THE dream of competing in the famed Indycars series has taken a massive leap ahead for Perth’s Anthony Martin, who has just won the US F2000 Championship.
The 21-year-old from Banksia Grove had already won the Australian karting and the WA Formula Ford titles, but the US F2000 was the biggest crown of his career so far.
His win, against a vast international field, comes with a scholarship worth about $500,000 for the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship, which uses single-seater cars similar to US F2000, but with more power.
“This means so much to me,” the modest Martin said.
“It was a roller coaster ride this year, swapping first and second in the championship with (teammate) Parker Thompson but I was able to pull through with a strong run in the last half of the season.
“I can’t thank everyone enough. It is a lot of weight off my shoulders in finding the budget to do next season.”
Driving the BLA Cape Motorsports car, he finished third and second in the last two races of the season, at Laguna Seca, California, knowing he only had to finish in the top five to secure the title. Still, his competitive spirit kept him in podium spots in the 17-strong pack.
The Mazda Road to Indy is one of the world’s most successful driver development programs, providing a path to reach the IndyCar Series and Indianapolis 500.
Sanctioned by Indycar, the program comprises three development series: USF2000, Pro Mazda and Indy Lights.
Pro Mazda uses the Mazda Renesis rotary engine tuned to develop about 195kW – 70 more than the Mazda MZR motor in US F2000 – and gives the cars speeds of 260km/h.
Martin’s 2016 season ended with him winning seven of the 16-race series, plus six more podium places.