ANTHONY MARTIN, winner of the highly competitive 2016 Mazda US F2000 Road-to-Indy Championship, is undergoing an intensive training regime for the new season which gets away next month.
I had a wonderful surprise late last year on an otherwise unusually gloomy Spring day in Western Australia when an absolutely charming and delightful Anthony and his beautiful Mum Lee-Anne (who took the pic below) called on me at my Ocean Reef home. I have been struggling with my health, and it was a pleasant and thoughtful boost.
That handsome cheque translates to Au$500,000+ and will largely fund the Kalgoorlie-born young guy’s campaign for the 2017 Pro Mazda Series, the second of three steps on the way to a seat in the famed Verizon IndyCar.
Image. LEE-ANNE MARTIN.
He headed back to the US a few days later for the official Indy Banquet, then back home to Perth for a family Christmas in northern suburban Banksia Grove.
A true Aussie champion. And a lovely guy. It was particularly impressive to see the Mazda State Division in Kewdale making Anthony‘s homecoming even more welcoming with the loan of a very handsome CX5. It looked quite flash in my driveway!
So, well done, Mazda! And well done the Martin clan.
Anthony, and all drivers in the Series – USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights – are preparing for the Mazda Road-to-Indy Spring Training at the Homestead-Miami Speedway, February 26-March 1. The testing is as full-on as it gets for the Teams as their pilots blasts around Homestead‘s 3.6km, 14-turn road course – one of Florida‘s trickier tracks.
The first two of 12 rounds grid up March 10-12 – 340 kms away at St Petersburg – with the season finale at the famous Watkins Glen road course, in New York State, September 1-3. That’s the track our former V8 Supercars Tassie devil, Marcos Ambrose, called his own in back in his NASCAR days!
(By the way, MARCOS AMBROSE has since transformed a once derelict building into a nine-bedroom wilderness lodge, in my childhood once-home STATE of TASMANIA, up there with some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Formerly it was the Antarctic training base Bernacchi Lodge, in Tassie‘s glorious World Heritage Area, near Lake Augusta. At the opening late last year it was officially renamed Thousand Island Lakes Lodge. And that beaming smile of a motorsport icon could be seen for miles! Well done, MARCOS!).