Will Martin has added yet more points to his 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB points tally during an eventful weekend at Knockhill in Scotland (29/30 August).
The 17 year old headed straight to Knockhill from Oulton Park for part two of a back-to-back race weekend stint and the fourth race meeting of the Carrera Cup GB season so far.
After scoring points in both races last weekend, Martin and his Richardson Racing team were motivated to keep up their consistent run of top eight finishes. Both driver and team headed into the weekend in positive spirits after getting a taste of the Knockhill circuit in testing on Wednesday.
Despite threatening clouds, the first practice session ran in dry conditions and Martin was able to build on what he learned in Wednesday’s test and set the fifth fastest time. The Proceed Group supported driver then backed up his pace to finish the second session in sixth.
Following a very positive Friday, Martin had high expectations heading into qualifying the next day. Unfortunately, problems with traffic and two red flags disrupted his running, meaning he could only set a time good enough for ninth position.
The East Sussex racer put the disappointment of qualifying behind him and made a clean start in the first race on Sunday. By staying out of trouble in the early stages of the race, he moved up to eighth after the leader retired, and then started to make a challenge for seventh place.
A safety car period bunched the pack up and Martin was again promoted due to a retirement. When racing resumed, he immediately put the pressure on sixth place Mark Kimber and on lap 21, made his move. The two made contact but he escaped without major damage and survived a second safety car restart to finish in sixth position.
The MT Drains sponsored racer lined up on the third row for race two, and despite losing a position on the opening lap, he worked his way up into fifth place. Unfortunately, a spin then sent him back down to 15th.
Martin immediately began his fightback through the field, moving up to tenth position at the halfway stage of the race, before skillfully making his way past Pro Am class leader Ryan Ratcliffe and Kimber to rise to eighth place.
With ten laps to go, the Lining Division Ltd and Trenchline Utilities racer pushed hard to catch Sam MacLeod for seventh, but despite lapping at a quicker pace, he had to settle for eighth at the finish.
A run of four consecutive points finishes has now put Martin back up to eighth in the Pro drivers’ standings. The next race weekend of the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season takes place at the fastest circuit in the United Kingdom, Thruxton, on 19-20 September.
Will Martin: “Heading into the weekend I was pretty confident as we had a test on Wednesday, which helped me get used to driving the Porsche 911 GT3 cup car round the Knockhill track. I really couldn’t believe just how much fun it was.
“Friday went really well, I felt very comfortable with the car and I was able to push it to the limits. This meant that heading into Saturday qualifying, I was expecting to equal my best qualifying result which was seventh.
“Qualifying unfortunately didn’t go according to plan. I struggled to hook a complete lap up thanks to traffic and having the session interrupted twice thanks to red flags really didn’t help. I was still pleased to be in the top ten but I was disappointed not to get more out of the session.
“Race one was a tough one. I made a good start, but I had to stay in ninth for the opening laps until a retirement elevated me up to eighth. At the midway point of the race I was closing in on Kimber and trying to put him under pressure.
“A safety car period meant I could get right behind him, I made a move not too long after racing resumed but we made contact and Kimber went off. My car escaped without damage and I was able to hang on to the position.
“Race two started well and I got my head down and worked my way up to fifth place by lap five. Sadly, I had a spin in the final turn and I dropped back into the midfield.
“From there, it was a case of damage limitation. I kept calm and focused on picking off the cars in front of me one by one. I continued to make steady progress during the race and by the halfway point, I was up into the top ten.
"I had to work hard to pass my rivals, but I knew I had the pace and I just had to wait until the right moments came to make my moves. To salvage a point from eighth place after being 15th on the road, I think was a big positive.
“It’s great to know that we have the pace in the car and the focus in the upcoming race weekends is to improve our qualifying. I think once we have that sorted, we should be in a better position to score big points.”
Image from Dan Bathie / Porsche GB.