Calan Williams leads the F3 pack

North Coast Times - - FRONT PAGE -

PERTH rac­ing star An­thony Martin fin­ished a close sec­ond in the 2017 Pro Mazda Cham­pi­onship which last week fin­ished at Watkins Glen, New York.

It was a sea­son of in­tense rac­ing for Martin, who last year won a schol­ar­ship which al­lowed him to tackle the next step in Mazda’s Road to Indy pro­gram.

He and even­tual win­ner, Vic­tor Fran­zoni, of Brazil, traded first places through­out the sea­son and the fi­nal, run in the wet on the tricky Watkins Glen cir­cuit, was any­body’s race.

But de­spite the cat­e­gory be­ing a one-make event where ev­ery car was sup­pos­edly iden­ti­cal, the Brazil­ian’s car con­sis­tently showed su­pe­rior straight-line speed.

To ex­ac­er­bate mat­ters, Martin had to start from 5th on the grid af­ter in­cur­ring a penalty for “fail­ing to ac­knowl­edge the che­quered flag at the con­clu­sion of qual­i­fy­ing”. “I’m very dis­ap­pointed not to take the cham­pi­onship but I had a great time this year,” Martin said.

“To come this far and to not take the cham­pi­onship is bit­ter­sweet. The sea­son has been one big bumpy roller­coaster.

“Vic­tor and I traded the lead I don’t know how many times, and we had some in­tense bat­tles.

‘“was push­ing 150 per cent out there with the cham­pi­onship on the line and gave it my all.”

But all may not be lost. The 22-year-old’s ster­ling per­for­mance was noted and talks are un­der­way with sev­eral po­ten­tial back­ers for next sea­son.

An­thony Martin on the podium (left pic­ture). Above: Martin leads one of the heats in the Pro Mazda Cham­pi­onship race at Watkins Glen.

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