PERTH racing driver Anthony Martin is on the brink of championship victory in the US after a clean sweep in last week’s USF2000 Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.
Martin (21), of Banksia Grove, put in a remarkable effort to get pole positions and win all three races on the demanding Mid-Ohio circuit.
He entered the weekend 20 points adrift of Canadian teammate Parker Thompson, but turned his deficit into a 21-point lead in the USF2000 Championship, with just one more double-header to the end of the season.
“I knew I needed to be fast and take the pole, which I did in all three races,” he said.
“I have to keep this up at Laguna Seca in the finale. But Parker’s going to be hunting very hard for me, fighting me just as hard as I fought him this weekend. It’s a long way from over.”
Martin, driving the Burgess BLA-Cape Motorsports car, was under pressure from the international field in all three heats, but led from flag to flag.
The USF2000 category features 2litre Mazda-powered single seat racers, considerably quicker than the Formula Fords Martin drove in winning the WA title in 2013. He was also a national karting champion.
The championship winner gets a US$380,000 (about AU$500,000) scholarship from Mazda to progress on to the next step of its three-stage ‘Road to Indy’ program in 2017.
“Right now is no time for relaxing,” the modest and mild-mannered Martin said.
“I know I have to be at the front going into the last two races and be 100 per cent focused.”
He won’t be lacking support; his mum, Lee-Anne and father Mike will be trackside at the California circuit on September 9 to 11 as will established Indycar racer and fellow Australian Will Power, who has been a helpful mentor.
If Martin continues on his winning way at Laguna Seca, he will move on to the Pro Mazda Championship next year.