Kwinana Courier - - Community DriveWay - Bill Buys

PERTH rac­ing star An­thony Martin has moved back in to the lead of the fierce­ly­fought Pro Mazda Cham­pi­onship in the US, with two wins from three races at the Mid Ohio cir­cuit in Lexington. But it should have been three wins. While lead­ing in heat 2, Martin was pushed wide as he lapped an­other com­peti­tor, who, per­haps not by co­in­ci­dence, was a team­mate of Vic­tor Fran­zoni, Martin’s ti­tle ri­val.

The in­ci­dent let Fran­zoni take the in­side line and get past and take the win.

“I don’t like the look of that,” the TV com­men­ta­tor said. “It looks like a bit of team or­ders to me.” How­ever, 22-year-old Martin, from Banksia Grove, came out strongly in the third heat, led all the way from pole po­si­tion and added the fastest lap, fin­ish­ing a solid 14 sec­onds ahead of Fran­zoni and edg­ing back into the cham­pi­onship lead.

With three more races to go, it’s a close thing for a ma­jor prize – worth about $1mil­lion – to progress to the faster Indy Lights cat­e­gory, the last step in the Mazda Road to Indy pro­gram. Martin now holds a slen­der two-point lead. “I knew I had a job to do,” Martin said. “I was a lit­tle ticked off from heat 2, so I might have had a lit­tle more ag­gres­sion, but I had to put what hap­pened out of my mind.

“Pres­sure mo­ti­vates me to do bet­ter and I think be­ing on top makes me go faster, so I’m con­fi­dent go­ing for­ward.”

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