MARTIN NEXT KART OFF THE RANKS
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-year-old Anthony Martin.
He has just completed a test drive with Andretti Autosport in an IndyLights car and, with luck, could be in the team’s four-car line-up for 2018.
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 scholarship-funded 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.
Anthony Martin at a testing session with the Andretti Autosport Indylights car.