LATEST STAR SHINES IN US
PERTH DRIVER ON PODIUM AT FIRST MEET
A PODIUM spot in his first day of racing in the US. That’s what 19-year-old Anthony Martin achieved at the wheel of a USF2000 racer.
It’s a class new to the unassuming Banksia Grove driver who also had to cope with different rules and fiercer competition than at Barbagallo Raceway.
Martin, who won the 2013 WA Formula Ford title in his rookie year, was a few weeks ago signed by John Cummiskey Racing, one of the top teams in the USF2000 series.
Unlike the familiar Formula Fords, the USF2000 cars use Mazda MZR 2.0-litre engines and run on slick tyres and have aerodynamic wings.
“It wasn’t so difficult to adjust to the new, more powerful car, just different,” Martin said after his US debut race at the Nola Motorsport Park in New Orleans.
“With downforce and the sticky tyres it’s a lot different because of the amount of grip in the corners. I had never driven a ‘wings and slicks’ car before, so it was all totally new to me but I adapted to it really well.”
His day in New Orleans started well, with him qualifying eighth in a field of 19 and finishing fifth.
He set the fourth fastest lap time, which put him fourth on the starting grid for the second heat, but electrical gremlins hit the JCR car and it ended up running on only two cylinders.
But things improved again in the final race of the day, where Martin, now based at Indianapolis, got on to the podium with a stunning drive that took him from eighth on the grid to third.
“My teammate and I were the highest ranking rookies of the race meeting and to be finishing in front of experienced drivers, who have been racing this class for over two years, is something that I’m proud of,” he said.
“The race format here is a lot different than what I am used to, with a lot more laps in the races and a lot more practice time as well. And the race rules are harsher than what we have in Australia.”
Proudest parent there was Martin’s mother, Lee-Anne. “I’m thrilled to bits,”she said.
Martin’s next race is at the Barber Motorsport Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
Perth's Anthony Martin on his way to third place in a USF2000 race in New Orleans recently.