MARTIN NEXT KART OFF THE RANKS IN WA STABLE
A NEW lap record was set and there were some inspired drives at the WA Sporting Car Club's two-day meeting at Barbagallo Raceway, whichdrew many competitors from the east coast for the national round of the Improved Production Racing Association.
In the over-2-litre final Raymond Hislop of Tasmania took the honours in his 6.0 litre Falcon BF, with Perth's Peter Major second in a Subaru WRX and South Australian Christopher Brown third in a Toyota AE86 Sprinter.
Major set a lap record at 1:00.64 in his Subaru WRX for this class.
Grant Gellan had eyes popping in the under-2000cc category when he scorched from the back of the grid in his black Escort to pass five rivals on the first lap.
By lap four he was closing in on Queenslander David Waldon when the race was red-flagged because of an oil spill and a spin by another competitor.
The win went to Waldon in his Mazda RX-3, with WA's Colin Harper third, in his Honda Civic.
Many fans reckoned Gellan's performance was the best drive they'd seen in years. THERE must be something special in the waters of Western Australia.
It has produced Formula 1 star Daniel Ricciardo, and now another young Perthling making his mark in the world racing scene is 22-yearold Anthony Martin.
He has just completed a test drive with Andretti Autosport in an IndyLights car and, with luck, could be in the respected team’s four-car line-up for the 2018 season.
Like Ricciardo and many other racing aces, the tall, modest Martin started in karts in 2008 and within a few years took the State and then the Australian titles.
More than a top driver, his sporting talents include cricket and soccer, and he was once offered a US scholarship to develop his soccer skills – but he politely declined because he knew his future was in the cockpit of a single-seat race car.
With many karting titles to his credit, he moved on to Formula Ford – and won the State title and Rookie of the Year in his debut season.
He has since set his sights on Indycars via Mazda Road to Indy, a three-step driver development program, providing a scholarshipfunded path to the Verizon IndyCar Series, including the fabled Indianapolis 500.
But it’s an expensive business and the scholarship part only applies to the winner of each of the three categories that precede the ultimate Indycars.
With help from his parents and Kalgoorlie businessman Paul Burgess, he joined the program in 2015 in the USF2000 class, won it in 2016 and used the scholarship to move up to Pro-Mazda.
There he and Brazilian Victor Franzoni had a tremendous tussle throughout the year, trading wins at the various circuits, with Martin runner-up in a controversial final.
However, Andretti Autosport scouts had noted his talent and invited him to test with the team at Indianapolis.
The team has so far won four IndyCar Series championships, two Indy Lights titles, one Pro Mazda championship, one USF2000 championship and has won the famed Indianapolis 500 four times. Bill Buys
One of Nissan's Cantoequipped electric cars.
Anthony Martin at a testing session with the Andretti Autosport Indylights car.