside fellow female driver Charlotte Gilbert. Multiple class podiums followed, before Birch claimed class victory in a Ginetta G55 Supercup, also in the GT Cup Championship, to round out the season.
Although Charlotte has not been able to put together a full-season programme of racing in 2023, her outing in the Track Attack Race Club series saw her return to action.
The Track Attack Race Club has seen a recent revival, with a number of existing series coming together to provide multi-class racing for drivers on a limited budget. Although Charlotte was competing in an invitational class at Silverstone, the performance of car was relative to those in other classes which included machinery such as Volkswagen Sciroccos and Renault Clios.
Despite this weekend being Charlotte’s first competitive outing of the year, she was immediately on the pace in the fifteen-minute qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, claiming overall pole position by over half a second, with her quickest three times all fast enough to take top spot. Following the cancellation of a race at Oulton Park earlier in the season, this race took place at Silverstone. Although Birch did not enter the Oulton Park weekend, she was permitted to start the race from the back of the grid.
Charlotte gained seven positions on the opening lap of the rescheduled race and occupied a podium position at the conclusion of lap four. Chasing down the leaders, Birch ran her fastest lap of the race, just one tenth of a second slower than her pole position time, on lap five. On lap eight, the three leading drivers were separated by just two tenths of a second, with Charlotte taking over second. A fantastic last lap pass saw her claim victory at Silverstone and mark her return to racing in spectacular fashion.
Courtesy of her pole position time, Birch lined up at the front of the grid for race two on Sunday morning. Dropping to third at the start, a safety car period then halted her progress with the young driver determined to make time as the race progressed. By lap eight, Charlotte was four seconds away from the race leader, but a spirited late charge saw the Ginetta G40 driver finish just over two seconds away from win, taking the checkered flag in third.
Charlotte was aiming to make it a hat-trick of podium finishes in the final race of the weekend and enjoyed a race-long battle with Adam Croft in his Peugeot 205. Birch held the lead for the opening two laps, before dropping behind her rival. Reclaiming the lead on lap seven, Charlotte opened up a slender advantage in the closing stages to claim her second victory of the weekend.
Showing excellent speed on her return to competitive racing, Charlotte is targeting a full-time programme in 2024 with her plans set to be announced imminently. Birch has previously shown an interest in multi-class GT racing and this may be where she looks to compete next season, building upon her performances in both the Ginetta G55 Supercup and Lamborghini Super Trofeo.