IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES when you finish second in an event, it may well be a bummer and a disappointment but you’ve still scored a podium.
Not quite the same though when the race is the Road to Indy Pro Mazda championship final with the winner walking away with a $1million scholarship towards a seat in the 2018 Indy Lights series.
Kalgoorlie’s ANTHONY MARTIN just couldn’t find the pace that his arch rival, Brazilian VICTOR FRANZONI, had at the weekend’s shoot-out at Watkins Glen, in New York State.
The Martin family travelled to the US from Perth. “There was pretty much nothing Anthony could do to keep up with Victor,” Mum Lee-Anne said. “First race on Saturday Anthony qualified 2nd and finished 2nd. He made an amazing pass on the opening lap and held the lead for 12 of the 16 laps. But when Victor did pass he just drove away from Anthony like he was standing still. So frustrating!”
“Anthony managed to get to 3rd by the first corner and tried his best on several occasions to get past Carlos Cunha but just couldn’t get the pass done in the wet conditions. VF drove away and the victory was all his.
“Anthony (and all of us) are just gutted,” Lee-Anne said. “He gave it all he had – and then some. But the Juncos car just had that much more pace and we really didn’t stand a chance. He did the best with what he had to drive, simple as that.
“As for next year, which everyone is asking, we just don’t know. Obviously the scholarship money was the plan to move forward into Indy Lights, so without that we have to try and fund his racing somehow. For the moment we need to regroup, take a breath and start discussions with several teams about next year.
“When we have something sorted, if anything, we’ll let you know, Adrian.”