Robson Claims first Club Pro Podium at Knockhill
Subaru driver Scott Robson earned his first podium position in the recent round of the UK Time Attack Championship at Knockhill.
Scott competes in the Club Pro class of the UK Time Attack Championship in his Ferrari red Subaru Impreza, with the support of Perth based Subaru experts RA Motorsport. The Club Pro class is one of the most competitive categories in the Time Attack Championship, which features a strong field of very highly tuned cars from a variety of manufacturers. Even with an impressive 550 horse power available, Scott’s Subaru is still almost 300bhp shy of the most powerful cars in this class, so putting all his skill and local knowledge to good effect in the changeable weather conditions would be essential for a good result.
A recurring misfire during the first round at Cadwell Park in May, where Robson still managed an impressive 7th in class, was traced post event to a damaged wiring loom. The poorly running engine had badly damaged the blades on the turbocharger resulting in a very narrow powerband with virtually no power below 5000 rpm and over 500bhp at 5750rpm! Unfortunately there wasn’t time to repair the damage ahead of Knockhill, and Scott would have to adapt his driving to suit.
The typically cold and wet early morning conditions for the morning warm up session were a mixed blessing for Scott. One the one hand his local expertise of the slippery Knockhill tarmac saw him fastest in class and an incredible third fastest overall with a lap time of 62.247 seconds, but the narrow power band induced some heroic power slides as the car tried it’s best to throw him off the greasy track.
Scott Robson competing at a very wet Knockhill
By the time the late morning practice sessions started, the rain had eased off and a dry line was starting to form around the 1.3 mile circuit. The improved conditions allowed Scott to make some adjustments to the suspensions set-up to maximise grip, and the narrow power band proved less of a hindrance. Worryingly during the session, the engine developed a loud ticking noise forcing Scott to abort his efforts, but not before posting a fastest in class time of 55.633 seconds. Thankfully the noise was traced to a leaking exhaust manifold gasket, and the RA Motorsport team set about repairing this for the afternoon sessions.
With an almost dry track for the afternoon qualification session, Scott was always going to be under pressure from his more powerful competitors and would have to push the car to its limits to earn the valuable points on offer to the top 5 drivers. Turning up the boost to its maximum setting and risking as much of the kerbs as the conditions allowed, Scott recorded a blistering time of 55.088 seconds, exactly a second behind class leader Steven Peel in his Mitsubishi EVO. This time was good enough for third in class and earned Robson 30 valuable championship points. Despite the diversity of front, rear and four wheel drive machinery in the Club Pro class, results as always proved extremely competitive with 3rd to 8th places being separated by less than a second!
Scott Robson riding kerbs at Knockhill
Despite performing a rain dance in the paddock as the final approached, the conditions continued to improve much to the delight of Scott’s competitors. The now fully dry track allowed all the drivers to extract the very best from their cars, and fellow Scottish driver Andrew Barbour quickly set a benchmark time 54.609 on the third lap in his Mitsubishi EVO. However, mechanical issues blighted some of the drivers and they were forced to pull off track resulting in the session being red flagged twice. With barely a minute remaining of the 15 minute session, the remaining drivers lined up in the pit lane for a last do or die effort. With only a single lap available to fully warm the tyres, there was no sandbagging as the full grid thundered onto the track to try and cross the start line and get a flying lap in before the chequered flag marked the end of the session.
Scott Robson Flat Out around Knockhill
Scott started his flying lap well positioned behind the very fast EVO of Steven Peel, and this spurred him on to record his best ever lap time of 54.714. Without in-car live timing information available for the final, it wasn’t until he returned to the pit lane that Scott learned how his efforts had earned him his first ever Club Pro podium position.
‘I was absolutely delighted that all the hard work the guys at RA Motorsport had put into the car had produced a podium at our home event, despite all the issues we had to contend with before and during the event. We are very much looking forward to the next round and the rest of the championship.’
Scott Robson on podium at Knockhill
The next round of the UK Time Attack Championship will be at Brands Hatch on the 8th of July.
For more information on Time Attack, please click to Time Attack
For more information on RA Motorsport, please click to RA Motorsport
Words: John Stewart
Images: Flat Out Photography