Image: Lee-Anne Martin.
WA’s Anthony Martin gains valuable experience in US
Kalgoorlie’s international racer Anthony Martin sits second in the competitive US F2000 championship, ahead of this weekend’s double header at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
The 6.52km Road America circuit hosts rounds eight and nine of 16 in the first step on the Mazda Road to Indy series.
Martin closed the gap at the 1.1km oval circuit at Lucas Oil Raceway winning the Carb Night Classic, a precursor to the 100th Indy500.
Canadian Parker Thompson, the championship leader, started on pole but the Aussie was able to turn the tables in the later stages of the 75-lap race, held in warm breezy conditions on the tricky banked track to claim his second victory of the season.
“We lost all video connections 12 minutes into the race and the live commentary had a three minute lag so we were nervous wrecks,” Martin’s number one supporter, mum Lee-Anne, said.
“But Anthony’s younger brother Patrick was there sending updates every minute or so and we heard Anthony had taken the lead, then won.”
Winning on an oval circuit is no easy task, as fans of NASCAR well appreciate.
“We are absolutely thrilled for him,” Lee-Anne said “He planned the race perfectly knowing his real opportunity to pass was through the lapped traffic.”
Martin remained glued to the race leader’s rear wing through the early stages of the race, waiting for the right opportunity to make his move.
With 15 laps to go and closing in to lap other drivers Martin sliced through on the inside of Thompson, his Wayne Taylor Racing teammate.
Driving his #8 Burgess BLA-Cape Motorsports openwheeler, Martin held on to pip Parker at the post by 1.3037 seconds, cutting his deficit to just 25 points midway through the championship.
“It was a great race, it was very intense,” the 21-year-old said.
“My car was good in traffic, a little bit better than Parker’s. He got in the wash of the car in front of him in lapped traffic and that’s when I really pulled up to him quickly, made a move, and got past both cars.
“I have to take every risk to get every championship point I can and getting the win here really gives me confidence.
“Moving up through the Mazda Road to Indy, you race on more and more oval tracks so to get my first win on a track like Lucas Oil Raceway is great and such a valuable experience on how to look after the Cooper Tires and the Mazda engine.”
Martin had a quite an amazing weekend. The day after his win he got to drive a Formula Ford in the Indy500 Street Parade through massive crowds in downtown Indianapolis.
He had a police escort into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday where he was able to park, was invited up to the winner’s podium and interviewed live in front of the sell-out 350,000 plus fans.
He also managed to get brother Patrick and girlfriend Lindsay Bayley, a fellow Perth racer, in to watch the famous race.
Burgess BLA is Kalgoorlie based and provides fixed plant mechanical onsite service to the mining industry.
Paul and Trish Burgess have been Martin’s major sponsor since 2012 when he was racing go karts throughout Australia.
“Without them Anthony would not be where he is today,” Lee-Anne Martin said. “Their belief and faith in his abilities as a race car driver is second to none.”
He took out last year’s rookie prize and winning the championship would earn him the funding required to race in the next category of Pro Mazda for 2017.
“What people don’t see is the sacrifices you have to make to experience the successes, because every triumph has a price,” his mother said.
“For our family it would be a relief to know the years of sacrifice, hard work, stress and dedication we have put into Anthony’s racing career through the good times and the bad times have been worth it
“To see your child follow their dreams, knowing in your heart they can do it but the money issue is always the problem to keep going, well it would be such a weight off our shoulders.
“To see your child happy, what more can any parent ask?”
Main Photo: Anthony Martin wins at Indianapolis. Photo: LLC Photography.