Will Martin claimed his first race win and a third place finish during a sensational weekend in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Thruxton (19/20 September). After a three week break since the last rounds at Knockhill, the East Sussex rising star made the journey to the fastest circuit in the UK for the fifth race weekend of his debut Carrera Cup GB campaign.
Martin had scored his best race finish of the season to date in Scotland and as a result, he came into the weekend with a positive mindset and the motivation to score more points at Thruxton. Both practice sessions on Friday ran in dry conditions. It was Martin’s first time at the circuit in a Porsche 911 GT3 cup car, but the Proceed Group sponsored driver built up his confidence and speed over the course of the day finishing in the top eight in both sessions. Moving onto Saturday qualifying, Martin was aiming for another solid result in his Richardson Racing Porsche. He was quick straight out of the pitlane and was the fastest rookie for the majority of the session, eventually ending up a brilliant third overall. The MT Drains backed racer made a solid start from third place and was straight past the 2014 Carrera Cup GB champion, Josh Webster. Despite enormous pressure and an attack from Webster on lap six, he held on to the position. That became first on lap 18 when the leader suffered a puncture and Martin kept his nerve over the remaining three laps to take a memorable first win of the season, and with it an all-important 12 championship points. The Lining Division and Trenchlines Utilities driver started in fifth position on the reverse grid for race two. Moving up to fourth by the end of the first lap, he successfully defending his position until contact with a rival at Campbell corner pushed him back to sixth. The final portion of the race featured a number of dramatic tyre failures for rival drivers, with the 17 year old benefiting most to rise three places. Carefully managing his set of Michelins in the last two laps, Martin came home third to complete a stunning podium double for the weekend. Following an impressive weekend, Martin is back up to seventh in the overall drivers’ standings with 28 points. The next race weekend of the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup GB season takes place at the home of British Motorsport, Silverstone, this weekend (26/27 September).
Will Martin: “It was nice to have a little bit of time off, especially in this jam-packed season, but I was really itching to get back behind the wheel of the car again. I came into the weekend motivated to try and beat my best result at Knockhill
“Just like at Knockhill, I found that the circuit was very fun to drive but there was quite a steep learning curve. Over the course of Friday, I just built up my speed and tried to learn as much as I could about driving this track. By the end of the day I had got up to speed and was pleased to be sixth fastest.
“Qualifying was incredible. The Richardson Racing team did such a good job preparing the car for the session and it felt so easy to push it to the limit. I was very happy with third place and was ready to fight for the podium.
“I made a near perfect start in race one and was able to move pass Josh Webster and take second place. The rest of the race was just about making sure I didn’t make any mistakes and keeping Josh behind. He made a couple of attacks but I was always able to either cover him off or retake the position.
“When I saw the leader slowing with a puncture, I couldn’t believe it, but I knew not to get caught up with what I could see. I knew I still had two laps to go. I kept my cool and was so relieved and ecstatic to come across the line in first place.
“I was able to make another great start in race two and was pleased to have made up some ground straight away. After being pushed back to sixth, I was focused on trying to catch and pass the pack of cars ahead of me. "Then, nearly everyone in front of me started dropping off with punctures. Whilst I was pleased to be moving up the order I was quite nervous that the same would happen to me. Thankfully my tyres survived the rest of the race and I came across the line for another podium.
“I’m so pleased that I could reward the team for their hard work and my sponsors and family for their support with some trophies and a great performance. I am looking forward to the challenge of Silverstone and to hopefully getting some more great results like we did this weekend.”
Image from Dan Bathie / Porsche GB.