Porsche Carrera Cup GB rookie Will Martin took home a second points finish of the season from a challenging weekend at Brands Hatch (8/9 August).
Following an impressive debut in the Carrera Cup GB last weekend at Donington Park, Martin and the Richardson Racing team headed to the historic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in Kent for the second meeting of the 2020 season.
Martin came into the weekend in a positive mood and with high expectations. The East Sussex racer was looking to add more points to his campaign at a circuit where he and the team ended the 2019 Ginetta Junior Championship with a sensational race win.
Friday’s two practice sessions ran on the hottest day in August for 17 years, meaning that Martin experienced grueling cockpit temperatures of over 50 degrees. Despite the heat, he lapped the tricky GP circuit eighteen times and set the tenth fastest time in the PRO class, gathering useful data at a circuit that Martin has never been round in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car before.
Unfortunately, the second Porsche Carrera Cup GB qualifying session of the season didn’t go according to plan. Over the 30-minute session, which also ran in extreme heat, Martin struggled to put a lap together and once again finished tenth in the PRO class.
The first 17 lap race of the weekend at Brands Hatch saw the Proceed Group and Lining Division supported driver, sadly, stall his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Car on the line. Martin was able to keep his composure and get going again, albeit at the back of the pack.
Martin’s progress through the field was halted by an early safety car but on lap four, the race resumed and he kept his nose clean and started picking his rivals off one by one.
Just before the halfway point of the race, Martin had worked his way up to 14th position and was homing in on the next group of cars battling for the top ten. However, another safety car period took away more racing laps and limited the chance to fight back through the field.
With five laps to go, racing resumed and through sheer determination and clever driving, the 17-year-old worked his way up to tenth place overall and eighth in the PRO class at the finish - before a post-race amended to the result promoted him one place higher.
The Trenchline Utilities and MT Drains sponsored driver started the second race from ninth position and after a good launch, he was able to avoid an accident at the first turn and make up a couple of positions.
After a brief safety car period, Martin was running in seventh position overall and sixth in the PRO class but contact on lap four sent him into the barriers at Hawthorn Bend and out of the race.
After the second race weekend of the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season, Will Martin is ninth in the PRO drivers’ standings and has his eyes set on moving up the points table at the next meeting at Oulton Park, 22-23 August.
Will Martin: “It felt amazing knowing that I only had to wait a few days since the end of the first race weekend at Donington Park to race Richardson Racing’s Porsche 911 GT3 again.
“We spent the practice sessions focusing on the car setup, and both myself and the team felt like the car was in a good place. It was an incredibly hot day and it wasn’t a pleasant working environment.
“Qualifying wasn’t fantastic though. I struggled to put a lap together and I was disappointed with the result. I put that aside though and tried to remember that the races on Sunday are what really count.
“Race one on Sunday was so frustrating. I was a bit too eager at the start and I stalled on the line. I managed to get going again, but I’d lost multiple positions and I knew I’d have to fight back through the field. Having two safety car periods, and quite lengthy ones meant I didn’t have that much time to make up ground.
“When we were under green flag racing, I just kept my nose clean and overtook my rivals one at a time and capitalised on their mistakes. I was pleased to have managed to salvage a points finish in a difficult race.
“Fortunately, I made a much better start in the second race but then I had contact with another car at turn one. I couldn’t do anything to avoid them as they just closed the door on me. Still, at least I was able to carry on.
“Sadly, my race didn’t last much longer. Whilst defending my position, I got a pretty hard tap on lap four that sent me off the track at Hawthorn Bend. I was pretty annoyed with the accident as I felt like the other driver just didn’t back out of a near-impossible move.
“This weekend has been slightly frustrating, but me and the team are constantly learning and improving. I think we have the speed and we just need a clean weekend and a bit of good luck, and then the results will start to come.”
Image from Dan Bathie / Porsche GB.