PERTH racing star Anthony Martin finished a close second in the 2017 Pro Mazda Championship which last week finished at Watkins Glen, New York.
It was a season of intense racing for Martin, who last year won a scholarship which allowed him to tackle the next step in Mazda’s Road to Indy program.
He and eventual winner, Victor Franzoni, of Brazil, traded first places throughout the season and the final, run in the wet on the tricky Watkins Glen circuit, was anybody’s race.
But despite the category being a one-make event where every car was supposedly identical, the Brazilian’s car consistently showed superior straight-line speed.
To exacerbate matters, Martin had to start from 5th on the grid after incurring a penalty for “failing to acknowledge the chequered flag at the conclusion of qualifying”.
“I’m very disappointed not to take the championship but I had a great time this year,” Martin said.
“To come this far and to not take the championship is bittersweet. The season has been one big bumpy rollercoaster.
“Victor and I traded the lead I don’t know how many times, and we had some intense battles.
‘“ was pushing 150 per cent out there with the championship on the line and gave it my all.”
But all may not be lost.
The 22-year-old’s sterling performance was noted and talks are underway with several potential backers for next season.