Rising star Will Martin has kick-started his Porsche Carrera Cup GB career with a solid performance and an all-important points finish at Donington Park (1/2 August).
After an extended off-season, caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, Will Martin and his Richardson Racing team made the journey up north to the East Midlands for their first two Porsche Carrera Cup GB races.
Following a positive testing programme, both Will and the team came into the weekend with high expectations, with the Proceed Group supported driver looking to kick-start the season with a strong set of results.
Practice at Donington Park on the final day of July ran in warm conditions and Martin was able to get a healthy total of 18 laps under his belt in his Lining Division backed car, running both race and qualifying simulations across the two sessions.
Martin’s first Porsche Carrera Cup GB qualifying session ran successfully. In the sweltering heat, over the 30-minute session, Martin built up his speed and rhythm to go seventh quickest overall and sixth in the PRO class. Martin was then elevated one further position post-session as the results were amended.
The first 23 lap race of the weekend began in perfect conditions. The Trenchline Utilities supported driver, made a decent start but he had to relinquish one position going into turn one. He then put in a brilliant, defensive drive to hang on to seventh position on the road until the end of the ninth lap.
Unfortunately, the East Sussex racer was then pushed into the barrier at the final chicane, which caused significant damage to his Porsche 911 GT3 car’s steering and he was forced to retire.
The 17 year old lined up for the second race in eleventh place and at the back of the PRO class, but he made a good getaway off the line and was able to battle his way past two of his rivals and move up to ninth position by the end of the first lap.
Martin set his sights on eighth place and slowly but surely closed the gap to his opposition and was able to get past on the way into the final chicane on lap 17. The MT Drains backed racer pushed hard and set competitive times throughout the race, but had to settle for eighth position and seventh in the PRO class.
After the first race weekend of the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season, Will Martin is in eighth place in the PRO drivers’ standings and has his eyes set on moving up the order at the next meeting at Brands Hatch this weekend, 8-9 August.
Will Martin: “It felt like we had to wait an eternity to finally get the racing season going. Right off the bat the car felt really good on Friday. We spent the session focusing on our race pace and both myself and the team felt like the car was in a good place. Fortunately for us, the weather was great, maybe even a bit too hot and we had few interruptions during both practice sessions.
“Qualifying was amazing. Over the course of the session, I just kept building up my speed and confidence and, in the end, both myself and the team were really happy with P7. At that point of the weekend, the car was incredible to drive. We then also got some good news after it came out that we would be starting from sixth place.
“Race one on Sunday was so frustrating. I made a good start but wasn’t able to hang on to my starting position and then whilst defending seventh place, I just got pushed into the barrier at the chicane. That damaged the car’s steering and I wasn’t able to continue.
“The team did a brilliant job to get the car ready for race two and I really wanted to reward the mechanics for their hard work with a good result. Starting eleventh, and at the back of the PRO class, I knew I needed to make a good start in order to salvage a good result.
“Fortunately, I made a good start, avoided serious contact in the first few corners and was able to make up some ground on the opening lap and was up into the top 10. I then had to stay very consistent and focused to catch the eighth placed car.
“Not long after the halfway point of the race, I managed to get past heading into the final chicane and get the move completed before we came onto the start line. I was pleased with eighth overall and seventh in the PRO class, especially after the DNF in race one.
“Despite what happened in the first race, this weekend has been a success for both myself and the Richardson Racing team. We are very happy with the progress we have made and we are really looking forward to the next round of the championship at Brands Hatch.”
Image from Porsche GB / Dan Bathie.